Endocrine, Nutritional, & Metabolic Disorders include diseases that affect endocrine glands (thyroid, parathyroid, pituitary, adrenals, thymus, islets of pancreas, ovaries and testicles), nutritional deficiencies such as malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies, and metabolism disorders such related lipid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, amino acid metabolism, plasma protein metabolism and other metabolic disorders.
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Endocrine glands release specific hormones in the blood stream which help in coordinating and controlling several physiological processes in the body. An imbalance (increase, decrease or absence) in the release of these hormones results in an endocrine disorder or diseases such as diabetes, obesity, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis and hormone malfunction. The diseases related to endocrine disorders can be categorized as diseases of thyroid gland and diseases other endocrine glands. Thyroid gland disorders include goiter (simple goiter, non-toxic nodular goiter, toxic nodular goiter and thyrotoxicosis), cretinism, myxedema, and thyroiditis. Other endocrine gland disorder includes, diabetes mellitus, hypoglycemic coma, disorders of pituitary gland (acromegaly, gigantism and diabetes insipidus), disorders of thymus gland (persistent hyperplasia of thymus gland and abscess of thymus), and disorders of adrenal glands (Conn’s syndrome, Addison’s disease, phaecochromocytoma. Ovarian dysfunction is also due to endocrine disorders and includes, hyperestrogenism, polycystic ovaries, and Stein-Leventhal syndrome while the testicular dysfunction include Goldberg-Maxwell syndrome and testicular feminization. Treatment approached for the endocrine disorders are highly specific to the disease or disorder.
For instance, surgical removal of enlarged gland in case of hyperparathyroidism (HPT), hormonal replacement treatment for hypothyroidism (thyroxine), hypoadrenalism (hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone), hypopituitarism (vasopressin analogues such as desmopressin), hypoparathyroidism (treatment with calcium and either vitamin D or dihydrotachysterol).
Nutritional disorders cause illness in humans and include deficiencies or excesses in the diet, eating disorders, obesity and other several chronic diseases related to cardiovascular system. These disorders also include preventable abnormalities and metabolic disorders. The nutritional deficiency disorders include disorders due to: vitamin A deficiency (night blindness, xerophthalmia, and keratomalacia), thiamine deficiency (endemic neuritis and beriberi), vitamin B deficiency (ariboflavinosis and pellagra), ascorbic acid deficiency (Barlow’s disease, infantile scurvy), vitamin D deficiency (rickets and osteomalacia) and vitamin E deficiency disorders.
Other nutritional disorders include disorders due to deficiency of vitamin K and other unspecified vitamin deficiency. Nutritional disorders are treated on case basis depending on the type of disorder but treatments options often include use of drugs such as antibiotics and steroids, and surgical interventions if required.
Metabolism is a process through which process body breakdown food parts into sugars and acids. During metabolic disorder, this process is disrupted and leads to excess of scarcity of essential substances which help individual to stay healthy. These disorders are either inherited or are acquired during the lifetime of a person. Phenylketonuria is an example of inherited metabolic disorder in which the body is unable to breakdown amino acid phenylalanine. Other prominent metabolic disorders include type 1 diabetes, Gaucher’s disease, maple syrup urine disease, cystinosis, Fabry disease, Hartnup disease, Hunter syndrome, Hurler syndrome, von Gierke disease and hereditary hemochromatosis. Metabolic disorders are treated by normalizing the metabolic balance by reversing the cause of disorder and administering medication for continuing the proper metabolic function.
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Multimodal treatment is generally adopted for treating metabolic disorders which might include mineral supplementation, vitamin supplementation, bone marrow supplementation, physical therapy, specific surgical interventions and medications for reducing the symptoms of metabolic disorders.
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