Endocrine System Overview

The Endocrine System 

The Endocrine system is a complex collection of glands and organs that produce and secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream. The hormones secreted influence and control functions of the body such as metabolism, calcium regulation, growth and development, and sexual function. 

There are a number of conditions and diseases that can affect the endocrine system. Some of the diseases affecting the endocrine system happen because of inappropriate hormone production; while others are the result of an abnormal mass or tumor in the specific organ. 

The team at the Oregon Endocrine Surgery Center diagnose and treat diseases that affect the adrenal, thyroid and parathyroid glands and can help you on the road to recovery. 

Thyroid Gland 

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located in the center of the neck. It secretes a hormone that is responsible for multiple facets of daily life including maintenance of energy, temperature, weight, and metabolism. Symptoms of thyroid disease generally result from either over or underproduction of thyroid hormone, growth of potentially cancerous nodules or generalized overgrowth of the entire gland causing compression of surrounding structures in the neck. 

Parathyroid Glands  

The parathyroid glands are four small glands located in the neck that are responsible for controlling the calcium level in our blood. Despite the name similarity, the thyroid and parathyroid glands are not the same and serve very different functions. Problems with the parathyroid glands do not translate into problems with the thyroid gland which is under a different type of control. 

Adrenal Glands 

The adrenal glands are located throughout the body and produce a number of different hormones. Adrenal disease occurs when there is an overproduction of any of the adrenal hormones or when a tumor, cancerous or benign, grows within the adrenal gland. It is believed that genetic abnormalities may predispose some people to certain adrenal tumors, but the majority of these tumors have no known cause. There are a number of disorders that can affect the adrenal glands. Most adrenal gland tumors are non-cancerous adenomas that usually do not cause symptoms and may not require treatment. 

For additional patient information about the endocrine system, visit endocrinediseases.org

Learn more about Endocrine Surgery at The Oregon Clinic