This link is really helpful, and worth reading:http://www.setac.org/node/100
I am more so familiar with some changes in the endocrine system relating to immune response in animals that have genetic or aquired endocrine imbalance. I am not familiar with it pertaining to human fetal development, although I do know that newborn puppies have been diagnosed with endocrine-immune imbalance. In that aspect it makes one wonder whether it was genetic or something that the mother was exposed to during pregnancy may have effected the fetus.
Dr William McK. Jefferies, probably has some research on the human aspect relating to adrenal and thyroid changes relating to immune system function, he may have something in his book 'Safes Uses of Cortisol' pertaining to fetal development. It should be on google books, he likely has info on what damages the adrenal glands and thyroid.
As per the etiology, some of the possible causes of damage or changes to the glands (some I suppose classified as disruptors) as far as I know there can be many things that can cause change, a lot more research is needed though. There are likely so many variables. What effects one person may not effect another but these are a few I have read about that come to mind:
- sustained physical or emotional stress or illness and disease
- some forms and doses of flouride (flouride was a treatment for 'hyper'thyroidism at one time)
- radiation and/or chemotherapy can effect gonadal, thyroid, pituitary, hypothalamus
- various lawn and garden herbicides and pesticides
- and flea/tick pesticide can effect the canine endocrine system perhaps it effects the humans too
- phytoestrogens (present in soy) " Here's a medical article "They are present in great amount in all soy by products. They are known to interact at different steps of the estrogen pathway including the target cells and the estrogen receptor level. They also act at different steps of the estrogen cycle. They were demonstrated to disrupt the reproductive process in various mammalian species and to interfere with the estrogen cycle in women." http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=967130
-some pharmaceuticals (including estrogen birth control pills can change thyroid levels), http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/art...?artid=1070767
Also anti-fungals can effect adrenal function, the link has other meds and their effect on gland and hormonal production.
The list probably goes on. Again, it likely has many variables, the person's baseline hormonal level or level of glandular development, the dose or some cases their exposure, etc. What effects one individual may not effect another, perhaps dependant upon their physiology. So much more research is needed.