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Endocrine Disorders

What are endocrine disorders?

The endocrine system is made up of a series of glands throughout your body. These glands are responsible for producing hormones. Hormones are responsible for regulating many of your body's processes, from growth and metabolism to reproduction and mood, and overall health.

Endocrine disorders are a dysfunction of one or more of the body’s processes due to a lack of or overabundance of hormones. Here are just a few of the many endocrine disorders:

  • Grave’s Disease – this affects the thyroid gland which is responsible for the regulation of many of the body’s functions.
  • Addison’s Disease – a type of adrenal insufficiency, is caused by a misfunction of the adrenal glands
  • Acromegaly – this is a rare disorder caused by the pituitary gland producing too much growth hormone

What are General Symptoms of endocrine disorders?

Endocrine disorders result in the production of too much or not enough hormones. The symptoms vary depending on which hormone is being produced in incorrect proportions and how many systems that hormone affects. For example, if the thyroid is affected, your metabolism may run too fast or too slow. If the testes are affected the number and viability of sperm being produced may be affected. If the ovaries are affected, the woman may not be able to conceive or support a full-term pregnancy. If the Islets of Langerhans, part of the endocrine system located in the pancreas, are affected, the body may produce too much or not enough insulin.

What are the causes of endocrine disorders?

Endocrine disorders are caused by the dysfunction of one or more of the glands that secrete hormones in the body. This dysfunction can be caused by injury, illness, environmental factors, or genetics.

Can any complications arise if left untreated?

Left untreated, many endocrine disorders can have disastrous effects. Untreated type 2 diabetes can result in loss of vision, loss of limbs, heart problems, and death. Because the thyroid gland affects so many other glands, Grave’s Disease if left untreated can have widespread and dangerous effects.

What medications treat endocrine disorders?

The treatment of endocrine disorders is based on replacing missing or low levels of hormones or finding ways to counteract the effects of too many hormones. This may include hormone therapy, where missing hormones are replaced, or medications to slow the production of hormones by the glands. Some of these medications include aromatase inhibitors that slow the production of estrogen and ketoconazole which slows the production of cortisone.

Common medications may include

Adrenal Steroid Inhibitors
Isturisa
Androgens
Androderm Androgel Aveed Depo-testosterone Fortesta Jatenzo

Show More Medications

Antineoplastic - Antiandrogens
abiraterone bicalutamide Casodex Erleada flutamide Nilandron

References

Endocrine Diseases - National Institue of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Endocrine Diseases - MedlinePlus