The endocrine system is the organ system in the body responsible for the production and secretion of hormones that initiate or stop numerous different body functions. The endocrine system determines the rate at which the body converts calories into energy, how the heart beats, the ability to reproduce, how the bones grow, and how the tissues grow. The main endocrine system organs are called glands, and each gland secretes different hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones make their way into the cells where they manage and coordinate numerous processes. The glands of the endocrine system include the hypothalamus, ovaries, adrenal glands, pancreas, parathyroid, pineal gland, pituitary gland, testes, thymus, and thyroid gland. These glands work seamlessly together to maintain the delicate balance of hormones in the body. Any problem that causes adverse changes to the structure or function of one of these glands is considered an endocrine system disease.
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Diabetes mellitus is a disease where an individual's body has a problem with the way it utilizes and manages blood glucose. All the muscles and tissues in the body depend on glucose to produce usable cellular energy. Individuals who have type 1 diabetes are unable to produce their own insulin to manage their blood sugar due to non-functioning pancreatic beta cells. Type 2 diabetes patients are unable to use the insulin they do produce because their body does not respond to it appropriately to manage blood glucose. Individuals affected by gestational diabetes only have the disease while they are pregnant. Symptoms that occur in all forms of diabetes mellitus include frequent urination, increased thirst, unexplained weight loss, ketones in urine, fatigue, blurry vision, slow-healing sores, irritability, and frequent infections. Blood tests and a physical examination are used to diagnose diabetes. These blood tests include glycated hemoglobin test, random blood sugar test, fasting blood sugar test, and an oral glucose tolerance test. Medications, blood sugar monitoring, diet changes, and frequent exercise are all a part of effective diabetes treatment.
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