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Endocrine System Disorders

Endocrine System Disorders

The endocrine system includes a group of glands with the purpose of producing and releasing hormones to control different bodily functions. It influences many different things including how your heart beats, your ability to make a baby, and how your bones and tissues grow. When everything is in order, your body grows and conceives at a normal rate. However, there are also many different disorders that can affect the endocrine system and therefore cause a relapse in these important bodily functions.

Endocrine System Glands

There are many different glands in the endocrine system that will release different hormones into your bloodstream. They will help control and coordinate certain body processes. The glands of the endocrine system include the adrenal glands, hypothalamus, ovaries, parathyroid, pineal glans, pituitary gland, testes, thymus, and thyroid. Even just one small issue in any of these glands can cause a major upset and lead to a disorder or disease of the endocrine system.

Causes of Endocrine System Disorders

There are many different things that can cause disorders of the endocrine system and fall under two categories; endocrine diseases resulting from too much or too little hormones being produced, or endocrine diseases from the development of nodules or tumors in the endocrine system. Causes in these categories include a tumor of an endocrine gland, injury to an endocrine gland, other form of disease, issues with the endocrine feedback system, not releasing hormones properly, or a genetic disorder.

Types of Endocrine System Disorders

There are also a variety of types of disorders of the endocrine system. This includes adrenal insufficiency when too little hormone is released from the adrenal gland, Cushing’s disease which is the overproduction of the pituitary gland hormone, growth hormone problems, hyperthyroidism when the thyroid gland produces too much hormones, hypothyroidism which is the opposite, hypopituitarism when the pituitary gland produces too little hormones, polycystic ovary syndrome causing a developmental delay in the ovaries, or precocious puberty when the glands cause sex hormones to be released too early.

Diagnosing and Treating Endocrine System Disorders

The symptoms of endocrine system disorders are too varied to list since each gland disorder causes a different range of signs and symptoms. In general, someone with an endocrine system disorder will experience fatigue and weakness. A physical examination is usually done first when diagnosing a disorder fo your endocrine system. You may also be referred to a specialist called an endocrinologist. Blood and urine tests are common which will test your different hormone levels as well as imaging tests like CT scans or MRIs to check for tumors. Treatments are also varies, and often include medications or supplements for balancing the hormone levels.
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