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About endocrine system: The Endocrine System | Hormone Health Network


Factors That Affect Endocrine Function

Everyone’s body undergoes changes, some natural and some not, that can affect the way the endocrine system works. Some of the factors that affect endocrine organs include puberty, aging, pregnancy, the environment, genetics and certain diseases and medications, including naturopathic medicine, herbal supplements, and prescription medicines such as opioids or steroids.


Despite age-related changes, the endocrine system functions well in most older people. However, some changes occur because of either damage to cells during the aging process or medical issues that the aging body accumulates, or genetically programmed cellular changes. These changes may alter the following:

  • hormone production and secretion
  • hormone metabolism (how quickly hormones are broken down and leave the body)
  • hormone levels circulating in blood
  • target cell or target tissue response to hormones
  • rhythms in the body, such as the menstrual cycle

For example, increasing age is thought to be related to the development of type 2 diabetes, especially in people who might be at risk for this disorder. The aging process affects nearly every gland. With increasing age, the pituitary gland (located in the brain) can become smaller and may not work as well, although may provide sufficient hormonal signaling for continuity of life. For example, production of growth hormone might decrease, which is likely not a priority in an aging individual; this is also an example of genetic programming that we have evolved as species to adapt to. Decreased growth hormone levels in older people might lead to problems such as decreased lean muscle, decreased heart function, and osteoporosis. Aging affects a woman’s ovaries and results in menopause, usually between 50 and 55 years of age. In menopause, the ovaries stop making estrogen and progesterone and no longer have a store of eggs. When this happens, menstrual periods stop.

Diseases and Conditions

Chronic diseases and other conditions may affect endocrine system function in several ways. After hormones produce their effects at their target organs, they are broken down (metabolized) into inactive molecules. The liver and kidneys are the main organs that break down hormones. The ability of the body to break down hormones may be decreased in people who have chronic heart, liver, or kidney disease.

Abnormal endocrine function can result from:

  • congenital (birth) or genetic defects (see section on Genetics below)
  • surgery, radiation, or some cancer treatments
  • traumatic injuries
  • cancerous and non-cancerous tumors
  • infection
  • autoimmune destruction (when the immune system turns against the body’s own organs and causes damage)
  • medications or supplements 

In general, abnormal endocrine function creates a hormone imbalance typified by too much or too little of a hormone. The underlying problem might be due to an endocrine gland making too much or too little of the hormone, or to a problem breaking down the hormone.


Physical or mental stressors can trigger a stress response. The stress response is complex and can influence heart, kidney, liver, and endocrine system function. Many factors can start the stress response, but physical stressors are most important. For the body to respond to, and cope with physical stress, the adrenal glands make more cortisol. If the adrenal glands do not respond, this can be a life-threatening problem. Some medically important factors causing a stress response are:

  • trauma (severe injury) of any type
  • severe illness or infection
  • intense heat or cold
  • surgical procedures
  • serious diseases
  • allergic reactions

Other types of stress include emotional, social, or economic, but these usually do not require the body to produce high levels of cortisol  to survive the stress.

Environmental Factors

An environmental endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) is a substance outside of the body that may interfere with the  normal function of the endocrine system. Some EDCs mimic natural hormone binding at the target cell receptor. (Binding occurs when a hormone attaches to a cell receptor, a part of the cell designed to respond to that particular hormone. ) EDCs can start the same processes that the natural hormone would start. Other EDCs block normal hormone binding and thereby prevent the effects of the natural hormones. Still other EDCs can directly interfere with the production, storage, release, transport, or elimination of natural hormones in the body. This can greatly affect the function of certain body systems.

EDCs can affect people in many ways:

  • disrupted sexual development
  • decreased fertility
  • birth defects
  • reduced immune response
  • neurological and behavioral changes, including reduced ability to handle stress

Your endocrine system can be affected by genes. Genes are units of hereditary information passed from parent to child. Genes are contained in chromosomes. The normal number of chromosomes is 46 (23 pairs). Sometimes extra, missing, or damaged chromosomes can result in diseases or conditions that affect hormone production or function. The 23rd pair, for example, is the sex chromosome pair. A mother and father each contribute a sex chromosome to the child. Girls usually have two X chromosomes while boys have one X and one Y chromosome. Sometimes, however, a chromosome or piece of a chromosome may be missing. In Turner syndrome, only one normal X chromosome is present and this can cause poor growth and a problem with how the ovaries function. In another example, a child with Prader-Willi syndrome may be missing all or part of chromosome 15, which affects growth, metabolism, and puberty. Your genes also may place you at increased risk for certain diseases, such as breast cancer. Women who have inherited mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene face a much higher risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer compared with the general population. 

If you suspect hormone or endocrine-related problems get help from an endocrinologist near you.

Pituitary Gland | Hormone Health Network

The pituitary gland is a tiny organ, the size of a pea, found at the base of the brain. As the “master gland” of the body, it produces many hormones that travel throughout the body, directing certain processes or stimulating other glands to produce other hormones.The pituitary gland makes or stores many different hormones. The following hormones are made in the anterior (front part) of the pituitary gland:


This hormone stimulates breast milk production after childbirth. When prolactin is high, it affects the hormones that control the ovaries in women and testes in men. As a result, high prolactin can affect menstrual periods, sexual function and fertility. 


This hormone stimulates growth in childhood and plays a role in  maintaining healthy muscles and bone and well-being in adults. It also affects fat distribution in the body. Too much growth hormone causes a disease that is called acromegaly. In children, too much growth hormone causes excessive growth, called gigantism. 


This hormone stimulates the production of cortisol by the adrenal glands—small glands that sit on top of the kidneys. Cortisol, a “stress hormone,” is needed for our survival. It helps maintain blood pressure and blood glucose (sugar) levels, and is produced in larger amounts when we’re under stress, especially during  illness, surgery, or after injury. Too much ACTH will result in too much cortisol production; this is called Cushing’s syndrome or Cushing’s disease. Low ACTH will result in low cortisol, called adrenal insufficiency.  


This hormones stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones, which regulate the body’s metabolism, energy balance, growth, and nervous system activity. Too much TSH is rare and will cause hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone). Lack of TSH results in hypothyroidism (not enough thyroid hormone).


This hormone stimulates testosterone production in men and egg release (ovulation) in women


This hormone promotes sperm production in men and stimulates the ovaries to produce estrogen and develop eggs in women. LH and FSH work together to enable normal function of the ovaries and testes. Problems with these hormones affects menstrual periods in women and fertility and sexual function in both women and men.

The following hormones are stored in the posterior (back part) of the pituitary gland:

This hormone is also called vasopressin, it regulates water balance in the body and sodium levels in the blood. It conserves body water by reducing the amount of water lost in urine. Lack of ADH causes increased urination and thirst, a condition that is called diabetes insipidus .


This hormone causes milk to flow from the breasts in breastfeeding women, and may also help labor to progress. Oxytocin may also play an important role in human behavior and social interaction and may promote bonding between a mother and her child.

When the pituitary gland doesn’t operate in a healthy manner, this can lead to pituitary disorders.

Endocrine System – Everything You Need to Know

The endocrine system consists of several glands located throughout the body. These glands secrete hormones — chemical messengers that signal the body to perform essential functions, usually related to growth and metabolism.

AndreyPopov / Getty Images

There are two types of glands within the endocrine system.

Endocrine glands include the pancreas, thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands. They secrete their hormones directly into the bloodstream, where they are carried to the site of action.

Exocrine glands secrete their hormones directly into ducts. Examples of exocrine glands include sebaceous, mammary, salivary and digestive glands.

How Do Hormones Work?

Many endocrine glands are sensitive to the concentration of either the hormone they produce or the substance that activates them. If the concentration of the hormone or substance is lower then normal, it will typically activate the gland. If the concentration is high, it will stop production of the hormone. This is what is referred to as a negative feedback system. Endocrine glands can also be activated directly by nervous stimulation.

When receptors on the cell membranes of an endocrine gland are activated by a particular hormone, a cascade of chemical events is triggered within the cell. Receptors and hormones are very specific. Only one type of hormone will fit in a given receptor. If the incorrect hormone tries to fit into a receptor, no reaction will occur.

Endocrine Glands and the Hormones They Produce

Pituitary Gland – This is often called the “master gland” because of its large number of functions related to metabolism and maintenance of homeostasis. There are two lobes of the pituitary: the anterior and posterior.

The anterior lobe produces many hormones including:

The posterior lobe secretes:

  • Anti-diuretic hormone
  • Oxytocin

Hypothalamus – The hypothalamus is a small portion of the brain that is in very close proximity to the pituitary gland. It controls the pituitary hormones by releasing hormones that stimulate or inhibit their release. For example, the hypothalamus secretes gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which causes the production of gonadotropins (follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone) by the pituitary. It also produces corticotrophin releasing hormone, thyrotropin releasing hormone, and growth hormone-releasing hormone.

Thymus – A gland used primarily in childhood, the thymus secretes hormones that help the immune system develop. Around the time of puberty, its tissue becomes replaced with fat and is no longer necessary for normal immune function.

Pineal Gland – This is a small gland located within the brain that secretes melatonin. Melatonin has been found to regulate the wake-sleep cycle.

Thyroid – The thyroid is a gland found on the windpipe in the front of the throat. It produces thyroxin (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3), known to regulate metabolism.  It also secretes calcitonin, which helps regulate calcium levels.

Parathyroid – Four tiny glands located on the thyroid make up the parathyroid. They produce parathyroid hormone. Its secretion controls levels of calcium and phosphorus in the body.

Adrenal Glands – There are two adrenal glands, one located on top of each kidney. Each of the glands is divided into two regions, the cortex and medulla, which have very different functions.

The hormones produced by the cortex are vital for life and include the glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids and some of the sex hormones, like androgens and small amounts of estrogen.

The adrenal medulla secretes both epinephrine and norepinephrine.

Pancreas – The pancreas is a large gland in the abdomen that secretes insulin and glucagon. These two hormones are essential in the regulation and maintenance of normal blood sugar levels. Glucagon stimulates the liver to release more glucose into the body, while insulin causes the body cells to take more glucose.

Ovaries – Found only in women, these two small glands produce estrogen, progesterone, and inhibin. Estrogen and progesterone are the primary sex hormones responsible for many of the female secondary sex characteristics. Inhibin is a hormone that controls levels of follicle stimulating hormone, which regulates egg development.

Testes – A pair of glands found only in men, the testicles secrete testosterone, the primary hormone responsible for the male secondary sex characteristics.

What Happens With Endocrine Disorders?

Any time one of these hormones is out of balance, many other systems, glands, and hormones can be affected. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome, for example, may show alterations in follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, androgens (testosterone) and insulin, which can, in turn, affect her estrogen levels. Alterations of any of these hormones can cause changes in weight, metabolism and energy levels.

What Is Endocrinology? | American Association of Clinical Endocrinology

The Basics

Endocrinology is a branch of medicine that deals with the endocrine system, which controls the hormones in your body. An endocrinologist is a physician who specializes in the field of endocrinology. Endocrinologists diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions affecting the endocrine system, including diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, growth hormone deficiency, infertility, cholesterol problems, hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity and more.

How the Endocrine System Works

The endocrine system’s glands and organs release hormones that regulate a number of vital functions of our body. These glands include the hypothalamus, pineal body, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroids, adrenals, pancreas, testes and ovaries.

The hormones in your body all have specific jobs to complete. There are up to 40 different hormones circulating in your blood at any time. Once released into the bloodstream, a hormone travels throughout the body until it reaches its specific destination(s) to perform its function. These destinations, called targets, can be located either on other endocrine glands or on other organs and tissues in the body.

When a hormone reaches its target, it tells that part of your body what work to do, when to do it and for how long. Hormones are often referred to as the “messengers” because they help different parts of the body communicate. Overall, they are involved in many different processes in the body, including:

  • Blood sugar control
  • Growth and development
  • Metabolism (the process of getting and maintaining energy in the body)
  • Regulation of heart rate and blood pressure
  • Sexual development and function
  • Reproduction
  • Mood

What Happens When the Endocrine System Does Not Work?

Hormonal function is a balancing act. Too much or too little of one hormone can have an impact on the release of other hormones. If this hormonal imbalance occurs, some of your body’s systems will not work properly.

These imbalances can often be corrected by the body itself. Your body has built-in mechanisms to keep track of and respond to any changes in hormone levels to bring them back to normal and restore the balance.

Sometimes, however, this system goes wrong and there can be a problem that the body can’t fix itself. In this case, a primary care physician will refer you to an endocrinologist, who is an expert in treating frequently complex (and often chronic) conditions which can involve several different systems within the body.

The Anatomy of the Endocrine System

The endocrine system is made up of a collection of glands. Each gland has a specific function in the body, and all these glands work together to regulate vital functions of our body.

Adrenal glands

Located just above the kidneys, adrenal glands are responsible for the secretion of several hormones which maintain the body’s salt and water balance that in turn regulate blood pressure, help the body cope with and respond to stress, regulate body metabolism, and play a role in early development of the male sex organs in childhood and female body hair during puberty. The adrenal glands secrete 3 major hormones: mineralocorticoids (predominantly aldosterone), glucocorticoids (predominantly cortisol), and androgens (predominantly testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone).


The hypothalamus is located just above the brain stem. It serves as the link between the endocrine system and the nervous system by communicating with the pituitary gland. It controls the pituitary gland by increasing or decreasing the release of hormones. It activates and controls involuntary functions such as body temperature, hunger and thirst.

Pituitary gland

No larger than the size of a pea, the pituitary is often referred to as the “master” gland because it releases hormones that regulate the function of endocrine glands such as the thyroid, adrenals and reproductive glands. It also produces hormones that stimulate the growth of bones and tissues, affect sexual development, encourage reabsorption of water by the kidneys and even trigger uterine contractions during and after labor.

Pineal body (pineal gland)

Located deep in the center of the brain, the pineal gland regulates several body functions through secretion of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is released in a rhythmic cycle; it’s higher at night and helps regulate the sleep/wake cycle.


Located in the abdomen, the pancreas is both a digestive organ and an endocrine gland. The “islets of Langerhans” are the regions of the pancreas that contain its hormone-producing cells. The two primary endocrine functions of these cells are to keep the body supplied with fuel for energy and to help in food digestion by releasing digestive enzymes. The pancreas is the gland involved in diabetes.

Parathyroid glands

Each the size of a grain of rice, the body’s four parathyroid glands monitor the calcium level in our bodies. Parathyroid glands control the calcium levels in our blood, in our bones and throughout our body. Parathyroid glands regulate the calcium by producing a hormone called parathyroid hormone (PTH). The parathyroid glands also help the lining of the intestines become more efficient at absorbing calcium in the diet.

Thyroid gland

The butterfly-shaped thyroid takes iodine and converts it into two hormones (T3 and T4). These hormones move through the body and enter cells to regulate metabolism, including blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate and how the body reacts to other hormones.

The thyroid gland also produces calcitonin, which opposes the effects of PTH and acts to lower blood calcium levels. Calcitonin lowers blood calcium level by increasing the amount of calcium excreted in the urine and suppressing the activity of the osteoclasts, cells that degrade bone. Learn more about the thyroid and related conditions, such as hyperthyroidism.


The ovaries are the female sex glands. They have two main reproductive functions in the body: they produce oocytes (eggs) for fertilization and the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Estrogen is involved in the development of female sexual features such as breast growth, the accumulation of body fat around the hips and thighs and the growth spurt that occurs during puberty. Both estrogen and progesterone are also involved in the regulation of the menstrual cycle and prepare the lining of the uterus for pregnancy.


The testes are the testicles or male sex glands. They have two functions: to produce sperm and to produce hormones — particularly testosterone — which regulate body changes associated with sexual development. These changes include enlargement of the penis, the growth spurt that occurs during puberty and the appearance of other male secondary sex characteristics (deepening of the voice, growth of facial and pubic hair, and the increase in muscle growth and strength).


Endocrine system – Chemicals – Environment

Additional tools

What is the endocrine

The endocrine system is a complex network of glands, hormones
and receptors. It provides the key communication and control link
between the nervous system and bodily functions such as reproduction,
immunity, metabolism and behaviour.

In nearly all complex multicellular animals, there are two main
systems controlling and coordinating the processes within the

  • The nervous system, which exerts rapid point-to-point control
    by means of electrical signals passing down the nerves to particular
    organs or tissues.
  • The endocrine system, which is a slower system based on chemical
    messengers, the hormones, which are secreted into the blood
    (or other extracellular fluids) and can reach all parts of the

The nervous system works in tandem with the endocrine system
to control all bodily functions and processes. The endocrine system has three main components:

Endocrine glands, situated at
various sites around the body, and in specialised areas of the
brain. The cells in these glands secrete specific chemicals called

Hormones circulate around the body via the blood
stream and modulate cellular or organ functions by binding with
receptors in the target cells. Hormones that stimulate and control
the activity of other endocrine glands are called trophic hormones.

Receptors in the target cells, once activated by
binding of the hormone, regulate the functions and processes in
the tissue through interactions with the cell’s DNA or other complex
intracellular signalling processes.

The main human hormones and their functions are shown below :

Gland Hormones Functions
Hypothalamus Releasing hormones Stimulate pituitary activity
Pituitary Trophic (stimulating) hormones Stimulate thyroid, adrenal, gonadal and
pancreatic activity
Thyroid Thyroid hormones Regulate metabolism, growth and development,
behaviour and puberty
Adrenal Corticosteroid hormones Catecholamines Regulate metabolism Regulate behaviour
Pancreas Insulin and glucagon Regulate blood sugar levels
Gonads Sex steroid hormones (androgens and oestrogens) Regulate development & growth, reproduction,
immunity, onset of puberty and behaviour

The production and circulating levels of hormones are controlled
by means of negative feedback processes
. For example, synthesis
of thyroid hormone is stimulated by thyroid stimulating hormone
(TSH) produced by the pituitary gland. If blood levels of thyroid
hormone fall, a part of the brain, the hypothalamus, responds
to the change and releases thyroid hormone releasing hormone (TRH),
which stimulates a particular cell type in the pituitary to increase
TSH synthesis. As thyroid hormone levels in blood again rise in
response to TSH, TRH production is reduced and, in turn, TSH secretion
is suppressed. Such feedback systems maintain the balance of various
body systems (operating in a fashion analogous to the system that
controls a domestic central heating system) – a process known
as homeostasis.

Anatomy of the Endocrine System

Anatomy of the Endocrine System

The endocrine system is made up of seven different glands (groups of cells) that make chemicals called hormones.  Hormones are substances that act as “messengers” to control many body functions. The endocrine system makes hormones that help control:

  • Growth
  • Reproduction
  • Sexual development
  • Use and storage of energy
  • Response to physical stress or trauma
  • Levels of water, salt and sugar in the body


The hypothalamus is located in the center of the brain. It makes hormones that increase or decrease the release of the hormones made in the pituitary gland. It also makes hormones that help to control water balance, sleep, temperature, appetite and blood pressure.


The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain and is about the size of a pea. It is the master gland in the endocrine system. It regulates the amounts of hormone made by the thyroid gland, adrenal gland, and testes or ovaries. It also makes the hormones prolactin and vasopressin, and growth hormone.

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 growth and development, as well as metabolism. Both the thyroid and parathyroid glands also play a role in controlling the level of calcium in the body.

Adrenal Gland

The adrenal glands are located on top of each kidney. The adrenal glands make hormones that help the body deal with stress and illness. The hormones made by the adrenal gland also maintain blood pressure and blood glucose, and plays a role in sexual development. 


The pancreas is located behind the stomach. It plays a role in digesting food, but it also makes hormones. The pancreas makes insulin, which is important for blood sugar control.


A female’s ovaries are located on both sides of the uterus, below the opening of the fallopian tubes (which extend from the uterus to the ovaries). In addition to containing the egg cells necessary for reproduction, the ovaries also produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone.  These hormones regulate the menstrual cycle.


A male’s testes are located in the scrotum. The testes produce testosterone and sperm.

The Endocrine System and Diabetes

The endocrine system consists of a number of different glands which secrete hormones that dictate how cells and organs behave.

The hormones produced by the endocrine system help the body to regulate growth, sexual function, mood and metabolism.

The role of the endocrine system

The endocrine system is responsible for regulating many of the body’s processes.

The list below provides a selection of the roles of glands in the endocrine system:

  • Pancreas – regulates blood glucose levels
  • Adrenal gland – increases blood glucose levels and speeds up heart rate
  • Thyroid gland – helps to regulate our metabolism
  • Pituitary gland – stimulates growth
  • Pineal gland – helps to regulate our sleep patterns
  • Ovaries – promote development of female sex characteristics
  • Testes – promote development of male sex characteristics

The endocrine system and energy metabolism

Metabolism encompasses all the chemical reactions which enable the body to sustain life. Energy metabolism is one of these processes and is vital for life.

The body is able to use fat, protein and carbohydrate to provide energy.

The pancreas plays an important part in energy metabolism by secreting the hormones insulin and glucagon which respectively make glucose and fatty acids available for cells to use for energy.

The endocrine system and diabetes

Diabetes affects how the body regulates blood glucose levels. Insulin helps to reduce levels of blood glucose whereas glucagon’s role is to increase blood glucose levels.

In people without diabetes, insulin and glucagon work together to keep blood glucose levels balanced.

In diabetes, the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t respond properly to insulin causing an imbalance between the effects of insulin and glucagon.

In type 1 diabetes , the body isn’t able to produce enough insulin and so blood glucose becomes too high unless insulin is injected.

In type 2 diabetes , the body is unable to respond effectively to insulin, which can also result in higher than normal blood glucose levels. Medications for type 2 diabetes include those which help to increase insulin sensitivity, those which stimulate the pancreas to release more insulin and other medications which inhibit the release of glucagon.

The pancreas

The pancreas contains a collection of cells called the Islets of Langerhans which releases both insulin and glucagon.

The liver

The liver plays an important part in the regulation of blood glucose levels. The liver responds to the presence of insulin by taking up glucose from the blood.

Conversely, the liver release glucose in response to glucagon.

The kidneys

Sitting on top of the kidneys are the adrenal glands which release epinephrine, also known as adrenaline. Epinephrine is a hormone which triggers a number of body responses to enable the body to respond to stressful situation with ‘fight or flight’.

Epinephrine raises blood pressure, triggers the release of glucagon to raise blood sugar levels and contracts the skeletal muscles to be ready for movement.

What is the Endocrine System?

21.1: What is the endocrine system?

The endocrine system sends hormones – chemical signals – through the bloodstream to target cells – cells that hormones selectively affect. These signals are produced by endocrine cells, secreted into the extracellular fluid, and then propagated into the blood. Eventually, they diffuse out of the blood and bind to target cells that have special receptors to recognize hormones.

Alternative Routes

Although most hormones pass through the circulatory system to reach their target cells, there are also alternative routes for hormone delivery to target cells. Paracrine signaling sends hormones from the endocrine cell into the extracellular fluid, where they affect local cells. In a form of paracrine signaling called autocrine signaling, hormones secreted into the extracellular fluid affect the cells that secrete them.

Another type of signaling, synaptic signaling, involves the release of neurotransmitters from the terminals of neurons into the synapse – a specialized connection that transfers information between neurons, where they bind to receptors on neighboring neurons, muscle cells, and glands. In neuroendocrine signaling, neurosecretory cells secrete neurohormones that travel through the blood to act on target cells. In general, endocrine signaling has a slower effect than other types of signaling because it takes longer for hormones to reach target cells, but the effects usually last longer as well.

Hormone release

Hormones directly diffuse into the extracellular fluid surrounding the endocrine glands because they have no ducts. In comparison, exocrine glands, such as the salivary gland, have ducts that release a targeted dose directly to the surface or cavity. In addition to being located in specialized endocrine glands, endocrine cells can also be located in organs such as the stomach, among cells with different functions.

Target cells

The hormone has specific target cells that have receptors that recognize the hormone. It can be thought of as a lock and key, where the receptors on the target cell are the lock and recognize only the hormone, the key that suits it. Target cells can be very close to hormone-producing endocrine cells, or very far away, but must be transported through the bloodstream. For example, the enteroendocrine cells of the stomach and small intestine secrete hormones that can alter the secretion of gastric acid by stomach cells.On the other hand, hormones secreted by the pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain, can affect urine production by affecting kidney cells.

Additional reading literature

Jones, Christopher M., and Kristien Boelaert. “The Endocrinology of Aging: A Mini-Review.” Gerontology 61, no. 4 (2015): 291–300. [Source]

Yang, Oneyeol, Hye Lim Kim, Jong-Il Weon, and Young Rok Seo. “Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: Review of Toxicological Mechanisms Using Molecular Pathway Analysis.” Journal of Cancer Prevention 20, no. 1 (March 2015): 12-24. [Source]

Treatment of diseases of the endocrine system and metabolic disorders in the sanatorium

Treatment of diseases of the endocrine system and metabolic disorders in the sanatorium

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One of the most severe chronic diseases is a violation of the activity of the endocrine glands and metabolic processes. Because of this, all organs and systems of a person suffer, since their work is regulated by hormones. With pathologies of the thyroid and pancreas, disruptions in the production of basic hormones and enzymes occur. Most often, this leads to fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Diabetes mellitus develops. Dysfunctions of the thyroid gland are also dangerous, in which diseases such as hypothyroidism, thyrotoxicosis and other diseases develop.

It is best to treat endocrine system diseases and metabolic disorders in a sanatorium.Favorable climatic conditions, psychological atmosphere and unique mineral waters in the Shakhtar sanatorium help improve the functioning of the thyroid and pancreas, normalize blood sugar levels and activate metabolic processes. After a course of treatment in a sanatorium, 98% of patients feel improvements: weight decreases, mood and sleep improve, and exacerbations stop.

Treatment of diabetes mellitus in the sanatorium

Treatment at the Shakhtar sanatorium is based on the action of mineral water. It is most effective for metabolic disorders and the functions of the endocrine glands. A good result is achieved in the treatment of diabetes mellitus in a sanatorium. Patients feel better, they can reduce the dose of antihyperglycemic drugs, as the level of glycated hemoglobin is normalized. This is achieved with the help of a special diet, drinking mineral waters, iodine-bromine baths, therapeutic showers, mud applications, massage, exercise therapy and hardware procedures.

Normalization of the thyroid gland in the sanatorium

For patients with excessive and insufficient thyroid function, all physiotherapy procedures are contraindicated.But they are also provided with effective assistance at the Shakhtar sanatorium. For this are used:

  • climatic factors;
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These and other procedures help to improve metabolism and restore the function of the thyroid gland.

Obesity treatment in a sanatorium

With the normalization of metabolic processes, a gradual but stable weight loss occurs.Sanatorium Shakhtar has many effective methods of obesity treatment. A 2-3 week course of treatment helps to lose 5 to 20 kg. For this, patients are offered:

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Surgery of the endocrine system – search for specialists and doctors

What is Endocrine Surgery?

Endocrine surgery is a type of visceral surgery and is associated with the surgical treatment of endocrine disorders. “Endocrine” means “inward” where the secretion of hormones by the glands is clearly restricted by the bloodstream. These hormone-producing glands are called endocrine organs and include:

  • thyroid gland
  • parathyroid gland
  • adrenal glands
  • the endocrine part of the pancreas (the so-called Langerhans cells)
  • diffuse neuroendocrine system.

Surgery of the pituitary and hormone-producing glands – the ovaries in women and the testes in men – however, falls into the field of neurosurgery and gynecology or urology.

What diseases do endocrinologists treat?

The thyroid gland is a purely endocrine organ and is located under the larynx on the thyroid cartilage. The main function of the thyroid gland is to store iodine and form the hormones triiodothyronine, thyroxine and calcitonin. Thyroid surgery is one of the four most common visceral surgery procedures, along with gallbladder, cecum, and inguinal hernia surgery. The following diseases most often require surgical treatment:

  • Basedow’s disease
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Recurrent goiter (repeated)
  • MEN syndromes (multiple endocrine neoplasia)

The four human parathyroid glands are located at the upper and lower poles of the thyroid gland and synthesize parathyroid hormone.Parathyroid hormone is an important regulator of calcium metabolism in the body. The parathyroid glands are operated on for the following diseases:

  • primary hyperparathyroidism
  • secondary hyperparathyroidism
  • recurrent or persistent hyperparathyroidism
  • primary hyperparathyroidism in MEN syndromes

The adrenal glands are located at the upper poles of the kidneys and produce hormones that regulate the balance of water, sugar, and minerals.The adrenal glands are composed of the cortex, which produces the aforementioned hormones, and the medulla, which produces adrenaline and norepinephrine. Operations are performed for the following diseases:

  • Conn’s syndrome (benign tumors of the adrenal cortex)
  • Itsenko-Cushing’s syndrome (tumor of one adrenal gland or bilateral hyperplasia)
  • Pheochromocytoma (unilateral or bilateral adrenal medullary tumor)
  • Incidentaloma (adrenal hormonal tumor)

What surgical methods are there?

If possible, surgical interventions in the endocrine organs are carried out minimally invasive, using the so-called “keyhole” method.At the same time, small punctures are performed and operated with a mini-camera and special thin instruments, thereby rejecting a large incision. The advantages of this method are reduced wound pain, reduced blood loss, faster recovery and early discharge from the hospital, fewer complications from wound healing and scarring, and improved cosmetic results.

Which doctors and clinics are specialists in endocrine surgery?

Endocrine surgery is a type of visceral surgery. It is represented in all hospitals and specialized surgical clinics. However, patients are treated not only by surgeons, but also by an interdisciplinary team of doctors.

An endocrinologist plays a special role in the diagnosis of a disease. If the change in the endocrine organ is caused by a tumor, doctors from other disciplines are involved in the treatment process. Every week, cases of cancer patients are discussed at councils where endocrinologists, radiologists, nuclear medicine specialists, oncologists, gastroenterologists and surgeons gather, who jointly develop a treatment concept.

We will help you find a specialist in the treatment of your disease. All of the listed doctors and clinics have been checked by us for their high professionalism in the field of endocrine surgery. They are waiting for your questions and wishes regarding treatment.


  • Bleese und Mommsen, Kurzlehrbuch Chirurgie, 2010, Thieme
  • Hermann, Endocrinology for the clinic: diagnosis and therapy A-Z, 2014, Thieme (Herrmann, Endokrinologie für die Praxis: Diagnostik und Therapie von A-Z, 2014, Thieme)

Treatment of endocrine diseases in Belokurikha

List of procedures

The endocrine system is responsible for the control of all basic functions in the body, therefore even the slightest hormonal disturbances require special attention. Issues related to diseases of the human endocrine system are of concern to a large number of patients, since hormonal disorders lead to disruptions in the normal functioning of many organs and systems of the human body.

Complex spa treatment has a variety of effects on the body: it improves overall health, increases efficiency, has a beneficial effect on metabolic processes, improves the function of the gastrointestinal tract, nervous and endocrine systems.Treatment at the resort helps to increase the period of remission, reduce clinical manifestations, and in some cases prevent complications.

Indications for spa treatment:

  • thyroid diseases associated with iodine deficiency;
  • hypothyroidism without severe complications;
  • thyrotoxicosis with diffuse goiter;
  • non-toxic diffuse goiter;
  • autoimmune thyroiditis;
  • non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus;
  • insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus;
  • obesity;
  • metabolic disorders (carbohydrates, lipoproteins, purines, minerals).


General contraindications for referral to sanatorium treatment in accordance with the Order of the Ministry of Health of Russia dated 07.06.2018 No. 321n “On approval of lists of medical indications and contraindications for spa treatment.”

Methods of treating endocrine system diseases in the Altai-West sanatorium *:

  1. Balneotherapy: The main therapeutic factor is natural nitrogen-siliceous thermal waters with radon content, which stabilize hormones and improve metabolic processes.More details on the link.

If there are contraindications for taking nitrogen-siliceous baths containing radon, iodine-bromine, coniferous-pearl, sea, valerian, steam-carbonic, turpentine baths are prescribed for patients with diseases of the endocrine system.

  1. Hydrotherapy: has a therapeutic effect through a combination of thermal, mechanical and chemical factors. For the treatment of patients with diseases of the endocrine system in the sanatorium, therapeutic showers ( rain shower, circular, Vichy, Charcot) are widely used. (Ref)
  2. Physiotherapy: Physiotherapeutic procedures included in the general therapeutic complex increase the overall effectiveness of spa treatment. The specialists of the sanatorium, depending on the severity of clinical manifestations, use non-invasive transcranial electrical stimulation (TES-therapy), pressotherapy, pulsed electric currents, ultrasound, drug electrophoresis. (Make reference to physiotherapy).
  3. Mud therapy : in the Altai-West sanatorium, an application method of treatment with the use of thermocompressors is used.The procedure contributes to the regulation of enzymatic processes in tissues and cell metabolism, acceleration of enzymatic processes (Link to mud therapy).
  4. Physiotherapy (exercise therapy): in the sanatorium is carried out in a specially equipped room under the guidance of experienced instructors in physiotherapy exercises. The patient is selected an individual motor regimen, which may include group exercises in the exercise therapy hall, swimming in the pool, individual exercises in the gym, and Nordic walking.
  5. Therapeutic massage: The invariable method of spa treatment for patients with endocrine system diseases is the classic manual massage. The procedure improves arterial blood flow, which leads to a decrease in venous congestion and an improvement in metabolic processes.
  6. Psychotherapy: is carried out in the course of complex treatment, helps to relieve stress, get rid of negative emotions, overcome bad habits – smoking, overeating.
  7. Reflexotherapy: impact on biologically active points triggers the body’s self-regulation mechanisms, increases adaptive mechanisms, leads to stabilization of hemodynamics, normalization of blood pressure, pulse, normalizes metabolic processes.
  8. Sauna, swimming pool: have a stimulating and training effect on the state of thermoreceptors and vegetative adaptation, have a pronounced analgesic effect, train the mechanisms of thermoregulation, increase the body’s resistance to adverse environmental influences.
  9. Reception of mineral water “Belokurikhinskaya Vostochnaya No. 2” : affects the acid-base state in the body, normalizes lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. Chemical components of mineral water improve microcirculation, eliminate tissue hypoxia, stimulate secretion and motility of the stomach, pancreas, liver and biliary tract, kidneys.More details on the link.
  10. Climatotherapy, health path: high ionization of Belokurikha air, rich in negatively charged air ions, has a bactericidal and bacteriostatic effect, promotes breathing deepening, increases oxygen consumption and stimulates redox processes in tissues. The best way to increase physical activity is terrenkur – walking walks with dosed physical activity in the most picturesque places of the resort.Doctors have developed various routes designed for people with different levels of physical fitness. Natural conditions have a beneficial effect on general well-being, increase physical endurance, and strengthen immunity.
  11. Diet therapy: is an integral component of the complex treatment of patients with diseases of the endocrine system. Meals in the Altai-West sanatorium are balanced in terms of macro-, microelements, amino acids, fats and vitamins, includes products necessary for the normalization of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, and is aimed at cleansing the body.

* – For the treatment and prevention of diseases of the endocrine system, it is recommended to regularly take a course of spa treatment.


Endocrine system – Sanatorium Ural, p. Khomutinino

A quarter of the world’s population suffers from dysfunction of the endocrine glands, although outwardly the problem is not as acute as, say, mortality from cardiovascular diseases or oncology.The trouble is that diseases of the endocrine system and, above all, type 2 diabetes mellitus, very quickly generate a destructive chain reaction throughout the body. Obesity, atherosclerosis develop, the vessels of the eyes, distal extremities, and the brain suffer.

No less dangerous are the consequences of pathologies of the thyroid gland, pituitary gland, adrenal glands, ovaries in women. The fair sex especially suffer from hormonal changes during menopause, pregnancy, even during PMS.

Prevention and treatment of disorders of the endocrine system in the balneological sanatorium “Ural” will solve the problem at an early stage, prevent the development of dangerous complications that threaten the patient’s ability to work and even the life of the patient.

Reception of Uralochka mineral water normalizes blood sugar levels in diabetes mellitus. This property of water has been scientifically proven (candidate and doctoral dissertations on the properties of Uralochka mineral water have been defended).

Indications for treatment in the sanatorium “Ural”:

  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • thyroid diseases

Medical services:

  • examination by a specialist doctor
  • diet therapy
  • intake of Uralochka mineral water inside
  • phytotherapy
  • physiotherapy exercises
  • gym
  • breathing exercises Qigong, Nordic walking, health path
  • climate impact (walking)
  • therapeutic pool
  • water balneotherapy (one of the types): mineral, herbal, turpentine baths, dry carbon dioxide bath
  • mud therapy or ozokeritotherapy
  • apparatus physiotherapy (one of the types): EHF therapy, electrophoresis, laser therapy, magnetotherapy
  • sugar determination

Treatment results:

Regular spa treatment allows you to improve the patient’s condition, to compensate for the damage caused by the pathological process in the body.

The recommended duration of an effective course of treatment is from 14 days.

To complete the full course of treatment with natural factors of the Ural sanatorium, it is recommended to continue taking Uralochka mineral water at home for up to 30 days and mud therapy for up to 10 procedures on the recommendation of a doctor using a cream mask based on sapropel mud from Lake Podbornoe of the Ural sanatorium “.


Contact us by phone + 7-351-225-88-08 or leave a request and we will call you back

Endocrine system

The endocrine system is one of the most important and complex systems in our body, which literally affects all the processes involved in the work of the biological mechanism.Normally, the work of the endocrine glands is well established. All endocrine glands are interconnected by “thin” connections and affect each other. That is why, at the slightest violation of the function of one of the glands, there is a change in the work of the entire endocrine system and the whole organism as a whole.

The Rostov region, like the entire Southern Federal District, is an endemic region for thyroid diseases. Due to iodine deficiency, the influence of environmentally unfavorable factors, excessive ultraviolet radiation, the structure of the gland changes with subsequent dysfunction, which in turn leads to a change in the work of all organs and systems of the body, without exception.In recent years, the pathology of the thyroid gland has been disguised as diseases of the cardiovascular, nervous systems, digestive organs, etc., which complicates timely diagnosis and treatment. A doctor-endocrinologist will help to identify problems of the thyroid gland. In the medical center “Our Doctor” you can get advice from a qualified doctor, undergo a full examination of the thyroid gland, which will take a small amount of time and effort, without leaving the clinic.

Obesity today is considered a non-infectious epidemic.Today, about 30% of the world’s inhabitants are overweight, i.e. this is 1.7 billion. human. In Russia, overweight is observed in almost half of our compatriots. Each of us knows that being overweight has a negative effect on human health. Even in antiquity it was known that “He who is lean, the road is easy for him, the horse grows fat – it will not gallop much.” Obesity increases the risk of developing such life-threatening diseases as type 2 diabetes mellitus, arterial hypertension, atherosclerosis and others.Overweight has a special effect on the female body, increasing the risk of breast and endometrial cancer, reproductive disorders up to infertility.

It is possible to cope with an existing problem if you approach it correctly, from a professional point of view. In the center “Our Doctor” you can cope with excess weight! The endocrinologist will find an individual approach to everyone, select an individual diet, adequate treatment after the required minimum of examination.You will learn how to reduce weight without harm to your health under the supervision of professional doctors, thereby protecting yourself from threatening dangerous complications.

Appointments are made by the registry, by phone and in person, during the opening hours of the clinic.
When applying, you must have a passport of a citizen of the Russian Federation.

useful information from the Medical Center No. 1

There are many diseases of the endocrine system, they differ in various symptoms and often unpredictable consequences, therefore, they require special attention.The most important role of the endocrine system is to regulate the work of the whole organism through hormones, when problems and failures occur in its activity, a person learns what endocrinological diseases are. Through the formation of hormones, the endocrine system affects the state of a person, his physiological data and features of psychoemotional states. Due to the appearance of endocrinological diseases, hormones begin to be produced in smaller or larger quantities, the process of hormone transfer may be disrupted.

Consequences of endocrinological diseases

Whatever the malfunction of the endocrine system, it will certainly lead to the appearance or development of diseases. One of the most common is hypothyroidism, it manifests itself in insufficient production of hormones, as a result of which metabolic processes slow down, fatigue and lethargy appear. The consequence of a lack of insulin is diabetes mellitus, glucose is not completely broken down, the absorption of proteins, fats and carbohydrates is impaired. Endocrinological diseases can manifest themselves through an enlargement of the thyroid gland and disruptions in the production of its hormones, in this case we are talking about goiter, the cause of such an imbalance may be a lack of iodine, which the thyroid gland cannot do without.If the thyroid gland overfulfills its task, the consequence will be thyrotoxicosis, it is characterized by the disruption of the work of many internal organs and systems.

Symptoms of endocrinological diseases

Unfortunately, endocrinological diseases are difficult to define on their own, because their consequences give symptoms that people attribute to fatigue or external circumstances.