The endocrine system is one of the two major regulatory systems of the body that helps to achieve homeostasis by the release of chemical substances called hormones. These act on their target cells to regulate the blood concentrations of nutrient molecules, salt and other electrolytes, water, etc. Hormones also play a very important role in stress adaptation and in controlling growth and reproduction.

The hormones are usually secreted by glands called endocrine glands. These glands are known as endocrine because they are ductless and release hormones directly in the bloodstream in response to signals. The hormones travel through blood, reach the site of action and carry out the necessary action to achieve the desired result. Since majority of the hormones are released by endocrine glands, this system is called the endocrine system.

Majority of the hormones are secreted from one of the seven endocrine glands. These are:

    • The pituitary
    • The thyroid
    • The parathyroid
    • The testes 
    • The ovary
    • The adrenal also called suprarenal 
    • The endocrine pancreas

    In addition, other tissues that are not classified as part of the endocrine system but secrete hormones are:

    • The central nervous system particularly the hypothalamus
    • The gastrointestinal tract
    • The liver
    • The kidneys

    In some cases, particularly with certain tumors (neoplasms), hormones that are normally thought to be made by the endocrine tissues are made by non-endocrine tissues. The first instance of this was observed in lung cancer. The hormone AVP (Arginine Vasopressin) also called the anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), is normally released by the hypothalamus. But the cancerous lung tissues secrete this hormone. Sometimes the hormones secreted by these neoplasms are in quantities that are not significant and do not have any clinical consequences. But at other times, the quantities might be high enough to elicit a response. The clinical syndromes that result from the secretion of hormones by tumors are called paraneoplastic syndromes. 

    Although the chemical nature of hormones can be diverse, the majority of the hormones fall into 3 groups. These are:

    • Peptide hormones (peptides are small fragments of proteins)
    • Amino-acid derived hormones (amino acids are building blocks of peptides and ultimately proteins)
    • Steroid hormones (those derived from cholesterol)
    Read more..

    Finding Best Treatments

    NOTE: Above More accurate treatment cost estimates can be provided if medical reports are emailed to us or after the patient is examined by doctors after arrival at hospital in India and medical tests are done after admission.

    Frequently asked questions about Endocrinology Other Problem

    What are some of the common endocrine disorders?

    Many disorders arise because of problems in the endocrine system. Some of the major ones are:

    • Hyperthyroidism: This condition arises due to extreme hormone secretion in the thyroid gland. The symptoms one faces include weight loss, heart problems, anxiety, etc.
    • Hypothyroidism: This happens due to less hormones secretion by the thyroid gland. Weight gain, constipation, dry skin, fatigue, etc can be experienced during this condition. 
    • Polycystic ovary syndrome: Ovulation process is been disturbed due to this syndrome. This results in abnormal growth of hair, missed periods, and infertility 
    • Acromegaly: Excess of growth hormones in pituitary gland makes your bones grow bigger. It makes your hands and feet look huge compared to the rest of your body.
    • Adrenal insufficiency: Due to less hormone secretion by the adrenal gland, one may experience fatigue, weakness and weight loss over time.
    • Cushing's disease: If the face becomes puffy and round like moon, it is due to extreme secretion of hormones by the adrenal glands.
    • Hypopituitarism: This condition disturbs the functioning of thyroid and adrenal glands along with organs such as the ovaries and testes.
    • Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN): This causes tumors in several endocrine glands.
    • Precocious puberty: When reproductive glands don’t work properly, some children start puberty abnormally early, around 8 in girls and 9 in boys.
    What are the symptoms of endocrine disorders?

    Endocrine disorder symptoms varies a lot and it depends on the particular gland involved. But mostly patient suffering from endocrine condition experience symptoms of fatigue and weakness. Weight change, blood glucose level fluctuations, abnormal cholesterol levels, mood changes, etc. are some of the other symptoms which the patient might experience.

    What is the treatment option for hirsutism?

    Hirsutism refers to the abnormal growth of hair on a woman’s face or body. Several causes are attributed to the development of hirsutism. Some of these include:

    • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
    • Cushing syndrome
    • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
    • Tumors
    • Certain medications

    The treatment medications include:

    • Oral contraceptives
    • Anti-androgens
    • Topical cream of Eflornithine

    Laser therapy and electrolysis can also be used for permanent removal of unwanted hair.

    Can Down syndrome be detected at pregnancy?

    There are screening tests as well as diagnostic tests for detecting Down syndrome in a fetus during pregnancy. The screening tests include:

    • A blood test of biomarkers
    • Ultrasound to look at the fluid in an area of the baby’s neck called the “nuchal fold”. If the fluid level is higher than normal, then there are possibilities that the fetus has Down syndrome.
    • Integrated screening test
    • Cell free DNA which looks for baby’s DNA that, if affected with Down syndrome, contains the genes with that.

    The diagnostic tests include:

    • Aminocentesis tests a sample of amniotic fluid, the fluid that surrounds the baby in the womb. 
    • Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) tests cells from the placenta which gives a definitive diagnosis
    • Cordocentesis which is also known as percutaneous umbilical blood sampling, involves blood sampling from the umbilical cord. It gives a definitive diagnosis.
    What are the causes of prolactinoma? What are its treatment options?

    Prolactinoma is a tumor in the pituitary gland that overproduces the hormone prolactin. The exact cause for this is unknown. Medications are usually the line of treatment. Doctors prescribe the class of drugs called dopamine agonists. However, the treatment with medications is usually for a long time. If drug therapy doesn’t work, surgery to remove the tumor is the option. There are two types of surgery and the choice of surgery depends on the size and extent of the tumor. The surgeries include nasal surgery or transcranial surgery.

    Is gynecomastia treatable?

    Gynecomastia is the enlargement of breasts in men. The treatment includes drugs used in breast cancer in women. These include tamoxifen and anastrozole. If still the enlargement is bothersome and not treated by medications, then surgery is the option to remove the excess breast tissue. The surgical options include liposuction which include removal of breast fat and not the breast gland itself. The other option is mastectomy which involves removal of breast tissue and is done using small incisions.

    Recent Articles

    Thyroid gland is one of the major endocrine glands and has a very important function of maintaining the basal metabolic rate (BMR). Apart from the thyroid gland, other endocrine glands secrete hormones that are responsible for myriad functions. Some of these are:

    Adrenal (suprarenal) glands:

    There are two adrenal glands, each located on the upper side of the kidney. Because of their anatomic location, they are also called suprarenal glands. The two major parts of the adrenal glands are adrenal cortex and adrenal medulla. Both secrete different types of hormones. The adrenal medulla secrete adrenaline and noradrenaline whereas adrenal cortex secrete entirely different hormones called corticosteroids. The latter use cholesterol as the precursor molecule. The corticosteroids are differentiated into mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids. The mineralocorticoids affect the balance of electrolytes like sodium and potassium whereas glucocorticoids are important in the regulation of glucose. 

    Aldosterone is the major mineralocorticoid secreted and cortisol that is a glucocorticoid can also exert mineralocorticoid activity. The main function of aldosterone is to excrete potassium in the urine while conserving sodium. 

    Cortisol is the major glucocorticoid and exerts nearly 95% of the glucocorticoid activity. The major functions of cortisol are:

    • Gluconeogenesis, a process which stimulates the formation of glucose from non-sugar precursors.
    • Decreased utilization of glucose by cells
    • Reduction of protein stores from all the cells of the body except the liver.
    • Increases liver and plasma proteins

    The most important function is to resist stress and inflammation. The types of stress that causes release of cortisol are:

    • Trauma
    • Infection
    • Intense heat or cold
    • Surgery
    • Debilitating diseases, etc.

    The response to stress is called the neuroendocrine response to stress (NERS). Without cortisol, a person can die of stress. 


    Pancreas is one of the most important organs that secrete hormones like insulin, glucagon and somatostatin. Small amounts of amylin is also secreted along with insulin but its role is not well understood. 

    The major function of insulin is to regulate blood glucose concentrations. It does this by affecting many functions. The major ones are:

    • Promotes muscle glucose uptake and metabolism
    • Converts excess glucose into glycogen and stores it in the liver
    • Promotes fatty acid synthesis
    • Promotes protein synthesis and storage
    • Work synergistically with growth hormone to promote growth

    Glucagon is an antagonistic hormone to the insulin. The major functions of glucagon are:

    • Breakdown of liver glycogen
    • Increase in gluconeogenesis

    Glucagon in high concentrations 

    • Enhances the strength of the heart
    • Increases blood flow to some tissues like kidneys
    • Enhances bile secretion
    • Inhibits gastric acid secretion

    Somatostatin inhibits glucagon and insulin secretion. 

    Parathyroid gland:

    Parathyroid gland secretes parathyroid hormone which regulates calcium and phosphate concentrations by regulating intestinal reabsorption, renal excretion, and exchange between the extracellular fluid and bone of these ions. Excess activity of the parathyroid gland causes rapid release of calcium salts from the bones that causes hypercalcemia and hypofunction causes hypocalcemia, often resulting in tetany.


    One of the main functions of the testes is the formation of sperms that helps in the process of reproduction. Testes produce the hormone testosterone that is the main male hormone and is responsible for spermatogenesis (the process of formation of sperms). The various steps in which the different hormones work in synchronization for spermatogenesis are:

      • Testosterone is essential for the growth and division of testicular germinal cells forming the first stage in the formation of sperm
      • LH (Luteinizing hormone) stimulates the Leydig cells to secrete testosterone
      • FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) causes the spermatids to transform into sperm
      • Estrogens formed from testosterone also help in the formation of sperms
      • Growth hormone is essential for the normal growth and functioning of the testes
      • Testosterone is also responsible for the formation of secondary male sexual characteristics like increases in bone and muscle mass and development of body hair.


      The ovaries produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These are secreted in response to the hormones FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (liutenizing hormone) secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. Estradiol is the most important estrogen and progesterone is the most important progestin. Estrogen is responsible for the formation of secondary sexual characteristics in females and progesterone is responsible for the preparation of uterus for pregnancy and breasts for lactation.

      The other important hormone that is secreted is melatonin and is secreted by the pineal gland. It is located near the center of the brain. It has an important role in maintaining the sleep-wake cycles in the human body.

      Read more..
      Latest from the Medical Industry
      Sign up for treatment knowledge base

      Contact Us

      Mediflam Pvt. Ltd.

      206, Siddhraj Zori, Next to Essar petrol pump, Sargasan, Gandhinagar: 382421. Gujarat, India.

      Customer Care