What are the types of Endocrine System Diseases our Surgeons Treat
Your body cannot function properly without the endocrine system. The ten hormone-producing glands that make up this system secrete chemicals that control physical development, metabolism, reproduction, mood, and other bodily functions.
- The endocrine system glands are the:
The hormones that these glands produce travel through the bloodstream and target cells, organs, and tissues in the body. Endocrine system diseases occur when one or more of these glands stop working properly. This can lead to serious health issues because your body is not receiving the right amount of a certain hormone that it needs.
The doctors at Kitsap General Surgery treat three types of endocrine system diseases that affect the thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands.
- These diseases are:
Thyroid cancer and nodules
A parathyroid disease like hypercalcemia
and Adrenal Tumors
Let’s discuss each of these three glands, the type of hormones these glands produce, how an endocrine system disease affects these glands, and treatment options.
The thyroid gland has two lobes that are in the front of your neck below the larynx. There is one lobe on each side of your windpipe, and they are connected by a thin strip of tissue.
- The thyroid produces a hormone that regulates many functions of your body, including
and Bone Maintenance
Thyroid cancer causes are unknown. This cancer develops when healthy thyroid gland cells begin to grow out of control and form a mass on the thyroid gland. This mass can spread to other parts of the body. In other cases, this mass can be a benign tumor that can cause a hormonal imbalance.
There are many thyroid cancer symptoms that you will notice. The primary symptom is a lump on your neck that you may be able to feel or see. You may also notice other thyroid cancer signs such as hoarseness in your voice, swallowing difficulties, or pain in your neck or throat.
The parathyroid consists of four glands that are about the size of a grain of rice and are located behind the thyroid gland. The parathyroid glands produce a hormone that has the sole responsibility of regulating the amount of calcium in your blood and in your bones. Calcium is the only nutrient that requires its own regulatory system.
A common type of parathyroid disease is hypercalcemia. This is a condition where there is an above normal level of calcium in your blood due to overactive parathyroid glands.
Hypercalcemia can weaken your bones, cause kidney stones, digestive issues, and impair your heart and brain function. This condition may not lead to cancer, but it should be examined and treated by a doctor.
There are several factors that cause hypercalcemia in addition to overactive parathyroid glands (the most common cause).
- These include:
Certain cancers like lung or breast cancer
Certain diseases like tuberculosis
Excessive intake of calcium or vitamin D supplements
You have two adrenal glands, and each one sits on top of each kidney.
- These glands produce several hormones:
Adrenaline – This affects your response to stress
Aldosterone – This controls the level of salt and water in your body
Cortisol – This regulates your body’s metabolism and response to illness
DHEA and testosterone – These play a role in male early childhood development
A tumor on your adrenal gland can be benign or cancerous. A benign adrenal tumor can cause the overproduction of cortisol or aldosterone.
- This can lead to:
High blood pressure
Cause an imbalance in salt and potassium in your body
Interfere with your heart’s functions
and Disrupt your response to stress
Adrenal cancer is a rare condition that primarily affects children under five and adults in their 40s and 50s. It can be successfully treated if detected early, but this cancer can spread rapidly, which makes successful treatment less likely. Fortunately, this cancer is extremely rare.
Do endocrine system diseases require surgery?
There are many factors that will determine your course of treatment if you have an endocrine disease. Surgery to remove some or all your thyroid, parathyroid, or adrenal glands may be recommended.
If you notice any symptoms of having an endocrine system disease and live in the Kitsap Peninsula area, then contact the doctors at Kitsap General Surgery. They treat patients who have thyroid cancer, an adrenal tumor, or a parathyroid condition like hypercalcemia.
When you meet with a surgeon at Kitsap General Surgery, you will receive an initial consultation and a thorough examination. If they discover an issue with your thyroid, adrenal, or parathyroid glands, your doctor will develop a personalized treatment plan that is best for your situation.
Call 360-613-1335 and talk to one of our surgeons today.