Know About Hormonal Disorders For Better Life
Hormones play an important role in everyone’s daily health and well-being. Different disease can affect our body’s ability to make or use hormones. Having a clear understanding about how hormone affects our health is important to make informed decisions. In this article, Dr. Arun Kumar Singh will answer few questions related to hormonal disorders.
Tell us something about endocrinology and hormones
Endocrinology is field of medical science which deals with disorders of endocrine glands and hormones. Endocrine glands are essential organs of our body and they make hormones. Hormones influence functioning of all organs in our body. Endocrinologist is medical specialist who is trained to diagnose and treat hormonal disorders.
Which are different endocrine glands?
There are six main endocrine glands – pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, pancreas, gonads (ovary/testes) and adrenal glands.
How does pituitary gland affect our health?
Pituitary gland is master endocrine gland. It secretes 8 different hormones and controls function of all other endocrine glands. Common symptoms of pituitary gland disease are – beingtoo short or too tall, abnormal sexual development in childhood, sexual dysfunction and infertility in adults, menstrual disorders in females, excess urination (diabetes insipitus) etc.
How to identify thyroid disorders?
Thyroid gland makes hormones called T4 and T3. Thyroid hormones affect functioning of our all organs. Symptoms of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) are excessive tired, excessive sleepiness, poor concentration, feeling cold, poor appetite, weight gain, constipation, poor physical and mental development in children etc. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) are fast heart beats, feeling nervous, shaky hands, excess sweating, weight loss, loose motions, shortness of breath etc. thyroid disorders in women can present with menstrual problems, abortion, preterm delivery etc.
Role of pancreas gland in health?
Part of pancreas functions as endocrine gland and makes different hormones. Insulin is one of hormones secreted by pancreas which maintains blood glucose in normal range. Diabetes mellitus is very common hormonal disorder, caused by insulin deficiency or/and insulin resistance. High blood glucose levels act as poison to different organs of our body and if not treated lead to serious problems like blindness, heart attack, paralysis, kidney failure etc.
Unfortunately very few people with high blood glucose have symptoms like fatigue, weight loss, excess thirst and urination, increased appetite etc. absence of symptoms in many people leads to delay in diagnosis and major complications. So I suggest everyone who is 30 yr or older should get tests for diabetes every 1 to 2 years to diagnose it early.
What are symptoms of disease of ovary/testis?
We all know ovary and testis are reproductive organs and they make eggs and sperm respectively. Ovary makes estrogen hormone and testis makes testosterone hormone. These hormones are essential for development of genital organs, normal sexual function and fertility. Diseases of sex hormones is very common and sometimes very serious consequences like poor family life, infertility, divorce and separation. Symptoms of diseases of ovary/testis are – poor development of sex organs, delayed or rarely early puberty, low sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, gynaecomatia, irregular menses, infertility etc.
Tell us about importance of parathyroid glands.
Parathyroid glands make PTH hormone. PTH hormone with vitamin D controls metabolism of calcium and phosphorus. Calcium and phosphorus are very important for normal function of bones and muscles. So disorders of parathyroid gland present with low or high calcium levels, weak bones, weak muscles, pain in bones and muscles, kidney stones etc. very high and very low calcium level can be life threatening if not identified and treated in time.
How common are hormonal disorders and what should be done if anyone is diagnosed with hormonal problem?
Hormonal disorders are very common in community. All hormonal disorders together affect aprox 20 to 25% of entire population i.e. on an average 1 or more patient per family. These disorders affect quality of life and family and social life in negative way. Because of poor awareness about hormonal disorders among both layman and general physicians, these disorders are neglected and poorly treated.
Endocrinologists are specialist who can diagnose and treat hormonal disorders timely. And fortunately, most hormonal disorders are treatable in very effective and safe way.