Endocrinology and Metabolism

Pelvis | Endocrinology and Metabolism (Medicine Field)


Endocrinology is concerned with the study of the biosynthesis, storage, chemistry, and physiological function of hormones and with the cells of the endocrine glands and tissues that secrete them. Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that happen in the cells of living organisms to sustain life.

The endocrine system consists of several glands, all and in different parts of the body that secrete hormones directly into the blood rather than into a duct system.

Hormones have many different functions and modes of action; one hormone may have several effects on different target organs, and, conversely, one target organ may be affected by more than one hormone. Bayliss and Starling specified that, to be classified as a hormone, a chemical must be produced by an organ, be released into the blood, and be transported by the blood to a distant organ to exert its specific function.

Metabolism can also refer to all chemical reactions that occur in living organisms, including digestion and the transport of substances into and between different cells, in which case the set of reactions within the cells is called intermediary metabolism or intermediate metabolism. Metabolism is usually divided into two categories. Catabolism breaks down organic matter, for example to harvest energy in cellular respiration. Anabolism uses energy to construct components of cells such as proteins and nucleic acids.

The chemical reactions of metabolism are organized into metabolic pathways, in which one chemical is transformed through a series of steps into another chemical, by a sequence of enzymes. Enzymes also allow the regulation of metabolic pathways in response to changes in the cells environment or signals from other cells.


An endocrinologist is a specially trained doctor. Endocrinologists diagnose diseases that affect your glands. They know how to treat conditions that are often complex and involve many systems within your body. Your primary care doctor refers you to an endocrinologist when you have a problem with your endocrine system.

Diagnosis, Treatment and Benefits

In many cases, endocrine disorders may be symptomless or mild enough to not require treatment. When symptoms of endocrine disorders are bothersome, they can generally be treated by correcting the hormone imbalance. This is often done by means of synthetic hormone administration. In cases such as prolactinoma, where a growth is responsible for symptoms, surgery or radiation therapy may be used. ...