Development of the present understanding of endocrine system closely parallels the evolution of clinical sciences from prehistoric times to the present. Iranian physicians during the glorious Islamic civilization had a tremendous share in the progress of medical sciences. The excellent clinical observations and physical examinations and writings of Iranian scientists such as Rhazes (Al-Razi, 865-925 AD), Haly Abbas (Ali ibn-al Abbas-al Majusi, died 994 AD), Avicenna (Abou Ali Sina, 980 – 1037) and Jurjan (Osmail ibn al-Husayn al-Jurjani, 110 AD) influenced the fields of internal medicine including clinical endocrinology.
The establishment of the Institute of Endocrinology in the Ministry of Health and the extension of endocrine laboratories in Tehran and Shiraz universities helped physicians to use better tools for the diagnosis of endocrine patients. The growth of sub- specialty training in late 80’s and 90’s was accompanied by increase in quality and quantity of endocrine tests. The establishment of endocrine research centers facilitated many of the new tools needed for screening and diagnosis of endocrine diseases, in particular, goiter and iodine deficiency disorders,diabetes,hyperlipidemia,neonatal hypothyroidism,osteoporosis, and metabolic bone disease.
In the late 60’s and 70’s, Dr. H. Gharib, Dr. M.Mellati, and Drs. Sami, Sam and Askari provided extended services for the management and care of endocrine patients in the hospitals of Ministry of Health. At present, save for 3 provinces, all have at least one endocrinologist and at least one medical center for endocrine care. The standard of care for endocrine patients has improved tremendously. At least 50 centers and hospitals throughout the country offer special diagnostic and treatment care for endocrine patients. In fact, as things stand, there is no need for referral of endocrine patients to centers outside of Iran.
Endocrine Disorders and Prevention
Endocrine disorders are diseases related to the endocrine glands of the body. The endocrine system produces hormones, which are chemical signals sent out or secreted, through the bloodstream. Hormones help the body regulate processes, such as appetite, breathing, growth, fluid balance, feminization and virilisation, and weight control. Common endocrine disorders include diabetes mellitus, acromegaly, Addison’s disease, Cushing’s syndrome, Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and prolactinoma. These disorders often have widespread symptoms, affect multiple parts of the body, and can range in severity from mild to very severe. Treatments depend on the specific disorder but often focus on adjusting hormone balance using synthetic hormones.