Endocrinology

  1. What is Endocrinology?

Endocrinology is a branch of medicine that concerns the study of hormones and its disorders.

 

  1. What does the term endocrine mean?

The term endocrine was coined by Starling to contrast the actions of hormones secreted internally i.e directly into blood (endocrine) with those substances secreted externally (exocrine) or into a lumen, such as the gastrointestinal tract.

 

  1. What does the term hormone mean?

The term hormone is derived from the Greek verb hormao, which means “to set in motion.” This phrase captures the dynamic properties of hormones and their ability to elicit a cascade of physiologic responses by acting on specific target tissues.

 

  1. Who is an Endocrinologist?

Endocrinologists are doctors who specialize in study of hormonal diseases like diabetes, thyroid disorders, growth disorders, etc.  As per Medical Council of India, only doctors who have DM or DNB Endocrinology degree are qualified and registered to manage patients with endocrine disorders like diabetes, thyroid etc.

 

  1. What are Endocrine glands?
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Endocrine glands are organs that secrete hormones into the blood directly.

 

The principal endocrine glands
1. Pituitary Gland
2. Thyroid gland
3. Pancreas
4. Adrenal Gland
5. Parathyroid gland
6. Gonads – ovary and testis
7. Besides hormones are secreted by various other organs like brain (hypothalamus), heart, kidney, gut, placenta, breasts, etc.
The pituitary is considered as a master gland and governs the function of other endocrine glands in the body.

  1. What are endocrine disorders?

Endocrine disorders arise due to diseases involving endocrine organs or their hormones. E.g. Diabetes is a disease due to less production of hormone insulin produced from endocrine gland called pancreas.

 

  1. Is diabetes mellitus an endocrine disorder?

Yes. Diabetes is a disease due to less production(hyposecretion) of hormone insulin produced from endocrine gland called pancreas.

 

  1. What are the types of endocrine disorders?

Broadly speaking, endocrine disorders may be subdivided into five groups:
1. Endocrine gland hyposecretion (leading to hormone deficiency e.g. hypothyroidism, type 1 diabetes mellitus)
2. Endocrine gland hypersecretion (leading to hormone excess e.g. hyperthyroidism)
3. End organ resistance to action of hormone (insulin resistance contributing to type 2 diabetes mellitus)
4. Tumours (benign or malignant) of endocrine glands
5. Inflammation of endocrine glands (e.g. thyroiditis, hypophysitis, etc.)

 

  1. Whom should I consult if I have an endocrine problem?

As per Medical Council of India, only doctors who have DM or DNB Endocrinology degree are qualified and registered to manage patients with endocrine disorders like diabetes, thyroid etc.