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Date: 30 September 2023
Common conditions treated
Acromegaly is the enlargement of the bones of hands, feet and face; often accompanied by headaches, muscle pain and emotional disturbances. It is caused by overproduction of growth hormone by the anterior pituitary gland (due to a tumour).
Addison's disease is a hormone deficiency caused by damage to the outer layer of the adrenal gland (adrenal cortex). Addison's disease is a condition in which you do not make enough cortisol and other hormones in your adrenal glands. Various symptoms develop if the cortisol level becomes too low. A very low cortisol level can be life-threatening. Treatment is with replacement hormone tablets which you need to take every day.
Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is a genetic disorder which affects the adrenal gland and white matter of the nervous system. It only affects males and develops in boys between the ages of four and ten.
Adrenal hyperplasia (congenital)
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia refers to a group of inherited disorders relating to the adrenal glands, characterised by a deficiency in the hormones cortisol and aldosterone and overproduction of androgen.
Androgen insensitivity syndrome
Androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) is when a person has one X and one Y sex chromosome (making them genetically male), but is resistant to androgens (male hormones). As a result the individual has some or all of the physical characteristics of a woman, despite having the genetic makeup of a man.
Cretinism is a congenital condition caused by a deficiency of thyroid hormone during foetal development. Cretinism is characterised in childhood by dwarfed stature, mental retardation, dystrophy of the bones and a low basal metabolism.
Cushing's syndrome develops if your body makes too much cortisol. Symptoms usually develop gradually, and so the diagnosis may not be clear for some time. There are various causes, and complex tests are needed to find the root cause of the excess cortisol. The most common cause is a small non-cancerous tumour in the pituitary, which can usually be removed by surgery.
Empty sella syndrome
The pituitary gland is partially surrounded by a structure called the sella turcica. Normally it is visible during a computerised tomography (CT) scan or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. In empty sella syndrome, the pituitary gland is not visible either because it has shrunk or become flattened.
Endocrine gland neoplasms
Endocrine gland neoplasms are very rare and are characterized by an abnormal growth or the development of excess normal tissues of the pituitary, parathyroid glands or pancreatic islets.
Gigantism is the excessive secretion of growth hormone during childhood. This excess growth hormone causes overgrowth of the long bones and very tall stature.
Gonadal disorder is caused by the altered secretion of the sex hormones.
Gynecomastia is the development of prominent breast tissue in the male.
Hermaphroditism is a term referring to be of both sexes (intersexual).
The normal amount of body hair varies widely among women. When coarse, dark hairs grow where women typically do not grow dark hair such as the lip, chin, chest, abdomen or back, the condition is called Hirsutism.
Primary hyperaldosteronism is a syndrome associated with increased secretion of the hormone aldosterone by the adrenal gland, caused by an abnormality within the gland.
Secondary hyperaldosteronism is a syndrome associated with the increased production of aldosterone by the adrenal cortex caused by something outside the adrenal gland that mimics the primary condition.
Hyperpituitarism is a condition that results from the excess production of growth hormone in the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland.
Hyperprolactinemia is when an individual has excessive prolactin in the blood.
Hyperthyroidism is an imbalance of metabolism caused by the overproduction of thyroid hormone.
Hyperparathyroidism is excessive production of parathyroid hormone by the parathyroid gland.
Hypogonadism is a reduced or absent secretion of hormones from the sex glands (gonads). In men these are the testes and in women these are the ovaries.
Hypopituitarism is a condition caused by low levels of pituitary hormones.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormone.
Hypoparathyroidism occurs when you have too little parathyroid hormone, which causes abnormal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.
Kallmann syndrome describes absent or decreased function of the male testes or the female ovaries (gonads). It results from the absence of the gonadal stimulating pituitary hormones FSH and LH.
MEN1 is a hereditary disorder in which one or more of the following glands develop excess normal tissue (hyperplasia) or adenoma (tumour):
- The parathyroid
- The pancreas
- The pituitary
- The adrenals and thyroid gland
MEN11 is a hereditary disorder in which a type of thyroid cancer is accompanied by recurring cancer of the adrenal glands.
Nelson syndrome is characterised by increased skin pigmentation, visual defects secondary to the compression of the optic chiasm and elevated serum levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) following adrenalectomy for Cushing's syndrome. The cause of this syndrome is expansion of an underlying ACTH secreting pituitary adenoma.
Osteogenesis imperfecta is characterised by brittle bones that fracture easily.
Pheochromocytoma is a tumour of the adrenal gland that causes excess release of epinephrine and norepinephrine hormones that regulate heart rate and blood pressure.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is characterized by enlarged ovaries with multiple small cysts, an abnormally high number of follicles at various states of maturation, and a thick, scarred capsule surrounding each one.
Prolactinoma is a non cancerous pituitary tumour that causes excess secretion of the hormone prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone that causes secretion of milk from the breasts during nursing. It is also involved in the control of sexual desire.
Puberty delayed is when the period of sexual maturation is delayed.
Puberty precocious is the premature development of body characteristics that normally occur during puberty (puberty is the period in life when the body changes rapidly and develops reproductive capability).
Renal osteodystrophy is a bone disease characterized by softening and fibrous degeneration of bone and the formation of cysts in bone tissue, caused by chronic renal failure.
The thyroid gland is found in the base of the neck on both sides of the lower part of the larynx (voice box) and upper part of the trachea (windpipe). The gland produces thyroid hormone in response to stimulation by a hormone from the pituitary gland. Thyroid hormone acts throughout the blood to regulate metabolism.
Thyroid cancer is a malignancy (cancerous growth) of the thyroid gland.
Turner syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs only in females. Female cells normally have 2 X chromosomes. In Turner syndrome the females are missing an X chromosome or part of an X chromosome. Some of the signs and symptoms are short height, lack of developing ovaries and infertility.
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