Endocrinology the branch of medicine that studies the substances if created by the glands directly into the bloodstream.
Thyroid, ovary, testicle, pancreas, adrenals, are all endocrine glands regulated by two other endocrine glands, the Hypophysis and Hypothalamus, located right in the heart of the central nervous system.
And then we are surprised when stress blocks fertility or makes you gain weight....
Below is a summary of the main pathologies of interest in clinical endocrinology:
When the pancreas becomes diseased, insulin is no longer able to adequately control blood sugar.
Too much sugar in the bloodstream means oxidation of the arteries and circulating fats. Have you ever spilled orange soda on the table? Have you noticed how everything sticks together? Well, the same thing happens in our arteries and organs. Sugar clogs the small vessels creating microangiopathy (and therefore kidney and eye problems), damages the large vessels, causing thickening of the arteries and atherosclerosis, and damages the vessels that
supply the nerves and the myelin sheath itself, causing neuropathy. Diabetes is therefore an internal pathology that brings with it multiple pathologies
(hypertension, dyslipidemia, renal failure, recurrence, lesions of the lower limbs up to gangrene…).
Diabetes is therefore a disease of glucose metabolism that leads to an increase in blood glucose levels in the body and involves a series of complications at the level of various target organs (kidney, heart, nervous system, eye, foot) that can be seriously disabling. At the moment only the
maintenance of a good glycemic balance (obtained with an integrated system of lifestyle changes, targeted therapy “tailored” and physical activity) allows to
delay the onset of chronic complications.
Obesity is a pathology due to an unbalanced relationship between caloric intake and energy expenditure. It is often associated with other chronic
metabolic pathologies such as increased levels of cholesterol and/or triglycerides, increased blood pressure, diabetes creating the so-called Metabolic Syndrome. Lifestyle changes and physical activity are the cornerstones for a reduction of risk factors and for an adequate control of this disease
When obesity is particularly severe or when it is associated with pathologies that are particularly dangerous or disabling for the patient’s quality of life, bariatric surgery may be used. Deciding which intervention is appropriate for the patient requires teamwork between the physician and surgeon. The preand post-surgical management of the patient then requires particular and specific metabolic skills.
EHigh insulin levels in fasting and after meals characterize the insulin resistance syndrome that is associated with increased cardiovascular risk and
increased risk of developing diabetes in early age. Therapy is both lifestyle-related (diet and physical activity) and pharmacological. Insulin resistance is also implicated as a trigger factor in other endocrine pathologies typically female, such as menstrual disorders and irregularities and increased hairiness
Pathology linked to increased levels of uric acid in the blood. In its chronic form (hyperuricemia) it is a cardiovascular risk factor often associated with metabolic syndrome. In acute forms it is associated with pathologies of the joints related to the deposition of uric acid salts
The increased level of cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) and/or triglycerides(hypertriglyceridemia) is a risk factor for increased cardiovascular diseases.The cause may be related to environmental factors (incongruous diet andsedentariness) and/or genetic (increased hepatic production). The therapy
makes use of both natural substances and actual medicines, as well as a change in lifestyle and physical activity.
Association of cardio-vascular risk factors such as high levels of insulin, blood lipids, uric acid associated with diseases such as obesity, diabetes,
hypertension. Therefore, the treatment of the main diseases cannot ignore a careful monitoring and compensation of the metabolic syndrome itself.
Hypothyroidism:poor functioning of the thyroid gland. It occurs in a latent form (subclinical hypothyroidism) or overt with variable symptoms such as fatigue, easy fatigability, sense of slowing in the conception of thought, difficulty in concentration, weight gain, lazy intestine, hair loss
Hyperthyroidism: The excessive functioning of the thyroid gland (subclinical or overt) is associated with nervousness, irritability, fatigue and easy fatigability, tremor of the hands, irregular heartbeat, redness of the neck and trunk, increased blood pressure, weight loss. In some specific forms it is associated with protrusion of the eyeballs.
Thyroid nodules, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: often asymptomatic, constantly increasing, they need a correct diagnostic and therapeutic framework
The parathyroids are small glands present in variable numbers and usually located in the thyroid area, which regulate calcium metabolism. Bone is the
body’s calcium storehouse, so the mobilization of excessive calcium levels can lead to bone decalcification. An excessive secretion of Parathormone can induce hypercalcemia, and therefore osteoporosis and may depend on a deficit of Vitamin D, or a dysregulated and autonomous activity of the parathyroids (parathyroid adenoma).
Usually the evaluation involves a gynecologist and endocrinologist. They are often related to disorders of the functioning of the ovary (ovarian polycystosis), the adrenal (often associated with increased hairiness and strong water retention), pituitary and endocrine disorders (hyperprolactinemia, hypothyroidism)
Pathologies mainly of the adolescent sphere, but also found in adulthood. They can be related to genetic factors, but also to disorders of adrenal or
Very frequent pathology in the post-menopausal period, related to the declinein estrogen, cortisone therapy of long duration and reduced turnover of bone metabolism. It is necessary to have a correct diagnostic framework and the identification of a specific therapeutic course.
In recent years it has also been observed an increase in male osteoporosis related to vitamin D deficiency now widespread in the Italian population.
Thyroid and Prolactin are universally recognized as possible interfering factors in pregnancy and in the possibility of obtaining a pregnancy. When the patient is looking for a pregnancy and undertakes a course of medically assisted reproduction (ART), a fortiori the endocrine situation must be perfect, given
the cost in terms of physical, psychological and economic effort endured by the patient and given the natural alterations of many endocrine parameters during pregnancy or during hormonal stimulation to achieve pregnancy.
The glyco-metabolic structure, however, is usually considered accessory to pregnancy itself. In fact, even latent situations of insulin resistance can make
both the woman and the man looking for a pregnancy a little less fertile.
Establishing a correct lifestyle can already change the situation in a month and greatly favors the success of PMA.
These are the diseases related to the transformation of the substances introduced with the diet. Metabolism transforms food into energy, glucose and
amino acids. Alterations in metabolism lead to an altered accumulation of substances that can be oxidized and obstruct the arteries (lipids), they can be
oxidized and deposited in the joints and kidney (Uric Acid), they can fill the internal organs (hepatic statosis and visceral obesity)… Correct nutrition and
activity are the key. Because metabolism can also change, and so can our lives!.
The sphere that is most influenced by the endocrine system in general is thereproductive one. In fact, the pituitary gland has direct control over the ovary and the testicle, but also all the other endocrine glands and the adipose tissue itself contribute to regulate fertility, pregnancy, lactation and are also involved in menopause. A mind-body unicum permeable to external stimuli and strongly modifiable by them.