Other Endocrinology Disorders

What is the Thyroid Gland?

The thyroid is a gland that is in the throat on the front of the windpipe. It secretes hormones that influence growth, metabolism, body temperature, and brain development. Any abnormalities in the thyroid can lead to conditions like hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, thyroid nodules, and goiter.

What are the Adrenal Glands?

The adrenal glands are on top of the kidneys, and they release hormones that affect kidney function, move nutrients through the body, affect the body's stress responses, and affect the body's fight-or-flight responses. Abnormalities in the adrenal glands can lead to conditions like adrenal insufficiency or adrenal excess in children.

What is the Pituitary Gland?

The pituitary gland is a tiny gland that sits at the base of the brain. It secretes hormones that influence growth, blood pressure, metabolism, body temperature, and water "metabolism." Abnormalities in the pituitary can lead to signs and symptoms of hormone excess or hormone deficiencies. These abnormalities can lead to growth or puberty disorders.

What is Puberty?

Puberty is the time in which a child's body goes through changes that result in the child becoming an adult. This is caused by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus releasing a hormone called the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). This hormone travels to the pituitary gland, which releases two more puberty hormones: the luteinizing hormone (LH) and the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This is why irregularities or abnormalities in the pituitary gland can lead to disorders in puberty.

What are Growth Disorders?

There are growth disorders, including certain skeletal disorders, that involve the glands and hormones of the endocrine system. They can be caused by deficiencies or excesses of certain hormones, such as thyroid or growth hormone. For instance, growth hormone deficiency is a disorder that results from a deficiency in hormones that are typically produced by the pituitary gland. And hypothyroidism, or a deficiency of hormones from the thyroid, can lead to poor growth.

What are Menstrual Disorders?

Menstruation disorders are problems that affect a woman's normal menstrual cycle. They are common during adolescence and can include heavy bleeding, painful cramps, and infrequent or absent menstruation.

What are disorders of Calcium Balance and Mineral Metabolism?

Abnormalities of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium homeostasis are common and collectively called disorders of mineral metabolism. Normal homeostatic regulation maintains serum levels, intracellular levels, and optimal mineral content in bone. This regulation occurs at three major target organs, the intestine, kidney and bone, principally via the complex integration of two hormones, parathyroid hormone and vitamin D. An understanding of normal physiology is necessary to accurately diagnose and treat disorders of mineral metabolism.