Endocrine System Disease Diagnosis

Endocrine System Disease Diagnosis

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    Doctors are typically able to diagnose endocrine system diseases by measuring your blood levels of endocrine hormones. Your doctor might need you to fast, take medication, or eat particular foods for a brief period prior to your blood test. Often, this is done to help stimulate your endocrine system to produce more of a particular hormone or hormones, in order to make it easier for your doctor to evaluate endocrine function.

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    A Critical Care Nursing, answered on behalf of

    To prepare for your appointment to diagnose an endocrine system disease you should do several things. You want to list your past history, family history, current history, and a list of questions that you want to ask the practitioner.

    Past History should include the following:

    • All previous and current illnesses and how you manage them
    • Past operations or procedures
    • Medications taken on a daily basis (include over the counter and supplements)
    • Significant diagnostic and lab tests done in the past
    • Any treatments or practices you are engaging
    • Cultural Beliefs and Practices
    • Social (alcohol, smoking, drug use)

    Family History

    • Past medical history of parents, grandparents, and siblings

    Current Illness

    • Manifestations and Symptoms
    • Onset of symptoms
    • Duration of symptoms
    • Why you believe you have this disorder
    • Previous doctor visits for this disorder
    • Past or current treatment of this disorder (medications, therapy, etc)
    • Results of any diagnostic tests (ideally bring reports with you to the visit)

    Questions you may want to ask:

    • What does it mean if I do have this disorder?
    • What type of diagnostic tests will I have to undergo?
    • How do I prepare for them?
    • What type of medications might I need?
    • What type of activity may I do or not do?
    • What type of diet should I follow?
    • What type of physical activity may I do?
    • What are the potential complications?
    • Is there a cure for this?
    • What are the risks/benefits of treatment versus no treatment?

    You may think of additional things to add but this should help. It always helps to bring a list and some blank paper and a pen so you can write down what the healthcare practitioner has told you about your disorder. It is also a good idea to bring a relative or friend for support.

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    Hyperprolactinemia is a condition wherein your pituitary gland produces too much prolactin. Prolactin is the hormone which makes it possible for women to produce milk to breastfeed their babies.

    Diagnosis is based on your symptoms and medical history. Your doctor will order a few diagnostic tests including magnetic resonance imaging, MRI, blood tests, and hormone tests.

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    Patients suspected of having primary hyperaldosteronism based on signs, symptoms, or resistant hypertension should be tested. The best screening tests to determine if a patient has primary hyperaldosteronism are simple blood tests that measure the levels of potassium, aldosterone, and renin in the blood. Patients with primary hyperaldosteronism will classically have high aldosterone levels and suppressed renin levels (very low). They will often also have low potassium levels. If the screening tests suggest primary hyperaldosteronism, then additional testing may be performed to confirm the diagnosis. The confirmatory tests involve trying to suppress (lower) the amount of aldosterone that is being made by giving the patient a medication through the veins (IV or intravenous fluid). If the aldosterone levels are still high and the renin levels are still low after these maneuvers, the diagnosis is confirmed.
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    It is important to note that certain high blood pressure medications may interfere with the diagnostic tests for primary hyperaldosteronism and thus, after consultation with a physician, should be discontinued 4 to 6 weeks prior to testing. The best screening tests to determine if a patient has primary hyperaldosteronism are simple blood tests that measure the levels of potassium, aldosterone, and renin in the blood.
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    In the 24-hour urinary excretion of aldosterone test, a patient eats a high-salt diet for 5 days before measuring the amount of aldosterone in the urine over a 24-hour period. In patients with primary hyperaldosteronism, aldosterone will not be suppressed by the salt load, and the level of aldosterone in the urine will be high.
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    In the saline suppression test, the patient is given a salt solution through an IV, after which the levels of aldosterone and renin in the blood are measured. In patients with primary hyperaldosteronism, the level of aldosterone in the blood is still high and the level of renin is low even after this salt loading.
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    The CRH stimulation test will see if the body can increase the amount of cortisol and ACTH made by the body in response to corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH). Patients with Cushing's disease (pituitary adenoma) should be able to increase the levels of cortisol and ACTH while patients with an ectopic tumor usually cannot.
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    An inferior petrosal venous sinus sampling test involves threading a long, tiny plastic tube or catheter up through the veins of the body to measure the blood levels of ACTH directly from the veins that come from the pituitary. This is done through a small needle-stick in the groin area and is generally not painful.
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    To diagnose a thyroid nodule, a complete medical history and physical examination should be done by your physician. Pertinent signs and symptoms of the thyroid nodule should be discussed. The patient's neck should be inspected and then examined while sitting up at rest and again while swallowing. The firmness of the nodule and whether it moves easily should be noted.