Corticosteroids have been used as drug treatment for some time. Lewis Sarett of Merck & Co. was the first to synthesize cortisone, using a complicated 36-step process that started with deoxycholic acid, which was extracted from ox bile .  The low efficiency of converting deoxycholic acid into cortisone led to a cost of US $200 per gram. Russell Marker , at Syntex , discovered a much cheaper and more convenient starting material, diosgenin from wild Mexican yams . His conversion of diosgenin into progesterone by a four-step process now known as Marker degradation was an important step in mass production of all steroidal hormones, including cortisone and chemicals used in hormonal contraception .  In 1952, . Peterson and . Murray of Upjohn developed a process that used Rhizopus mold to oxidize progesterone into a compound that was readily converted to cortisone.  The ability to cheaply synthesize large quantities of cortisone from the diosgenin in yams resulted in a rapid drop in price to US $6 per gram, falling to $ per gram by 1980. Percy Julian's research also aided progress in the field.  The exact nature of cortisone's anti-inflammatory action remained a mystery for years after, however, until the leukocyte adhesion cascade and the role of phospholipase A2 in the production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes was fully understood in the early 1980s.
Clinical endocrinology is the study of the endocrine system, its function, and its diseases or abnormalities as related to patient care. In other words, a clinical endocrinologist would spend most of his/her time seeing patients who have one or more disorders of the endocrine system. The endocrine system can be defined as those organs in the body which release hormones that regulate many of the body’s functions, like the testes and ovaries, the pancreas, the pituitary gland , and the thyroid gland. Those who specialize in clinical endocrinology are highly trained physicians. Additional conditions, on which clinical endocrinology concentrates, include thyroid disorders , which may have significant effect on all body functions when ignored. Hormone disorders of other types can be treated by endocrinologists. Problems with estrogen of progesterone production in the female body could cause many symptoms like reduced fertility .