Book Report: Endocrine System to Include Dwarfism Gigantism and Addison's Disease

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Diseases

The Endocrine System

The endocrine system comprises eight chief glands all through the body. These glands produce hormones. Hormones are chemical couriers. They move through the bloodstream to tissues or organs. Hormones work gradually and influence body processes from head to toe. These include:

Growth and advance

Metabolism including digestion, elimination, breathing, blood circulation and sustaining body temperature

Sexual function

Reproduction

Mood

If ones hormone levels are too high or too low, they may have a hormone disorder. Hormone diseases also take place if the body does not react to hormones the way it is supposed to. Stress, infection and alterations in ones blood's fluid and electrolyte equilibrium can also influence hormone levels (Endocrine Diseases, 2011).

The glands of the endocrine system and the hormones they discharge affect almost every cell, organ, and function of the body. The endocrine system is influential in regulating mood, growth and development, tissue function, and Metabolism, as well as sexual function and reproductive procedures. Overall, the endocrine system is in charge of body procedures that occur gradually, such as cell growth. Faster procedures like breathing and body movement are controlled by the nervous system. But even while the nervous system and endocrine systems are detached systems, they frequently work together to assist the body function correctly (Endocrine System, 2011).

The basics of the endocrine system are the hormones and glands. As the body's chemical couriers, hormones transport information and directions from one set of cells to another. Although a lot of different hormones mix all through the bloodstream, each one influences only the cells that are genetically planned to get and respond to its communication. Hormone levels can be influenced by things such as stress, infection, and alterations in the balance of fluid and minerals in blood (Endocrine System, 2011).

The endocrine system is regulated by reaction in much the same way that a thermostat reacts to the temperature in a room. For the hormones that are regulated by the pituitary gland, a sign is sent from the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland in the appearance of a releasing hormone, which rouses the pituitary to emit a stimulating hormone into the circulation. The stimulating hormone then indicates the target gland to emit its hormone. As the level of this hormone goes up in the circulation, the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland stop emission of the releasing hormone and the stimulating hormone, which in turn slows the emission by the target gland. This system results in steady blood concentrations of the hormones that are regulated by the pituitary gland (Anatomy of the Endocrine System, 2011).

The main glands that make up the human endocrine system are the hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroids, adrenals, pineal body, and the reproductive glands, which comprise the ovaries and testes. The pancreas is also part of this hormone-secreting system, even though it is also linked with the digestive system for the reason that it also produces and secretes digestive enzymes. Even though the endocrine glands are the body's major hormone producers, some non-endocrine organs, such as the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, thymus, skin, and placenta, also produce and release hormones (Endocrine System, 2011).

The main human endocrine glands include:

The pituitary gland -- this is known as the master gland but it is under the power of the hypothalamus. Jointly, they run a lot of other endocrine functions.

The thyroid gland -- this gland controls metabolism, along with body temperature and weight.

The pancreas - this organ has two functions. It serves as a ducted gland, emitting digestive enzymes into the small intestine. The pancreas also serves as a ductless gland in that the islets of Langerhans emit insulin and glucagon to control the blood sugar level.

Adrenal Gland - these sit on top of the kidneys. They consist of two parts, the outer cortex and the inner medulla. The medulla emits epinephrine or adrenaline and other comparable hormones in response to stressors such as fright, anger, caffeine, or low blood sugar. The cortex emits corticosteroids such as cortisone.

The gonads or sex organs - in addition to producing gametes, the female ovaries and male testes also produce hormones. Consequently, these hormones are called sex hormones.

The pineal gland - this gland is positioned near the center of the brain, and is stimulated by nerves from the eyes (Endocrine System, 2004).

There are a lot of things that can go wrong with the endocrine system. One of these things is Dwarfism. Dwarfism is short height that results from a genetic or medical condition. Dwarfism is normally defined as an adult height of 4 feet 10 inches or less. The characteristic range in adult height among people with dwarfism is 2 feet 8 inches to 4 feet 8 inches. Treatments for most dwarfism linked conditions don't augment height but can lessen problems. A lot of people with dwarfism come across discrimination. Family support, social networks, support groups and adaptive products allow most individuals with dwarfism to address issues in educational, work and social settings (Dwarfism, 2011).

A doctor will evaluate a number of things in order to review a child's growth and decide if they have a dwarfism-related disorder. For some evaluations, the doctor may refer one to other physicians that specialize in bone irregularities, hormone dysfunction or innate conditions. Diagnostic tests often include:

Measurements - a normal part of a well-baby medical check up is the measurement of height, weight and head size. At each appointment, the doctor will plot these measurements on a chart, which designates the percentile ranking for each measurement and expected growth in the future. This information is significant for recognizing irregular growth, such as deferred growth or an excessively big head. If any tendencies in these charts are a concern, the doctor may make more repeated measurements over a period of numerous months.

Appearance -- A lot of distinctive facial and skeletal features are connected with each of several dwarfism disorders. A child's appearance also may help the doctor in making a diagnosis.

Imaging technology - the doctor may order radiographic studies, such as X-rays, for the reason that certain irregularities of the skull and skeleton can point toward which disorder a child may have. A variety of imaging devices may also divulge tardy maturation of bones, as is the case in growth hormone deficiency. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan may disclose abnormalities of the pituitary gland or hypothalamus, both of which play a role in hormone function (Dwarfism, 2010).

Another disorder is that of Gigantism. This is unusually large growth due to a surplus of growth hormone throughout childhood, prior to the bone growth plates closing. The most widespread cause of too much growth hormone discharge is a benign tumor of the pituitary gland (Gigantism -- Overview, 2011). Frequent tests used to assess gigantism are CT or MRI scan of the head that show the pituitary tumor. A child will grow in height, along with in the muscles and organs. This extreme growth makes the child enormously big for their age. Additional symptoms include:

postponed puberty double vision or trouble with peripheral vision frontal bossing and a prominent jaw headache augmented sweating irregular menstruation big hands and feet with thick fingers and toes discharge of breast milk thickening of the facial features weakness (Gigantism, 2011).

An additional disorder is adrenal deficiency. This is an endocrine or hormonal disorder that takes place when the adrenal glands do not make sufficient levels of certain hormones. The adrenal glands are positioned just over the kidneys. Adrenal deficiency can be main or secondary. Primary adrenal deficiency, also called Addison's disease, takes place when the adrenal glands are injured and cannot manufacture sufficient amounts of the hormone cortisol and frequently the hormone aldosterone. Addison's disease affects between one and four of every one hundred thousand people, in all age groups and includes both sexes (Adrenal Insufficiency and Addison's disease, 2009). Addison's disease is a rare condition. Only one in 100,000 people has it. It can happen at any age to either men or women at an equal rate. People who have Addison's disease can lead regular lives as long as they take their medication (Understanding Addison's Disease -- the Basics, 2011).

Primary adrenal insufficiency occurs when the outer layer of the adrenal gland which is the part that produces corticosteroids is damaged and doesn't produce enough hormones. This damage is typically caused by an autoimmune disease. Usually, ones immune system manufactures antibodies to assist in protecting the body against viruses, bacteria and other foreign substances. An autoimmune disease is when the immune system manufactures antibodies that attack the body's adrenal glands, or other tissues or organs. Supplementary causes of adrenal gland failure include: Tuberculosis, other infections of the adrenal glands, cancer of the adrenal glands and bleeding into the adrenal glands (Addison's disease, 2010).

The symptoms of Addison's disease typically develop over a period of several months and may include:

Muscle failing

Exhaustion

Weight loss

Loss of appetite

Darkening of the skin

Low blood pressure

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