Endocrine System Pathologies

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Endocrine pathologies effect growth and development by altering the secretion and production of hormones in the body.   One example of this that is very pertinent to today’s society is diabetes. Diabetes insipidus is caused by a posterior pituitary gland dysfunction that results in deficient production of anti-diuretic hormone (Salvo, 178).  Diabetes Mellitus deals with insulin production and pancreatic dysfunction.  Diabetes Mellitus can be Type 1, in which the patient has a deficiency of insulin that requires injections, or Type 2 where insulin is produced but does not enter cells. Type 2 can be treated by diet, exercise and weight loss.   In terms of the effect on massage, therapists need to be aware of injection sites (if applicable) as massage in these areas may increase the local blood flow and insulin may enter the blood rapidly.  Lighter pressure may be needed for clients with accompanying neuropathy that may exist with diabetes. The therapist should also know when the client last ate, and should be prepared in case the client has an emergency.   Due to the prevalence of diabetes in today’s society, this is an area in which therapists should have a large knowledge base.

In general, therapists should be on the lookout for lumps, masses, nodules or pigmentation changes (among other signs and symptoms) when doing a premassage assessment or during a massage.  It is important that the client be referred to a physician in order to receive proper treatment for these conditions that are often related to endocrine pathologies.

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