Diabetes and the Endocrine System

Endocrine Disorders

The endocrine system produces hormones, which are chemical signals sent out, or secreted, through the bloodstream. Hormones help the body regulate processes, such as breathing, fluid balance, femaleness or maleness, and weight control. Read the Endocrine System Overview ›

Overactive Adrenal Glands / Cushing's Syndrome

When adrenal glands produce excessive amounts of certain hormones, they are called "overactive." Symptoms and treatment depend on which hormones are being overproduced:

  • Androgenic steroids (androgen hormones). An overproduction of androgenic steroids (such as testosterone) can lead to exaggerated male characteristics in both men and women, such as hairiness of the face and body, baldness, acne, deeper voice, and more muscularity.

  • Corticosteroids. An overproduction of corticosteroids can lead to Cushing's syndrome (see below).

  • Aldosterone. An overproduction of the aldosterone hormone can lead to high blood pressure and to those symptoms associated with low levels of potassium, such as weakness, muscle aches, spasms, and sometimes paralysis.

Know the Signs, Symptoms, Causes and Treatments for Overactive Adrenal Glands

Thyroid Disorders in Women

The thyroid gland, which plays an important role in the body's metabolism, secretes several hormones: thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), and calcitonin. Other functions of the thyroid include regulating body heat and bone growth. The pituitary gland and thyroid gland work hand-in-hand. If the thyroid is emitting below-average levels of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism), the pituitary gland secretes more thyroid-stimulating hormones (TSH) to stimulate the thyroid gland.

The functions of the thyroid gland have much to do with a woman's reproductive system, particularly if the thyroid is overactive or underactive. Effects of this imbalance in hormone levels may have the following effects on a woman's body:

Overview of Thyroid Function and the Female Reproductive System

Prevention of Diabetes and Endocrine System Concerns

Chances are you know the difference between occasional sadness and depression. But here's a fact you may not know: hypothyroidism, a common thyroid disorder, can cause symptoms indistinguishable from depression. Understand the Hypothyroid-Depression Link ›

Prepare for Your Appointment

With just 13 minutes on average to meet with your doctor, pre-visit planning is important to your overall care experience. Get better results by following the ABCs of doctor visits: Arrive early. Be prepared. Communicate. Your doctor appreciates the active role you are taking in your health. Search HealthGrades for Top-rated Local Specializists in Diabetes, Metabolism and Endocrinology ›

Decision Guides for Symptoms Related to Endocrine System Function

This guide will focus on dry mouth that has been persistent over time. Temporary dryness of the mouth may accompany nervousness, anxiety, and breathing through the mouth (as many people do when they sleep). You'll be asked a series of questions that will walk you through some of the most common causes that may explain your symptoms. The guide will cover the most common reasons for dry mouth; however, it won't cover every cause. Begin Evaluating Your Dry Mouth or Excessive Thirst ›

Tests and Procedures for Diabetes and the Endocrine System

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