The endocrine system is basically a group of glands with the functions of producing hormones that regulate metabolic activities in the body and which are needed to sustain life. The glands involved here are known as endocrine glands. These glands secrete hormones which are then passed to the bloodstream directly rather than been passed through ducts as exocrine gland do. Examples of endocrine glands are thyroid, pituitary and pineal gland. Just like other body systems, the endocrine system is vulnerable to some diseases commonly known as diseases of the endocrine system. Most of these conditions are life threatening when left unchecked.
Major Diseases of The Endocrine System
The most common of all diseases of the endocrine system is Diabetes Mellitus. It is no secret that this condition has affected a big number in the world’s population. In fact research has shown that every household is prone to this disease more so if there is a family member suffering from it. It is classified in two types, which are Type 1 and Type 2. These two types involve less production of insulin or inability of the body to utilize the available insulin respectively.
Following in line of diseases of the endocrine system is hyperthyroidism commonly known as the Graves Syndrome. This condition is very dangerous and can be life threatening especially when left unchecked. It involves the thyroid gland whereby it secretes too much thyroxine hormone. This can be due to ecssessive TSH secreted by pituitary or malfunction of the thyroid itself. A patient suffering from Graves’s syndrome would expect to have increased metabolic rate, weight loss, increased heart rate, high blood pressure as well as sweating.
Talking of hyperthyroidism in the diseases of endocrine system then one cannot avoid mentioning hypothyroidism commonly known as Goiter. It usually comes about due to iodine deficiency which then leads to the thyroid gland releasing less thyroxine. The metabolic rate then lowers and one starts to experience weight loss, slow pulse, cold and finally swelling up of the thyroid gland. In babies this condition is known as Cretinism while in adults it’s known as Myxedema.
Other Endocrine Diseases
Do you know dwarfism? Do you know it’s one of the diseases of the endocrine system? If you dint then this is very true. Dwarfism comes about when the anterior pituitary fails to release enough hormones related to growth hence there comes a reduction in bone and muscle growth. That’s how a person ends up stunted.
Gigantism on the other hand is one of the diseases of the endocrine system. As opposed to dwarfism, this condition involves too much production of growth hormone by the pituitary glands hence leading to abnormal growth of both the bones and muscles.
There is also the SADS commonly referred to as the Seasonal Affective Disorder. It involves production of too much melatonin by a gland known as the pineal gland and which is located behind the eyes. It results in sleepiness, sadness, weight gain, tiredness and depression.
So, those are the major diseases of the endocrine system you ought to know about.