Endocrinology is the science of hormones, which are substances released by the endocrine glands that regulate virtually every cell in your body. The word hormone comes from Greek and means "to set in motion." The endocrine system is a sensitive control mechanism that monitors, regulates, and adjusts specific hormones in the bloodstream. Controlling your hormones is controlling your life.
Hormonal imbalances cause a variety of symptoms: excessive thirst and urination, heat and cold intolerance, tiredness, irregular or lack of menstrual periods, impotence, excessive hair growth, and bone fractures.
Examples of endocrine disease are: thyroid, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome and obesity, hirsutism, menopause, pituitary and adrenal pathology, low testosterone in males, andropause and impotence, polycystic ovaries, recurrent kidney stones, irregular or lack of menstrual periods, high and low calcium, and diabetes.
Examples of hormonal imbalances are:
- excessive thirst and urination
- heat and cold intolerance
- dry or oily skin
- irregular or lack of menstrual periods
- lack of sexual desire
- enlargement of the breasts in men
- breast discharge
- excessive hair growth
- bone fractures
- recurrent kidney stones
- prominence of the eyes
- dark, white or pink skin patches
- neck lumps
- salt craving
- dizziness when standing
- low or high calcium
- excessive perspiration
Endocrine diseases are widespread, often missed, and can be treated.
- Thyroid Disease: thirty millions Americans have it; half of them do not know that they have the disease. One in five people will develop a thyroid nodule, one in five nodules will be cancerous.
Osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break, affects one in two women and one in five men.
Metabolic Syndrome (or Syndrome X) affects one in three men and women, and increases the risk for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
- Pituitary and adrenal gland disorders, notorious for being missed due to the complexity of diagnosis.
- Diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity are major risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
- Amenorrhea, or irregular menstrual periods, can be a sign of serious ovarian, adrenal, thyroid, or pituitary abnormalities. Simply by starting oral contraceptives, an important cause of the disease can be missed.
- Hypocalcaemia (high calcium), hypocalcaemia (low calcium), or kidney stones can point to major deficiencies in bone metabolism, hence potential osteoporosis.
- Premenstrual Syndrome: one of four cases may have a problem with testosterone, or an imbalance in the estrogen, LH/FSH, pituitary hormones, or a simple thyroid problem.
- Impotence and andropause, major hormonal imbalanced in males, missed in more than 65% of the cases.
- Dizziness, salt craving, and low blood pressure, can be symptoms of low adrenal gland function, which can be easily treated.
Endocrinology has seen major progress recently. Scientific research has led to changes in hormonal replacement therapies. We now know that each of us has a genetic set point for the thyroid hormone regulation. In other words, each of us is different, and whatever is normal for one person may not be normal for the next person.
Have you checked your hormone levels lately?