The endocrine system is a network of glands producing hormones that alter various functions across the human body. There are various endocrine glands such as the Pituitary gland, Hypothalamus, Parathyroid gland, Thymus, Adrenal gland, Testes, and Ovaries. These glands secrete and release chemical messengers called hormones. Alterations in the number of hormones secreted by endocrine glands lead to disorders.
Pituitary gland- Acromegaly
The pituitary gland is the master gland that releases somatostatin or growth hormone in the bloodstream. The hormone is essential to release insulin-like growth factors that maintain, repair, and divide tissues in various organs. Uncontrolled and excessive secretions of this hormone lead to acromegaly. The disease gives notice of enlargement of hands and feet, presence of enlarged facial bones, lips, and nose, irritating thickened and oily skin, limited joint movement, severe snoring, the occurrence of the irregular menstrual cycle in women, and erectile dysfunction in men.
Adrenal Gland- Cushing’s Disease
Adrenocorticotropic hormone is liberated by the Adrenal gland that produces cortisol. Cortisol is often referred to as the stress hormone-altering the mood of the person. Due to the inadequate release of cortisol, the person gets infected with Cushing’s disease. This disease causes an improper release of blood and saliva in the body at midnight, after the blood pressure, and hampers the body’s ability to fight in stressful situations. If the amount of cortisol exceeds beyond normal, the condition is Cushing’s syndrome. Various physical changes occur in the person when infected by Cushing’s disease. Abnormal weight gain, swollen face, presence of buffalo hump, excessive growth of hairs on face, chest, thighs, and abdomen, and presence of abdominal striae.
Adrenal Gland- Conn’s Syndrome
Conn’s system is a rare condition that occurs due to adrenal hormone imbalance. Also known as secondary hyperaldosteronism. The adrenal cortex gland stimulates angiotensin to secrete aldosterone hormone that controls potassium and salt levels in the body. It happens due to the development of a benign tumor in the adrenal cortex. Common signs of Conn’s disease are abnormal voidings, decreased muscular strength, and problems with vision. Along with high blood pressure that is difficult to control, excessive headaches, and twitching of muscles. The treatment is with the help of drugs and water pills to maintain the fluidity in the body.
Adrenal Gland- Addison’s Disease
Adrenal insufficiency is the common term to refer to Addison’s disease. The adrenal cortex releases aldosterone which is a hormone; part of the adrenal glands located above the kidneys. Extremely less and inaccurate secretion of cortisol and aldosterone leads to Addison’s disease that can cause hyperpigmentation, hypoglycemia, nausea, unexplained tiredness, loss of appetite, behavioral problems, and sexual dysfunction. Abnormal levels of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid hormones create an imbalance in sodium and potassium ions of the body. A major symptom to detect this disease is hyperpigmentation that leads to the darkening of the skin.
Thyroid Gland- Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is a hormonal condition that occurs due to the abnormal release of thyroxine hormone from the thyroid gland. The excess release of iodine, presence of tumors in the thyroid gland, inflammation of the thyroid gland, and high intake of tetraiodothyronine are some of the factors that cause hyperthyroidism. Common signs and symptoms that occur in Hyperthyroidism include arrhythmia, abnormal weight loss, tremor, enlargement of the thyroid gland, heart palpitations, tachycardia, thinning of the skin, and extreme fatigue.
Parathyroid gland- Hyperparathyroidism
Hyperparathyroidism is a hormonal disease which is because of excessive secretion of parathyroid hormone in the bloodstream. The parathyroid hormone maintains the balance of calcium ions in the body with the help of bones, intestines, and kidneys. Osteoporosis, development of kidney stones, forgetfulness, frequent illness with no apparent cause, nausea, excessive urge to urinate, and abdominal pain are some of the common signs and symptoms that occur in hyperparathyroidism.
Ovaries- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Occurrence of abnormally long menstrual cycle and elevation in androgen levels are due to polycystic ovary syndrome in females. This syndrome is due to the imbalance of estrogen, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone in women. It leads to the elevation of male hormone- androgens that cause hirsutism and acne problems. Furthermore, enlargement of ovaries and irregular periods occur in this disease. Therefore, the disease can cause miscarriage, infertility, pre-diabetes, uterine bleeding, and endometrial cancer.
The proper functioning of messenger endocrine glands that produce and secrete chemical substances known as hormones in the bloodstream, governs the human body. These chemical substances help to control the functioning of organs and organ systems. The regulated bodily reflexes such as thirst, sexual desire, hunger, blood pressure, urge to urinate, and sleeping cycles. Any ambiguity or imbalance in the release of hormones causes various diseases that can have serious repercussions. Therefore, different hormones target and control unique functions across the body. For instance, growth hormone helps in the proper physical development of the body whereas estrogen and testosterone control the sexual characteristics in females and males respectively.