The endocrine system is made up of a network of glands that produce and release hormones that aid in controlling the important body functionalities. The main parts of the system are: adrenal glands, parathyroid, ovaries, hypothalamus, pineal gland, pituitary gland, thyroid, thymus, testes and many others.
Common endocrine problems
Just like other parts of the body, the endocrine system is also affected by diseases. The conditions are brought about by various reasons such as:
- Issues with the endocrine feedback system
- Failure of an endocrine gland to stimulate another gland to release hormones. For example, you can have a problem with the hypothalamus that will disrupt the production of a hormone in the pituitary gland.
- A genetic disorder
- Injuries in the endocrine gland
The most common conditions are:
Cushing’s disease: This is the overproduction of a pituitary gland hormone that results to the over activity of the adrenal gland. In some cases, Cushing’s syndrome comes about in children that take high doses of corticosteroid medications.
Adrenal insufficiency: This condition comes about when the adrenal gland releases too little of cortisol or aldosterone hormones. When you are suffering from insufficient adrenal, you tend to experience stomach upset, fatigue, skin changes, and dehydration. One of the most common conditions that result from adrenal insufficiency is Addison’s disease.
Gigantism: You are said to be suffering from Gigantism when the pituitary gland produces too much of the growth hormone. Due to the excess of the hormone, the bones grow abnormally fast.
Hyper and hypothyroidism: As you might have guessed, you will be suffering from hyperthyroidism when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. When you are suffering from hyperthyroidism, you experience weight loss, sweating, nervousness, and fast heart rate. In most cases, hyperthyroidism results from Grave’s disease which is an autoimmune disorder.
Hypothyroidism on the other hand results when the thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormone. When suffering from this condition, you tend to suffer from dry skin, depression, fatigue, and constipation.
Hypopituitarism: You have this condition when the pituitary gland doesn’t release enough hormones or produces too little hormone. The condition comes about due to pituitary gland diseases.
Polycystic ovary syndrome: The condition is characterized by overproduction of androgens that interfere with the egg development and the release of the female ovaries. Experts report that this condition is one of the leading causes of infertility.
What to do when suffering from an endocrine condition
When you are suffering from the condition, you should visit an endocrinologist. When you visit the doctor, he/she will undertake some tests aimed at determining the hormone levels in urine and blood. In some cases, you will have to undertake some imaging tests that will aid in the location of any tumors that might be there.
This is what you need to know about the endocrine system. If you are suffering from fatigue and persistent weakness you should visit an endocrinologist who will undertake some tests and recommend the best treatment options.