Anatomy of the Endocrine System

Endocrine Glands and Hormones

What Is the Endocrine System?
So you might gain weight even though you haven't changed how you eat or exercise. When the body experiences stress, the sympathetic nervous system stimulates the release of the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine from the adrenal medulla. One part of the pancreas, the exocrine pancreas, secretes digestive enzymes. In order to operate well the thyroid gland needs to have an adequate supply of iodine and tyrosine as well as other important minerals such as selenium, manganese, magnesium and zinc to name a few. These hormones tell a guy's body when it's time to make the changes associated with puberty , like penis and height growth, deepening voice, and growth in facial and pubic hair.

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About the Endocrine System

Enter the last name, specialty or keyword for your search below. The endocrine system uses hormones to control and coordinate your body's internal metabolism or homeostasis energy level, reproduction, growth and development, and response to injury, stress, and environmental factors. Consider the following hormones and their role in the workings of the endocrine system:.

Controls key functions in the body; acts as an anti-inflammatory; maintains blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and muscle strength; regulates salt and water balance. Controls blood pressure, both directly and also by regulating aldosterone production from the adrenal glands. Affects development of female sexual characteristics and reproductive development, important for functioning of uterus and breasts; also helps protect bone health.

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Guide to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of conditions from A to Z. Find Health Information Search entire library by keyword. As the level of this hormone rises in the circulation, the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland shut down secretion of the releasing hormone and the stimulating hormone, which in turn slows the secretion by the target gland. This system results in stable blood concentrations of the hormones that are regulated by the pituitary gland.

The hypothalamus is located in the lower central part of the brain. This part of the brain is important in regulation of satiety, metabolism , and body temperature. In addition, it secretes hormones that stimulate or suppress the release of hormones in the pituitary gland. Many of these hormones are releasing hormones, which are secreted into an artery the hypophyseal portal system that carries them directly to the pituitary gland. In the pituitary gland, these releasing hormones signal secretion of stimulating hormones.

The hypothalamus also secretes a hormone called somatostatin, which causes the pituitary gland to stop the release of growth hormone. The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain beneath the hypothalamus and is no larger than a pea. It is often considered the most important part of the endocrine system because it produces hormones that control many functions of other endocrine glands.

When the pituitary gland does not produce one or more of its hormones or not enough of them, it is called hypopituitarism. The pituitary gland is divided into two parts: The anterior lobe produces the following hormones, which are regulated by the hypothalamus:. The posterior lobe produces the following hormones, which are not regulated by the hypothalamus:.

The hormones secreted by the posterior pituitary are actually produced in the brain and carried to the pituitary gland through nerves. They are stored in the pituitary gland. The thyroid gland is located in the lower front part of the neck. It produces thyroid hormones that regulate the body's metabolism. It also plays a role in bone growth and development of the brain and nervous system in children. The pituitary gland controls the release of thyroid hormones. Hypothalamic diseases can include appetite and sleep disorders, but because the hypothalamus affects so many different parts of the endocrine system , it can be hard to pinpoint whether the root cause of the disorder is actually related to another gland.

These are known as hypothalamic-pituitary disorders. However, there are hormone tests that help shed light on which part of the body is the root cause. The hypothalamus is arguably the most essential of the endocrine system. By alerting the pituitary gland to release certain hormones to the rest of the endocrine system, the hypothalamus ensures that the internal processes of your body are balanced and working as they should.

Written by Robert M. The hypothalamus is involved in many functions of the autonomic nervous system, as it receives information from nearly all parts of the nervous system.

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