Hormonal diseases are pretty complex in their symptoms as they directly influence different body functions and organs.
The human body has many endocrine glands that regulate different functions.
Hence there are many hormonal diseases based on the respective endocrine gland affected.
Before you proceed, see the list of hormones in the human body.
Every endocrine gland can experience a rise in its hormone secretion (hypersecretion) or a decrease in its secretion (hyposecretion).
Both of these tendencies of glands are troublesome and only a fine balance of their secretion ensures health.
The hormonal imbalance is especially problematic in women, children, and old age people.
The most common symptoms are hair loss, hot flushes, sweating, lethargy, pimples, obesity, metabolic disorders, etc.
List of diseases caused by hormonal imbalance
Hormonal diseases in humans are based on the disturbance in the specific hormones and the gland secreting them.
Abnormalities of Growth Hormone
Growth hormone regulates body growth and is necessary for proper height and body growth.
The pituitary gland’s abnormal secretion of these hormones can cause the following diseases.
Disorders due to Hypersecretion of growth hormone.
The prolonged secretion of growth hormones can cause problems for the body. This occurs due to tumor of a pituitary tumor leading to excess secretion. This hypersecretion leads to conditions like
In these disorders, there is excessive secretion of growth hormones. The body grows at a faster rate than normal. All body tissues, including the bones, grow rapidly. If the condition occurs before the end of the regular height growth period, i.e., 18 years, or adolescence, height increases so that the person becomes a giant of 8 feet tall.
This occurs if growth hormone secretion is excess even after adolescence, i.e., after 18 years.
The person cannot grow taller, but his body grows in width as the bones get thicker and the soft tissues keep growing.
This condition is termed acromegaly. The person may need a dress, a shoe of larger size than of normal size, like size 14 or larger shoes, and the fingers become extremely thickened so that the hands are almost twice normal size.
Disorders of hyposecretion of GH
This occurs due to a severe deficiency of GH secretion in the child.
Here, due to a deficiency in GH secretion during childhood, the individual will be of short stature.
But the body is well proportioned, and mental development is normal.
The individual will have a slow rate of growth, and puberty may be delayed.
Diseases related to the Thyroid Hormones
The thyroid gland secretes thyroid hormones like T3 and T4.
Disturbance in the thyroid can be seen as either hyper (excess) or hypo (lower) thyroid condition.
These thyroid-related problems are most common in women than in men.
Hyperthyroidism or Thyrotoxicosis
It is caused by excess secretion of thyroid hormones T3 and T4. This leads to symptoms like
- the excess level of mental and physical excitation,
- intolerance to heat
- weight loss, diarrhea
- muscle weakness
- nervousness, inability to sleep, tremors, etc.
This excess secretion of thyroid hormones is mostly due to
- Thyroid Adenoma i.e. a tumor of the thyroid gland.
- Grave’s disease
- Nodular goiter
It is an autoimmune disorder in which the body produces antibodies that stimulate the thyroid gland’s growth and the excess secretion of thyroid hormones.
Since there is excess stimulation of the thyroid gland, it leads to conditions like
Toxic nodular Goiter
Here one or both the nodules of the thyroid gland affected by goiter secretes excess levels of T3 and T4 hormones leading the hyperthyroidism.
It occurs after middle age and is more common in women than in men. It can lead to cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure.
In this condition, there is a protrusion of the eyeballs due to excess fat deposition in the eye sockets.
This is the reverse of the above condition with a decreased or a deficiency in thyroid hormone secretion. This is characterized by symptoms like
- mental sluggishness, sleeping much i.e more than 12 hours in a day,
- fatigue, muscular sluggishness, constipation, and rise in body weight,
- low heart rate and cardiac output decreased blood volume,
- depressed growth of hair and scaliness of the skin.
There are 3 types of hypothyroidism like
- Congenital hypothyroidism
- Autoimmune thyroiditis
It is a condition with swelling all over the body. There could be an accumulation of polysaccharides below the skin, especially in the face.
It occurs due to iodine deficiency, anti-thyroid drugs, ionizing radiation, surgical removal of the thyroid gland, or autoimmune thyroiditis.
Congenital hypothyroidism or Cretinism
It is a severe form of hypothyroidism during fetal life or childhood. This leads to failure of body growth and mental retardation. This happens due to either.
- Congenital lack of a thyroid gland (congenital cretinism)
- Failure of the gland to produce the hormone due to a genetic defect of the gland
- Lack of iodine in the diet (endemic cretinism)
As the name says, it is the destruction of the thyroid gland by the body’s immune system.
It is also called Hashimoto’s disease, wherein the autoantibodies attack the thyroid gland and prevent the synthesis of thyroid hormones.
Abnormalities of Adrenal hormone secretion.
The adrenal gland secretes adrenalin hormone from its central core called the medulla. While from its periphery portion (cortex), it secretes Glucocorticoids and Mineralocorticoids.
Their deficiency can lead to
Deficiency in aldosterone secretion leads to decreased sodium reabsorption and consequently heavy water loss in urine.
This results in decreased extracellular fluid volume.
Furthermore, hyponatremia, hyperkalemia, and mild acidosis develop because of the failure of potassium and hydrogen ions to be secreted in exchange for sodium reabsorption.
Loss of cortisol secretion makes it impossible for a person with Addison’s disease to maintain normal blood glucose concentration between meals because he or she cannot synthesize significant quantities of glucose by gluconeogenesis.
Furthermore, a lack of cortisol reduces the mobilization of both proteins and fats from the tissues, thereby depressing many other metabolic functions of the body.
This sluggishness of energy mobilization when cortisol is not available is one of the major detrimental effects of glucocorticoid lack.
Even when excessive quantities of glucose and other nutrients are available, the person’s muscles are weak, indicating that glucocorticoids are needed to maintain other metabolic functions of the tissues in addition to energy metabolism.
Abnormalities of Adrenocortical Secretion are seen in two types of gland disorders like
This is a condition of decreased secretion from the adrenal cortex due to atrophy (degradation of tissue) of the cortices. In most cases, this atrophy is caused by
- Autoimmunity i.e. self-destruction of cortices by the body’s own immune system.
- By tuberculosis or invasion by cancer.
The consequences of this Addison’s disease are mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid deficiency, as listed before.
This is the reverse of the above condition, i.e., excess secretion (hypersecretion) of the adrenal cortex.
This happens when there is
- Adenomas of the anterior pituitary secrete large amounts of ACTH, which then causes adrenal hyperplasia and excess cortisol secretion
- Abnormal function of the hypothalamus that causes high levels of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which stimulates excess ACTH release; (3)
- Ectopic secretion” of ACTH by a tumor elsewhere in the body, such as an abdominal carcinoma; and
- Adenomas of the adrenal cortex.
Disorders of parathyroid hormone.
Excess secretion of parathormone occurs due to a tumor of the parathyroid gland. It can lead to the release of calcium from bones and excess levels of calcium in the blood. The symptoms include
- General weakness
- Chances of renal stones
- Polyuria and polydipsia.
- When the parathyroid glands do not secrete sufficient PTH, the osteocytic reabsorption of exchangeable calcium decreases and the osteoclasts become almost totally inactive.
- As a result, calcium reabsorption from the bones is so depressed that the level of calcium in the body fluids decreases.
- Yet, because calcium and phosphates are not being absorbed from the bone, the bone usually remains strong.
Frequently asked questions and answers
What causes the hormonal imbalance?
Hormonal imbalance can be due to mental stress, genetic or congenital disabilities, a natural aging process like after the start of menopause in women, etc.
What is hyposecretion or hypersecretion?
Hyposecretion is a decrease in secretion while hypersecretion is an increased secretion of hormones.
Is diabetes mellitus hypersecretion or hyposecretion
Diabetes of any kind is a “hyposecretion disorder” of the pancreas where it does not produce sufficient insulin.
However, diabetes mellitus is specifically a hyposecretion condition while Juvenile on-set diabetes is mostly a condition of complete lack of insulin secretion by the pancreas.