The endocrine system is one of the body's communication systems. It uses hormones to tell the body what to do. The endocrine system is composed of ductless glands. These are glands that release secretions directly into the blood and not into a duct (tube) like other types of glands such as the salivary glands. These ductless glands produce hormones, the body's chemical messengers. Each gland produces specific hormones. Hormones control and affect many body functions and organs, as well as behavior. The function of the endocrine system is closely linked to that of the nervous system.
STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION
What Is A Hormone?
A hormone is a chemical messenger. It is secreted directly into the blood by one of the glands in the endocrine system. When they are released they trigger reactions in different parts of the body. Some hormones are made of protein (insulin for example), while others are steroids (adreno-corticoid hormones), glycoproteins (TSH, FSH and LH) or derivatives of single amino acids (T4,T3). Hormones are produced in the gland and are then transported to the part of the body (or organ) they control or affect.
What Is An Endocrine Gland?
A ductless gland which produces hormones. Ductless means that there is no separate canal or tube to transport the hormones to the blood. Hormones travel straight into the bloodstream from the gland. Most hormones in the body are produced by the endocrine glands.
What Do Hormones And The Endocrine System Do?
They cause behaviors and functions in different areas of the body - for example some hormones are responsible for correct growth in children and changes to the body in puberty, others control the menstrual cycle, pregnancy or cause menopause. Some are responsible for responses to stress and danger and the proper functioning of the kidneys and digestive system.
|THE GLANDS AND THE HORMONES THEY PRODUCE
The following section explains the location of each gland and which hormones they produce. It also explains what each hormone does and what can go wrong with it. If too much of a hormone is produced it is known as hypersecretion; too little is known as hyposecretion.
|What Is The Role Of The Sex Hormones?
|What Can Go Wrong With The Endocrine System?
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
Summary Of The Endocrine System
- Nervous System: Works very closely with the nervous system to provide homeostasis - balance in the body. The pituitary gland (endocrine) has an infinite link to the hypothalamus (nervous system/brain) both of which exert great control over the body.
| Other Useful Guides
Respiratory system: Breathing, how we breathe, the lungs and what can go wrong.
Skin structure and function: In depth look at the skin and its role.
Lymphatic system: The body's drainage system.
Bones Of The Body: How they work and what they do.
How menopause affects the body: What is going on inside your body? Find out...
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