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An Overview of Endocrine System Diseases

By HERWriter
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There are 44 endocrine system diseases, or conditions that affect endocrine system function and, thereby, other functions and systems of the body. They are usually named according to the gland that the disease affects. There are also diseases or conditions that affect a number of endocrine glands at the same time.

If you have an endocrine system disease or condition it means that your body is either producing too little or too much of a particular hormone, or your body has lost the ability to receive, process, respond and react to those hormones.

A Summary of Endocrine System Disease

Endocrine system diseases that affect the thyroid include: de Quervain’s thyroiditis, goiter, Grave’s disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Hurthle cell thyroid cancer, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, medullary thyroid cancer, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (MEN2A), obesity, papillary thyroid cancer, silent thyroiditis, thyroid cancer, thyroid nodules, and thyroiditis.

The thyroid gland’s main job is to control your metabolism, which is the rate at which your body uses and stores food.

Diseases of the pancreas include: gestational diabetes, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1), pre-diabetes, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes. The pancreas controls blood sugar levels and the production and release of insulin.

Endocrine system diseases that affect the adrenal glands include: Addison’s disease (primary adrenal insufficiency), adrenal cancer, Cushing’s syndrome, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (MEN2A), and pheochromocytoma. The adrenal glands produce adrenaline and cortisol which regulates responses to stress, blood pressure, and metabolism.

Parathyroid diseases include: hyperparathyroidism, hypoparathyroidism, parathyroid cancer, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) and multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (MEN2A). The parathyroid glands control calcium levels in the blood stream, which “is the primary element that causes muscles to contract, and ... normal conduction of electrical currents along nerves.” (endocrineweb.com)

Diseases that affect the pituitary gland include: acromegaly, growth hormone deficiency, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1), pituitary tumors, and Cushing’s ayndrome. The pituitary gland is responsible for the production of cortisol by the adrenal glands.

Reproductive glands can also be affected by diseases and conditions that change the release of hormones including: menopause, polycystic ovary syndrome, reproduction, and Turner syndrome.

Why do these Endocrine System Diseases Happen

Endocrine system diseases and disorders develop when one or more of the endocrine systems are not working properly. Hormones may be released in amounts that are too great or too small for the body to work normally (hormone imbalance), or there may not be enough receptors, or binding sites, for the hormones to relay their information for what the body needs to do.

Hormone imbalances may be the result of a problem with the system regulating the hormones in the bloodstream, or the body may have difficulty clearing hormones from the blood affecting hormone levels in the body. (Hormone.org)


The Endocrine System: Diseases, Types of Hormones & More. Web. Accessed Dec 8, 2011.

Endocrine Disorders. Web. Accessed Dec 8, 2011. http://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions

Reviewed December 9, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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