The endocrine system is composed of a series of glands. These glands secrete chemicals, known as hormones, which trigger a particular part of the body to act based on the message that the hormones are carrying. The organs of the endocrine system are the pituitary, hypothalamus, thyroid, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands, pineal body, ovaries in women and testes in men.
Out of all the organs of the endocrine system, the main controls are vested with the pituitary. Hence, it is often called the master gland. This gland is responsible for controlling the working of other organs and glands in the body. The pituitary is a small-sized gland, about the size of pea, and it is situated in the brain. The gland is divided into anterior and posterior lobes. The anterior part of the gland has control over the reproductive glands, adrenal glands as well as the thyroid gland. In addition, the other hormones secreted by the gland ensure proper development and growth of the body, and production of milk in women who are lactating. The posterior part of the pituitary is responsible for controlling the amount of water in the body and for secreting oxytocin, which is the hormone that causes uterine contractions during labor. The gland is also ensures timely ovulation and menstrual cycle.
The hypothalamus, also located in the brain, is responsible for connecting the nervous system and endocrine system. The gland controls the working of the pituitary and also helps the body to sense any change in the light, emotions, and temperature.
The thyroid gland is located in the neck and produces 2 hormones, namely thyroxine and triiodothyronine. These two hormones are extremely important as they control the metabolism of various vitamins and nutrients, they trigger energy production, and also help in the development of the brain, nervous system and bones.
The parathyroid glands are adhered to the thyroid and help the thyroid in regulating the blood calcium levels.
Adrenal glands are situated in the abdominal cavity, just above the kidneys. They are responsible for regulating the amount of water and salt in the body, metabolism rate, working of the immune system, responding to stress and ensuring sexual development as well as sexual functioning.
The pineal gland is found in the brain and helps to convert nervous system signals into endocrine system signals. The gland is also responsible for controlling the sleep cycle and for changes in the hormones during teenage years.
The ovaries and testes which are also called gonads are responsible for producing androgen, male sex hormones in men, and female sex hormones in women. The gonads have the responsibility to ensure that sexual organs develop properly and also as the person matures into an adolescent, the secondary sexual characteristics develop.
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- Endocrine Systems Overview
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- Organs Of The Endocrine System
- Overview Of Endocrine System
- The Evolution Of The Endocrine System
- What Is Endocrinology ?
- What Is Reproductive Endocrinology ?
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