6 common endocrine disorders that can disrupt bodily functions

The ability of our body to function effortlessly is because of the various parts of the body that work simultaneously to execute even the smallest task. Everything from one’s appetite to the menstrual cycles is controlled by the endocrine system of the body.

What is the endocrine system?
The endocrine system consists of a series of glands that produce hormones, which, in turn, controls a majority of bodily functions. The entire endocrine system is responsible for controlling the heart beats, the growth process, and the proper functioning of this system keeps disorders like diabetes, growth disorders, sexual dysfunction, etc. at bay. The endocrine system consists of the adrenal glands, hypothalamus, parathyroid, ovaries, islet cells in the pancreas, pituitary gland, pineal gland, testes, thymus, and thyroid. The hormones secreted by these glands control different bodily functions.

Any disruption in the functioning of the endocrine glands can result in severe disorders. The common endocrine disorders are as follows-

  • Cushing’s disease– This endocrine disorder is characterized by an overproduction of the pituitary gland hormone, and this causes the adrenal gland to go into overdrive. This condition might result in a sudden weight gain and can disrupt the menstrual cycle. The symptoms manifest themselves in the form of fatty deposits between the shoulders, and around the face and neck.
  • Diabetes- Diabetes is one of the most common endocrine disorders and affects the body’s capacity to produce insulin. The result is the increase in the level of sugar in the blood. This is a disorder that cannot be cured completely, yet it can be controlled with the right kind of medication and proper diet.
  • Adrenal insufficiency- Adrenal insufficiency is an endocrine disorder where the adrenal gland produces an excess of cortisol and even aldosterone at times. This results in certain symptoms such as fatigue, dehydration, skin changes, and stomach upset becoming more prominent. Addison’s disease is an endocrine disorder caused due to adrenal insufficiency.
  • Hypothyroidism- The thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones that regulate the metabolism process. When the functioning of the thyroid gland is interrupted, and it produces fewer thyroid hormones, it results in a condition called hypothyroidism. This endocrine disorder is characterized by sudden weight gain, fatigue, constipation, depression, and dry skin.
  • Hyperthyroidism- The thyroid gland secretes hormones that are vital to the process of metabolism. When the thyroid gland secretes more thyroid hormones, it results in a condition called hyperthyroidism. This condition is characterized by sudden weight loss, sweating, faster heart rate, and anxiety.
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)- This endocrine disorder is triggered when excess androgens interfere with the production of eggs and their consequent release from the female ovaries. Sudden weight gain, hirsutism, acne, darkening of the skin, infertility are the symptoms of PCOS.
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