Hormones play a critical role in your body’s function. A hormone imbalance can result in an endocrine disorder. Endocrinologists at TexomaCare are internal medicine physicians who treat patients with endocrine disorders, including:
- Cholesterol disorders
- Graves’ disease
- Growth hormone deficiency
- Thyroid disorders
The Endocrine System
The endocrine system, or the hormone system, is made up of glands throughout the body. These glands create hormones and release them into the bloodstream or the fluid in surrounding cells.
Though there are glands all throughout your body, there are nine critical ones: hypothalamus, pituitary gland, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, pinal, pancreas, ovaries and testes. These glands are responsible for the production of hormones which affect just about everything in your body.
Gland hormones play an important role in your body’s:
- Blood pressure
- Digestive system
- Level of calcium
- Response to stress
- Sexual and reproductive development
In the United States, diabetes is the most common endocrine disease. One in four people with diabetes don’t know they have the disease. For this reason, endocrinology and diabetes research are naturally tied.
Diabetes is an endocrine disorder in the pancreas. It occurs as a result of the pancreas’ inability to make enough of the hormone insulin, or if the insulin it creates does not function as it should. This hormone regulates the amount of glucose, or sugar, levels, in your blood.
When insulin production is disrupted, glucose levels in the blood become elevated and, over time, cause major health problems like diabetes. While diabetes can’t be cured, it can be controlled. Those with diabetes are categorized as having type 1 or type 2, based on how the body is producing insulin.
Diagnosis and treatment for diabetes depends on your age, health and tolerance to specific medications, among others factors.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is believed to be caused by an autoimmune reaction. This means that the body is attacking itself. With type 1 diabetes, the immune system destroys the insulin producing cells in the pancreas.
Because insulin regulates sugar in your cells, this interruption causes serious consequences. Sugar is the main source of energy for cells in tissues and muscles. If diabetes type 1 goes untreated, it can affect the major organs in your body.
Proper healthcare is important to managing diabetes and avoiding serious complications. Type 1 diabetic care consists of daily insulin injections to keep blood sugar levels within normal ranges. Treatment may also include managing a proper diet to maintain blood sugar levels and exercising.
Type 2 Diabetes
Of the 37 million Americans that have diabetes, up to 95% of them have Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance. This means that although your pancreas creates insulin, your cells don’t respond to it. Your pancreas overcompensates and makes more insulin. As a result, your blood sugar rises. High sugar, over a long period of time, can be damaging and cause other problems.
What causes insulin resistance is unknown, but a family history of Type 2 diabetes and obesity put you at a higher risk. However, you do not have to be overweight to have insulin resistance. Nevertheless, there are steps you can take to prevent and reverse insulin resistance.
- Physical activity makes you more sensitive to insulin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Losing weight and improving nutrition can also help control the disorder.
- In some cases, medication or insulin are used.
Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are serious conditions. If diabetes remains untreated, it can cause problems for the kidneys, legs, feet, eyes, heart, nerves and blood flow.
Contact your primary care provider for a referral to see a TexomaCare endocrinologist.
The thyroid gland is located at the base of the neck. The thyroid gland takes the iodine from the food you eat and makes the thyroid hormone. The thyroid hormone regulates your metabolism, heart rate, energy, body temperature, weight and mood.
Because it plays such an important role in the body’s function, thyroid conditions can be very disruptive.
There are different types of thyroid disorders including:
Hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid makes too much thyroid hormone. This causes your body’s metabolism to speed up.
The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves Disease. This thyroid problem could also be caused by thyroid nodules, inflammation of the thyroid or consuming too much iodine.
- Feeling nervous or irritable
- Mood swings
- Muscle weakness
- Trouble sleeping
- Weight loss
Hyperthyroidism can be treated with medication, therapy or surgery. If the thyroid is removed or destroyed, patients must take thyroid hormone replacement pills.
Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, is when the thyroid does not make enough thyroid hormone. Women are more commonly diagnosed with hypothyroidism.
It can be caused by the autoimmune disorder Hashimoto’s disease, thyroid nodules, thyroiditis, congenital hypothyroidism, or surgical removal or radiation treatment of the thyroid.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Cold sensitivity
- Dry skin
- Puffy face
- Weight gain
Hypothyroidism can be controlled with a daily dose of synthetic thyroid hormone.
Thyroid cancer starts at the thyroid gland. It is caused by an uncontrolled growth of malignant cells that attack the thyroid.
Thyroid cancer is often asymptomatic except for swelling or a lump or growth on your neck by your Adam’s apple. If the thyroid cancer has spread, you could experience symptoms such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Thyroid cancer is highly treatable and has a good survival rate when caught early. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your primary care provider for a referral to see a TexomaCare endocrinologist.
Texoma Medical Plaza
5012 S US Hwy 75, Suite 300
Denison, TX 75020