The endocrine system is a network of chemical messenger and glands that directly release specific hormones into the circulatory system and affect the functions of many organs. These hormones as molecular signals are secreted and circulate throughout the body; they could control or regulate many significant functions of the distant organs, such as metabolism, growth and development, sexual function, and reproduction. Specific organs secreting hormones into the surrounding interstitial spaces are termed as endocrine glands.
Endocrine disorders or endocrine disease involve an abnormality of the body’s endocrine glands, overproduction (hyperfunction), or underproduction (hypofunction) of certain hormones. Endocrine disorders lead to throwing off the delicate balance of hormones and cause wide-ranging effects on the body. Both hormone imbalance and the development of lesions (such as nodules or tumors) result in different endocrine diseases. Endocrine disorders include hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, adrenal hyperplasia, diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s syndrome, insulin resistance, among others.
Fig.1 The endocrine system.
Metabolism is the complicated group of chemical reactions that are always used to convert or use energy in order to maintain life, including energy production. Nutrition substances such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, are carried to specific tissues and organs to use as fuel immediately or stores for later use.
Metabolic disorders are usually defined as inborn errors of metabolism that occurs when the metabolism process or certain organs stop and fail of their functions properly. These metabolic disorder problems may be a result of genetic defects as inherited metabolic disorders. Metabolic disorders can take various forms, such as the deficiency of a specific hormone or enzyme, abnormal chemical reactions that hinder metabolic, and endocrine glands diseases. Several different genetic metabolic disorders interfere with the body's metabolism, such as hyperlipidemia, osteoporosis, cystic fibrosis, phenylketonuria (PKU), and diabetes mellitus is the most prominent metabolic disorder.
Endocrine and metabolic diseases are among the most common human diseases. Due to the complex and interconnected nature of the endocrine system, metabolic diseases that affect the endocrine system and disrupt normal metabolism span a wide range of conditions with distinct clinical presentations. Diabetes is the most common endocrine and metabolic disease, which arises when the pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin or when the body cannot respond to insulin. A lack of insulin can cause nerve and kidney damage, even the increased risk of heart and vascular disease. Other diseases include Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism, Addison's disease, Cushing's syndrome, Gout, Maple syrup urine disease, and Phenylketonuria (PKU). These diseases have widespread symptoms and affect different organs and tissues of the body, which can range in severity from mild to very severe. Treatments of these diseases always depend on the specific disorder and have improved for many of these diseases. The complex genetic and environmental factors and the role of signal pathways that underlies their progression may provide avenues to prevention and new therapies.
For research use only. Not intended for any clinical use.