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Hormonal Disorders

Hormones work in your body by regulating your growth, metabolism, sexual development and reproduction. Hormones can also significantly affect your mood. These chemical messengers are created by the endocrine system which consists of various glands and organs. Among the eight primary glands of the endocrine system, you will find the pineal gland, pituitary gland, the thymus, the thyroid, pancreas and the adrenal glands. Both male and female reproductive organs produce hormones along with the heart and digestive organs.

As we age, we can see normal hormonal changes as a result of our bodies’ development. Natural changes or fluctuations in our reproductive hormone levels can cause mood changes in our adolescence or at menopause. Medications, stress, injury, illness or fluid balance may all affect hormone levels. Having a blood disorder test performed by your doctor will look at your blood, urine or other bodily fluids in order to determine whether or not you are suffering from these health issues. If there is a possibility that you have an endocrine tumor, you may have to have an MRI done or X-rays in order to make that determination.

Largely Known Disorders Of The Endocrine System

Hormonal disorders may cause a wide variety of symptoms, relative to the part of the endocrine system that has been affected. The pituitary gland is as small as a pea, but disorders affecting it can cause issues with your growth and development. Disorders involving the thyroid may influence your level of energy production, mood, body temperature and oxygenation. Sexual function along with the expression of gender traits can be attributed to disorders of the reproductive system.

One of the most commonly known endocrine disorders is diabetes. This disease is characterized by your body’s inability to use insulin, which works to regulate your glucose level. The utilization of glucose by your body is its primary source of energy. The pancreas is responsible for producing insulin in your body. In those with type 1 diabetes, your body neglects to create insulin in response to the level of glucose in your bloodstream. In those with type 2 diabetes, your body continually produces insulin, but your cells are no longer able to react to that production properly, or the amount of insulin produced isn’t enough.

Among the many other common disorders related to hormones are thyroid disorders. Thyroid hormones in the body regulate how people produce energy and put it to work. When the production of these hormones goes into overdrive, it speeds up the metabolism and leads to weight loss, agitation and tremors. In the event the body does not produce enough thyroid hormones, it has the opposite effect on the body, causing weight gain along with low levels of energy. The organs and glands in your body generate minimal amounts of hormones, so any imbalance in the levels will cause changes in how your body reacts. If you suspect a hormonal imbalance in your body, your physician may order a series of diagnostic tests in order to determine whether or not you have a hormonal disorder. Symptoms could include fluctuations in weight, mood swings, energy levels that are up and down, body temperature changes, frequent urination or abnormal thirstiness or hunger.

Testing Hormone Levels

There are batteries of tests that physicians can perform in order to determine if you have a hormone disorder. Depending on the section of your endocrine system of which your practitioner wishes to have a look at, he or she may order any number of tests. Blood tests are typically utilized in the process of diagnosing disorders of the endocrine system. These blood tests can be used to give a diagnosis on reproductive imbalances, thyroid and pituitary disorders. Diabetes testing is done based on the amount of glucose in your urine or blood. A few of the disorders of the endocrine system are testing by taking a sample of your saliva.

There are a variety of hormonal disorders that can be caused by tumors on your glands. A pituitary gland tumor may cause reproductive disorders, developmental issues or visual disturbances. If you or your doctor suspects that you may have a pituitary tumor, he or she may take blood and urine tests as well as ordering a vision test. In order to identify whether or not a tumor is present, your physician can have x-rays or an MRI done.

A routine medical evaluation can sometimes lead to the discovery of a hormone imbalance. Your doctor will need to do a complete assessment in order to begin the process. If he or she feels that further evaluation is needed, he or she may order you to have testing to see if you have any hormonal disorders.