Diabetes & Endocrinology

Turn to the endocrinology specialists at Essentia Health if you have diabetes, a thyroid condition, or a hormonal imbalance of any kind. Our endocrinology and diabetes care team will take the time to get to know you and your goals. We’ll explain your treatment options and work together to restore your natural balance of hormones.

What’s an Endocrinologist

Endocrinologists are doctors with specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases that affect glands like thyroid disease or diabetes.

When to See an Endocrinologist

Talk to your primary care provider if you experience symptoms of a hormone condition, such as:

  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fast or slow heart rate
  • Frequent urination
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss

Depending on your symptoms and condition, your primary care provider may refer to you an endocrinologist.

Conditions Treated

See the full list of conditions we treat, and select a condition to find providers and locations near you.


Diabetes Specialists

If you have diabetes, your primary care provider can usually manage your condition. You may be referred to our diabetes team if you need additional support.

  • Internal medicine diabetes specialist – A medical doctor who specializes in diabetes care to help you get your diabetes under control and manage complications
  • Nurse practitioner – An advanced practice registered nurse who specializes in diabetes care
  • Physician assistant – A licensed medical professional who specializes in diabetes care
  • Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs) – Registered nurses and dietitians who teach you about your condition and how to care for yourself and manage your illness

Learn about American Diabetes Association (ADA)-recognized diabetes education at Essentia.

Diabetic Foot Care

Medical Insight : Diabetic Neuropathy Video Transcript


The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health. Medical Insight. Close up of a man tying his shoes. The camera follows his feet as he walks through the front door.

TRACY BRIGGS: Let's be honest. Most of us ignore our feet. Every morning, we pull on socks and shoes and walk out the door, taking for granted that our feet will carry us through the day. But for those suffering from diabetes, foot care should be an everyday concern.

Dr. Jared Aelony, podiatrist, speaks to the camera. He wears blue scrubs.

JARED AELONY: We always tell diabetic patients to check your feet every day. If you see any sores or blisters, come see us right away.

Dr. Aelony enters a patient examination room, shaking hands with a waiting patient.

TRACY BRIGGS: Why the urgency? Dr. Jared Aelony, a podiatrist at Essentia Health St. Mary's Detroit Lakes, says it's important to regularly check diabetic patient's feet because they aren't able to fight infection and heal as quickly as someone without diabetes. Couple that with the high incidence of neuropathy in diabetic patients, and it's a recipe for disaster.

Dr. Aelony examines the foot of the patient. Insight host, Tracy Briggs, speaks to the camera from a table. In front of her is a bowl of sugar. She holds a spoon.

What exactly is diabetic neuropathy? And why does it lead to foot troubles? Well, let's use this sugar to illustrate. When someone has high blood sugar, that sugar starts to act like little shards of glass in the blood vessels.

Tracy picks up some of the sugar in the spoon, slowly allowing it to sift off of the spoon, back into the bowl.

Over time, that can damage nerve fibers, which then could lead to numbness, tingling, or a lack of feeling altogether.

JARED AELONY: We've had cases where somebody comes in cause they saw something on their sock one day-- some drainage. And then they took it off and found a hole in their foot that they didn't know was there because they can't feel it anymore.

TRACY BRIGGS: Dr. Aelony says if diabetic patients check their feet daily, injuries can be easily treated from day one to make sure it doesn't get infected. Waiting too long can lead to complications, like severe infection or amputation. Even wearing shoes in the house can help diabetic patients protect against foot sores. Dr. Aelony says that small step helps keep skin intact if you accidentally step on something. And he advises those with diabetes to throw away their flip-flops altogether.

JARED AELONY: If we can get ahead of these problems, we can deal with them a lot better and even help prevent some of these problems from occurring.

TRACY BRIGGS: With this Essentia Health Medical Insight, I'm Tracy Briggs.


The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health. Medical Insight.

Ask for a Referral

You’ll need a referral from your primary care provider or a specialist for this service.

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