Glossary - Endocrinology
acromegaly - excessive growth due to the production of excessive growth hormone by the pituitary gland.
adrenal cortex - the outer portion of the adrenal gland that secretes hormones that are vital to the body.
aldosterone - a hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex which affects blood pressure and saline balance.
amyloidosis - a rare disease which causes the buildup of amyloid, a protein and starch, in tissues and organs.
androgen hormone - a hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex which affects blood pressure and saline balance.
basal metabolic rate (BMR) - a measurement of energy required to keep the body functioning at rest. Measured in calories, metabolic rates increase with exertion, stress, fear, and illness.
bromocriptine - a drug which acts on hormone-producing tumors to suppress its hormone-producing function.
calcitonin - a hormone secreted by the thyroid gland which controls the levels of calcium and phosphorous in the blood.
computed tomography (CT or CAT scan) - a non-invasive procedure that takes cross-sectional images of the brain or other internal organs; to detect any abnormalities that may not show up on an ordinary x-ray.
corticosteroids - hormones produced by the adrenal gland, consisting of hydrocortisone (or cortisol).
endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) - this procedure involves inserting an endoscope (viewing tube) through the stomach and into the small intestine. A special dye injected during this procedure shows the ducts in the biliary system.
estrogen - a hormone secreted by the ovaries which affects many aspects of the female body, including menstrual cycles and pregnancy.
glucagon - a protein hormone secreted by the pancreas to stimulate the liver to produce glucose.
gonadotropins - luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, produced by the pituitary gland.
gonads - ovaries and testes.
hirsutism - excessive growth of body and facial hair, including the chest, stomach, and back
hormones - chemical substances created by the body that control numerous body functions.
hydrocortisone - a hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex which affects metabolism.
hypothalamus - the portion of the brain that stimulates the pituitary gland.
insulin - a hormone released by the pancreas in response to increased levels of sugar in the blood.
intravenous - introducing a fluid into the bloodstream through a vein (usually in the patient's forearm).
islets of Langerhans - pancreas cells that produce insulin and glucagon - important regulators of sugar metabolism.
isthmus - tissue that connects the two lobes of the thyroid.
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - a non-invasive procedure that produces two-dimensional view of an internal organ or structure, especially the brain and spinal cord.
metabolism - the chemical activity that occurs in cells, releasing energy from nutrients or using energy to create other substances, such as proteins.
oxytocin - a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland which plays a role in childbirth.
placenta - this organ grows in the uterus during pregnancy and connects the blood supplies of the mother and baby.
polyps - a growth that projects from the lining of mucous membrane, such as the intestine.
progesterone - a hormone secreted by the ovaries which affect many aspects of the female body, including menstrual cycles and pregnancy.
prolactin - a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland which affects growth of the mammary glands.
radioisotope scan - uses radioactive substances introduced into the body to create an image of the functioning adrenal gland.
sarcoidosis - a rare inflammation of the lymph nodes and other tissues throughout the body.
sella turcica - bony structure that houses the pituitary gland.
suprarenal glands - another name for the adrenal glands.
thyroid scan - uses a radioactive substance to create an image of the thyroid as it is functioning.
thyroxine (T4) - a hormone secreted by the thyroid gland which regulates metabolism.
triiodothyronine (T3) - a hormone secreted by the thyroid gland which regulates metabolism.
ultrasound - a diagnostic technique which uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the internal organs.
x-ray - electromagnetic energy used to produce images of bones and internal organs onto film.