Glossary

Browse through glands, hormones and endocrine conditions.
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Childhood-onset growth hormone deficiency

Childhood-onset growth hormone deficiency is a condition where the pituitary gland fails to produce enough growth hormone during childhood. With early diagnosis and treatment, children generally achieve relatively normal height and development.

Corticotrophin-releasing hormone

Corticotrophin-releasing hormone is the main element that drives the body's response to stress. It is also present in diseases that cause inflammation. Too much or too little corticotrophin-releasing hormone can have a range of negative effects.

Circadian rhythm sleep disorders

Circadian rhythm sleep disorders occur when the circadian clock in the brain, which drives daily behavioural and physiological rhythms, is not synchronised with 'real' local time. This can result in abnormal sleep patterns, sleep loss and fatigue.

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia is an inherited disorder that results in low levels of cortisol and high levels of male hormones, causing development of male characteristics in females, and early puberty in both boys and girls.

chorionic villus sampling

a procedure carried out during early pregnancy to obtain tissue from the placenta for genetic testing. The process comes with a slightly increased risk of miscarriage.

Chronic fatigue syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a condition that causes long-term and energy-draining tiredness, which does not improve with rest or sleep.

Cushing's syndrome

Cushing's syndrome is the name given to the collection of signs and symptoms that occur when the body is exposed to too much of the hormone cortisol.

Craniopharyngioma

Craniopharyngiomas are rare slow-growing benign brain tumours, which most commonly occur above the pituitary gland, but occasionally are found within the bony box containing the pituitary gland.

Cushing's disease

Cushing's disease is the collection of clinical symptoms and signs resulting from a pituitary tumour that causes excessive amounts of the hormone cortisol to be released by the adrenal glands.

Carcinoid tumour

Carcinoid tumours are slow-growing tumours that arise from specialised cells that release hormones.

Cholecystokinin

Cholecystokinin is a gut hormone released after a meal, which helps digestion and reduces appetite.

corticosteroids

hormones secreted from the cortex of the adrenal gland that include glucocorticoids (e.g. cortisol), mineralocorticoids (e.g. aldosterone) and androgens (e.g. testosterone).

corticosterone

a glucocorticoid hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Cortisol is the main glucocorticoid in most animal species but corticosterone is higher in animals such as amphibians, rodents, reptiles and birds.

corpus luteum

a temporary endocrine gland formed from the ruptured ovarian follicle (which enclosed the egg) after an egg is released at ovulation. The corpus luteum produces the hormones progesterone and oestradiol (an oestrogen).

Calcitonin

Calcitonin is a hormone that is produced and released by the C-cells of the thyroid gland. Its biological function in humans is unclear.

cataracts

opacity in the lens of the eye leading to impaired vision or blindness. Cataracts are more frequent in the elderly and in people with diabetes.

Cortisol

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates a wide range of processes throughout the body, including metabolism and the immune response. It also has a very important role in helping the body respond to stress.

chronic

describes a condition that is long term or one that progresses slowly. Examples of chronic conditions are asthma, eczema and type 1 diabetes mellitus.

cervix

the neck or opening of the womb. During labour the cervix opens to allow the foetus to be delivered.


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