Most Common Diseases/Disorders of the Endocrine System

Endocrine system is one of the most important systems in our human body. The system refers to a group of glands releasing hormones that help in regulation of some significant body functions. The hormone secreted by endocrine system helps body to convert calories into energy. Calories empower organs and cells to function properly. Endocrine system has strong influences on a string of physical functions such as heart beating, growth of tissues and bones etc. Endocrine disorders create several health hazards including thyroid problems, diabetes, inadequate growth, sexual dysfunction and other hormone-related issues.

Glands in Endocrine System

The glands in the endocrine system form a network. Each gland of the system secretes a particular hormone into blood. The connective tissue carries hormones to different cells in the body.

Endocrine system includes the followings:

  • Two Adrenal Glands
  • Butterfly-Shaped Thyroid Gland
  • Four tiny Parathyroid Glands
  • Hypothalamus
  • Pineal Gland
  • Pituitary Gland
  • Islet Cells in Pancreas
  • Thymus
  • Testes (In Men)
  • Ovaries (In Women)

Functions of Endocrine System

  • Growth and Development
  • Helping in digestion, excretion, blood circulation, breathing and regulation of body temperature
  • Reproduction
  • Mood Elevation
  • Sexual Urge

Endocrine Diseases/Disorders

Endocrine diseases or disorders are caused due to high or low secretion of hormones from the glands on the Endocrine network system. Hormonal disorder refers to the conditions when hormone secretion is too low or too high. Hormonal diseases occur when your body fails to respond to hormones. Infection, stress and changes in electrolyte and fluid balance can also produce heavy influence on the hormone level.

Diabetes is the most common endocrine disorder. There are several other diseases that may be caused due to improper functioning of the endocrine system.

Endocrine diseases can be divided into three following categories:

  • Hyposecretion (Resulting into hormone deficiency)
  • Hypersecretion (Leading to excessive secretion)
  • Benign or malignant tumours in endocrine glands

Endocrine disorders are usually complex, often caused due to hypersecretion or hyposecretion of hormones from the glands.

Let us now take a quick glance over some disorders of endocrine system.

Glucose Homeostasis Disorders


  • Goiter
  • Hyperthyrodium
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Thyroiditis
  • Thyroid Cancer

Pituitary Gland Disorder

  • Parathyroid Gland Disorders (Primary, Secondary and Teritary Hyperparathyroidism)
  • Hypoparathyroidism
  • Osteitis Deformans
  • Osteomalacia or Rickets
  • Osteoporosis

Disorder in Sex Development

  • Androgen insensitivity syndromes
  • Gonadal dysgenesis
  • Hermaphroditism

Hypogonadism or Gonadotropian Deficiency:

It is of two types – Inherited Disorders and Acquired Disorders

Inherited Disorders (Chromosomal or Genetic)

  • Turner Syndrome
  • Klinefelter Syndrome
  • Kallmann Syndrome

Acquired Disorders

  • Testicular Failure
  • Ovarian Failure (Commonly referred to as Premature Menopause)

Disorders of Puberty

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Amenorhea

Tumours in Endocrine Glands

Carcinoid syndrome and Multiple endocrine neoplasia

  • MEN type 1
  • MEN type 2a
  • MEN type 2b

Diseases that Affect Endocrine System

Some diseases prevent the endocrine glands from functioning properly, thereby leaving negative impacts on the system. Ageing is an inevitable and irreversible process that leads to slower rate of hormone secretion. Though ageing is not a disease but is certainly a factor to cause problems to endocrine glands, thereby generating ill effects on overall body. Age is often related to diabetes type 2.

Malignant cells in the endocrine glands or any other parts of human body also leave a negative impact on endocrine glands, preventing those from proper functioning. In absence of any cancer-curing drugs, the oncologists often rely on chemotherapy to destroy the cancerous cells. However, the treatment can also affect the endocrine system in the most negative way.

If there are problems, there are cures as well. Ask your endocrinologist if you have developed any symptom related to malfunctioning of the glands for immediate treatment. Most of the time, cancers in endocrine system are detected in the third or fourth stage, making it almost impossible to treat the deadly disease and even prolong the life of the patients for a few years. So, never neglect even the minor endocrinal problems as those may turn out to be severe if left untreated.

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