Endocrine Disorders Linked to Lifestyle, Heredity
Eating right and exercise are not only the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle; they can help avoid many common adult endocrine illnesses, including diabetes, high cholesterol and osteoporosis.
In many endocrine conditions, people are predisposed genetically to develop them, but lifestyle also plays a huge role, says adult endocrinologist, Patricia Sareh, M.D. Developing healthy eating habits, exercising regularly and maintaining a normal body weight can lessen the chances of developing type 2 diabetes, for example. Patients can also reduce their chances of having an osteoporotic fracture by having a good calcium and vitamin D intake and avoiding smoking and excessive drinking.
Endocrinology deals with disorders of the endocrine glands, which produce important hormones for our body. If there is a lack of hormones, patients require hormone replacement therapy. Examples are treatment with thyroid hormone for patients with hypothyroidism and glucocorticoids for patients with adrenal insufficiency.
If a gland is producing hormone in excess, our goal is to control it, Dr. Sareh says. In hyperparathyroidism, for example, there s too much parathyroid hormone, which leads to problems such as increased calcium in the blood, kidney stones and bone fractures. Hyperparathyroidism may be treated with medication, but surgery is sometimes done to remove the abnormal parathyroid gland.
In addition to living healthy, Dr. Sareh recommends talking to your physician if you have a family history of endocrine disorders. Your symptoms may be related to an endocrine disorder or may be caused by something else, she says. Finding out if you have a problem will bring peace of mind. Endocrine conditions are treatable, especially when diagnosed early.
Patricia Sareh, M.D.
Lee Physician Group
8960 Colonial Center Drive, Suite 302
Fort Myers, FL 33905
*An outpatient department of Lee Memorial Hospital