Glossary of Endocrinology
Acromegaly – Acromegaly is a hormonal disorder where the pituitary gland produces excess amounts of growth hormone.
Adrenal Cortex – The adrenal cortex is the outer portion of the adrenal gland and it produces steroid hormones, which regulate carbohydrate and fat metabolism, and mineralocorticoid hormones, which regulate salt and water balance in the body.
Adrenal Glands – Adrenal glands are triangle-shaped glands that sit on top of the kidneys. They regulate stress response through the synthesis of hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline.
Adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) – Adrenocorticotropin is a hormone produced by the anterior pituitary gland that stimulates the adrenal cortex.
Albumin – Albumin refers to a group of relatively small proteins that are soluble in water and readily coagulated by heat.
Androgens – Androgens are hormones that help to develop sex organs in men. They also contribute to sexual function in men and women.
Andropause – Andropause is a biological change characterized by a gradual decline in androgens experienced by men during and after their mid-life.
Antiandrogens – Antiandrogens are substances that inhibit the biological effects of androgenic hormones.
Antidiuretic hormone – Antidiuretic hormones are secreted by the posterior pituitary gland. They regulate the amount of water excreted by the kidneys.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (Enlarged Prostate) – Benign prostatic hyperplasia is non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland, a common occurrence in older men.
Bioavailable testosterone – Bioavailable testosterone represents the fraction of circulating testosterone that readily enters cells and better reflects the bioactivity of testosterone than does the simple measurement of serum total testosterone.
Bioidentical Hormones – Bioidentical hormones are compounds that have exactly the same chemical and molecular structure as hormones that are produced in the human body. Though any hormone can be made to be "bioidentical," the term is often used to describe allegedly custom-compounded formulations containing estrogens, progesterone, and androgens. There is no evidence that they are any safer or more effective than FDA-approved hormone preparations.
Bone mineral density – A bone mineral density (BMD) test measures the density of minerals (such as calcium) in bones using a special X-ray, computed tomography (CT) scan, or ultrasound. This information is used to estimate the strength of bones.