How are endocrine disorders treated?

In many cases, endocrine disorders may be symptomless or mild enough to not require treatment. Symptoms can arise from excess hormone production or a hormone deficiency. When symptoms of endocrine disorders are bothersome, they can generally be treated by correcting the hormone imbalance. This is often done by means of synthetic hormone administration. In cases such as prolactinoma, where a noncancerous tumor is responsible for symptoms, surgery or radiation therapy may be used. Often, diagnosis and treatment of the underlying cause of the endocrine disorder will resolve the symptoms.

What are the potential complications of endocrine disorders?

While most endocrine disorders are mild and slow to progress, certain endocrine disorders can lead to complications over time as unbalanced hormonal signaling affects normal body processes. In cases of Addison’s disease and hypothyroidism in particular, acute attacks or crises can have serious complications. Diabetes can also have potentially life-threatening complications. Complications of untreated or poorly controlled endocrine disorders can be serious, even life threatening in some cases. You can help minimize your risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you. Complications of certain endocrine disorders include:

  • Anxiety or insomnia (in many thyroid conditions)
  • Coma (in hypothyroidism)
  • Depression (in many thyroid conditions)
  • Heart disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Organ damage or failure
  • Poor quality of life

References:

  1. Adrenal insufficiency and Addison’s disease. National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service. http://endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/addison/addison.htm.
  2. Bope ET, Kellerman RD (Eds.) Conn’s Current Therapy.Philadelphia: Saunders, 2013.
  3. Collins RD. Differential Diagnosis in Primary Care, 5th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Williams, 2012.
  4. Cushing’s syndrome. National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service. http://endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/cushings/cushings.htm.
INTRODUCTION

What are endocrine disorders?

Endocrine disorders are diseases related to the endocrine glands of the body. The endocrine system produces hormones, which are chemical signals sent out, or secreted, through the bloodstream. Hormones help the body regulate processes, such as appetite, breathing, growth, fluid balance, feminization and virilization, and weight control.... Read more about endocrine disordersintroduction

SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of endocrine disorders?

The symptoms of endocrine disorders can range from mild or even nonexistent to serious and affecting your entire body and overall feeling of well-being. Specific symptoms depend on the specific part of the endocrine system affected.

Common symptoms of diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is the most common endocrine disorder and occurs when the pancreas either does not produce su... Read more about endocrine disorderssymptoms

CAUSES

What causes endocrine disorders?

Endocrine disorders arise because of problems with the glands of the endocrine system. Of the many potential endocrine disorders, some of the most common relate to problems with the pancreas or with the pituitary, thyroid, or adrenal glands.

Causes of endocrine disorders

A number of factors are believed to cause endocrine disorders. Types and causes of endocrine disorde... Read more about endocrine disorderscauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 9, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Diabetes and the Endocrine System


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