How too little or too much of a hormone can affect your body

Hormonal imbalance
on Thu 9 Feb


There are many medical conditions which are triggered by either too little or too much hormone being secreted from a gland. Too little hormone being secreted is called “Hyposecretion” and too much is called “Hypersecretion”


An abnormal amount of hormone from your adrenal gland can cause:

Addison’s disease –  caused by low levels of cortisol which I describe here 


Cushing’s syndrome by high levels of cortisol - which I explain here


In 95% of cases of an uncommon inherited condition called Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) the body compensates for low levels of cortisol by overproducing – in most cases – male hormones.  I describe this condition in more detail just here 


In addition, rare tumours in your adrenal glands called Phaeochromocytomas ( my blog post detailing this condition is here ) cause an overproduction of epinephrine and norepinephrine hormones,  and this in turn can cause high blood pressure and an increased heart rate.


An abnormal amount of hormone from your pancreas can cause:


Diabetes mellitus or type 1 diabetes which is triggered because of an underproduction of insulin. I discuss the difference between types 1 and 2 diabetes just here 


An overproduction of insulin can cause hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). This can be triggered by a rare tumour of the pancreas called an insulinoma.  I explain hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar)  here 


 An abnormal amount of hormone from your parathyroid can cause:


…an abnormal cramping of muscles – Tetany – you can find out more in this blog post here which in this case is caused by dramatically lowered calcium levels due to low level parathyroid hormone.  


You can find out more about what’s called hypoparathyroidism here  


Kidney stones and osteoporosis can be triggered by an overproduction of parathyroid hormone (PTH).


An abnormal amount of hormone from your pituitary gland can cause:


Gigantism which is caused by an overproduction of growth hormone (GH) pre-puberty and which I discuss here:  


Such an overproduction post-puberty can also cause Acromegaly which I describe here


If your Pituitary Gland releases too little ADH (antidiuretic hormone or vasopressin) your kidneys struggle to regulate your fluid levels which leads to an excess of urine and to a condition called Diabetes Insipidus. I explain this further just here 


An abnormal amount of hormone from your testes can cause:

Hypogonadism  which affects around 5 men in every 1,000 and is triggered by low levels of testosterone.  I discuss this condition in more detail here


An abnormal amount of hormone from your thyroid can cause:


Hyperthyroidism  - which is a result of an overproduction of thyroid hormone  - detailed here in one of my patient resources


An underproduction can cause hypothyroidism which I discuss here


Either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism may trigger the growth of a goitre – described here


I hope you found this blog post interesting, as you can see hormones play an enormous part in the efficient functioning of our body. This is why diagnosis is not always that straightforward, hence the need for a specialist in endocrinology.


Although every effort is made to ensure that all health advice on this website is accurate and up to date it is for information purposes and should not replace a visit to your doctor or health care professional.


As the advice is general in nature rather than specific to individuals Dr Vanderpump cannot accept any liability for actions arising from its use nor can he be held responsible for the content of any pages referenced by an external link



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