Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 21, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963855 | Print ISBN: 9781412941860 | Online ISBN: 9781412963855 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Endocrinology is a branch of medicine that deals with the disorders of the endocrine system and also deals with specific secretions called hormones. This involves disorders such as diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, and other similar problems. The origins of endocrinology come from the discovery that all multicellular organisms need to have a system to regulate and integrate the functioning of cells. To do this, especially in higher animals, the nervous system and the endocrine system are both used. For the latter, the body releases, usually into the blood, chemical agents that are essential for the proper development and function of organisms. This was first realized by some thinkers of the classical world such as the Greeks, Aristotle and Hippocrates, and the Romans, Lucretius, Celsus, and Galen. However, these tended to emphasize the influence of “humors,” and it was not until the 19th century that pathologists and others came up with a ...