What Is The Endocrine System: Their Function, Fact, And Diseases

In this article, you can read about What Is The Endocrine System: Their Function, Fact, And Diseases. The endocrine system is the collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things.

What Is The Endocrine System: Their Function And Fact

The endocrine system is made up of various gland throughout the body, responsible for regulating body activities throughout the production of hormones. Hormones are a chemical substance that generally fit into two categories: 1. steroid delivered hormones and 2. hormones synthesized from amino acids. The cell of the endocrine glands releases their hormones directly into the bloodstream, where they are delivered to a target organs. The principal endocrine glands are the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroids, adrenals, pancreas, and gonads. Below you can check how these endocrine works step by step:

What Is The Endocrine System: Their Function, Fact, And DiseasesWhat Is The Endocrine System: Their Function, Fact, And Diseases

What Is The Endocrine System: Their Function, Fact, And Diseases

Pituitary gland

The pituitary gland is often referred to as the “master gland,” because of its regulatory effect on several other endocrine glands and its importance in controlling a number of diverse bodily functions. It is located beneath the brain and divided into anterior and posterior lobes. The posterior lobe releases a hormone called vasopressin, which acts on the kidneys and is considered an antidiuretic (i.e., a substance that inhibits urine production, thereby aiding in the retention of bodily fluid). The posterior portion also releases oxytocin, a hormone that stimulates the smooth muscles of the reproductive organs and intestines.

The anterior portion of the pituitary gland releases six hormones that affect various important bodily functions:

  1. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH),
  2. Luteinizing hormone (LH),
  3. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH),
  4. Adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH),
  5. Growth hormone (GH), and prolactin.
  6. FSH and LH are called gonadotropins because of their effects on the gonads (ovaries and testes).

These substances control the secretion of estrogen and progesterone in the ovaries and the production of testosterone in the testicles. TSH stimulates the synthesis and release of thyroxine from the thyroid gland, which helps control the rate at which all cells utilize oxygen. ACTH controls the secretion in the adrenal gland of hormones that influence the metabolism of carbohydrates, sodium, and potassium. ACTH also controls the rate at which substances are exchanged between the blood and tissues. GH specifically stimulates the growth of the skeletal system, but also general growth.

Additionally, GH promotes the entrance of amino acids into the body’s cells for their incorporation into protein and releases fatty acids into the blood for use as energy. GH has also been shown to promote the formation of glucose and its release into the blood. Another anterior pituitary hormone, prolactin, is involved in the initiation and maintenance of breast-milk production and secretion in females.

Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is located anterior to the upper part of the trachea and is among the largest endocrine organs in the body. Mentioned earlier for its function controlled by the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland releases three hormones:

  1. Thyroxine
  2. triiodothyronine
  3. calcitonin.

Thyroxine and triiodothyronine iodine-containing hormones that are released by the thyroid to regulate the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids, thereby increasing the body’s oxygen consumption and heat production. The third hormone, calcitonin, lowers blood calcium and phosphate levels by accelerating the absorption of calcium by the bones.

Parathyroid Glands

The parathyroid glands are four structures located on the posterior surface of the thyroid gland. These glands release parathyroid hormone (PTH), which is primarily responsible for controlling the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood through its actions on the kidneys and the skeleton. PTH increases bone resorption, which functions to break down bone calcium for its release into the blood. Further, PTH works synergistically with vitamin D to maintain the body’s calcium levels.

Adrenals Glands

The adrenal glands appear as two pyramids shaped organs located close to the superior border of each kidney. Each gland consists of two distinct parts:

  1. The medulla (inner portion).
  2. The cortex (outer portion).

The adrenal medulla and the adrenal cortex are so distinct that each portion is, in effect, its own distinct endocrine organ.

  • The adrenal medulla produces two hormones: epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline). These substances function cooperatively to prepare the body for emergencies or stressful events. Epinephrine acts to elevate blood glucose levels; increase the rate, force, and amplitude of the heartbeat; and dilate blood vessels that feed the heart, lungs, and skeletal muscles. The release of norepinephrine causes an increase in heart rate and in the force of contraction of the cardiac muscle. It also contributes ’constriction of blood vessels in most are of the body.
  • The adrenal cortex secretes mineralocorticoids associated with sodium and potassium metabolism, glucocorticoids that aid in the utilization of glucose and mobilization of fatty acids, and gonadocorticoids, including testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.

Pancreas

The pancreas lies just below the stomach and, in addition to its role in producing digestive enzymes, functions as an endocrine gland that produces hormones involved in regulating carbohydrate metabolism. The pancreas secretes insulin, which acts to facilitate the uptake and utilization of glucose (blood sugar) by cells and prevent the breakdown of glycogen (the storage form of glucose) in the liver and muscle. This function makes insulin a powerful hypoglycemic agent-that is, it decreases the blood sugar level. Insulin also plays a role in lipid and protein metabolism, as it favors lipid formation and storage and facilitates the movement of amino acids into cells. The pancreas secretes another hormone, glucagon, which generally opposes the actions of insulin. Glucagon decreases glucose oxidation and increases the bl00d sugar level (hyperglycemia). Its main action appears to be stimulation of the breakdown of glycogen in the liver for its release into the bloodstream.

Gonads

The gonads are the endocrine glands that produce hormones that promote sex-specific physical characteristics and regulate reproductive function. The sex hormones testosterone and estrogen are found in both males and females but in varying concentrations. In males, testosterone is produced in the testes and acts to initiate sperm production, stimulate the development of male secondary sex characteristics, and promote tissue building. In females, the ovaries are the primary source for the production of estrogen, which regulates ovulation, menstruation, the physiological adjustments during pregnancy, and the appearance of female secondary sex characteristics. Furthermore, estrogen affects the blood vessels, bones, lungs, liver, intestines, prostate, and testes. below check the lists of the major endocrine glands and summarizes some selected effects of their associated hormones.

Major Endocrine Glands And Their Hormones

What Is The Endocrine System: Their Function, Fact, And Diseases

What Is The Endocrine System: Their Function, Fact, And Diseases

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Pituitary Gland:

Hormones and their selected effect:

  1. Antidiuretic hormone- Reduce urinary excretion of water.
  2. oxytocin- stimulates the contraction of smooth muscle of the uterus and intestines.
  3. Follicle stimulating(FSH) and luteinizing hormone(LH)- Stimulate gonads to secrete sex hormones.
  4. Thyroid stimulating hormone(TSH)- Stimulate the thyroid gland to secrete thyroid hormone.
  5. Adrenocorticotropin hormone(ACTH)- Stimulate adrenal gland to secrete glucococoticoids.
  6. Growth hormone(GH)- Stimulate general growth and skeletal growth, and promotes metabolic function.
  7. Prolactin- initiates and maintains breast-milk secretion in females.

Thyroid Gland 

Hormones and their selected effect:

  1. Thyroxine and Triiodothyronine- Increase oxygen consumption and heat production, and affect many metabolic functions.
  2. calcitonin- Decrease blood calcium and phosphate levels

Parathyroids Gland

Hormones and their selected effect:

  • Parathyroid hormone(PTH)- Raises plasma calcium levels and lower plasma phosphate levels.

Adrenals Gland

Hormones and their selected effect:

  1. Epinephrine- Affect carbohydrate metabolism, generally promoting hyperglycemia. constrict vessels in the skin, mucous membranes, and kidney, but dilates vessels in skeletal muscle.
  2. Norepinephrine- Increase heart rate and force of contraction of the myocardium, and constrict blood vessels in the most area of the body
  3. Mineralocorticoids(e.g. Aldosterone)- promote reabsorption of sodium and excretion of potassium in the kidneys.
  4. Glucocorticoids(e.g. Cortisol)- promote protein and triglyceride breakdown.

Pancreas

Hormones and their selected effect:

  1. Insulin– cause liver and muscle cell to take up glucose and store in the form of glycogen; encourages fat cell to take on blood lipids and turn them into triglycerides; also has several other anabolic effects throughout the body.
  2. Glucagon– Causes the liver to convert stored glycogen into glucose and release it into the bloodstream.

Diseases of the endocrine system

Hormone levels that are too high or too low signal that a trouble with the endocrine system. Hormone diseases also occur if your body does not respond to hormones in the ideal ways. Stress, illness, and changes in the bloodstream’s fluid and electrolyte balance may also influence hormone levels, as stated by the National Institutes of Health.

The most common endocrine disease in the United States is diabetes, a state in which the body doesn’t properly process glucose, a sugar. This is a result of the shortage of insulin or, if the body is producing insulin because the body isn’t working efficiently, according to Dr. Jennifer Loh, chief of this department of endocrinology such as Kaiser Permanente at Hawaii.

Diabetes may be linked to obesity, obesity, and family, based on Dr. Alyson Myers of North Shore-LIJ Health System. “To Cure diabetes do an oral glucose tolerance test with fasting.”

It is also important to comprehend the individual’s health history in addition to your genealogy and family history,” Myers noted. Infections and medications such as blood thinners may also result in adrenal deficiencies.

Diabetes is treated with pills or insulin shots. Managing other endocrine disorders typically involves stabilizing hormone levels with medication or, even if a cyst is causing an overproduction of a hormone, then by simply removing the tumor. Fixing hormone disorders have a very attentive and personalized approach, Myers said, as correcting the levels of one hormone may impact the total amount of different hormones.

Hormone imbalances can have a considerable effect on the reproductive system, particularly in women, Loh explained.

Yet another disease, hypothyroidism, a cardiovascular disease disorder, occurs when the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone to meet with the body’s preferences. Loh noted that insufficient thyroid gland can cause lots of your body’s functions to slow or shut down completely. It’s an easy therapy, though. The damaged part of the gland has been removed surgically.

Hypoglycemia also called low blood sugar or low blood sugar occurs when blood sugar drops below normal ranges. This generally occurs as a result of treatment for diabetes if a lot of insulin has been required. While Loh noted that the illness can happen in people not getting treatment for diabetes, this kind of occurrence is fairly rare.

Thyroid cancer begins in the thyroid gland and starts when the cells from the thyroid begin to improve, grow uncontrollably and eventually form a tumor, in accordance with Loh. Tumors — both cancerous and benign — also can interrupt the functioning of the endocrine system, Myers explained. Between the years of 1975 and 2013, the cases of thyroid cancer diagnosed annually do have more than tripled, in accordance with an A-2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). “While overdiagnosis could be an important component for this detected epidemic, it doesn’t explain the whole narrative,” explained Dr. Julie Sosa, one of those writers of this new study and also the chief of endocrine surgery at Duke University in North Carolina. The American Cancer Society predicts that there’ll soon be about 53,990 brand new cases of the thyroid gland in 2018 and around 2,060 deaths in thyroid disorder.

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