The endocrine system is
one of the human bodies eleven organs systems, it includes all the glands
within the body and the hormones produced by those glands. The nervous system stimulates the glands
which makes them produce the hormones.
Each part of the system and the different glands produces different
hormones to help the body maintain homeostasis.
The glands included in the endocrine system is the hypothalamus, the
pituitary, the pineal, ovaries in females and testes in males, the pancreas,
the adrenal, the thyroid, the parathyroid, and thymus gland.
The hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the pineal
gland are all located within the brain.
The hypothalamus connects the nervous system to the endocrine system by
way of the pituitary gland. It produces
several different hormones such as dopamine, somatostatin, growth releasing
hormones, and others. The hormones that
are produced by the hypothalamus control the production of the six different
hormones that the pituitary gland produces.
Other responsibilities that fall on the shoulders of the hypothalamus
are things like regulating heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and
sleep cycle, appetite and thirst balance, and more. The pituitary gland is made up of wo parts
the anterior and posterior. The anterior
part of the gland is responsible for producing the hormones while the posterior
part is stores and releases the hormones that are produced by the
hypothalamus. Blood vessels surround the
pituitary gland which support the process of transporting hormones and the
surround tissues. The final part of the
endocrine system that is housed in the brain is the pineal gland. This gland produces an important hormone
called melatonin. Melatonin is the
hormone that regulates sleep. Without
sleep the bodies organs don’t work properly and begin to shut down. Stimulation from the retina receptors cause
the pineal gland to produce and release the hormone to cause the body to feel
tired and need sleep.
Both the female ovaries and male testes are found within
the pelvic area. Ovaries produces female
sex hormones called estrogen and progestogen.
Estrogen is released during puberty and helps develop the secondary
female sex qualities such as breast and uterine development, it also helps with
bone development during adolescent years.
Progestogen is predominately active during ovulation and pregnancy. The hormone helps develop the fetus while in
uterine by maintaining normal conditions within the human body. Testes produce another hormone referred to as
testosterone after puberty is hit with in the male species. Like estrogen, testosterone also aides in the
growth of bones and muscles. The hormone
also has an effect on hair follicles, most commonly on the chest, pubic area,
and facial. The hormones that the
ovaries and the testes are vital to keep the body in working condition and
producing new babies to maintain the population.
The thyroid and parathyroid are found in the neck. The thyroid produces three hormones,
calcitonin, triiodothyronine (T3), and Thyroxine (T4). Calcitonin is a hormone that is released when
calcium levels are too high, T3 and T4 work together to maintain metabolic
rate. Surrounding the thyroid is the parathyroid,
it produces a hormone, PTH, which is vital to maintain calcium homeostasis, when
low calcium is detected, PTH breaks down the osteoclast to and send the calcium
to the kidneys which filters the calcium and send it back to the blood stream.
The pancreas, the adrenal, and thymus gland are the
remaining parts of the endocrine system.
The pancreas is located in the abdomen outside of the stomach. It plays a vital role in food digestion, it
breaks it down into fuel and energy for the body but the role is plays in the
endocrine system is that it regulates blood sugar by producing insulin and
glucagon. The adrenal gland is found
near the kidneys and is another part of the body that is divided into two
parts, the adrenal cortex and the adrenal medulla. The cortex produces three different hormones,
glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, and androgens. Glucocorticoids break down proteins, reduce
inflammation and support immune response.
Mineralocorticoids regulate the concentration of mineral ions in the
body. Lastly, androgens are found in
males and help regulate growth hormones.
The adrenal medulla produces the hormone epinephrine and norepinephrine,
both hormones play a role in the body’s natural “flight or fight” response
“rest and digest.” Both hormones
increase blood pressure, heart rate and breathing rate. Finally, the thymus is found in the chest, it
produces a thymosin, a hormone that develop and trains t-lymphocytes, more commonly
known as t-cells, during childhood.
T-lymphocytes or t-cells, have three types, “helper” t-cells which
detect bacteria and call other t-cells to help, “regulatory” t- cells they stop
the call for help, and “killer” t-cells detect and attack the bacteria. The thymus becomes inactive during puberty
and is eventually is replaced by adipose tissue. Like all the organ systems, the endocrine system
is an intricate cog with in the body and maintain homeostasis. Hormones are a necessity for the body, they regulate
other organ systems within the body.
Other parts of the body that are vital to maintain homeostasis
is the heart and blood. The heart is the has four chambers, the right and
left atrium as well as the right and left ventricle. Each chamber has its own job, the right atrium
receives deoxygenated blood, then enters the right ventricle which pumps it to the
lung to get re-oxygenated. The left atrium
receives re-oxygenated blood from the lungs and pumps blood to other parts of the
body. Once the oxygenated blood leaves the
atrium it enters the left ventricle, and from there is pumped out of the aorta throughout
the body. Blood acts as a transport system,
along with oxygen, blood transports all hormones, calcium, and all other cells important
for the body throughout the body.