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Who is involved in the treatment of endocrine disorders
Articles

Who is involved in the treatment of endocrine disorders?

Who is an endocrinologist?

An endocrinologist is a doctor who treats disorders related to the endocrine system. An endocrinologist studies endocrinology for two or three years. The study of medicine related to the endocrine system is known as endocrinology. 

 

endocrine system

 

 

What is the endocrine system?

The endocrine system consists of several endocrine glands in our body. Endocrine glands make the hormones that help the cells of the body to communicate with each other. Hormones are responsible for the function of every cell, tissue, and organ in our body.

Improper function of an endocrine system leads to many endocrine disorders. An unhealthy endocrine system might cause problems during puberty, getting pregnant, or managing stress. Common issues of the unhealthy endocrine system are obesity, diabetes, and weak bones.

What are endocrine glands?

The endocrine gland is an organ that makes hormones. These hormones are released into the bloodstream and travel to different parts of the body. These glands regulate functions of the body, such as the growth and development of body parts, metabolism, and fertility.  Improper functioning of hormones leads to endocrine disorders. Endocrinologists are the persons who are involved in the treatment of endocrine disorders.

 

Hormones and their importance

Hormones act as chemical messengers that enter into the bloodstream and act on organs in different parts of the body. Through the bloodstream, hormones reach every cell and organ of the body but only specific cells and organs respond to them which have compatible receptors. Scientists have identified over 50 hormones in humans and other vertebrates.

Many biological processes are regulated by hormones. Some of such processes include:

  • Level of blood sugar (insulin)
  • Production of energy and growth of the body (growth hormones and thyroid hormones)

 

What are the functions of the endocrine system?

The pituitary gland constantly monitors the levels of hormones in our blood. Hormones get attached to the target cell with compatible receptors so they can relay the message.

The endocrine glands sense the rise in hormone levels and tell the other glands to stop the production and release of hormones. When the hormone level decreases to a certain point, the pituitary gland gives instructions to other glands to resume the production and release of hormones. This process of regulation of hormone levels is called homeostasis.

Hormones affect all the processes in the body, including:

  • Metabolism
  • Growth and development
  • Mood and emotion
  • Fertility and sexual function
  • Sleep pattern
  • Blood pressure

 

Hormones and their importance

Hormones act as chemical messengers that enter into the bloodstream and act on organs in different parts of the body. Through the bloodstream, hormones reach every cell and organ of the body but only specific cells and organs respond to them which have compatible receptors. Scientists have identified over 50 hormones in humans and other vertebrates.

Many biological processes are regulated by hormones. Some of such processes include:

  • Level of blood sugar (insulin)
  • Production of energy and growth of the body (growth hormones and thyroid hormones)

 

What are the functions of the endocrine system?

The pituitary gland constantly monitors the levels of hormones in our blood. Hormones get attached to the target cell with compatible receptors so they can relay the message.

The endocrine glands sense the rise in hormone levels and tell the other glands to stop the production and release of hormones. When the hormone level decreases to a certain point, the pituitary gland gives instructions to other glands to resume the production and release of hormones. This process of regulation of hormone levels is called homeostasis.

Hormones affect all the processes in the body, including:

  • Metabolism
  • Growth and development
  • Mood and emotion
  • Fertility and sexual function
  • Sleep pattern
  • Blood pressure

 

Parts of the endocrine system

Many glands make up the endocrine system and are present in different parts of the body.

Hypothalamus, pituitary, and pineal glands are present in the brain. Thyroid and parathyroid glands are present in the neck. The thymus is present in between the lungs. The adrenal gland is on top of the kidneys, and the pancreas is behind the stomach. Ovaries and testes are in the pelvic region.

Hypothalamus

The function of the hypothalamus is to instruct the pituitary gland to stop or start producing hormones. It connects the endocrine system with the nervous system. 

Pineal gland

This gland produces melatonin that prepares the body to go to sleep.

Pituitary gland

The pituitary gland is the master gland of the endocrine system. It conveys the message of the brain to different glands of the body. It produces many important hormones such as:

  • Growth hormones
  • Antidiuretic hormone
  • Adrenocorticotropic/corticotropic hormone
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone
  • Oxytocin
  • Luteinizing hormone
  • Testosterone

Thyroid gland

This gland secretes thyroid hormone, which controls metabolic processes and growth. If the amount of thyroid hormone is low, this condition is called hypothyroidism. This condition causes slow heartbeat, constipation, and weight gain. If the amount of thyroid gland is high, this condition is called hyperthyroidism. In this condition, everything speeds up and result in a rise in heartbeat, diarrhea, and weight loss.

The thyroid gland also produces calcitonin, which incorporates calcium into bone and increases bone strength.

Parathyroid gland

These small glands control the levels of calcium and phosphorus and play a key role in bone health.

 

Thymus

This gland produces T-lymphocytes which are important for the immune system of children.

Parathyroid gland

These small glands control the levels of calcium and phosphorus and play a key role in bone health.

Ovaries and testes

Ovaries and testes are related to sexual function and development of sex organs in females and males respectively.

Pancreas

As a part of the digestive system, the pancreas digestive enzyme, for the break-down of food. As a part of the endocrine system, it produces insulin and glucagon.  These two hormones regulate the amount of sugar in the blood.

If insulin is not produced in the body, blood sugar levels can get dangerously high. This condition is called type 1 diabetes. A small amount of insulin is produced in type 2 diabetes, which is not sufficient to lower the sugar levels.

 

What does an endocrinologist treat?

Endocrinologists do the treatment of endocrine disorders, such as:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Obesity
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Growth related disorders
  • Metabolic abnormalities
  • Lipid disorders
  • Adrenal disorders

Endocrinologists correct the hormonal imbalance and make sure that all the systems communicate well with each other. Endocrinologists do a series of tests to clearly understand the problem, suggest the best course of treatment, and recommend lifestyle changes if that can improve the medical condition.

Some endocrinologists specialize in a single endocrine disorder, such as diabetes, infertility, or endocrine oncology, while others treat a range of endocrine disorders.

 

Symptoms of endocrine disorders

Endocrine disorders present themselves in various ways. Some symptoms of endocrine disorders are:

  • Changes in weight
  • Fluctuation in blood glucose level
  • Kidney-related complications
  • Change in cholesterol level
  • Excessive urination
  • Tingling sensation in feet and hands

 

When would you go to an endocrinologist?

Now the question arises when to see an endocrinologist? In case of the symptoms above-mentioned, immediately consult an endocrinologist.

An endocrinologist is an expert in treating endocrine conditions and has resources for treatment and diagnosis of the disorder.

So, for the treatment of endocrine disorders, an endocrinologist is the best person to consult.