The endocrine system is the main orchestrator of our body’s glands function that regulates the nervous system, and our main body organs.
Endocrine glands include:
Pituitary Gland, Hypothalmus, Thymus, Pineal Gland, Testes, Ovaries Thyroid, Adrenal Glands, Parathyroid, and Pancreas.
The endocrine system is a complex group of glands that helps to control reproduction, metabolism, growth and development through substances called hormones. It also controls the way you respond to your surroundings and provides the proper amount of energy your body needs to function. Sometimes the glands of the endocrine system are slow and can create a hormone imbalance. This hormone imbalance can affect our health in many ways, and sometime in a serious way.
- Cardiovascular – Diabetes – Menopause – Osteoporosis – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – Reproductive Endocrinology – Thyroid and more
Hirsutism is a symptom, rather than a disease. Primarily, hirsutism is of cosmetic and psychological concern; however, it may indicate the presence of more serious associations, such as adrenal hyperplasia and ovarian tumors, particularly if it develops well after puberty.
In women, hirsutism exceeding culturally normal levels can be as distressing an emotional problem as the loss of scalp hair. Hirsutism usually develops gradually in patients with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and CAH (congenital adrenal hyperplasia). Hirsutism appears abruptly when an androgen-secreting tumor arises.
Ovarian causes of hirsutism
PCOS is a disorder that affects androgen levels. The most common cause of androgen excess and hirsutism is PCOS. Virilization is minimal, and hirsutism is often prominent. Characteristic features include menstrual irregularities, dysmenorrhea, occasional glucose intolerance and hyperinsulinemia, and, often, obesity.
Drugs that can induce hirsutism by their inherent androgenic effects include dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), testosterone, danazol, and anabolic steroids. Some oral contraceptives.
Drugs such as: phenytoin, minoxidil, diazoxide, cyclosporine, streptomycin, psoralen, penicillamine, high-dose corticosteroids, metyrapone, phenothiazines, acetazolamide, and hexachlorobenzene presumably exert their effects independently of androgens.
Adrenal causes of hirsutism
Signs of virilization and menstrual irregularities may not be observed until puberty or adulthood. Patients have clinical features that resemble PCOS.
Cushing syndrome is a noncongenital form of adrenal hyperplasia characterized by an excess of adrenal cortisol production. The excessive hair growth is predominantly vellus (non–androgen dependent) light hair.
Less common but potentially serious disorders that may be associated with hirsutism include anorexia nervosa, acromegaly, hypothyroidism, hyperprolactinemia, and porphyria.
Idiopathic hirsutism; Such individual have normal menses, Eventually, idiopathic hirsutism probably may be recognized as a more subtle form of hypersecretion of hormones from the ovary or, possibly, the adrenal gland. A 2009 study found significant insulin resistance in nonobese patients with idiopathic hirsutism.
Excerpt from: http://www.hormone.org/endocrine_system_diseases.cfm
Editor: Annaswamy Raji, MD, M.M.Sc, March 2008
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