[webmd] The endocrine system and glands of the body (Part 1)


What is the endocrine system?

The endocrine system is a network of glands in the body that make hormones that help cells communicate with each other. They are responsible for most of the solar function of every cell and organ in the body. You may also be more prone to weight gain, weak bones, or lack of energy because too much sugar stays in the bloodstream instead of moving into cells where energy is needed.

Figure 1: Endocrine system

What is route?

A gland is an organ that makes and produces hormones that do a specific job in your body. The endocrine and exocrine glands release the substances they make into the bloodstream.

Endocrine system function

Your endocrine system:

Produces hormones that control mood, growth and development, metabolism, organs and reproduction.

+ Controls the secretion process.

Bringing hormones into the bloodstream so that the hormones can travel to other organs of the body.

Organs of the endocrine system

Many glands make up the endocrine system. Hypothalamus, pituitary, and pineal glands. The thyroid and parathyroid glands are located in the neck. The thymus is located between the lungs, the adrenals are above the kidneys, and the pancreas is behind the stomach. The ovaries (if female) or testicles (if male) are located in the pelvic region.

Downhill area.

This organ connects the endocrine system to the nervous system. Its main job is to tell the pituitary gland to start or stop producing hormones.


This is the main gland of the endocrine system. It uses information received from the brain to send signals to other glands in the body. The pituitary gland makes many important hormones, including:

+ growth hormone

Prolactin, which helps lactating mothers make milk

Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) (vasopressin), which controls blood pressure and helps control water balance in the body through its effect on the kidneys

+Corticotropin/ACTH: Hormone that stimulates the adrenal cortex. stimulates the adrenal glands to produce certain hormones.

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which stimulates the production and secretion of thyroid hormone

+ Oxytocin helps to secrete milk during lactation;

Luteinizing hormone, administering estrogen in women and testosterone in men.

Pineal gland.

The pineal gland produces a chemical called melatonin that helps the body get ready for sleep.

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This gland produces thyroid hormone, which controls growth and metabolism.

If the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough hormones (a condition known as hypothyroidism), things go slower. The heart rate may slow down. Constipation may be present. And can gain weight.

If it generates too much (hyperarmor), things speed up. Heart rate beats faster. You may have diarrhea. And you can lose weight without even trying.

The thyroid gland also produces the hormone calcitonin, which may contribute to bone strength by helping calcium get into the bones.

Parathyroid gland.

This is a collection of four small glands behind the thyroid gland. They play an important role in bone health. The glands control calcium and phosphorus levels.


This gland produces white blood cells called infection-fighting T-lymphocytes and is important as a child’s immune system develops. The thymus begins to shrink after puberty.


Best known for making the “fight or flight” hormone adrenaline (also called epinephrine), these two glands also make hormones known as corticosteroids. They affect your metabolism, heart rate, oxygen levels, blood flow, and sexual function, among other things.


This organ is part of both the digestive and endocrine systems. It produces digestive enzymes to break down food. It also produces the hormones insulin and glucagon. These ensure proper sugar levels in the blood and cells.

If the body doesn’t make insulin, which is the case with people with type I diabetes, your blood sugar can become dangerously high. In type II diabetes, the pancreas normally makes some insulin but not enough.


In women, these organs make estrogen and progesterone. These hormones help with breast development during puberty, regulate the menstrual cycle, and support pregnancy.


In men, the testicles make testosterone. It helps them grow facial and body hair during puberty. It is also reported that the penis grows larger and plays a role in sperm production.

Health problems

As you get older, it’s natural to notice some things related to your endocrine system. Your metabolism tends to slow down. So you can gain weight even if you don’t change the way you eat or exercise. Hormonal changes also explain, at least in part, why you’re more likely to develop heart disease, osteoporosis, and type II diabetes as you age.

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No matter how old you are, stress, infections, and exposure to certain chemicals can mess with parts of your endocrine system. And genetics or lifestyle habits can increase your chances of having an endocrine disorder like hypothyroidism, diabetes or osteoporosis.

Endocrine system disorders

Big head.

Sometimes the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone and causes the bones to enlarge. Usually affects your hands, feet, and face. Usually occurs in middle age.

Adrenal failure.

When you have this condition, your adrenal glands don’t make enough of certain hormones, like cortisol, which controls stress.

Cushing’s disease.

Because your body produces too much cortisol. At first, you may gain weight, get stretch marks, bruise easily, then your muscles and bones weaken and you may develop a hump in your upper back.


This is when the thyroid gland makes more hormone than the body needs. May be called an overactive thyroid. Hyperthyroidism makes body systems work fast and you can feel anxious, lose weight and have a fast heartbeat or have trouble sleeping.


When your body doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone, the system slows down. You may feel tired, gain weight, have a slow heart rate, and have joint and muscle pain.


Sometimes your pituitary gland doesn’t make enough of certain hormones and your adrenal glands and thyroid cannot work properly.
Multiple endocrine neoplasms. This is a group of disorders that affect your endocrine system. It causes tumors on at least two endocrine glands or in other organs and tissues.

Polycystic ovary syndrome.

An imbalance of reproductive hormones can prevent the ovaries from making an egg or not releasing it during ovulation. This can disrupt your period, cause acne, and cause hair to grow on your face or chin.

Waking up early.

When the birth control glands don’t work properly, some children start puberty unusually early – around 8 years old in girls and 9 years old in boys.

Link to original post: https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/what-is-endocrinologist

Follow Barbara Brody and Medically Reviewed by Jabeen Begum on May 20, 2021.

The article was translated and edited by ykhoa.org – please do not reup without permission

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