Hormonal diseases are quite complex in their symptoms as they directly influence some or other body functions or physiology. A human body has many endocrine glands which regulate different set of functions. Hence these hormonal diseases are quite many depending on the endocrine gland function disturbance.
Both tendencies of the glands i.e. rise in hormone levels or hormones deficiency are troublesome. And the hormonal imbalance is caused in women, children and old age people especially.
There can be symptoms like hair loss, hot flushes, sweating, lethargy, pimples, obesity,metabolic disorders etc. So always a balanced levels of hormone production and supply is essential for healthy life. See the article for list of hormones in human body.
What causes hormonal imbalance: Hormonal imbalance can be due to mental stress, genetic or birth defects, natural aging process like after start of menopause in women etc.
List of diseases caused by hormonal imbalance in Humans:
Hormonal diseases in humans are based on the disturbance in the type of hormones and the gland secreting them.
Abnormalities of Growth Hormone: Growth hormone regulates body growth and is necessary for proper height and body build. This hormone if secreted in low or excess quantity can cause troubles. They are
Decrease in secretion related
1) Dwarfism. This is due to deficiency in secretion of growth hormone during childhood. The individual will have a slow rate of growth. The person of 20 years age may look like a guy of 10 years.So the person is dwarf (short) in stature.
Increase in secretion related
2. a) Gigantism. In this disorders, there is excessive secretion of growth hormone. The body grows at faster rate than normal. All body tissues including the bones grow rapidly. If the condition occurs before the period of end of height growth i.e 18 years, or adolescence height increases so that the person becomes a giant of 8 feet tall.
2. b) Acromegaly. This occurs if growth hormone secretion is excess even after adolscen i.e after 18 years of age.The person cannot grow taller, but his body grows width wise because the bones become thick and the soft tissues keep growing. This condition, is termed as acromegaly. The person may need dress, shoe of larger size than of normal size, like size 14 or larger shoes, and the fingers become extremely thickened so that the hands are almost twice normal size.
Thyroid gland secretes thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Disturbance in thyroid can be seen as either hyper (excess) or hypo (lower) thyroidism condition.
Hyperthyroidism is excess secreation of thyroid hormone. This leads to symptoms like
- excess level of mental and physical excitation,
- intolerance to heat
- weight loss, diarrhea
- muscle weakness
- nervousness, inability to sleep, tremors etc.
This excess secretion of thyroid hormones is mostly due to Thyroid Adenoma i.e. a tumor of thyroid gland.
Hypothyroidism. This is the reverse of above condition. There is decreased secretion (deficiency in secretion) of thyroid hormone. This is characterized by symptoms like
- mental sluggishness, sleeping much i.e more than 12 hours in a day,
- fatigue, muscular sluggishness, constipation and rise in body weight,
- low heart rate and cardiac output, decreased blood volume,
- depressed growth of hair and scaliness of the skin.
Other types of hypothyroidism are
- Myxedema is a type of hypothyroidism where in there is swelling all over the body.
- Cretinism is severe form of hypothyroidism during fetal life or childhood. This leads failure of body growth and by mental retardation. This happens due
- Congenital lack of a thyroid gland (congenital cretinism) or
- Failure of the gland to produce the hormone due to genetic defect of the gland or
- Lack of iodine in the diet (endemic cretinism).
Abnormalities of Adrenal hormone secretion.
Adrenal gland secretes adrenalin hormone from its central core called as medulla. While from its periphery portion (cortex) it secretes Glucocorticoids & Mineralocorticoids.
Their deficiency can lead to
- Mineralocorticoid Deficiency. Deficiency in aldosterone secretion leading to decreased sodium re-absorption and consequently heavy water loss in urine. This results in decreased extracellular fluid volume. Furthermore, hyponatremia, hyperkalemia, and mild acidosis develop because of failure of potassium and hydrogen ions to be secreted in exchange for sodium re-absorption.
- Glucocorticoid Deficiency. Loss of cortisol secretion makes it impossible for a person with Addison’s disease to maintain normal blood glucose concentration between meals because he or she cannot synthesize significant quantities of glucose by gluconeogenesis. Furthermore, lack of cortisol reduces the mobilization of both proteins and fats from the tissues, thereby depressing many other metabolic functions of the body. This sluggishness of energy mobilization when cortisol is not available is one of the major detrimental effects of glucocorticoid lack. Even when excess quantities of glucose and other nutrients are available, the person’s muscles are weak, indicating that glucocorticoids are needed to maintain other metabolic functions of the tissues in addition to energy metabolism.
Abnormalities of Adrenocortical Secretion is seen in two types of gland disorders like
♣ Addison’s disease: This is a condition of decreased secretion from adrenal cortex due atrophy (degradation of tissue) of the cortices. In most cases this atrophy is caused by
- Autoimmunity i.e. self destruction of cortices by bodies own immune system.
- By tuberculosis or invasion by cancer.
The consequences in this Addison’s disease are mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid deficiency as listed above.
♣ Cushing’s Syndrome: This is reverse of above condition i.e there is excess secretion (hypersecretion) of the adrenal cortex.
This happens when there is
- Adenomas of the anterior pituitary that secrete large amounts of ACTH, which then causes adrenal hyperplasia and excess cortisol secretion;
- Abnormal function of the hypothalamus that causes high levels of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which stimulates excess ACTH release; (3)
- Ectopic secretion” of ACTH by a tumor elsewhere in the body, such as an abdominal carcinoma; and
- Adenomas of the adrenal cortex.
Disorders of parathyroid hormone.
When the parathyroid glands do not secrete sufficient PTH, the osteocytic reabsorption of exchangeable calcium decreases and the osteoclasts become almost totally inactive. As a result, calcium reabsorption from the bones is so depressed that the level of calcium in the body fluids decreases. Yet, because calcium and phosphates are not being absorbed from the bone, the bone usually remains strong.