When the pituitary gland makes too much growth hormone, abnormal growth occurs. This is called acromegaly. The name comes from the Greek word for “extremities” and “enlargement.” The abnormal growth starts in the hands and feet, as soft tissue begins to swell. This rare disease affects mostly middle-aged adults. It can lead to severe illness and even death if not treated.
- Adrenal Insufficiency/Addison's Disease
Adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands don’t make enough of the hormone cortisol. The adrenal glands are found just above each kidney. They work with the hypothalamus and pituitary glands in the brain. Cortisol helps break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in your body. It also affects how your immune system works.
Disorders of the Adrenal Glands
Detailed information on disorders of the adrenal glands
Detailed information on the adrenal gland, its anatomy and function
- Pheochromocytoma: An Adrenal Gland Tumor
A pheochromocytoma is a rare type of tumor. It grows in the middle of an adrenal gland. Your body has 2 adrenal glands. They are found on top of each kidney. Each layer of these glands makes different hormones. The middle part of the adrenal glands makes epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormones help keep your heart rate and blood pressure normal. A pheochromocytoma causes the adrenal glands to make too much of these hormones.
Anatomy of the Endocrine System
The endocrine system includes not only the pancreas—the organ involved in the development of diabetes—but also the pituitary, thyroid, and other glands.
Hormones and the Endocrine System
Detailed information on hormones and their role in the workings of the endocrine system
- Overactive Adrenal Glands
Your adrenal glands are found just above each kidney. They make certain types of hormones. If they make too much of these hormones, they are called overactive.
- Diabetes Insipidus
Diabetes insipidus occurs when your body doesn’t make enough antidiuretic hormone (ADH) or kidneys don’t respond to it. ADH helps keep the right amount of water in the body.
- Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
Thyroiditis is when your thyroid gland becomes irritated. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common type of this health problem. It is an autoimmune disease. It occurs when your body makes antibodies that attack the cells in your thyroid. The thyroid then can’t make enough of the thyroid hormone.
Hyperparathyroidism occurs when 1 or more of your parathyroid glands are overactive. You have 4 of these tiny glands. Each one is about the size of a grain of rice. They are found in your neck, next to the thyroid gland. They keep the amount of calcium in your blood in a normal range. If these glands are overactive, they make too much parathyroid hormone (PTH). That raises the level of calcium in your blood.
Hyperthyroidism means your thyroid gland is too active. This tiny gland is found in your neck. An overactive thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone. This makes your metabolism work at a faster rate.
Hypoparathyroidism occurs when 1 or more of your parathyroid glands are underactive. You have 4 of these tiny glands. Each one is about the size of a grain of rice. They are found in your neck, next to the thyroid gland. They keep the amount of calcium in your blood in a normal range. They also keep the levels of magnesium and phosphorus normal. If these glands are underactive, they do not make enough parathyroid hormone (PTH).
Hypopituitarism happens when your pituitary gland is not active enough. The front lobe of the gland may only partly work. Or it may not work at all. As a result the gland does not make enough hormones.
Hypothyroidism is the most common type of thyroid disorder. It means your thyroid gland is not active enough. This tiny gland is found in your neck. If the gland is underactive, it may not make enough thyroid hormone.
Home Page - Endocrinology
Detailed information on endocrine disorders
Online Resources - Endocrinology
List of online resources to find additional information on endocrine disorders
Detailed information on pancreatic cancer, including types of benign tumors in the pancreas, malignant pancreatic cancers, symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment
Detailed anatomical description of human pancreas, including simple definitions and labeled, full-color illustrations
Disorders of the Pancreas
Detailed information on pancreas disorders, including pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer
Detailed information on parathyroid glands, including anatomy and function
Disorders of the Parathyroid Glands
Detailed information on disorders of the parathyroid gland
Detailed information on parathyroid tumors, including symptoms and treatment
Detailed information on the anatomy and function of the pituitary gland
Disorders of the Pituitary Gland
Detailed information on pituitary gland disorders, including acromegaly, diabetes insipidus, empty sella syndrome, hypopituitarism, and pituitary gland tumors
- Pituitary Tumors
The pituitary glandmakes hormones that affect many other glands in the body. Most pituitary tumors are not cancerous. But, because of its location, it can press on the optic nerves and cause vision problems.
- Postpartum Thyroiditis
Postpartum thyroiditis happens when a woman’s thyroid becomes inflamed after having a baby. It may first cause your thyroid to be overactive. But in time it leads to an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). A small portion of pregnant women get this health problem.
Hypothyroidism and Pregnancy
Signs of an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) may be masked by pregnancy. But the thyroid is important for your baby’s brain development. Learn if you should be screened for hypothyroidism.
Detailed information on the anatomy and function of the reproductive glands
- Empty Sella Syndrome
Empty sella syndrome (ESS) may occur if you have an enlarged sella turcica. This is a bony structure where the pituitary gland sits at the base of the brain.
Topic Index - Endocrinology
Detailed information on endocrine disorders
Statistics relating to endocrine disorders
Thyroid Function Tests
Detailed information on the most common types of thyroid function tests
Detailed information on the thyroid gland, including anatomy and function
Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy
Detailed information on thyroid hormone replacement therapy
Disorders of the Thyroid
Detailed information on disorders of the thyroid, including hyperthyroidism, Graves' disease, toxic nodular goiter, thyroiditis, hypothyroidism, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, thyroid tumor, hypothyroidism and pregnancy, postpartum thyroiditis, and thyroid horm
Thyroid Tumor Overview
Detailed information on thyroid tumors, including symptoms and treatment
Type 1 Diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, the body can’t make insulin. Insulin is needed to help glucose enter cells for energy. Without insulin, glucose builds up in the blood. This causes high blood glucose or high blood sugar.
Thyroid Disorders in Women
Detailed information on thyroid disorders in women
Metabolic syndrome is a condition that includes the presence of a cluster of risk factors specific for cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome significantly raises the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and/or stroke.
Hypoglycemia is low blood sugar (glucose). Hypoglycemia may be a condition by itself, or may be a complication of diabetes or another disorder.
Pancreatitis is the redness and swelling (inflammation) of the pancreas. This happens when digestive juices or enzymes attack the pancreas.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a common hormone problem in women of childbearing age. Women with PCOS may not ovulate, and have abnormal hormone levels. They may experience missed or irregular periods, excess hair growth and weight gain around the belly.