A Disorder That Affects The Endocrine System Essay

A Disorder That Affects The Endocrine System Essay

The patient chosen to partake in this project is a 54 year old male of Asian origin, diagnosed 8 years ago, at 46 years old suffering from Type II Diabetes.

Health Issue

Diabetes Mellitus is a disorder that affects the endocrine system, as it is this system that controls and regulates the hormones (chemical messengers) release into their target cells. Therefore, diabetes is caused by irregular levels of insulin in the bloodstream. There are two types of the disease diabetes, type I and type II.

Type I diabetes is diabetes that occurs because the beta cells (those that produce insulin), of the pancreas are destroyed. It is known to be an autoimmune disease, initially recognised in patients under the age of 40, however, the disease can develop with age. The only treatment and method of survival for this type of diabetes is to be solely dependent on insulin. A Disorder That Affects The Endocrine System Essay.

Type II diabetes is caused by either insulin deficiency or body resistance to the insulin. As time progresses, extrinsic insulin treatment will be required to ensure the regulation of glucose in the bloodstream. Type II diabetes is most common in older people, especially those people that are obese and are of Asian nationality.

In a normal healthy person, when food is eaten it is digested and broken down into molecules of glucose which is absorbed into the bloodstream and into the cells that require it for energy. However to do this, insulin, a chemical messenger produced by the beta cells in the pancreas, is required to act as a key, complementary to the receptors on the plasmalemma of the glucose requiring cells. However, people suffering from diabetes may be producing the insulin required, yet the receptor becomes less responsive to the insulin or resistant to the insulin produced.


Additionally, receptor downregulation occurs which is a process whereby, in a patient that eats unhealthily there is extreme levels of glucose in the bloodstream so the body try’s to maintain and regulate homeostasis, so in a process of positive feedback, receptor downregulation occurs which increases the amount of glucose in the blood which is toxic. Furthermore, the body may start producing less insulin than required which prevents glucose entering the cells. Therefore, there is an accumulation of glucose in the bloodstream which leads to hyperglycaemia.

The main symptoms of the disease are:

Fatigue usually occurring because the patient is unable to use the glucose for energy.

Polyuria which is passing urine as the body tries to excrete the excess glucose from the body.

Nocturia, passing urine at night.

Blurry vision or decreased vision.

Slow healing of any cuts and wounds.

Polydipsia which is increased thirst.

Unusual weight loss as the body is unable to use the glucose for energy so the body breaks down the stored fat and proteins instead.

Itching, thrush or any urinary tract infections as generally the infection rate will increase as there are high levels of glucose in the blood stream.

Walker et al (2002): Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, page 632 describes that the diagnosis of diabetes should not be based solely on one reading on a prick reading as they should be only used to identify people who may be at risk of diabetes such as screening. A Disorder That Affects The Endocrine System Essay.Diagnosis is usually established via a venous blood sample verified by thorough lab testing.

TALK ABOUT NICE GUIDELINES HERE for blood glucose levels for diagnosis of diabetes


The treatments that are generally used to control blood sugar levels are:

Lifestyle changes – the patient should be advised to introduce an exercise regime and suitable diet (there is no strict diet for diabetic patients, so patients are advised to eat healthily). However, if this cannot control the blood sugar levels then patients require oral antidiabetic drugs.

Oral Antidiabetic Drugs

Campbell, Ian (Jun 2007) Oral Antidiabetic Drugs: their properties and recommended use, Prescriber Volume 18 Issue 6 page 58 outlines the use of each antidiabetic drug.

First-line Drug Therapy


Types of Sulfonylureas include gliclazide, glibenclamide, glipizide and glimepiride, which work by stimulating the release of insulin into the bloodstream. As stated in the BNF (March 2010), Sulfonylureas must not be given to obese patients or overweight as these drugs can encourage weight gain. Also there is a very high risk of hypoglycaemia as some Sulfonylureas drugs (glibenclamide) are long acting and should NOT be prescribed to the elderly. Side effects include; nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and constipation.


Types of Biguanide include metformin which improves insulin action. BNF (March 2010) describes that Metformin works differently to the Sulfonylureas drugs as it decreases the action of gluconeogenesis, therefore, limiting the amount of glucose being produced by substrates such as amino acids, glycerol etc. A Disorder That Affects The Endocrine System Essay. Metformin is usually given first priority to people who are overweight, so unlike Sulfonylureas drugs can be given to the elderly. Another benefit of this drug is that it does not lead to hypoglycaemia but has many more side effects including abdominal pain, anorexia and taste disturbance.

Second-line Drug Therapy

Glitazones (given with biguanides or sulfonylureas drugs as double therapy)

Types of glitazones include pioglitazone and rosiglitazone Glitazone drugs work to reduce the insulin resistance and improve the sensitivity to insulin. However, taking these drugs increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and many other side effects including reports of liver toxicity, alopecia, anaemia etc.

Prandial glucose regulators

Regulators include repaglinide and nateglinide. These second-line therapy drugs can be used as monotherapy or used with metformin. Sexton, John et.al (2006): Pharmaceutical Care made Easy, page 66 describes how these drugs work differently to the Sulfonylureas drugs, by stimulating the increase of insulin using different receptor sites. Side effects of this drug include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, constipation and nausea. A Disorder That Affects The Endocrine System Essay.


There are three types of insulin that can be administered to treat diabetes.

Fast-acting insulin is insulin that is said to be neutral because they are soluble, working to reduce the glucose in as little as ten minutes but only work for a few hours so are suitable for patients that require insulin after a meal. Intermediate-acting insulin is insoluble insulin which takes about one to two hours to work effectively. To cover a whole day this insulin has to be injected twice daily. Long-acting insulin is insulin that lasts a whole day and so does not to be administered more than once each day.

Diabetic Complications

Diabetes MUST be controlled to prevent serious microvascular and macrovascular complications which deter the health of the patient further.

Microvascular Diseases

Peripheral Neuropathy – this is when there is impairment or damage to the nerves, especially on the feet, leading to vibrations and muscle pain, eventually the patient will not be able to feel the feet at all.

Nephropathy – this is when the kidneys become swollen and larger than normal, because of excess fluid in the kidney and can be discovered by testing on urine for a certain chemical called albumin. If high amounts of this substance are found in the urine, then the patient is suffering from nephropathy which can lead to kidney failure.

Retinopathy – blindness in diabetic patients is common, therefore, regular screening is undertaken. Control over blood sugar can prevent retinopathy, and if detected early, the eyesight can be recovered by laser eye surgery. A Disorder That Affects The Endocrine System Essay.

Macrovascular Diseases

Cardiovascular Disease – Walker, John et.al (2002) page 636 discusses that the risk of someone with diabetes having a myocardial infarction is the same as someone without diabetes having a second myocardial infarction. This highlights the importance of controlling diet and advising patients to stop smoking.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – this is when the blood vessels near the heart or around the heart are affected which increases the risk of suffering from a myocardial infaction or suffering from cardiovascular problems such as hypertension.

Microvascular and Macrovascular Diseases

Diabetic Foot Ulcers – this is the combined result of having many of the diseases above such as neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease and not controlling the amount of glucose levels in the bloodstream. Therefore, this leads to glucose deposits on the toes of the feet which become prone to infection. Therefore, patient education is of utmost importance to prevent ulcers appearing.

Social/Psychological Impairment and Management of the disease

The patient found coping with the disease very difficult, soon after diagnosis lost his job, unable to cope with the physical requirements and unable to drive the patient felt vulnerable and insecure, lost confidence and a sense of independence. Therefore, the patient fell in depression and financial worries increased .The family also felt that learning to manage the disease was difficult. However, education available provided the information required to deal with diabetic emergencies most common being hypoglycaemia which could lead to coma. Furthermore, the patient suffered from retinopathy which is a microvascular diabetic complications Therefore, in order to correct the patients eyesight the patient had to undergo a few laser treatments.


Role of Pharmacist

The pharmacist’s first and most important priority is the patient; hence the pharmacist initially must follow a certain care cycle and criteria to ensure maximum contribution to proper care of the patient. Therefore the patient’s care began with a broad assessment, gathering the information to identify symptoms, all problems and complaints and potential problems. This was when many of the symptoms of the patient were recognised as diabetic symptoms such as fatigue, passing urine excessively etc.

The pharmacist’s role at this point is to prioritise the patient and to advise and explain to the patient to see the patient as soon as possible. Once the patient was diagnosed the pharmacist was able to think about the outcomes of care and how to achieve the desirable outcomes. To do this, the pharmacist counselled the patient in accordance to the severity of the diabetes.A Disorder That Affects The Endocrine System Essay.  The pharmacist at this point discussed lifestyle changes, such as moderate alcohol intake, maintaining a healthy diet, and introducing a sufficient exercise regime and the variety of antidiabetic drug therapy treatment options. Once the suitable drug therapy was identified for the patient, the pharmacist was able to provide and support the patient, by creating a rapport with the patient, providing and establishing self-confidence and asking questions. The pharmacist also counselled the patient by discussing each and every drug in an Medicines Use and Review (MUR) service which taught the patient how to administer insulin properly and effectively, the most common side effects, how to take medication and when to take medication (such as medication that must be taken with a meal or medications to be taken only in the morning etc.), and generally talking about how the patient is coping with the disease. The patient was also advised to join a diabetic clinic so that the patient and patient’s family could attend to receive important information about how to identify when a person is in a state of hypoglycaemia (eg. tremors, sweating, palpitations, drowsiness), and also giving details on how to avoid serious diabetic complications.

In general, the pharmacist has a duty of professional conduct to act in a way to benefit the patient which is publicised in the seven MEP Guidelines (YEAR).

The endocrine system is the collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things. A Disorder That Affects The Endocrine System Essay.


The endocrine system is made up of the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands, pancreas, ovaries (in females) and testicles (in males), according to the Mayo Clinic.

The word endocrine derives from the Greek words “endo,” meaning within, and “crinis,” meaning to secrete, according to Health Mentor Online. In general, a gland selects and removes materials from the blood, processes them and secretes the finished chemical product for use somewhere in the body. The endocrine system affects almost every organ and cell in the body, according to the Merck Manual.

Although the hormones circulate throughout the body, each type of hormone is targeted toward certain organs and tissues, the Merck Manual notes. The endocrine system gets some help from organs such as the kidney, liver, heart and gonads, which have secondary endocrine functions. The kidney, for example, secretes hormones such as erythropoietin and renin.

The thyroid also secretes a range of hormones that affect the whole body. “Thyroid hormones impact a host of vital body functions, including heart rate, skin maintenance, growth, temperature regulation, fertility and digestion,” said Dr. Jerome M. Hershman, a professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and author of the thyroid sections of the Merck Manual. A Disorder That Affects The Endocrine System Essay.

“In this way, the thyroid gland is the body’s master metabolic control center,” said Cindy Samet, a chemistry professor at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. “Brain, heart and kidney function, as well as body temperature, growth and muscle strength — and much more — are at the mercy of thyroid function.”

Diseases of the endocrine system

Hormone levels that are too high or too low indicate a problem with the endocrine system. Hormone diseases also occur if your body does not respond to hormones in the appropriate ways. Stress, infection and changes in the blood’s fluid and electrolyte balance can also influence hormone levels, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The most common endocrine disease in the United States is diabetes, a condition in which the body does not properly process glucose, a simple sugar. This is due to the lack of insulin or, if the body is producing insulin, because the body is not working effectively, according to Dr. Jennifer Loh, chief of the department of endocrinology for Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii.

Diabetes can be linked to obesity, diet and family history, according to Dr. Alyson Myers of North Shore-LIJ Health System. “To diagnose diabetes, we do an oral glucose tolerance test with fasting.”

It is also important to understand the patient’s health history as well as the family history, Myers noted. Infections and medications such as blood thinners can also cause adrenal deficiencies.

Diabetes is treated with pills or insulin injections. Managing other endocrine disorders typically involves stabilizing hormone levels with medication or, if a tumor is causing an overproduction of a hormone, by removing the tumor. Treating endocrine disorders takes a very careful and personalized approach, Myers said, as adjusting the levels of one hormone can impact the balance of other hormones. A Disorder That Affects The Endocrine System Essay.

Hormone imbalances can have a significant impact on the reproductive system, particularly in women, Loh explained.

Another disorder, hypothyroidism, a parathyroid disease, occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone to meet the body’s needs. Loh noted that insufficient thyroid hormone can cause many of the body’s functions to slow or shut down completely. It has an easy treatment, though. “Parathyroid disease is a curable cause of kidney stones,” said Dr. Melanie Goldfarb, an endocrine surgeon and director of the Endocrine Tumor Program at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, and an assistant professor of surgery at the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica. The damaged part of the gland is removed surgically.

Thyroid cancer begins in the thyroid gland and starts when the cells in the thyroid begin to change, grow uncontrollably and eventually form a tumor, according to Loh. Tumors — both benign and cancerous — can also disrupt the functions of the endocrine system, Myers explained. A Disorder That Affects The Endocrine System Essay. Between the years of 1975 and 2013, the cases of thyroid cancer diagnosed yearly have more than tripled, according to a 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). “While overdiagnosis may be an important component to this observed epidemic, it clearly does not explain the whole story,” said Dr. Julie Sosa, one of the authors of the new study and the chief of endocrine surgery at Duke University in North Carolina. The American Cancer Society predicts that there will be about 53,990 new cases of thyroid cancer in 2018 and around 2,060 deaths from thyroid cancer.

Hypoglycemia, also called low blood glucose or low blood sugar, occurs when blood glucose drops below normal levels. This typically happens as a result of treatment for diabetes when too much insulin is taken. While Loh noted that the condition can occur in people not undergoing treatment for diabetes, such an occurrence is fairly rare.

What is an endocrinologist?

After completing four years of medical school, people who want to be endocrinologists then spend three or four years in an internship and residency program. These specialty programs cover internal medicine, pediatrics, or obstetrics and gynecology, according to the American Board of Internal Medicine.


Endocrinologists-in-training then spend two or three more years learning how to diagnose and treat hormone conditions. Overall, an endocrinologist’s training will take more than 10 years after the undergraduate degree. They are certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Endocrinologists typically specialize in one or two areas of endocrinology, such as diabetes or infertility. These specialists treat patients with fertility issues and also assess and treat patients with health concerns surrounding menstruation and menopause, Loh noted. A Disorder That Affects The Endocrine System Essay.

Milestones in the study of the endocrine system

200 B.C.: The Chinese begin isolating sex and pituitary hormones from human urine and using them for medicinal purposes

1025: In medieval Persia, the writer Avicenna (980-1037) provides a detailed account on diabetes mellitus in “The Canon of Medicine” (c. 1025), describing the abnormal appetite, the collapse of sexual functions and the sweet taste of diabetic urine.

1835: Irish doctor Robert James Graves describes a case of goiter with bulging eyes (exophthalmos). The thyroid condition Graves’ disease was later named after the doctor.

1902: William Bayliss and Ernest Starling perform an experiment in which they observe that acid instilled into the duodenum (part of the small intestine) causes the pancreas to begin secretion, even after they had removed all nervous connections between the two organs. A Disorder That Affects The Endocrine System Essay.

1889: Joseph von Mering and Oskar Minkowski observe that surgically removing the pancreas results in an increase of blood sugar, followed by a coma and eventual death.

1921: Otto Loewi in 1921 discovers neurohormones by incubating a frog’s heart in a saline bath.

1922: Leonard Thompson, at age 14, is the first person with diabetes to receive insulin. Drugmaker Eli Lilly soon starts mass production of insulin. A Disorder That Affects The Endocrine System Essay.

Looking for a Similar Assignment? Our Experts can help. Use the coupon code SAVE30 to get your first order at 30% off!


15% off for this assignment.

Our Prices Start at $11.99. As Our First Client, Use Coupon Code GET15 to claim 15% Discount This Month!!

Why US?

100% Confidentiality

Information about customers is confidential and never disclosed to third parties.

Timely Delivery

No missed deadlines – 97% of assignments are completed in time.

Original Writing

We complete all papers from scratch. You can get a plagiarism report.

Money Back

If you are convinced that our writer has not followed your requirements, feel free to ask for a refund.

WhatsApp us for help!