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 Problems With the Endocrine System

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Samiha
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عدد المساهمات : 159
تاريخ التسجيل : 2010-01-23
العمر : 33
الموقع : http://english4all.forumarabia.com/

PostSubject: Problems With the Endocrine System   Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:39 am

Problems With the Endocrine System


Too much or too little of any hormone can be harmful to the body. For example, if the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone, a child may grow excessively tall. If it produces too little, a child may be abnormally short.
Controlling the production of or replacing specific hormones can treat many endocrine disorders in children and adolescents, some of which include:

Adrenal insufficiency. This condition is characterized by decreased function of the adrenal cortex and the consequent underproduction of adrenal corticosteroid hormones. The symptoms of adrenal insufficiency may include weakness, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, dehydration, and skin changes. Doctors treat adrenal insufficiency by giving replacement corticosteroid hormones.

Cushing syndrome. Excessive amounts of glucocorticoid hormones in the body can lead to Cushing syndrome. In children, it most often results when a child takes large doses of synthetic corticosteroid drugs (such as prednisone) to treat autoimmune diseases such as lupus. If the condition is due to a tumor in the pituitary gland that produces excessive amounts of corticotropin and stimulates the adrenals to overproduce corticosteroids, it's known as Cushing disease. Symptoms may take years to develop and include obesity, growth failure, muscle weakness, easy bruising of the skin, acne, high blood pressure, and psychological changes. Depending on the specific cause, doctors may treat this condition with surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or drugs that block the production of hormones.

Type 1 diabetes. When the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin, type 1 diabetes (previously known as juvenile diabetes) occurs. Symptoms include excessive thirst, hunger, urination, and weight loss. In children and teens, the condition is usually an autoimmune disorder in which specific immune system cells and antibodies produced by the immune system attack and destroy the cells of the pancreas that produce insulin. The disease can cause long-term complications including kidney problems, nerve damage, blindness, and early coronary heart disease and stroke. To control their blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing diabetes complications, kids with this condition need regular injections of insulin.

Type 2 diabetes. Unlike type 1 diabetes, in which the body can't produce normal amounts of insulin, in type 2 diabetes the body is unable to respond to insulin normally. Children and teens with the condition tend to be overweight, and it is believed that excess body fat plays a role in the insulin resistance that characterizes the disease. In fact, the rising prevalence of this type of diabetes in kids has paralleled the dramatically increasing rates of obesity among kids in recent years. The symptoms and possible complications of type 2 diabetes are basically the same as those of type 1. Some kids and teens can control their blood sugar level with dietary changes, exercise, and oral medications, but many will need to take insulin injections like patients with type 1 diabetes.

Growth hormone problems. Too much growth hormone in children who are still growing will make their bones and other body parts grow excessively, resulting in gigantism. This rare condition is usually caused by a pituitary tumor and can be treated by removing the tumor. In contrast, when the pituitary gland fails to produce adequate amounts of growth hormone, a child's growth in height is impaired. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) may also occur in kids with growth hormone deficiency, particularly in infants and young children with the condition.

Hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the levels of thyroid hormones in the blood are excessively high. Symptoms may include weight loss, nervousness, tremors, excessive sweating, increased heart rate and blood pressure, protruding eyes, and a swelling in the neck from an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter). In kids the condition is usually caused by Graves' disease, an autoimmune disorder in which specific antibodies produced by the immune system stimulate the thyroid gland to become overactive. The disease may be controlled with medications or by removal or destruction of the thyroid gland through surgery or radiation treatments.

Hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the levels of thyroid hormones in the blood are abnormally low. Thyroid hormone deficiency slows body processes and may lead to fatigue, a slow heart rate, dry skin, weight gain, constipation, and, in kids, slowing of growth and delayed puberty. Hashimoto's thyroiditis, which results from an autoimmune process that damages the thyroid and blocks thyroid hormone production, is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in kids. Infants can also be born with an absent or underdeveloped thyroid gland, resulting in hypothyroidism. It can be treated with oral thyroid hormone replacement.

Precocious puberty. Body changes associated with puberty may occur at an abnormally young age in some kids if the pituitary hormones that stimulate the gonads to produce sex hormones rise prematurely. An injectable medication is available that can suppress the secretion of these pituitary hormones (known as gonadotropins) and arrest the progression of sexual development in most of these children.


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