The Endocrine System
The endocrine system is one of the body’s communication systems. Its function is the production and distribution of hormones. Hormones help tell the body what to do.
What is the Endocrine System?
The endocrine system includes many different organs called glands. Major glands include:
- pituitary gland
- pineal gland
- adrenal glands
- reproductive organs
Glands are responsible for making hormones. Each gland makes different kinds of hormones. You can find out more about the body’s glands in the resources below!
What are Hormones?
Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers. There are many different kinds of hormones and each one has a specific job. The hormone’s job is to help control different body functions.
Hormones control everything from regulating sleep patterns to managing how the body grows.
How do Hormones Work?
Each hormone has a different chemical composition. The chemical composition is like a piece of coded information telling an organ what to do. Only certain receptors in the target organ can read the code.
Once the hormone reaches the target organ, it binds with compatible receptors. The receptors read the coded information and perform the required task.
How Does the Endocrine System Work With Other systems?
The endocrine hormones affect all other systems in the body.
The parathyroid, for example, is an important gland for the skeletal system. The parathyroid helps to regulate levels of calcium and phosphorus. These nutrients are critical for strong bones and healthy muscles.
The adrenal glands produce hormones like adrenaline. Adrenaline plays a key role in the “fight or flight” response when the body perceives danger. Adrenaline may increase heart rate and breathing patterns.
The pancreas is part of both the endocrine system and the digestive system. It helps create enzymes that break down food. Insulin is made in the pancreas and is helpful in regulating blood sugar levels.
Other Great Resources:
Brief History of Endocrinology: https://www.livescience.com/26496-endocrine-system.html
More on Hormones and Their Function: https://www.hormone.org/hormones-and-health/hormones/hormones-and-what-do-they-do
(Video) The Body’s Glands: