– The endocrine system is a complex collection of hormone-producing glands that control basic bodyfunctions such as metabolism, growth, and sexual development. Many of the hormones produced by theendocrine glands interact with each other to maintain balance. The amount of hormones produced by each gland is carefully balanced. Too much or too little of a certain hormone can have effects throughout the body and cause various endocrine disorders. Although many endocrine disorders that affect adults can affect children, the disorders may produce different symptoms in children.
– Metabolism is the chemical activity that occurs in cells, releasing energy from nutrients or using energy to create other substances, such as proteins. The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is a measurement of energy required to keep the body functioning at rest. Measured in calories, metabolic rates increase with exertion, stress, fear, and illness.
Anatomy of the Endocrine System
The endocrine system consists of three components (1) the cell; which sends a chemical massage by means of a hormone, (2) the target cells or end organs, which receive the chemical massage and (3) the environment through which the chemical is transports (blood, lymph, ECF)
Hypothalamus: The hypothalamus is located in the brain, near the optic chiasm. It secretes hormones that stimulate or suppress the release of hormones in the pituitary gland, in addition to controlling water balance, sleep, temperature, appetite, and blood pressure.
Pineal body: The pineal body is located below the corpus callosum, a part of the brain. It produces the hormone melatonin.
Pituitary: The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain. No larger than a pea, the gland controls many functions of the other endocrine glands (master gland). Pituitary hormones:
– Growth hormone (GH) Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)
– Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
– Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
– Luteinizing hormone (LH)
– Oxytocin (OT)
– Antidiuretic hormone (ADH)
Thyroid and parathyroid: The thyroid gland and parathyroid glands are located in front of the neck, below the larynx (voice box). The thyroid plays an important role in the body’s metabolism. Secretes two types of hormones (1) thyroid hormone (TH): T3 (thyroxine) and T4 (triiodothyrotine), and (2) thyrocalcitonin (which regulate of the body’s calcium balance).
Thymus: The thymus is located in the upper part of the chest and produces T-lymphocytes (white blood cells that fight infections and destroy abnormal cells).
Adrenal gland: The pair of adrenal glands is located on top of both kidneys. Adrenal glands work hand-inhand with the hypothalamus and pituitary gland.
Kidney: The pair of kidneys is located near the middle of the back, just below the rib cage. The kidneys process the blood to sift out waste products and extra water. This waste and extra water becomes urine, which is stored in the bladder.
Pancreas: The pancreas is located across the back of the abdomen, behind the stomach. The pancreas plays a role in digestion, as well as hormone production.
Ovary: A female’s ovaries are located on both sides of the uterus, below the opening of the fallopian tubes
(tubes that extend from the uterus to the ovaries). In addition to containing the egg cells necessary for reproduction, the ovaries also produce estrogen and progesterone.
Testis: A male’s testes are located in a pouch that hangs suspended outside his body. The testes produce testosterone and sperm.