Monday, October 27, 2008

Endocrinology

From http://lifeasamedicalstudent.blogspot.com/2008/10/endocrinology.html

Endocrine Hormonal regulation is much more complex than I first imagined, but it is incredibly interesting too.

Endocrine System
Our recent studies have initiated investigations into the complex world of glands and their secretions.

Complemented by histological examinations of cellular breakdown, endocrine physiology, too, has been presented for study. Our first stop was the pituitary followed by the thyroid.

The endocrine glands regulate bodily functions trying to keep us in a healthy state. When secretions become too low or too high, normal functions are compromised and disease ensues. The thyroid in particular has me quite fascinated, perhaps due to recency.

Thyroid

This butterfly like gland found just below our voice box controls many functions and is most commonly known to have an effect on our body's metabolism. It requires a minimal level of iodine from our diets which can be found in many water sources, salt, meat, fish and vegetables. In cases of hyperthyroidism (too much hormone) individuals commonly lose weight and have tissue swelling. The opposite, hypothyroidism, causes weight gain and can lead to the growth of thyroid tissue also known as a goiter. As with every other part of the body, thyroid cancer can have deleterious effects similar to those mentioned above.

These are only some of the effects of thyroid hormones and many others are integrated with various body systems. My first thought was why not give low doses of thyroid hormone to help people lose weight. It sounds like a rather easy solution until you start to factor in all the other problems that would arise from altering the normal hormonal levels. Needless to say, I am still a neophyte when it comes to all of this, but for the moment it piques my interest.