The endocrine system is a network of glands that maintain the hormonal levels in the body. Any disturbance in this system, thus, affects the entire body. Endocrine system controls the major functions of the body like sexual function, reproduction, growth and development. It also controls metabolism and the body’s ability to utilise calories and change them into energy.
Each gland of the endocrine system plays a major role, and releases a specific hormone into the blood stream. This hormone travels through the blood stream to other cells thus coordinating various body processes.
Various glands of the endocrine system:
- Adrenal glands
- Islet cells
- Pineal gland
- Pituitary gland
The endocrine disorders are mainly caused due to two reasons:
1. When any of the endocrine hormones is over-produced or under-produced it causes hormonal imbalance, leading to an endocrine disorder
2. Any tumours or lesions occurring in the endocrine system can also cause various endocrine disorders.
Some of the major endocrine disorders
- Poly cystic ovary syndrome
- Gigantism or Dwarfism
- Cushing’s disease
- Addison’s Disease
Patients suffering from any of the endocrine disorders should consult and endocrinologist, who specializes in treating these disorders. The most common symptoms of an endocrine disorder are weakness and fatigue; other symptoms may vary depending on the disease. Checking hormonal levels through various blood and urine tests is usually carried out to identify the disorder.