Endocrinology is the study of hormones and endocrine glands and organs. The metabolism is important to consider when understanding endocrinology and researchers and scientists have been studying metabolism within the field of endocrinology for a long time. What is the endocrine system within the human body? Hormone-secreting glands and certain organs in your body make up your endocrine system. A hormone is a chemical messenger that travels from one endocrine gland or organ in your body to another part of your body through your blood. Hormones help parts of your body communicate with other parts and have a large role in many key bodily functions, such as metabolism.
The reason endocrinology is so important to metabolism is its focus on endocrine glands that release hormones. The human body makes and releases over 50 different hormones including adrenaline, estrogen, insulin, melatonin, testosterone and many more. Certain glands in your body called endocrine glands make and release hormones. Glands are special tissues in your body that create and release substances. The endocrine glands in your body include adrenal glands, pineal glands, pituitary glands, and thyroid glands.
How the metabolism functions within the world of endocrinology have been studied for decades. Many studies target specific segments of the population to fully understand. One study from the National Library of Medicine focuses on endocrinology and the aging male. This study outlines the complexity of metabolism and endocrinology in the aging male. As men age, there is a small and progressive (not precipitous, as in women) decline in several sex hormones, in particular testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone, and related increases in luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and sex hormone-binding globulin. The importance of these changes is wide-ranging because of the ubiquitous role of sex hormones in male physiology. In a normal adult male, neurons in the preoptic area and the medial basal region of the hypothalamus secrete gonadotrophin-releasing hormone [GnRH] in a pulsatile manner. It has been suggested, but not proven, that neuronal GnRH outflow in healthy men is reduced by 33–50% between the second and eighth decades of life. Feedback from testosterone induces a slowing of the hypothalamic pulse generator.
In a Science Direct study, the authors outline trends in endocrinology and metabolism. The study demonstrates that the endocrine regulation of the balance between skeletal muscle anabolism and catabolism has been investigated extensively. Factors determining whether hormones exert anabolic or catabolic influences are multifaceted and often unclear. Testosterone, growth hormone, insulin and insulin-like growth factor-I have complex anabolic effects, some of which have only recently been elucidated, and are important regulators of muscle remodeling, whereas glucocorticoids have direct catabolic effects and induce muscle protein loss.
Endocrinologists may specialize in certain areas of endocrinology. These subspecialities allow for more targeted treatment of specific medical conditions. Of the many subspecialties, the one most closely related to metabolism is the study of diabetes. Many hormones play important roles in your metabolism — how your body transforms the food you eat into energy it can use. Diabetes is one of the most common metabolic conditions. An endocrinologist can specialize in the treatment of different kinds of diabetes and other metabolic conditions such as obesity.
Primary healthcare providers can also diagnose and help you manage many endocrine conditions. However, you may benefit from seeing an endocrinologist since they’re likely more knowledgeable on your condition and more up to date on different medications, technology and clinical trials that can help treat your condition. Endocrinologists are experts in endocrinology and endocrine conditions. Endocrinologists’ goal is to prevent complications or, failing that, to recognize complications early when they can be treated effectively. This includes controlling blood sugar, blood cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as detecting early damage to the eyes, kidneys and nerves.