Biology: Some of the most common types of endocrine disorders

 Endocrinology (from endocrine + -ology) is a branch of biology and medicine dealing with the endocrine system, its diseases, and its specific secretions known as hormones. Here, we won’t be talking much about Endocrinology or explaining to you the endocrine system. We are going to focus on some of the most common types of endocrine disorders.

Endocrine disorders usually arise from improper functioning of the endocrine system, which includes the glands that secrete hormones, the receptors that respond to hormones, and the organs that are directly impacted by hormones. At any one of these points, dysfunction can occur and cause wide-ranging effects on the body.

Some of the causes of endocrine disorders

Endocrine disorders are most often the result of a hormone imbalance, a condition characterized by a gland producing too much or too little of a hormone. This imbalance can be caused by: 

Issues with the endocrine feedback system—its main job is to keep hormones in the body perfectly balanced but it can malfunction and cause an imbalance 

  1. A genetic disorder 
  2. Infection or disease 
  3. Injury to an endocrine gland 

Endocrine disorders can also occur as a result of nodules or tumours developing in the endocrine system. While it’s rare for an endocrine nodule or lump to be cancerous or spread to another part of the body, it can disrupt the endocrine system’s hormone production. 

Endocrine diseases are disorders of the endocrine system. The branch of medicine associated with endocrine disorders is known as endocrinology.

What Are the Symptoms of an Endocrine Disorder? 

While each endocrine disorder has its own set of symptoms, some of the most common symptoms found among many of them include: 

  • Mood swings 
  • Fatigue 
  • Weakness 
  • Unintended weight fluctuations 
  • Changes in blood glucose levels or cholesterol levels 

How Endocrine Disorders Are Diagnosed

Diagnosing an endocrine disorder is a complex process, as the endocrine system is an interconnected structure that regulates many different bodily functions, like growth, metabolism, and reproduction.  

If your physician suspects you may have an endocrine disease, you may be referred to an endocrinologist. This specialist will likely order specific testing to confirm a diagnosis, such as: 

  • Urinalysis 
  • Blood testing 
  • Fine needle aspiration 
  • Ultrasound 
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan 
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan Positron emission test (PET) scan 

Treatment of endocrine disorders

Tampa General Hospital’s team of skilled endocrinologists and supportive care specialists deliver world-class treatment for endocrine disorders. Treatment varies widely depending on the type of disorder you have, as each one uniquely disrupts the endocrine system. Treatment may involve: 

  • Medication to rebalance hormones and treat symptoms 
  • Chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy for patients with cancerous tumours of the endocrine gland 
  • Surgery to remove a tumour on a gland that is affecting hormone production 

The most common types of endocrine disorders

In the United States, the most common endocrine disease is diabetes. There are many others. They are usually treated by controlling how much hormone your body makes.

Some of the most common types of endocrine disorders include: 

  • Menopause  
  • Diabetes  
  • Addison’s disease 
  • Cushing’s disease 
  • Graves’ disease 
  • Hashimoto thyroiditis 
  • Hyperthyroidism/hypothyroidism 
  • Prolactinoma 
  • Cancers of the endocrine glands  

Some of the rare endocrine tumours that affect children, teens, and young adults are:

  • Adrenocortical carcinoma.
  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer.
  • Carcinoid tumour.
  • Medullary thyroid cancer.
  • Paraganglioma.
  • Pheochromocytoma.


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