Organs of the Endocrine System
The organs of the endocrine system only include the gonads, otherwise known as the testes in men and ovaries in women, and the pancreas. The endocrine system glands, which include the thyroid, parathyroid, thymus, adrenal and pituitary glands make up the majority of the group. Each gland secretes hormones, such as steroids, peptides, and amino acid derivatives that aid in the functions and maintenance of the endocrine system.
Many endocrine system disorders respond well to natural home remedies. The easiest to treat naturally, include:
- Low Blood Sugar
- Hormonal Acne
- Hot Flashes
Function of Endocrine System
The organs and glands of the endocrine system are relevant to the group because of the hormones they produce.
- PANCREAS - For instance, the pancreas helps to maintain stability in the body by regulating the amount of sugar in the blood. It is able to do this by releasing insulin, a hormone that lowers blood sugar, stores it, and converts it, and glucagon, a hormone that increases blood sugar levels by turning stored glucose into energy. Together, these two hormones ensure that the level of sugar in the body is always balanced.
- TESTES - The male gonads release testosterone, a hormone that encourages sperm growth, increases protein in skeletal muscle, and causes characteristics such as facial hair and a deep voice in men.
- OVARIES & MAMMARY - Progesterone and estrogen, the female hormones, regulate the menstrual cycle, develop the uterus and mammary glands, as well as other traits found in women. These hormones are important because they allow reproduction and keep the species alive.
- PITUATARY - Working with the organs of the endocrine system are the glands, which produce and release more hormones necessary to the body's health and survival. Of these glands, the pituitary is the most important because it is involved in every process of the endocrine system. The pituitary, or master gland, releases hormones important to the thyroid, ovaries, testes, growth, skin color, production of breast milk, the kidneys and hair growth. It is also important during physical labor and provides the body with adrenaline.
- THYROID - The thyroid gland regulates the body's metabolism and works with the parathyroid gland to control the levels of calcium and phosphorus in bodily fluids as well as circulation. The thymus gland is extremely important to the development and maintenance of the immune system, especially during the early stages of life.
- ADRENAL - Finally, the adrenal glands are responsible for secreting epinephrine and norepinephrine, hormones crucial to the nervous system. These hormones increase heart rate, blood flow and awareness, making them crucial to survival instincts.
Other glands include the pinal gland located in the brain, and the thymus located in the chest, behind the sternum.
A Healthy Endocrine System
As with the health of any part of the body, the most important way to maintain healthy organs of the endocrine system is by eating a balanced diet. Consuming foods high in calcium and iodine, while being cautious of your sugar intake, are some ways to sustain the health of the endocrine organs and glands. Another way to prevent endocrine system dysfunction is to know your family's health history so that you and your doctor can watch for signs or symptoms of problems.
Diseases of the Endocrine System
The organs of the endocrine system are important to the well being of the entire body so, while they may only suffer from two disorders, these disorders can lead to numerous illnesses and diseases in other parts of the human vessel.
This often occurs because of a genetic disease, nutritional deficiency, or autoimmunity and can lead to:
- Addison's disease: the adrenal cortex stops working.
- Diabetes: insulin production is minimal and the body destroys its own pancreatic cells.
- Hypothyroidism: caused by a lack of thyroid hormones; can lead to death.
- Pituitary Dwarfism: result of low levels of growth hormones.
A tumor in gland tissue or excess hormone secretion usually leads to this disorder, which may cause:
- Acromegaly or Gigantism: high levels of growth hormones result in enlarged appendages or overall body size.
- Cushing's Disease: excess amounts of cortisol create symptoms of stress and effect the way the body processes fat, carbohydrates, and protein.
- Graves Disease: high levels of thyroid hormones that cause problems with the immune system.
- Hyperinsulinism: occurs from an insulin overdose or tumor.
The disorders of the endocrine system are few but serious and lead to problems in other parts of the body.
It is important to maintain the health of the organs of the endocrine system. If you suspect you have an endocrine disorder, you should see an endocrinologist so tests can be performed and a diagnosis reached.