Endocrine Disorders - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Hormones are the chemical messengers that your endocrine gland produces. They travel in your bloodstream and regulate many bodily functions. Your body has a normal level of each hormone. Any little change in their levels can cause health problems. The main job of hormones is to perform functions like the metabolism of carbohydrates through insulin release from the pancreas, estrogen, and progesterone in conception. Hormones play a role in many other processes like;



  • sexual function in males and females

  • general growth and development in children till adulthood

  • heart rate

  • sleep cycles

  • reproductive cycles 

  • body temperature

  • mood and stress levels

  • metabolism 

  • appetite



Over time, as you age and go through different stages of life like childhood, adulthood, and pregnancy, the hormone levels keep changing. If it does not happen naturally, it can cause adverse effects. Like if you have had a meal and insulin does not release, it will cause hyperglycemia- a condition in which blood sugar levels are raised and it can become life-threatening at times. Therefore, to remain healthy, your body should have the right quantity of all the hormones. 


Signs and symptoms of Endocrine disorders


Your hormones play an essential role in keeping you healthy and fit. Any problem in hormonal levels can cause a variety of symptoms. However, they depend on which organ or hormone is working improperly. 


The most common signs and symptoms that can occur in both males and females due to hormonal imbalance are;



  • dry skin

  • puffy face

  • rounded face

  • purple or pink stretch marks

  • increased sensitivity to cold or heat

  • constipation or more frequent bowel movements

  • decreased sex drive

  • depression

  • nervousness, anxiety, or irritability

  • blurred vision

  • muscle aches, tenderness, and stiffness

  • pain, stiffness, or swelling in your joints

  • increased or decreased heart rate

  • sweating

  • infertility

  • weight gain

  • a hump of fat between the shoulders

  • unexplained, and sometimes sudden, weight loss

  • frequent urination

  • increased thirst

  • increased hunger

  • fatigue

  • muscle weakness

  • thinning hair or fine, brittle hair



All the above-mentioned symptoms are non-specific according and having any of them does not guarantee that you have an endocrine disorder. To confirm the diagnosis, you will need to go to a physician. 


Signs and symptoms in females 


In females, endocrine disorder may show the following signs and symptoms. They mostly occur due to polycystic ovarian syndrome. 


  • darkening of the skin, especially along neck creases, in the groin, and underneath the breasts

  • skin tags

  • pain during sex

  • night sweats

  • headaches

  • vaginal dryness

  • vaginal atrophy

  • heavy or irregular periods, including missed periods, a stopped period, or a frequent period

  • hirsutism- excessive hair on the face, chin, or other parts of the body

  • acne on the face, chest, or upper back

  • hair loss



Signs and symptoms in males


In males, testosterone plays an essential role in their development. If your body is not producing enough of it, the following signs and symptoms may occur.


  • a decrease in beard growth 

  • a decrease in body hair growth

  • hot flashes

  • breast tenderness

  • erectile dysfunction (ED)

  • loss of muscle mass

  • gynecomastia, or the development of breast tissue

  • loss of bone mass, otherwise known as osteoporosis

  • difficulty concentrating


Causes 


The most common causes of hormonal imbalance are;



  • Diabetes (type 1 and type 2)

  • Thyroiditis

  • Hypogonadism

  • Cushing syndrome- raising the levels of cortisol

  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia- causing low levels of cortisol and aldosterone

  • Addison’s disease

  • Diabetes insipidus

  • Hypothyroidism- an underactive thyroid

  • Hyperthyroidism- overactive thyroid

  • Hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules



Risk factors 


The risk factors for endocrine disorders are;


  • Taking hormone therapy and medications

  • Having diseases like cancer

  • Taking treatment like chemotherapy

  • Having pituitary tumors

  • Suffering from eating disorders

  • Stress 

  • Injury or trauma


Treatment


For the treatment of endocrine disorders, your healthcare provider may prescribe exogenous hormones or other medications that help normalize the condition. Mostly they are treatable. 


Conclusion 


Hormones are the chemical messengers that your endocrine gland produces. They travel in your bloodstream and regulate many bodily functions. Your body has too little or too much of each hormone. Therefore, any little alteration in their levels can cause health problems.


Dr. Ayesha Latif - Endocrinologist in Karachi

Dr. Ayesha Latif

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Lipid Abnormalities, Pituitary Gland Disorders, Thyroid Nodule, Parathyroid Gland Disorders

Under 15 Mins Wait Time
31 Years Experiance
99% Satisfied Patients
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Under 15 Mins Wait Time
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Dr. M. Imran Hasan Khan - Endocrinologist in Rawalpindi

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Doctors for Endocrine Disorders in Different Cities