The endocrine network, one of the key systems of the body, is responsible for the regulation of the cells and organs by ensuring circulation of endocrine hormones through it. Hormones are signaling molecules class members and are produced by various glands. Just like messengers, they are transported by the circulatory system to distant organs to regulate composition and performance. Their functionality may thus differ basis their target organ. Endocrinology is a highly evolved medical field that involves testing varied symptoms to resolve issues arising with such hormones and the overall endocrine system. Since the endocrine system works in conjunction with other systems, a wide range of medical problems can be caused due to hormonal imbalance.
Hormone related diseases are generally associated with one of the 6 organs: adrenals, ovaries, thyroid, pituitary, testes and pancreas. With their state of art facilities and wide spectrum of experienced professionals, the endocrinology team at Fortis Hospital, Bangalore has successfully been able to conduct complicated long term diagnostic procedures such as varied laboratory tests and diagnostic imaging to treat patients and parallelly observe changes in their body at the molecular level to ensure complete rehabilitation. Most of their work becomes on-going input data for the researchers at Fortis who are fully committed to making continued efforts at developing new drugs and treatments for hormone problems.
Endocrine glands include:
Two glands of triangular and crescent shape that sit on top of the kidneys that release corticosteroids, catecholamines and aldosterone.
Located just below the lower middle brain, this gland triggers the pituitary gland to release hormones. It acts as a crucial link between the nervous system and the endocrine system via the attached pituitary gland.
Located on either side of the uterus, ovaries, the female reproductive organs are responsible for releasing eggs and producing sex hormones.
Located in the scrotum, below the penis, testicles secrete androgens that control puberty and sexual development in males.
The islet cells in the pancreas control the release of vital hormones – insulin, glucagon and somatostatin.
Located in the neck, these four small glands produce parathyroid responsible for bone development and phosphate content in the blood.
Located deep inside the brain towards its centre, the pineal gland secretes melatonin that is linked to sleep patterns.
The gland of the glands, the Pituitary gland is often called the master endocrine gland for it secretes hormones that regulate the functions of other glands. It is located at the base of brain behind the sinuses and is responsible for normal bone growth, menstrual cycles in women and the release of breast milk.
Located just beneath the breastbone in the upper chest, the thymus gland is responsible for generating immunity cells that mature and multiple in the human body at early stages of life.
Located just below the Adam’s apple in the front of the neck, this butterfly-shaped gland controls metabolism, body pressure, body temperature and heart rate.
Endocrinologists typically treat people when approached with symptoms of hormonal imbalances. This may result from the poor functioning of the above glands or in some cases from cancer related growth due to genetic or environmental reasons.
Endocrine gland hyposecretion – production of less than desired level of hormones
Endocrine gland hyposecretion – production of excess of hormones
Endocrine diseases – development of nodules/ tumors in the endocrine system which may/may not affect its normal functioning
With a goal of restoring the hormonal balance in the body for its smooth functioning, endocrinologists treat the following conditions:
Accurate diagnosis of any endocrine disease is a detailed procedure which may include multiple rounds of meeting with the specialist. During the first visit, the doctor would begin by asking a series of questions to the patient to help reach a conclusive diagnosis. These generally include: symptoms and reason for visit, family history of hormonal problems, current medications that he/she may be on, dietary and lifestyle habits and other medical conditions including allergies. Considering the interwoven dependency of other systems on the endocrine system and the huge impact that even the slightest hormonal misbalance can have, endocrinologists might also enquire about other body functioning that may or may not be directly related to the symptoms shared.
They check the patient’s heart rate and blood pressure, and look at the condition of their skin, hair, teeth, mouth and also recommend blood and urine tests in most cases. Sometimes, imaging tests may also be recommended to help locate a nodule or tumor. A detailed and customized improvement plan is recommended basis this. It may also include routine blood tests to ensure that the treatment is producing the desired results.
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