Endocrine disorders are complex syndromes that can cause serious complications in an acute medical illness, trauma, or surgical event. In 1872, Claude Bernard found that a regulated internal milieu in a changing and challenging environment was important, as cells and tissues emitted signals in an effort to coordinate physiological functions. Today, we know that this communication between tissues is done by chemical mediators known as hormones, interacting with receptors, resulting in physiological responses. A delicate and interwoven network exists within the endocrine, nervous, and immune systems. This network requires care providers to look beyond the obvious conclusions at times to identify underlying causes of symptoms and signs associated with major organ systems, such as cardiovascular or gastrointestinal systems, to find an endocrine disorder in crisis mode.

The 3 major pathological mechanisms of endocrine disease are excessive hormone production, insufficient hormone production, and resistance...

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