What happens if the endocrine system does not function normally?
Considering the mechanisms of endocrine diseases, all endocrine disorders (endocrinopathies) can be divided into three basic groups:
Quantitative disorders include conditions:
- hormonal deficit, i.e. lack of hormones that occur as a result of reduced function of the endocrine glands. The most common causes are: infections, circulatory disorders, tumors, metastases, autoimmune diseases, trauma, iatrogenic disorders (endocrine gland removal, drugs, radiation), lack of building materials and genetic disorders.
- hormonal surplus, i.e. an excess of hormones manifested by increased function of the endocrine glands. Autoimmune diseases, benign and malignant tumors and iatrogenic conditions (increased hormone intake) stand out as causes in particular.
Qualitative disorders include conditions in which:
- there is a changed (abnormal) hormone that is often created as a result of a gene mutation. The resulting hormone does not fulfill its role.
- there is a lack of reaction of the target organ and the so-called hormonal resistance appears. The fundamental feature of these disorders is the existence of a normal or elevated hormone level, despite its weak effect.
- there are complex endocrinological disorders such as various types of complex syndromes, hereditary tumors (eg. multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes ̶ MENs) and hereditary disorders of unknown etiology.
Combined disorders: have features of both quantitative and qualitative disorders.
According to the localization of the endocrine disorder, we distinguish:
- Primary endocrinopathies in which the endocrine disorder is the result of a direct disorder of a specific endocrine gland (eg. thyroid, adrenal glands).
- Secondary endocrinopathies in which the disorder of a certain endocrine gland is indirectly caused by a disorder of the supervisory gland (pituitary gland) or a physiological regulation mechanism.
- Tertiary endocrinopathies in which the endocrine disorder occurs due to a disorder of the control structure in the brain (hypothalamus) or a physiological regulation mechanism.
All the complexity of the structure of the endocrine and hormonal system can be read from the above, which is reflected in the large number of diseases and disorders that occur within it. This is precisely why endocrinological diseases are sometimes detected late and patients needlessly suffer a series of conditions, which significantly impairs the quality of life and directly endangers health.
Hormonal function is always a balancing act. Too much or too little of one hormone directly disrupts the work of various tissues and organs and can affect the disturbed release of other hormones. If there is a hormonal imbalance, some systems of our body will not function properly.
The imbalances created in this way can sometimes be regulated by the body, but in most cases this is not possible and they manifest themselves in various complaints such as increased fatigue and a feeling of exhaustion, difficulties with focusing, frequent mood swings, increased hair loss, anxiety, lethargy, weight gain, swelling of body parts , a feeling of suffocation in the neck area, libido and sexual function disorders, impossibility of conceiving or maintaining a pregnancy, breast function disorders, a feeling of skipping or rapid heartbeat, then an increased feeling of heat or cold, excessive sweating, increased hair growth, bone pain, changes in skin and nails, sleep disturbance, formation of kidney stones, headache and dizziness with disturbance of the field of vision, etc. All the above symptoms can indicate various endocrinological diseases that should be detected and treated in time, in order to avoid the development of further, often serious complications.
If you notice any of the previously mentioned symptoms of hormonal imbalance, contact us with confidence and make an appointment at our Center for endocrinology.