Humans have more than 50 different hormones in their bodies, and even those that exist in small amounts significantly influence the body’s development and function.
Among many different functions, hormones play a significant role in regulating metabolism, reproduction, growth, respiration, movement, and sensory perception. A hormonal imbalance is the underlying cause for a variety of medical conditions and can cause a wide range of issues.
That’s where a hormone specialist comes in. These medical professionals focus on both hormones and the glands that produce them to diagnose and treat associated diseases and conditions. The main goal of a hormone specialist is to restore balance between the body’s system of hormones and help patients enjoy healthier, more balanced lives.
Overview of the Endocrine System
To understand the benefits a hormone specialist can offer, let’s take a quick look at the function of the endocrine system and what can potentially go wrong.
The endocrine system is made up of several glands that release hormones and control different functions in the body. Hormones leave the glands, enter the bloodstream, and make their way to different tissues and organs throughout the body. Problems can arise if the glands secrete either too much or not enough hormones.
Located at the top of the kidneys, the adrenal glands release the following hormones:
- Androgens— male sex hormones (including testosterone) that control characteristics like a deeper voice and facial hair.
- Aldosterone— the hormone that affects kidney function
- The hormones associated with the immune system, inflammation, and response to stress
- Catecholamines— like epinephrine and norepinephrine
Hypersecretion (too much) in the adrenal gland can cause increased blood pressure, sweating, nervousness, Cushing’s disease, and more. Hyposecretion (not enough) can lead to anemia, weight loss, decreased energy, Addison’s disease, and multiple other problems.
Ovaries and Testicles
Ovaries are on both sides of the female uterus and and are involved with menstruation, fertility, and sexual development. The hormones they release are estrogen and progesterone.
The testicles are in the male scrotum and secrete androgens, like testosterone, that control puberty, facial hair, libido, erectile function, the development of sperm cells, and more.
The hypothalamus is located just above the brainstem. It controls and activates a variety of functions including heart rate, appetite, sleep, breathing, body temperature, and more.
It also links the endocrine system to the nervous system through the attached pituitary gland.
The pituitary glad is attached to the hypothalamus and secretes hormones that regulate how the other glands function. It can affect growth, sexual development, and thyroid function.
A pituitary gland that doesn’t function properly can lead to stunted growth and impact the function of other endocrine glands. An overactive pituitary gland can also lead to excessive growth.
The pancreas is located in the abdomen and functions as both an endocrine gland and digestive organ. It releases the following hormones:
- Insulin—crucial for the body’s metabolism
- Glucagon—raises blood glucose levels when they’re too low
- Somatostatin—regulates endocrine and nervous system function
If there are issues with the function of the pancreas, common problems include digestive problems and diabetes.
This gland is located deep within the brain and secretes melatonin. It affects sleep patterns and reproduction.
These small glands in the neck are responsible for producing the hormone that regulates phosphate and calcium in the blood. This impacts the healthy operation of muscles and nerves.
Under secretion can cause stones in the urinary system and/or brittle bones. Over secretion can result in muscle contractions.
Located in the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. The Thyroid produces hormones involved with the regulation of blood pressure, heart rate, metabolism, and body temperature.
Hyperthyroidism can cause a variety of issues. Weight loss, irregular heart beat, accelerated metabolism, sweating, and more. Hypothyroidism can cause weight gain, depression, fatigue, stunted growth, and abnormal bone development.
Located beneath the sternum, the Thymus gland is where immune cells mature and multiply. It also plays a significant role in the function of the immune system—which helps the body fight disease and infection.
Over secretion can lead to an overactive immune system and potential autoimmune disease. Under secretion can cause a weakened immune system and makes the body more susceptible to viruses and bacteria because it is unable to fight infection.
A hormonal imbalance can also be caused by genetic or environmental factors—like being born with an imbalance, or being exposed to chemicals like pesticides or lead. Typically with any of the mentioned medical conditions, a gland doesn’t produce enough or produces too much of a hormone. Both malignant and benign tumors can also develop on endocrine glands.
How Hormonal Imbalance Treatment Can Help
Our hormone specialist in Logan, UT is trained to diagnose and treat diseases or disorders that impact the endocrine glands and their related hormones. Hormone specialists can treat a variety of conditions like diabetes, infertility, menopause, osteoporosis, thyroid diseases, metabolic disorders, and even some cancers.
Hormone specialists start by learning a patient’s family history, medical conditions, dietary habits, medications, and existing symptoms. Blood and urine samples may be taken to monitor hormone levels in the body. Other additional tests may also be completed in order to give a proper diagnosis.
From there, your hormone specialist will develop a specialized treatment plan for the individual’s specific condition.
Hormone Specialist in Logan, Utah