Endocrine disorders can be extraordinarily complex...
...and they can profoundly affect your health.
Your endocrine system is made up of your thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, ovaries, testes, adrenal, pituitary, and hypothalmus glands.
If you're experiencing problems related to weight control, energy or fatigue, anxiety, heart rate, temperature control, growth, or digestion, you may need to see an Endocrinologist to help you restore the normal balance of hormones produced by your endocrine glands.
Endocrinology at The Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Care at Saint Francis focuses primarily on disorders of these glands:
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that is normally located in the lower front of the neck. The thyroid’s job is to make thyroid hormones, which are secreted into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. Thyroid hormone helps the body use energy, stay warm and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should. The gland can sometimes under produce (Hypothyroidism) or over produce (Hyperthyroidism) thyroid hormones leading to signs and symptoms that require treatment. Occasionally the gland can develop nodules or enlarge in size (Goiter).
Resource: American Thyroid Association
The pituitary gland, which is located in the center of the skull, just behind the bridge of the nose, is about the size of a pea. It is an important link between the nervous system and the endocrine system and releases many hormones which affect growth, sexual development, metabolism and the system of reproduction The pituitary gland makes or stores many different hormones. The following hormones are made in the anterior (front part) of the pituitary gland:
- Prolactin (Prl)
- Growth hormone (GH)
- Adrenocorticotropin (ACTH)
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) Luteinizing hormone (LH)
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
The following hormones are stored in the posterior (back part) of the pituitary gland:
- Antidiuretic hormone (ADH)
The most frequent type of pituitary disorder is a pituitary gland tumor. These tumors are fairly common in adults. They are not brain tumors and are almost always benign (that is, not cancer). In fact, cancerous tumors of this sort are extremely rare. There are two types of tumors—secretory and non-secretory. Secretory tumors produce too much of a hormone normally made by the pituitary, and non-secretory tumors do not. Both types of tumors can cause problems if they are large and interfere with normal function of the pituitary gland and/or nearby structures in the brain.
Resource: MedLinePlus®, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine
Your adrenal, or suprarenal, glands are located on the top of each kidney. These glands produce hormones that you can't live without, including sex hormones and cortisol, which helps you respond to stress and has many other functions. Adrenal disorders can cause your adrenal glands to make too much or not enough hormones. With Cushing's syndrome, there's too much cortisol, while with Addison's disease, there is too little. Tumors can also cause disorders in your adrenal glands. Treatment depends on which problem you have. Surgery or medicines can treat many adrenal gland disorders.