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Endocrine system information: Endocrine Diseases – NIDDK

What is the Endocrine System?

Authored by Revere Health

July 27, 2017 | Endocrinology

Numerous processes take place throughout the body 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and one key factor in making sure all these processes work correctly is hormones. Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers that are secreted by a group of glands in the body. This is known as the endocrine system.

Using the bloodstream for transportation, the endocrine system has several functions. Here’s a look at how the endocrine system works.


The endocrine system helps control each of these processes and systems:

  1. Growth and development
  2. Homeostasis (internal balance of body systems)
  3. Metabolism (energy levels in the body)
  4. Reproduction
  5. Responses to stimuli like stress or injury


Important Parts of the Endocrine System

The endocrine system spans from the brain down to the pelvic region, with several different parts:

  • Hypothalamus: Located in the brain, this organ is responsible for telling the pituitary gland to start or stop making hormones. It connects the endocrine system and the nervous system.
  • Pituitary gland: This is the “master” gland of the endocrine system, the pituitary gland gets information from the brain and instructs other glands in the body. It’s responsible for making a few important hormones including growth hormone, prolactin (helps breastfeeding women make milk) and luteinizing hormone (helps manage estrogen in women and testosterone in men).
  • Pineal gland: The pineal gland makes melatonin, a hormone that helps the body get ready to sleep.
  • Thyroid gland: The thyroid gland makes thyroid hormone, which controls metabolism. If the gland makes too much or too little thyroid hormone, it can result in several problems in the body.
  • Parathyroid: The parathyroid is a set of four small glands located behind the thyroid. These glands control levels of calcium and phosphorous in the body, and they’re vital for bone health.
  • Thymus gland: This is the gland that makes white blood cells (called T-lymphocytes) that fight infection. The thymus is important during the development of a child’s nervous system, and it begins to shrink after puberty.
  • Adrenal glands: These glands make adrenaline, or the “fight or flight” hormone, as well as corticosteroids that affect metabolism and sexual function.
  • Pancreas: The pancreas is considered part of both the digestive and endocrine systems. It makes digestive enzymes that break down food, and it also makes insulin and glucagon, hormones that regulate sugar in the bloodstream and cells. Issues with the pancreas and insulin production are at the heart of diabetes complications.
  • Ovaries: For women, these organs make estrogen and progesterone, hormones that help develop breasts during puberty, regulate the menstrual cycle and support a pregnancy.
  • Testes: For men, the testes make testosterone, which helps with developmental processes like growing bodily hair, making the penis grow larger and creating sperm for reproduction.


To keep everything functioning, a few processes must be working properly:

  1. 1. Endocrine glands must release the proper amount of hormones.
  2. 2. The body must have a strong blood supply to transport the hormones around the body.
  3. 3. There must be enough receptors to which the hormones can attach and carry out their function.
  4. 4. The targets must be capable of responding to the hormonal signal. (In certain cases, the signal is sent properly and the bloodstream carries it as it should, but the receptors aren’t able to convert the signal into secretion of the hormone.)

If any of these steps don’t work properly, endocrine diseases could result. These include slowing metabolism, weight gain and hormonal shifts that could lead to things like heart disease, osteoporosis and Type 2 diabetes. Factors like stress, infections, chemical exposure, genetics and lifestyle habits can lead to increased risk of a disorder.

To learn more about your endocrine system or for any questions, speak to your doctor.


Our Utah County Endocrinologist is able to help diagnose and treat endocrine system disorders—even complex cases in which conventional treatments don’t work. As trained specialists, our providers know the latest treatments and technologies to treat a variety of disorders.



“What Is the Endocrine System?” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/endocrine-system-facts#1

“About the Endocrine System.” EndocrineWeb. https://www.endocrineweb.com/endocrinology/about-endocrine-system



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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.

The Endocrine System – Human Nutrition [DEPRECATED]

Chapter 2. The Human Body

Figure 2.19 The Endocrine System

The functions of the endocrine system are intricately connected to the body’s nutrition. This organ system is responsible for regulating appetite, nutrient absorption, nutrient storage, and nutrient usage, in addition to other functions, such as reproduction. The glands in the endocrine system are the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenals, thymus, pineal, pancreas, ovaries, and testes. The glands secrete hormones, which are biological molecules that regulate cellular processes in other target tissues, so they require transportation by the circulatory system. Adequate nutrition is critical for the functioning of all the glands in the endocrine system. A protein deficiency impairs gonadal-hormone release, preventing reproduction. Athletic teenage girls with very little body fat often do not menstruate. Children who are malnourished usually do not produce enough growth hormone and fail to reach normal height for their age group. Probably the most popularized connection between nutrition and the functions of the endocrine system is that unhealthy dietary patterns are linked to obesity and the development of Type 2 diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that twenty-six million Americans have Type 2 diabetes as of 2011. This is 8.3 percent of the US population. Counties with the highest incidence of obesity also have the highest incidence of Type 2 diabetes. To see how the rise in obesity in this country is paralleled by the rise in Type 2 diabetes, review this report by the CDC.

What is the causal relationship between overnutrition and Type 2 diabetes? The prevailing theory is that the overconsumption of high-fat and high-sugar foods causes changes in muscle, fat, and liver cells that leads to a diminished response from the pancreatic hormone insulin. These cells are called “insulin-resistant.” Insulin is released after a meal and instructs the liver and other tissues to take up glucose and fatty acids that are circulating in the blood. When cells are resistant to insulin they do not take up enough glucose and fatty acids, so glucose and fatty acids remain at high concentrations in the blood. The chronic elevation of glucose and fatty acids in the blood also causes damage to other tissues over time, so that people who have Type 2 diabetes are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and eye disease.

Career Connection

Do your part to slow the rising tide of obesity and Type 2 diabetes in this country. On the individual level, improve your own family’s diet; at the local community level, support the development of more nutritious school lunch programs; and at the national level, support your nation’s nutrition goals. Visit the CDC Diabetes Public Health Resource website at https://www. cdc.gov/diabetes/. It provides information on education resources, projects, and programs, and spotlights news on diabetes. For helpful information on obesity, visit https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/. The CDC also has workplace web-based resources with the mission of designing work sites that prevent obesity. See https://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/index.html or more details.

Endocrine Disease Prevention Week

May 22 – May 28, 2023

(in honor of World Thyroid Day May 25)

, pancreas, adrenals and gonads). Hormones produced by the endocrine glands regulate the work of other organs and systems.

Endocrine diseases are disturbances in the functioning of the endocrine glands. With endocrine diseases, metabolism is disturbed and characteristic symptoms occur. This also applies to diseases of the thyroid gland, and diabetes, and other serious disorders.

The main factors that lead to the development of endocrine disorders include: tumors of gland tissues, cysts, infectious diseases, hereditary factors, chronic diseases of other organs and systems, cardiovascular insufficiency, surgical interventions, taking a number of drugs.

Since 2008, annually May 25, is World Thyroid Day . This is due to the fact that thyroid diseases are very common!

The purpose of World Thyroid Day is to draw public attention to the problems associated with thyroid disease, to inform everyone about the methods of early prevention, diagnosis and medical care in this area.

The thyroid gland is located on the front of the neck and synthesizes a number of important hormones. Thyroid hormones (thyroid hormones) stimulate metabolism, support the functioning of the brain, heart and muscles, as well as the functioning of the musculoskeletal system, reproductive and immune systems. Therefore, diseases of the thyroid gland entail disruptions in the vital activity of the whole organism. Almost all pathologies of the thyroid gland begin imperceptibly and for a long time proceed without any symptoms.

Let us note that thyroid diseases are in second place after diabetes mellitus among endocrinological disorders. They are found in 30% of the world’s population. At the same time, women get sick 10 times more often.

Prevention of thyroid diseases:

Consumption of iodized salt contributes to the prevention of endocrine disorders and diseases of the nervous system. For an adult, in accordance with the needs of the body, it is recommended to consume 150-200 micrograms per day (in the absence of thyroid diseases !!!), which corresponds to 4-5 grams of iodized salt.

Seafood is also a source of iodine: seaweed, squid, cod liver, sea fish, shrimp.

Foods that are specifically fortified with iodine include edible iodized salt, milk and dairy products (yogurt and cheese), grain products (bread and cereals).

In addition to a sufficient intake of iodine, the health of the thyroid gland can also be maintained by such methods as: giving up bad habits, balanced nutrition, managing stress. Be healthy!!!


Endocrinology at the family health clinic Medexpert, Belgorod




The human endocrine system is a system of control and regulation of the activity of internal organs with the help of special substances called hormones secreted by the endocrine cells of certain organs (endocrine glands) directly into the blood.

The endocrine system coordinates and regulates the activity of all organs and systems of the body, ensures its adaptation to constantly changing conditions of the external and internal environment, while maintaining the constancy of the internal environment.

The endocrine system includes the endocrine glands pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, pancreas, adrenal glands, gonads, thymus, epiphysis.

The main “agents” of the endocrine system are hormones. Correct Ratio
components of the endocrine system ensures active longevity. The functioning, prerequisites for disorders and diseases of the endocrine glands are studied by the section of medicine – endocrinology. Each endocrine organ produces a specific hormone responsible for a specific function. Changes in hormonal activity cause specific disorders

Manifestations of hormonal disorders are of the most diverse nature –

  • general weakness, fatigue, drowsiness, memory impairment, chilliness, numbness of the extremities, depression;
  • hair loss;
  • overweight or underweight;
  • rapid growth, enlargement of hands, feet in adulthood;
  • dry mouth, constant thirst;
  • palpitation, feeling of heat and internal trembling;
  • pain in bones, joints, muscles, spine, muscle weakness, bone fractures with minor physical impact;
  • increased blood pressure at a young age, deterioration of vision, “veil before the eyes”, “bulging eyes”;
  • swelling of the eyelids or face.

Also, do not forget that our region is in the zone of iodine deficiency. More than 35% of the adult population suffers from iodine deficiency, every fifth person suffers from goiter, every third
women have thyroid nodules.

When visiting a doctor, you may be recommended additional types of research –
in computerized magnetic or X-ray tomography of certain organs, ultrasound diagnostics of the thyroid gland (at
necessary with puncture of nodes) ‚ pancreas, small pelvis; laboratory

Hormonal studies (hormones of the pituitary, thyroid and parathyroid glands).
All these examinations are carried out in our clinic.

In the practice of monitoring patients with diabetes mellitus, “Pallesthesiometry” is used – a method for early diagnosis of neurological complications of diabetes mellitus.

The endocrinologists of our clinic will conduct an examination and prescribe a specific treatment as soon as possible. At the same time, in the clinic you can get advice from other specialists and undergo the necessary examination.