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Professor Diethelm Tschöpe
Director of the Department for Endocrinology, Diabetology & Gastroenterology, Heart and Diabetes Centre Bad Oeynhausen, Ruhr University Bochum
The complexity of hormone-related disorders and metabolic diseases such as diabetes mellitus calls for a treatment concept that is organised on a cross-departmental basis. This interdisciplinary collaboration of medical experts working in several different disciplines is a feature of the Heart and Diabetes Centre North Rhine-Westphalia in Bad Oeynhausen. A network of specialists spare no effort in ensuring the best-possible prognosis and medical outcome for patients.
Professor Tschöpe, as an endocrinologist you are an expert in diseases of the metabolism and hormonal system. What type of patients do you treat?
Professor Tschöpe: We treat patients, 2,700 of them a year, suffering from a wide range of metabolic disorders. Those afflicted often already have concomitant diseases of the heart, brain, eyes, kidneys, nerves and feet. Our range of services covers everything from interventions in existing underlying conditions, such as obesity, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes – a special form of diabetes which first manifests during pregnancy – right through to genetic and secondary diseases. Treatment is also provided for disorders of the thyroid gland, adrenal glands and pituitary gland and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Cardiovascular disease is one of the most serious complications of diabetes and should be treated and diagnosed as early as possible using the latest methods available.
What procedures are used for diagnosis and treatment? What can the patient expect?
Professor Tschöpe: It’s not just the departments administering the treatment that decide on the treatment concept. We work closely with clinical institutes specialising in fields such as blood, transfusiology and laboratory medicine, nuclear medicine, radiology and molecular imaging and invasive and non-invasive vascular examination. All these facilities provide a great deal of expertise and experience incorporating the latest scientific findings. Permanent monitoring of blood sugar levels, special gastroenterological tests for disorders of the stomach and intestine; even enzyme-related intolerances can be diagnosed and treated.
Who decides what treatments are possible?How do you collaborate so successfully?
Professor Tschöpe: The decision about which treatment is suitable for which patient should be made on a case-by-case basis. It has to take into account the overall risk to the individual and fit in with their requirements. It depends on their symptoms, prognosis, age, the treatment they are currently undergoing and their likelihood of mortality. This is why the decision on how to proceed involves experts in both the metabolism and the cardiovascular system. Endocrinologists, diabetologists, cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons work hand in hand at our centre.
One final question, Professor Tschöpe: Why are you attracting increasing numbers of patients from all corners of the globe? What makes the treatment in Bad Oeynhausen so special?
Professor Tschöpe: One reason for this demand is the high increase in the numbers of diabetes cases; 347 million people are affected worldwide. In Germany as well, the number of patients has been on the rise for many years now, which has enabled us to build up a great deal of experience. Every patient at the Heart and Diabetes Centre North Rhine-Westphalia, regardless of whether they come from Germany or abroad, can expect a holistic, caring approach in every department as well as the use of all the latest methods for diagnosis and treatment.