You may not know it, but there are constant feedback loops going on in your body.
For example: You’re eating all kinds of nutrients and sugars every day, and that triggers higher blood glucose levels. Your pancreas releases insulin to absorb the glucose, which begins to decline in your blood. It happens over and over, every day.
That’s an incredibly simplistic explanation of just one of the complex ways your body performs. And it’s something endocrinologist Dr. Tanvi Parikh loves to study.
"I'm fascinated by the feedback loop of hormones in the body," Dr. Parikh said.
It’s more than academic for the endocrinologist, who sees patients at Medical Group of the Carolinas – Diabetes and Endocrinology – Spartanburg.
Diagnosed with PCOS
Dr. Parikh is an endocrinology patient herself. While in medical school, she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, known commonly as PCOS.
“It presents in teenagers and women in their 20s and 30s,” Dr. Parikh said. “It can cause weight gain, irregular menstrual cycles, and can lead to diabetes in the future.”
Having PCOS became a big reason she chose to study endocrinology, but Dr. Parikh has always known she wanted to be a doctor “ever since I can remember.”
A native of India, both her parents are doctors as well – one a family medicine physician, the other an OB/GYN.
She attended medical college in India, and went on to perform residency and fellowship at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
A heart for service
Dr. Parikh believes in community service. While in India, she taught at a free home-schooling program for orphan children, helped immunize villages against polio and conducted diabetes awareness events for a nonprofit organization every summer.
While in Washington, she volunteered for organizations that ran weekly soup kitchens and health clinics.
When she’s not serving patients or the community, Dr. Parikh is spending time with her husband, hiking, dancing, painting and meeting new people.
Relationships are important for Dr. Parikh, and she emphasizes treating patients as equals.
"I treat all my patients as I would treat family members," Dr. Parikh said.
Everyone should focus on how they eat and how that interplay affects their hormones.
"We really need to pay attention, no matter what age we are,” Dr. Parikh said.