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Endocrinologist Dr. Wayne Evron Joins St. Clair Hospital Staff
By Nancy Kennedy

Dr. Wayne Evron

One of Pittsburgh’s leading endocrinologists, Wayne A. Evron, M.D., FAACE, has joined the Medical Services staff at St. Clair Hospital. Evron specializes in treating disorders of the body’s endocrine system, including diabetes, obesity and thyroid disorders. Before relocating to St. Clair, he served as the Medical Director of the Joslin Diabetes Center at the Western Pennsylvania Hospital and as a clinical assistant professor at Temple University School of Medicine. Dr. Evron is board certified in both internal medicine and in endocrinology by the American Board of Medicine.

According to Evron, a healthy body’s endocrine system functions quietly and efficiently, manufacturing and secreting hormones that play a critical role in regulating human physiology.

“When your endocrine glands are healthy, you aren’t aware of them,” says Evron. “They do their job, constantly adjusting hormone levels to meet the body’s needs. Disorders of the endocrine system occur most often where there is too much or too little hormone being secreted. For example, if there is nothing wrong with your thyroid, you don’t even know it’s there. Without thyroid hormone, however, you’ll die. Infants who have congenital hypothyroidism fail to grow and develop; this is known as cretinism and we routinely screen all newborns for this. Thyroid problems can occur at any age, but the incidence increases with advancing age. Thyroid disease is actually twice as common as diabetes.”

Hormones are secreted by the body’s endocrine system, which consists of small but powerful glands including the pancreas, thyroid, adrenals, ovaries and testes, and pituitaries; these hormones affect every body organ and organ system. They are especially significant in regulating metabolism, reproduction, sexual function and growth. Through a complex feedback system with the brain, the endocrine system enables the body to maintain an essential balance. The most common endocrine disorders are diabetes, thyroid disease, growth problems and adrenal disorders, but the endocrine system can be a factor in infertility, obesity and other medical problems. Many medical diseases have endocrine-related aspects to them, thus specialists like Evron are frequently consulted to help manage patients with complex diseases. Many endocrine diseases, such as diabetes, are chronic conditions that require lifestyle modifications, long-term medical management and vigilant monitoring for complications, Evron says. Although diabetes remains challenging for both physicians and patients, medical advances have improved longevity and quality of life for diabetics. “People can live healthy lives with diabetes,” says Evron. “Some of my patients say that being diagnosed with it taught them how to eat healthy and take better care of themselves. I have patients who have lived well with diabetes for 50 years. We’re seeing an increase in diabetes, due to both obesity and the fact that people are living longer, but it has to be remembered that we diagnose it differently now. The criteria for a diagnosis have been lowered, so people who would not have been considered diabetic in the past now meet the criteria.”

Like diabetes, obesity is a chronic, metabolic disease, Evron says. “Obesity is a complex disease and unfortunately most of the approaches to it are far too simplistic. You can’t tell people to just stop eating. There’s definitely a genetic component; some people are programmed from birth to be heavier, and they have to fight their genes. Insulin resistance is the key issue – obese people don’t respond to insulin as well, and the majority of obese people are insulin-resistant. High insulin levels lead to obesity, high triglyceride levels and high blood pressure. Treating obesity successfully is not easy, but it isn’t hopeless.”

Exercise is an essential factor, Evron believes, in weight loss and in maintaining general good health. “If I could convince people to change just one thing, it would be to exercise more – a LOT more. Exercise is the key to health and very few people get enough.” Evron practices what he preaches; he runs marathons (“half-marathons now”) and enjoys playing golf. He lives in Mt. Lebanon with his wife, an oncology nurse, and has two children who are following their parents into healthcare; son Josh is starting an internal medicine residency and daughter Emily is attending medical school. Evron is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; he completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Florida-Shands Hospital, plus an internal medicine residency and endocrine and metabolism fellowship at UPMC-Presbyterian Hospital.

To contact Dr. Evron or to make an appointment, call (412) 942-7295. To learn more about St. Clair Hospital, visit www.stclair.org.

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