Our cover story this month, “Gathering Storm” (p. 10), details one of the most frightening endocrine emergencies physicians are faced with, the thyroid storm. At one time, this confounding condition was a death sentence. Fortunately, thanks to research and a better understanding of just exactly what thyroid storm is, it now has a survival rate between 80% and 100%. Diffi – cult to diagnose and tricky to treat, this disorder still has no defi nitive cause, but according to Colonel Henry B. Burch, MD, professor of medicine and chair of the Endocrinology Division of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, in Bethesda, Md., the key to a patient’s survival is simply “making the diagnosis.”
Terri D’Arrigo writes on another topic that is all too common: treating diabetes in patients who are also suff ering from depression. In “Depression, Distress, and Diabetes” (p. 16), Jeff rey S. Gonzales, PhD, associate professor, Department of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, says that “even if you’re a very sensitive endocrinologist who knows about depression and wants to get your patient appropriate care, insurance plans may separate mental health benefits from diabetes treatment [in a way that makes teamwork among clinicians difficult]. It’s like chopping people up into different diseases.”
As the obesity epidemic continues its rampage, it’s amazing to see how it aff ects so many aspects of daily life, even how it impacts pregnancy and birth control. In “Pregnant Pause” on page 24, Melissa Mapes writes about how the over-the-counter female oral contraceptive levonorgestrel — or “Plan B” — has an unusually high failure rate in overweight women. Since this is currently the only affordable emergency contraception available for women over the counter, heavier women might have to seek out a “Plan C.”
If you were fortunate enough to be in Chicago for ICE/ENDO 2014 then you saw firsthand the voluminous amount of research that was presented. On page 20, associate editor Derek Bagley gives an overview of some of the data presented at the conference. From studies on the burgeoning epidemics of diabetes and obesity to new findings on hormones and pregnancy and endocrine-disrupting chemicals, clinicians from all corners of the field of endocrinology gave some compelling presentations. As a bonus, it was a great way for me to find ideas for 2015, which is closer than you think!
Speaking of 2015, if you have any story ideas or topics you’d like to see covered in Endocrine News, don’t hesitate to drop me a line at [email protected]
Mark A. Newman
Managing Editor, Endocrine News