There have also been breakthroughs in understanding and preventing diabetes complications. Many years of high glucose levels can damage blood vessels and nerves in the eyes, kidneys and other organs throughout the body.
Research now has led to the development of a potential new drug. The new drug, called ruboxistaurin (RBX), reduces the occurrence of moderate vision loss due to diabetes, and also looks promising for treating diabetic kidney disease and possibly heart disease. This drug evolved from a discovery: Joslin scientists uncovered a major signaling pathway at the molecular level by which high amounts of glucose damage blood vessels. RBX blocks a form of an enzyme that the Joslin team found is activated in blood vessels in eyes, kidney and the heart.
The endocrine system is sometimes at fault for osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a common disease in aging people, and makes bones less dense and more prone to fractures. Nearly one in 10 older adults in the U.S. has the disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Though osteoporosis is often thought of as strictly a bone disorder, it often falls under the treatment of endocrinologists because of its underlying causes. In particular, postmenopausal women sometimes develop the disease because of their low levels of the hormone estrogen, which helps to maintain bone mass. In such cases, osteoporosis may be treated with hormone replacement therapy.
The condition can also arise as a result of other endocrine disorders, such as hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). People with such conditions are considered to have "secondary osteoporosis."
This article explains how scientists have been able to replicate hormones that are naturally found in your body. The replicated hormones are referred to as “synthetic hormones”. This was a significant advancement in medicine as the synthetic hormones can be used to treat various medical conditions. An example of a common use of synthetic hormones is in birth control pills where the synthetic hormone is in the form of progestin (form of progesterone). Although they may have positive effects of peri-menopause, they also have many negative side effects. They drastically increase the chance of stroke, heart attack and breast cancer. On a different note, synthetic hormones can also be found in food, through unintentional manners. This can be done by reusing water for irrigation of cultural land which contains harmful hormones. Hormones are also used in the farming industry to increase growth rates of animals. They can then be passed down into the milk we drink and meat we eat.
Proper thyroid function is important as thyroid hormones T3 and T4 affect many different processes in the body, including metabolism, temperature, and hear rate. Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid doesn't produce enough hormones. If left untreated, hypothyroidism has been linked with several conditions such as heart disease, goiter , infertility and birth defects, mental health risks, problems during puberty, and nerve damage.
A class of chemicals called EDs (endocrine disruptors) can interfere with the endocrine system. EDs are used to make materials such as plastics, tin cans, etc. When interacting with the endocrine system, they can disrupt the physiological production and target effects of hormones. EDs have also been seen to interfere with the functioning of the thyroid where it changes thyroid hormone concentrations, and signalling of their receptors.
A new European project is working to to develop new 3-D in vitro tests to overcome these limitations. The tests will allow selective identification of female and male responses to the exposure to EDs and test simultaneous action of different EDs on thyroid function.
Did you know that stress hormones may actually be the cause of body fat?
Since hormones are the messengers of our bodies that sends instructions so our organs can function properly, if one hormone isn't working normally then it may affect your body's ability to burn off fat. The body's main stress hormone is cortisol. This hormone is released by your adrenal glands and has high levels in the morning to help wake you up and slowly decreases as you go through with your day. At night, when you're preparing to sleep, the hormone melatonin is inversely proportional to cortisol. Its levels starts off low in the morning and increases during the evening to help you get to sleep. Cortisol imbalances are the reason this daily cycle gets thrown off. Studies have looked at this relationship between cortisol and weight extensively and have found a significant link between cortisol levels and increased weight. One study found that people with high levels of visceral fat had significantly greater cortisol spikes during times of stress as well as for a full hour after the stressful event had passed.
Is it possible to train the body to produce the needed amounts of insulin on its own? Investigators found that some alpha cells can turn into beta cells and create insulin which can be a new form of treatment for diabetes. They found that alpha-cells can respond to signals from beta cell loss of neighbouring cells. “2 percent of alpha-cells can thus reprogram themselves and start producing insulin.” They are still trying to find out a way to control this process so that they can boost the number of insulin making cells which will help with treatment.
For decades, birth control pills have exclusively been used by women. But a male birth control pill that is both safe and effective may be on the horizon, according to a new study. The gel, called NES/T, contains a combination of testosterone and a progestin compound called Nestorone. The progestin blocks a guy's natural testosterone production, which reduces sperm production to extremely low or practically "nonexistent" levels. Then, the testosterone in the gel makes sure he still has his normal sex drive, and that other bodily functions that depend on testosterone continue as normal.
Study shows that stressful events in the evening release less of the body's stress hormones than those that happen in the morning, suggesting possible vulnerability to stress in the evening. The body's central system reacts less strongly to acute psychological stress in the evening than it does in the morning, according to research conducted at Japan's Hokkaido University. In the study, medical physiologist Yujiro Yamanaka and his colleagues recruited 27 young, healthy volunteers with normal work hours and sleep habits to find out if the "hypothalamic -pituitary-adrenal" (HPA) axis responds differently to acute psychological stress according to the time of day. The HPA axis connects the central nervous and endocrine systems of the body. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone in humans, is released for several hours when the HPA axis is activated by a stressful event. This helps provide the body with energy in the face of a perceived need for fight or flight. The researchers found that cortisol levels increased significantly in the volunteers that took the stress test in the morning while no such response was observed in those that took the test in the evening. Yujiro Yamanaka commented "The body can respond to the morning stress event by activating the HPA axis and sympathetic nervous system, but it needs to respond to evening stress event by activating the sympathetic nervous system only. Our study suggests a possible vulnerability to stress in the evening."
The endocrine system helps keep the body’s hormones in balance. For many people, their pancreas stops producing insulin and affects the blood glucose levels in the body. This is known as diabetes. Insulin helps maintain blood glucose levels. Normally, insulin and glucagon work together to keep the body’s blood glucose levels normal. Type 1 diabetes is when the body cannot produce insulin thus having to inject themselves so their glucose levels aren’t too high. Those with type 2 diabetes aren’t able to properly respond to insulin. Diabetes is something many people deal with all over the globe.
Milk is said to be very healthy and crucial to ones’ growth. But, like many other things, dairy could lead to some human health problems. Many studies show that the hormones in dairy products could affect estrogen and insulin hormones so far as to possibly cause tumours in the breasts, prostate, and endometrium (parts of the body crucial to reproduction). For mothers, hormones given off from milk could be passed on to their infants through their breast milk allowing a possibility of health problems to occur in the baby as well. With all the steroids animals receive to produce milk faster or less naturally, it’s said that the hormones are passed on to the milk through diffusion. This also causes the growth hormones given to cows to get passed onto the humans who drink the milk produced by cows. This is affecting children because it is shown when they reach the age of puberty a lot sooner now a day.
Some cancer cells can produce hormones that circulate in the body and cause symptoms. This is called paraneoplastic syndrome. The symptoms depend on the particular hormone produced. For example, some types of lung cancer cells produce hormones that may cause:
pins and needles
numbness in the fingers or toes
Hormones and cancer treatments
Cancer treatments called hormone therapies can change the amount of hormones the body produces. They usually lower the levels of particular hormones. They may do this by blocking the action of hormones. Or the treatment may reduce the amount of the hormone that the body makes. These treatments can reduce the chance of a cancer coming back after other treatments or it may stop or slow the growth of a cancer for some time.
Sometimes, treatments can stop the body making a particular hormone altogether. For example, removing the thyroid gland stops the production of thyroid hormones. The person then needs to take replacement thyroid hormones for the rest of their life.
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