Exploring the Mystery of Endocrine Disorders
Disorders involving the endocrine system can result in a number of other diseases and physical conditions. One such problem is endocrine bone disease such as Osteitis Fibrosa Cystica.
This is a condition where a person’s calcified bone is reabsorbed and then replaced by fibrous tissues. Underlying conditions such as hyperparathyroidism are often the catalyst for this type of bone disease. This type of endocrine problem might also be referred to as Von Recklinghausen’s disease.
Von Recklinghausen’s disease of bone results when a person suffers from the condition of hyperparathyroidism and is additionally found to have elevated levels of serum calcium, decreased phosphorus levels, and elevated levels of alkaline phosphatase.
This is a serious health issue that is generally the result of an adenoma being present in the parathyroid glands. Hyperparathyroidism can also occur in instances of renal failure.
The bones will lose calcium, become thin and brittle and multiple cystic areas (osteitis fibrosa cystica) will be present.
The cystic areas are the result of calcium loss in the bones. The leached calcium salts are excreted through the kidneys and urinary system. This type of condition will often lead to fatigue, weakness, kidney stones and pathological bone fractures.
Radiology scans will clearly show the many cystic areas that are located within the long bones of the body. There may even be some cortical erosion noted in the phalanges and within the area of the skull you can find more of the cysts as well as granular mottling.
The amount of urine being excreted by the affected individual will sharply increase as the body attempts to rid itself of the excess minerals and salts. The blood serum is also noted to have increased levels of calcium and decreased levels of phosphates.
Treatment of choice is for the tumor to be surgically removed.
More about Endocrine Disorders
Cushing’s syndrome is an endocrine disorder that results from excessive amounts of glucocorticosteroids being produced in the body. Although an underlying disorder of the endocrine system is the most common cause of this health problem there is another trigger that may be responsible.
Long term use of steroids can also result in Cushing’s syndrome. Patients who are using steroid medication as part of a post-transplant regimen or those individuals who are taking steroids for chronic ailments such as RA (rheumatoid arthritis) and asthma are also at a higher risk for developing this syndrome.
There are certain physical characteristics that help a physician zero in on this diagnosis. For instance the patient may exhibit obesity and display a flushed, plump face. Rarefaction of the bones and pathological fractures are frequently noted. Females may also complain of physical concerns such as excessive body and facial hair. These women may also be suffering from an abnormal cessation of their normal menstrual cycles.
A vascular Changes in Body Joints
Knees, hips and other major joints will often be affected by avascular changes. Although these circulatory problems can often be helped by a simple lowering of the amount of steroids being prescribed many patients will still require surgery to replace the damaged joints.
An excessive amount of adrenocortical hormones is frequently the trigger for primary Cushing’s syndrome. This condition can also result from adrenal gland tumors. In some instances adrenal gland hyperplasia is the causative factor and some patients develop Cushing’s disease as a secondary effect related to a pituitary basophil adenoma. These latter two conditions are generally treated with total ablation of the adrenal glands.
Cretinism or Congenital Hypothyroidism
A deficiency in the level of certain thyroid hormones can result in both mental retardation and dwarfism. The possibility of a patient having this endocrine disorder is an avenue that should be explored immediately so that early diagnosis and treatment can be accomplished.
Clinical symptoms include retarded mental and physical development; a dull facial expression, excessive fatty tissues and significantly altered eyebrows. Patients who suffer from congenital hypothyroidism only have the inner aspect of their eyebrows present. The middle arch and outer eyebrow is missing.
A simple test will show that there is a lack of thyroid hormone present. This is all that is required to make a clinical diagnosis, but the supporting symptoms listed above are certainly factors to take into consideration. Treatment with thyroxine will create a dramatic improvement for these patients.
This endocrine disorder is due to the lack of anterior pituitary hormones. The failure to secrete these important chemical compounds can result in obesity, or dwarfism accompanied by a delay in mental and sexual development. In either instance there may be additional orthopedic problems related to slippage of the femoral epiphysis.
This medical condition results from the production of excess growth hormones. The usual cause is an acidophilic adenoma. Extremely large amounts of growth hormones are able to trigger ‘gigantism’ in a person with epiphyses that have not fused together. In cases of gigantism the patient could suffer impairment and delays regarding their sexual and mental development.
Another disorder of the endocrine system is known as acromegaly. This type of condition is the result of too many growth hormones being secreted once fusion of the epiphyses has taken place.
In these situations the individual will display thick, coarse skin and complain of generalized fatigue and weakness.
The skull, hands, feet, facial bones and mandible may be grossly enlarged in relation to other areas of the body. Once radiological scans are completed the X-rays are used to positively diagnose the problems with any enlarged bones. An actively growing adenoma could even result in an expansion of the sella turrica area in the skull.