3.What does an endocrinologist do ?
An endocrinologist is a doctor who specialises in diseases of the endocrine gland, parts of the body which are responsible for producing hormones. There are several different endocrine glands located around the body, but the important ones as far as Kallmann syndrome is concerned are shown in Figure 1.
Some of the endocrine glands work on their own, but most work together as members of a close-knit "endocrine team". Endocrine teams control many different functions in the body, including the regulation of appetite, body temperature and blood pressure.
Normally, one of these teams encourages the development of the body during puberty and maintains the secondary sexual characteristics (these are described later in the answer to Question 6 ) once puberty has been completed. Normally, girls reach puberty by the time they are 14 years old, a year or two earlier than boys.
Overall control of the endocrine system belongs to a small, walnut sized gland, located deep within the brain known as the hypothalamus. This is the "master gland" controlling the functions of all the other endocrine glands in response to signals it receives from around the body.
Located close to the hypothalamus is the pituitary gland. This pea-sized gland is formed of two halves (the posterior and anterior). It is responsible for producing, under direction from the hypothalamus, a number of different hormones which have various actions around the body.
When discussing Kallmann syndrome the two hormones of interest are produced by the anterior section of the pituitary gland and are called FSH and LH.
FSH = follicle stimulating hormone
LH - leutinising hormone.
Together these two hormones are known as gonadotropins.
LH and FSH are normally released from the pituitary gland into the blood stream to have a direct effect on their target organs which in this case are the ovaries in women and testes in men.
The whole network is known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (HPG axis).