The endocrine system includes eight hormone producing glands which affect growth and development, metabolism, sexual function and mood. Disruptions of the circulating hormone levels in the blood can be a result of either over- or underproduction of hormones from the endocrine glands.
Some autoimmune diseases can affect the endocrine system. In Addison’s disease the adrenal glands are not producing enough steroid hormones, which leads to symptoms such as extreme fatigue, loss of appetite and hypotension. In type 1 diabetes the insulin producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed, preventing the body from being able to produce enough insulin to adequately regulate blood glucose levels.
The other glands in the endocrine system are the pineal gland, the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland, the thymus and gonads.