Diseases and Disorders

Disease and Disorder Terms Built from Word Parts

acromegaly: enlargement of the extremities (and face due to increased soft tissue, bone, and cartilage; caused by excessive production of the growth hormone by the pituitary gland after puberty)

adrenalitis: inflammation of the adrenal glands

adrenomegaly: enlargement (of one or both) of the adrenal glands

endocrinopathy: any disease of the endocrine system

hypercalcemia: excessive calcium in the blood

hyperglycemia: excessive sugar in the blood

hyperkalemia: excessive potassium in the blood

hyperparathyroidism: state of excessive parathyroid gland activity (resulting in hypercalcemia and leading to osteoporosis, as well as symptoms of muscle weakness, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness)

hyperpituitarism: state of excessive pituitary gland activity (characterized by excessive secretion of pituitary hormones)

hyperthyroidism: state of excessive thyroid gland activity (characterized by excessive secretion of thyroid hormones; signs and symptoms include tachycardia, weight loss, irritability, and heat intolerance)

hypocalcemia: deficient calcium in the blood

hypoglycemia: deficient sugar in the blood

hypokalemia: deficient potassium in the blood

hyponatremia: deficient sodium in the blood

hypopituitarism: state of deficient pituitary gland activity (characterized by decreased secretion of one or more of the pituitary hormones, which can affect the function of the target endocrine gland; for example, hypothyroidism can result from decreased secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone by the pituitary gland)

hypothyroidism: state of deficient thyroid gland activity (characterized by decreased secretion of thyroid hormones; signs and symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, and cold intolerance)

HYPOTHYROIDISM results in decreased production of the thyroid hormone called thyroxine. A severe form of hypothyroidism in adults is called myxedema and in infants is called congenital hypothyroidism.

panhypopituitarism: state of total deficient pituitary gland activity (characterized by decreased secretion of all the anterior pituitary hormones; a more serious condition than hypopituitarism in that it affects the function of all the other endocrine glands)

PANHYPOPITUITARISM contains two prefixes: pan-meaning total and hypo-meaning deficient.

parathyroidoma: tumor of a parathyroid gland

thyroiditis: inflammation of the thyroid gland

Disease and Disorder Terms Not Built from Word Parts

Addison disease: chronic syndrome resulting from a deficiency in the hormonal secretion of the adrenal cortex. Signs and symptoms may include weakness, weight loss, hypotension, darkening of skin, and loss of appetite.

ADDISON DISEASE was named in 1855 for Thomas Addison, an English physician and pathologist. He described the disease as a “morbid state with feeble heart action, anemia, irritability of the stomach, and a peculiar change in the color of the skin.”

congenital hypothyroidism: condition caused by congenital absence or atrophy (wasting away) of the thyroid gland, resulting in hypothyroidism. The disease is characterized by puffy features, mental deficiency, large tongue, and short stature.

Cushing syndrome: group of signs and symptoms attributed to the excessive production of cortisol by the adrenal cortices (pl. of cortex). This syndrome may be the result of a pituitary tumor that produces ACTH or a primary adrenal cortex hypersecretion. Signs include abnormally pigmented skin, “moon face,” pads of fat on the chest and abdomen, “buffalo hump” (fat on the upper back), wasting away of muscle, and hypertension.

CUSHING SYNDROME was named for an American neurosurgeon, Harvey Williams Cushing (1869–1939), after he described adrenocortical hyperfunction.

diabetes insipidus (DI): result of decreased secretion of antidiuretic hormone by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland. Symptoms include excessive thirst (polydipsia), large amounts of urine (polyuria), and water being excreted from the body.

diabetes mellitus (DM): chronic disease involving a disorder of carbohydrate metabolism caused by under-activity of the insulin-producing islets of Langerhans and characterized by elevated blood sugar (hyperglycemia). DM can cause chronic renal disease, retinopathy, and neuropathy. In extreme cases the patient may develop ketosis, acidosis, and finally coma.

gigantism: condition brought about by hypersecretion of growth hormone by the pituitary gland before puberty

GIGANTISM AND ACROMEGALY are both caused by overproduction of growth hormone. Gigantism occurs before puberty and before the growing ends of the bones have closed. If untreated, an individual may reach 8 feet tall in adulthood. Acromegaly occurs after puberty. The body parts most affected are those in the hands, feet, and jaw.

graves disease: autoimmune disorder of the thyroid gland characterized by the production of more thyroid hormone than the body needs (hyperthyroidism), goiter, and exophthalmos (abnormal protrusion of the eyeballs)

Hashimoto thyroiditis: disease in which thyroid gland cells are destroyed by autoimmune processes. Characterized by hypothyroidism and goiter; more common in females.

ketoacidosis: serious condition resulting from uncontrolled diabetes mellitus in which acid ketones accumulate from fat metabolism in the absence of adequate insulin. If not promptly controlled by adequate insulin and hydration, can progress to coma and death.

metabolic syndrome: group of signs and symptoms including insulin resistance, obesity characterized by excessive fat around the area of the waist and abdomen, hypertension, hyperglycemia, elevated triglycerides, and low levels of the “good” cholesterol HDL. Risks include development of type 2 diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease, or stroke (also called syndrome X and insulin resistance syndrome).

myxedema: condition resulting from an extreme deficiency of the thyroid hormone thyroxine; a severe form of hypothyroidism in an adult. Signs include puffiness of the face and hands, coarse and thickened skin, enlarged tongue, slow speech, and anemia.

neuroblastoma: malignant cancer that often starts in the adrenal medulla, composed of immature nerve cells. Primarily affects children.

pheochromocytoma: tumor of the adrenal medulla, which is usually nonmalignant and characterized by hypertension, headaches, palpitations, diaphoresis, chest pain, and abdominal pain. Surgical removal of the tumor is the most common treatment. Though usually curable with early detection, it can be fatal if untreated.

thyrotoxicosis: condition caused by excessive thyroid hormones

Watch this video:

Media 6.2 Endocrine System, part 2—Hormone Cascades [Online video]. Copyright 2015 by CrashCourse.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Medical Terminology: An Interactive Approach Copyright © 2022 by LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book