Monday, June 7, 2010

Functional Endocrinology and its Impact on YOUR Health

So, what exactly is "Functional Endocrinology", and moreover, "what impact does it have on my health" per se? EVERYTHING! to do with you, your health, your future, as in how you age, how you can modulate genetic predispositions, how you can invoke pre-emptive measures today to employ preventative "medicine" etc,, if you'll indulge me for a few minutes I will elaborate briefly.

First, "endocrinology" can be defined as follows by Wikipedia:

Endocrinology (from Greek ἔνδον, endo, "within"; κρῑνω, krīnō, "to separate"; and -λογία, -logia) is a branch of medicine dealing with disorder of the endocrine system and its specific secretions called hormones, the integration of developmental events such as proliferation, growth, and differentiation (including histogenesis and organogenesis) and the coordination of metabolism, respiration, excretion, movement, reproduction, and sensory perception depend on chemical cues, substances synthesised and secreted by specialized cells.
Endocrinology is concerned with the study of the biosynthesis, storage, chemistry, and physiological function of hormones and with the cells of the endocrine glands and tissues that secrete them.
The endocrine system consists of several glands, in different parts of the body, that secrete hormones directly into the blood rather than into a duct system. Hormones have many different functions and modes of action; one hormone may have several effects on different target organs, and, conversely, one target organ may be affected by more than one hormone.

Hence, in lay terms, the endocrine system, in conjunction and coordination with the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and all nerves that branch from brain and spinal cord), runs THE SHOW. When I was a student way back in the 20th century before the days of computers and "wireless communicators" (how did we ever exist today's generation wonders?), one of my physiology professors then stated that the two systems were so inextricably tied to one another and therefore co-dependant on each other for functional integration, that the two "separate" systems should more appropriately be combined and singularly renamed the "neuroendocrine system", a term that has gained more and more traction recently.

Functional endocrinology involves the evaluation of body systems that respects and addresses alterations in metabolism as interdependant and complex, as opposed to merely identifying hormonal levels that may appear to be elevated or depressed. Hence, when addressing patients with hormonal disorders, a complex evaluation that ranges from the synthesis/manufacture of the specific hormone all the way on through to its end use (ie, its ultimate role that it plays on a cellular level) should always be, and is always considered by clinicians trained to treat as I do. That is to say, many a patient is erroneously placed on either synthetic or bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (HRT), without ever investigating the underlying cause as to the fundamental reason WHY??? that a particular hormone is in a state of aberration, and therefore the body can only function aberrantly as a direct consequence of the disruption in biochemical messaging.

More to follow...

No comments:

Post a Comment