Endocrinology is the science of hormones. Hormones are highly reactive chemicals secreted from endocrine glands. They regulate key metabolic processes in various parts of the body. Endocrine diseases are generally slow to develop and their initial symptoms are vague. They are therefore difficult to recognize and require specialized investigations for their accurate diagnosis. Most of the endocrine diseases are life-long and lead to gradual development of complications.
Facilities & Services :
The department is well equipped to take care of the following cases:
Diabetes: Diabetes presents itself with weakness, easy fatigability, pain in limbs, gain or loss of weight, increase in urination, thirst and appetite and delayed wound healing. If not well managed right from the beginning, Diabetes leads to development of serious complications like heart attack, paralysis, brain hemorrhage, blindness, kidney failure, impotence, ulcers and gangrene of legs. However, these complications are preventable and a healthy long life is possible through a comprehensive Diabetes management programme.
Thyroid Diseases: The thyroid gland is situated in the neck and secretes two hormones T3 and T4. When the gland works less efficiently, the condition is known as ‘hypothyroidism’. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, swelling, rough skin, falling and graying of hair, lethargy, lack of energy, easy fatigability, breathlessness, lack of freshness, cold intolerance, forgetfulness, irritability, constipation, joint pains, menstrual disturbances and infertility. When the gland secretes more hormones than normal, the condition is known as ‘hyperthyroidism’ or ‘thyrotoxicosis’. Symptoms of thyrotoxicosis include weight loss, tremors, increased sweating, bulging of eyes, palpitation, nervousness, sleeplessness, diarrhea, breathlessness and menstrual disturbances. Although thyroid diseases are very serious, they are also fully treatable.
Obesity: Obesity is a serious problem of the modern world. Obesity gives rise to mechanical problems like arthritis, difficulty in walking, shortness of breath, respiratory obstruction, snoring and difficulty in sleep (sleep apnea). It also causes serious systemic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, gout, heart diseases, brain stroke, gall bladder stones and certain cancers. Obesity is difficult to treat. However significant relief can be offered by lifestyle management, use of medicines and surgery.
Hirsutism: Hirsutism denotes male pattern hair growth in women. This is mainly on the face on the upper lip and areas of the cheeks and chin. This is due to increase in the concentration of male hormones in women. Hirsutism requires sophisticated tests to find out the source of male hormones. Most cases can be managed well by use of medicines. Few cases require surgery.
Gynaecomastia: Gynaecomastia is development of breasts in males. This is a result of a deficiency of the male hormones and an excess of female hormones in male subjects. Cause of gynaecomastia can be ascertained by hormonal investigations. It can be treated by medicines and sometimes by surgery.
Lack of sexual development in boys and girls: Sexual (pubertal) development occurs around the age of 12-13 in girls and 15-16 in boys. Due to several reasons the normal course of development may be delayed or may be totally absent. This may sometime be just due to a normal variation or constitutional growth delay but occasionally it can be because of serious genetic disorders. Proper diagnosis is a must for a definitive treatment.
Precocious puberty: Sometimes, pubertal changes tend to occur at a very early age. If girls start developing these changes before the age of 8 and boys before 10, the condition is known as precocious puberty. Pinpointing the cause and targeted treatment can correct this imbalance.
Growth retardation: Physical growth is a complex process that occurs through synergistic actions of many hormones including growth hormone, thyroid hormone, insulin and vitamin-D. Additional inputs are required through appropriate nutrition, regular exercise, healthy emotional environment and proper sleep. Children with short stature can be treated with hormones and dietary supplements to achieve ideal growth
Sexual problems and infertility: Sexual problems including lack of desire, painful or dry intercourse, lack of erection and early ejaculation can occur as the result of hormonal dysfunction. These problems may sometimes be associated with the inability to conceive. Our department of Endocrinology offers specialized services of sexology through dedicated sex clinics. All sex problems are fully treatable with medicines, counselling, external devices and sometimes surgery.
Menstrual problems: Menstrual cycles are regulated by well orchestrated action of the pituitary, thyroid and gonadal hormones. Menstrual dysfunction including complete cessation of periods can occur due to imbalance in any of these hormones. Menstrual problems can be treated by requisite hormonal treatment.
Metabolic bone disease: Bone health depends upon the availability of appropriate nutrition, exercise and proper function of certain key hormones including PTH, thyroid hormone and vitamin-D. In the absence of a suitable action of these hormones, bones become fragile and weak (osteoporosis) or soft and malleable (Rickets, Osteomalacia).
Adrenal diseases: Excessive secretion of adrenal hormones causes a disease called Cushing’s Syndrome. In this disease, the patient develops central obesity, hypertension, diabetes, menstrual irregularity, bloating of the body, excessive weakness, osteoporosis and behavioral problems. Deficiency of adrenal hormones can lead to weight loss, weakness, blackening of body, fall of blood pressure and nausea, vomiting (Addison’s Disease). Both are serious, yet treatable conditions.
Pituitary diseases: The Pituitary gland is situated in the middle of the brain. It is called the master gland because it regulates the function of almost every other gland in the body. Tumors may develop in the pituitary gland. ‘Acromegaly’ caused by excessive secretion of growth hormone is one such disease. Patients of Acromegaly develop obesity, thick fingers and toes, coarse and thick lips, nose and furrows on the face. Voice becomes heavy, vision may be lost and tumors in different parts of the body may develop. Pituitary tumors can generally treated by surgery and radiotherapy.