More than 29 million people in the United States have Diabetes type 1 or type 2, but the Centers for Disease Control says one in four is completely unaware of their condition. Diabetes is just one of many conditions diagnosed and treated at the Endocrinology Center at Grace Health System®. Our staff will also help you control and manage your condition by developing a comprehensive treatment plan that combines a dietary regimen, lifestyle changes and medication.
The Adrenal glands are located on the kidneys and produce several hormones including cortisol and adrenaline. Two disorders that affect these glands are Addison’s disease and Cushing’s syndrome. The adrenal glands of those dealing with Addison’s disease don’t produce enough cortisol, which is used to regulate the way your body processes and uses the food you eat including protein, carbohydrates and fat. The adrenal glands also help to control your blood pressure and cardiovascular function. Cushing’s syndrome has the opposite effect of Addison’s disease; the body manufactures too much cortisol over an extended period of time. While the human body can produce too much cortisol naturally, the Mayo Clinic says steroid use is a top cause of Cushing’s syndrome.
The thyroid is located in your neck and controls your body’s metabolism. Thyroid disorders are common, and some can be treated easily if caught early. When an overactive thyroid produces too much hormone, we see a condition called hyperthyroidism. Graves’ disease is caused by an overactive thyroid gland. Some common symptoms of Graves’ disease include dramatic weight loss, sweating, trembling and a rapid heart rate. Once diagnosed, Graves’ disease can be easily treated with no lasting negative health effects.
An underactive thyroid, one that produces too little hormone, creates a condition called hypothyroidism. People with this disorder may experience excessive weight gain, fatigue or sluggishness, and low toleration for cold. Children with hypothyroidism can experience delayed growth and slowing of intellectual development. Simple blood tests are used to diagnose both hyper and hypothyroidism disorders.
Your doctor may discover lumps in your neck during the annual physical examination. These lumps could be thyroid nodules which are a common occurrence as we age. Most thyroid nodules are harmless but it’s always good to have them examined using imaging studies like a sonogram or ultrasound which can conveniently be done at the Grace Health System® Imaging Center.
Thyroiditis is another condition that causes inflammation of the thyroid. Causes of thyroiditis can be more challenging to diagnose because the symptoms can be similar for other disorders. The Endocrinology Center team will work with you to discover and pinpoint the cause, and select the proper treatment plan for you.
Osteoporosis is often associated with aging but it can occur at other times in life. Both men and women lose bone density as we age, but can also be caused by many disorders of the endocrine system in people of all ages.
The pituitary gland is located in the brain and produces eight key hormones, which control proper function of other glands, affects tissue growth, puberty and reproduction, and controls hydration and blood pressure. The pituitary also produces hormones that help the body cope with childbirth and help new moms produce milk for newborn infants.
While many people supplement with human growth hormones to bulk up, a similar effect is caused when the pituitary gland produces too much of it causing what is called Acromegaly. Although rare, this condition usually starts in middle age and causes the bones, including those in the hands, feet and face to grow in size. Children with this disorder experience a condition called gigantism, accompanied by an abnormal increase in height and other adverse symptoms.
Prolactinoma causes formation of a benign tumor from overproduction of the hormone prolactin, which can lead to infertility in both men and women. Prolactinoma can be diagnosed with a simple blood test and is most commonly treated with lifestyle changes such as stress reduction, exercise and prescription drugs.
Craniopharyngioma is another kind of tumor of the pituitary that affects children. While in most cases it’s benign, many children experience no signs. Craniopharyngioma is generally not diagnosed until the child complains of symptoms including severe headaches, nausea, weight gain, growth delays, sleepiness or fatigue and the occurrence of mood or behavior changes.
A condition called hypopituitarism occurs when your pituitary gland isn’t producing enough of one or more hormones it normally produces. While hypopituitarism is also rare, it’s most commonly seen in people who have experienced traumatic brain injury or TBI. The Endocrinology Center at Grace Health System® can diagnose hypopituitarism with a simple blood test, combined with a CT scan or MRI.
We’ve all heard jokes about teens or menopausal women with “raging hormones,” but it’s no laughing matter if you’re experiencing them. Two of the more common hormonal disorders that affect the reproductive system are hirsutism and hypogonadism.
Hirsutism causes excessive hairiness on the face, chest arms and back of women which is most commonly caused by a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Endocrinology Center providers work closely with their colleagues in the Women’s Health Center to help diagnose and treat the condition for their patients.
Hypogonadism occurs when the ovaries and testes under produce the hormones estrogen in women and testosterone in men. Hypogonadism can be caused by a number of factors, including an infection, genetic disorder, autoimmune disease and trauma. This condition is diagnosed and treated at the Endocrinology Center through a series of simple blood tests to evaluate hormone levels and check for anemia and low levels of iron.
The Endocrinology Center at Grace Health System® is committed to customized diagnosis of endocrine system disorders and to developing an individualized treatment designed just for you. Be sure to talk with your primary care provider if you have questions or concerns about endocrine system issues or diabetes. You may require a referral to the Endocrinology Center.