About all

Gland of human body: The request could not be satisfied


An Overview of the Thymus

Thymus Essentials

  • The thymus gland, located behind your sternum and between your lungs, is only active until puberty.
  • After puberty, the thymus starts to slowly shrink and become replaced by fat.
  • Thymosin is the hormone of the thymus, and it stimulates the development of disease-fighting T cells.

 The thymus gland will not function throughout a full lifetime, but it has a big responsibility when it’s active—helping the body protect itself against autoimmunity, which occurs when the immune system turns against itself. Therefore, the thymus plays a vital role in the lymphatic system (your body’s defense network) and endocrine system.


Before birth and throughout childhood, the thymus is instrumental in the production and maturation of T-lymphocytes or T cells, a specific type of white blood cell that protects the body from certain threats, including viruses and infections. The thymus produces and secretes thymosin, a hormone necessary for T cell development and production.


The thymus is special in that, unlike most organs, it is at its largest in children. Once you reach puberty, the thymus starts to slowly shrink and become replaced by fat. By age 75, the thymus is little more than fatty tissue. Fortunately, the thymus produces all of your T cells by the time you reach puberty.


Anatomy of the Thymus

The thymus is located in the upper anterior (front) part of your chest directly behind your sternum and between your lungs. The pinkish-gray organ has two thymic lobes.


The thymus reaches its maximum weight (about 1 ounce) during puberty.


Thymosin: The Hormone of the Thymus

Thymosin stimulates the development of T cells. Throughout your childhood years, white blood cells called lymphocytes pass through the thymus, where they are transformed into T cells.


Once T cells have fully matured in the thymus, they migrate to the lymph nodes (groups of immune system cells) throughout the body, where they aid the immune system in fighting disease. However, some lymphocytes, regardless if they reside in the lymph nodes or thymus, can develop into cancers (known as Hodgkin disease and non-Hodgkin lymphomas).


Though the thymus gland is only active until puberty, its double-duty function as an endocrine and lymphatic gland plays a significant role in your long-term health.


Updated on: 06/10/14

Endocrine Glands – Hormonal and Metabolic Disorders

The endocrine system consists of a group of glands and organs that regulate and control various body functions by producing and secreting hormones. Hormones are chemical substances that affect the activity of another part of the body. In essence, hormones serve as messengers, controlling and coordinating activities throughout the body.

  • Endocrine glands release their hormones directly into the bloodstream

  • Exocrine glands release hormones or other substances into a duct

The individual organs that make up the endocrine system have different and often unrelated functions. Doctors who specialize in disorders of the endocrine system are known as endocrinologists. Many endocrinologists further subspecialize in the functions and disorders of specific glands.

The major glands of the endocrine system, each of which produces one or more specific hormones, are the

Not all organs that secrete hormones or hormonelike substances are considered part of the endocrine system. For example, the kidneys produce the hormone renin to help control blood pressure and the hormone erythropoietin to stimulate the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. In addition, the digestive tract produces a variety of hormones that control digestion, affect insulin secretion from the pancreas, and alter behaviors, such as those associated with hunger. Fat (adipose) tissue also produces hormones that regulate metabolism (how the body uses foods to control chemical processes in the body) and appetite.

Additionally, the term “gland” does not necessarily mean that the organ is part of the endocrine system. For example, sweat glands, salivary glands, glands in mucus membranes, and mammary glands are called exocrine glands, because they secrete substances other than hormones and because they secrete the substances into ducts, not directly into the bloodstream.

Endocrine Glands

The glands of the endocrine system secrete hormones into the bloodstream to maintain homeostasis and regulate metabolism. The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland are the command and control centers, directing hormones to other glands and throughout the body. Other primary endocrine glands, including the thyroid and parathyroid glands, the adrenal glands, and the pineal gland, adjust the levels of various substances in the blood and regulate metabolism, growth, the sleep cycle, and other processes. Organs such as the pancreas also secrete hormones as part of the endocrine system. Secondary endocrine organs include the gonads, kidneys, and thymus.


Command Centers: The Hypothalamus and the Pituitary Gland Direct the Endocrine System

The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland are part of the diencephalon region of the brain. The hypothalamus connects the nervous system to the endocrine system. It receives and processes signals from other brain regions and pathways and translates them into hormones, the chemical messengers of the endocrine system. These hormones flow to the pituitary gland, which is connected to the hypothalamus by the infundibulum. Some hypothalamic hormones are stored in the pituitary stores for later release; others spur it to secrete its own hormones. The hormones released by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus control the other endocrine glands and regulate all major internal functions.

2. The Pineal Gland Runs a Daily Biological Clock

The pineal gland is small and pinecone-shaped, located at the posterior of the diencephalon region in the brain. As a seemingly unique, unpaired structure near the center of the brain, the pineal gland has been an object of historical fascination. The 17th-century French philosopher René Descartes thought it must be the “seat of the soul.” Perhaps the thought stemmed from the pineal gland’s role in sleep. At night, in the absence of light, the pineal gland secretes the hormone melatonin. Melatonin regulates the body’s sleep patterns in both circadian (daily) and seasonal patterns. In the morning, when light hits the eye, photo receptors in the retina send signals to the pineal gland, which then decreases melatonin production.

3. The Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands Increase Metabolism and Regulate Calcium Levels

The thyroid gland sits in the throat region, just below the larynx, served by large arteries with many branches and a dense network of capillaries. The thyroid hormones it secretes, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), travel in the bloodstream throughout the body to increase metabolism, glucose use, protein synthesis, and nervous system development. The thyroid also releases calcitonin, which helps maintain blood calcium homeostasis by causing calcium to be removed from blood and deposited into bones when blood (calcium) levels are too high. On the posterior surface of the thyroid sit much smaller, separate glands: the parathyroids. Typically there are four parathyroid glands, a superior and inferior pair on the left and right sides of the thyroid. They secrete parathyroid hormone (PTH or parathormone), which stimulates bones to release calcium into the blood when blood (calcium) levels are low. PTH also causes the kidneys to reduce calcium secretion into urine to further elevate calcium levels in the blood. Together, calcitonin and PTH act in complementary ways to maintain blood calcium homeostasis, which is one of the most tightly controlled physiological parameters in the body.

4. The Adrenal Glands Regulate Substance Levels in the Blood and Release “Fight-or-Flight” Hormones

The adrenal glands are pyramid-shaped organs that sit at the top of each kidney. Each adrenal gland consists of two structures: an outer adrenal cortex and an inner adrenal medulla. The adrenal cortex is a network of fine connective tissues that makes up most of the gland. It secretes a range of steroid hormones. Glucocorticoids, such as cortisol, manage protein and glucose levels. Mineralocorticoids, including aldosterone, adjust levels of water and salt. Gonadocorticoids (androgens and estrogens) are secreted by the adrenal cortex in small amounts by both sexes. The adrenal medulla produces epinephrine and norepinephrine (NE). These chemicals promote “fight-or-flight,” the body’s initial response to stress.

5. Key Contributor: The Pancreas Regulates Blood Sugar

Some organs from other body systems also secrete hormones, and so are considered “secondary organs” of the endocrine system. The pancreas, for example, is part of the digestive system. It excretes pancreatic juice into the small intestine via the pancreatic duct. But scattered within the pancreas there are also tiny cell clusters called pancreatic islets (or islets of Langerhans) that release hormones into the bloodstream. These islets make up less than 2% of pancreatic tissue, but their specialized cells regulate blood glucose levels (or blood sugar). When blood sugar is low, alpha cells in the islets release glucagon. Glucagon spurs the liver to break down glycogen and release more glucose into the blood. When blood sugar is high, beta cells in the islets release insulin, which increases glucose reuptake.

How does the thyroid gland work? – InformedHealth.org

The thyroid gland is a vital hormone gland: It plays a major role in the metabolism, growth and development of the human body. It helps to regulate many body functions by constantly releasing a steady amount of thyroid hormones into the bloodstream. If the body needs more energy in certain situations – for instance, if it is growing or cold, or during pregnancy – the thyroid gland produces more hormones.

This organ (medical term: glandula thyreoidea) is found at the front of the neck, under the voice box. It is butterfly-shaped: The two side lobes lie against and around the windpipe (trachea), and are connected at the front by a narrow strip of tissue.

The thyroid weighs between 20 and 60 grams on average. It is surrounded by two fibrous capsules. The outer capsule is connected to the voice box muscles and many important vessels and nerves. There is loose connective tissue between the inner and the outer capsule, so the thyroid can move and change its position when we swallow.

The thyroid tissue itself consists of a lot of small individual lobules that are enclosed in thin layers of connective tissue. These lobules contain a great number of small vesicles (sacs) – called follicles – which store thyroid hormones in the form of little droplets. 

Hormone production as needed

The thyroid gland produces three hormones:

  • Triiodothyronine, also known as T3

  • Tetraiodothyronine, also called thyroxine or T4

  • Calcitonin

Strictly speaking, only T3 and T4 are proper thyroid hormones. They are made in what are known as the follicular epithelial cells of the thyroid.

Iodine is one of the main building blocks of both hormones. Our bodies can’t produce this trace element, so we need to get enough of it in our diet. Iodine is absorbed into our bloodstream from food in our bowel. It is then carried to the thyroid gland, where it is eventually used to make thyroid hormones.

Sometimes our bodies need more thyroid hormones, and sometimes they need less. To make the exact right amount of hormones, the thyroid gland needs the help of another gland: the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland “tells” the thyroid gland whether to release more or less hormones into the bloodstream. Also, a certain amount of thyroid hormones are attached to transport proteins in the blood. If the body needs more hormones, T3 and T4 can be released from the proteins in the blood and do their job.

The third hormone produced by the thyroid gland is called calcitonin. Calcitonin is made by C-cells. It is involved in calcium and bone metabolism.

T3 and T4 increase the basal metabolic rate. They make all of cells in the body work harder, so the cells need more energy too. This has the following effects, for example:

  • Body temperature rises

  • Faster pulse and stronger heartbeat

  • Food is used up more quickly because energy stored in the liver and muscles is broken down

  • The brain matures (in children)

  • Growth is promoted (in children).

  • Activation of the nervous system leads to improved concentration and faster reflexes

Hormone imbalances: Overactive and underactive thyroid gland

An overactive thyroid (also known as hyperthyroidism) occurs if the thyroid gland makes too many hormones. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) is where the gland doesn’t make enough hormones. Both of these imbalances can lead to a great number of symptoms.

The thyroid gland may grow in size too. Sometimes the whole thyroid gland becomes enlarged (diffuse goiter), and sometimes individual lumps called nodules grow in the gland (nodular goiter). A special examination, known as thyroid scintigraphy, can be used to see whether these nodules are producing abnormal amounts of hormones. If they make more hormones than the rest of the thyroid tissue, they are called “hot” nodules. If they make less, they are called “cold” nodules.

In most cases, an enlarged thyroid or nodules aren’t caused by anything serious. They are only rarely cancer. But it’s still important to see a doctor if you notice any changes in your thyroid gland.


  • Menche N. (ed.) Biologie Anatomie Physiologie. Munich: Urban & Fischer/ Elsevier; 2012.

  • Pschyrembel W. Klinisches Wörterbuch. Berlin: De Gruyter; 2014.

  • Schmidt R, Lang F, Heckmann M. Physiologie des Menschen: mit Pathophysiologie. Heidelberg: Springer; 2011.

  • IQWiG health information is written with the aim of helping
    people understand the advantages and disadvantages of the main treatment options and health
    care services.

    Because IQWiG is a German institute, some of the information provided here is specific to the
    German health care system. The suitability of any of the described options in an individual
    case can be determined by talking to a doctor. We do not offer individual consultations.

    Our information is based on the results of good-quality studies. It is written by a
    team of
    health care professionals, scientists and editors, and reviewed by external experts. You can
    find a detailed description of how our health information is produced and updated in
    our methods.

Endocrine System: Facts, Functions and Diseases

The endocrine system is the collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things.


The endocrine system is made up of the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands, pancreas, ovaries (in females) and testicles (in males), according to the Mayo Clinic.

The word endocrine derives from the Greek words “endo,” meaning within, and “crinis,” meaning to secrete, according to Health Mentor Online. In general, a gland selects and removes materials from the blood, processes them and secretes the finished chemical product for use somewhere in the body. The endocrine system affects almost every organ and cell in the body, according to the Merck Manual.

Although the hormones circulate throughout the body, each type of hormone is targeted toward certain organs and tissues, the Merck Manual notes. The endocrine system gets some help from organs such as the kidney, liver, heart and gonads, which have secondary endocrine functions. The kidney, for example, secretes hormones such as erythropoietin and renin. 

The thyroid also secretes a range of hormones that affect the whole body. “Thyroid hormones impact a host of vital body functions, including heart rate, skin maintenance, growth, temperature regulation, fertility and digestion,” said Dr. Jerome M. Hershman, a professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and author of the thyroid sections of the Merck Manual.

“In this way, the thyroid gland is the body’s master metabolic control center,” said Cindy Samet, a chemistry professor at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. “Brain, heart and kidney function, as well as body temperature, growth and muscle strength — and much more — are at the mercy of thyroid function.”

Diseases of the endocrine system

Hormone levels that are too high or too low indicate a problem with the endocrine system. Hormone diseases also occur if your body does not respond to hormones in the appropriate ways. Stress, infection and changes in the blood’s fluid and electrolyte balance can also influence hormone levels, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The most common endocrine disease in the United States is diabetes, a condition in which the body does not properly process glucose, a simple sugar. This is due to the lack of insulin or, if the body is producing insulin, because the body is not working effectively, according to Dr. Jennifer Loh, chief of the department of endocrinology for Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii.

Diabetes can be linked to obesity, diet and family history, according to Dr. Alyson Myers of North Shore-LIJ Health System. “To diagnose diabetes, we do an oral glucose tolerance test with fasting.”

It is also important to understand the patient’s health history as well as the family history, Myers noted. Infections and medications such as blood thinners can also cause adrenal deficiencies.

Diabetes is treated with pills or insulin injections. Managing other endocrine disorders typically involves stabilizing hormone levels with medication or, if a tumor is causing an overproduction of a hormone, by removing the tumor. Treating endocrine disorders takes a very careful and personalized approach, Myers said, as adjusting the levels of one hormone can impact the balance of other hormones.

Hormone imbalances can have a significant impact on the reproductive system, particularly in women, Loh explained.  

Another disorder, hypothyroidism, a parathyroid disease, occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone to meet the body’s needs. Loh noted that insufficient thyroid hormone can cause many of the body’s functions to slow or shut down completely. It has an easy treatment, though. “Parathyroid disease is a curable cause of kidney stones,” said Dr. Melanie Goldfarb, an endocrine surgeon and director of the Endocrine Tumor Program at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, and an assistant professor of surgery at the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica. The damaged part of the gland is removed surgically. 

Thyroid cancer begins in the thyroid gland and starts when the cells in the thyroid begin to change, grow uncontrollably and eventually form a tumor, according to Loh. Tumors — both benign and cancerous — can also disrupt the functions of the endocrine system, Myers explained. Between the years of 1975 and 2013, the cases of thyroid cancer diagnosed yearly have more than tripled, according to a 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). “While overdiagnosis may be an important component to this observed epidemic, it clearly does not explain the whole story,” said Dr. Julie Sosa, one of the authors of the new study and the chief of endocrine surgery at Duke University in North Carolina. The American Cancer Society predicts that there will be about 53,990 new cases of thyroid cancer in 2018 and around 2,060 deaths from thyroid cancer.

Hypoglycemia, also called low blood glucose or low blood sugar, occurs when blood glucose drops below normal levels. This typically happens as a result of treatment for diabetes when too much insulin is taken. While Loh noted that the condition can occur in people not undergoing treatment for diabetes, such an occurrence is fairly rare.

What is an endocrinologist?

After completing four years of medical school, people who want to be endocrinologists then spend three or four years in an internship and residency program. These specialty programs cover internal medicine, pediatrics, or obstetrics and gynecology, according to the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Endocrinologists-in-training then spend two or three more years learning how to diagnose and treat hormone conditions. Overall, an endocrinologist’s training will take more than 10 years after the undergraduate degree. They are certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Endocrinologists typically specialize in one or two areas of endocrinology, such as diabetes or infertility. These specialists treat patients with fertility issues and also assess and treat patients with health concerns surrounding menstruation and menopause, Loh noted.

Milestones in the study of the endocrine system

200 B.C.: The Chinese begin isolating sex and pituitary hormones from human urine and using them for medicinal purposes

1025: In medieval Persia, the writer Avicenna (980-1037) provides a detailed account on diabetes mellitus in “The Canon of Medicine” (c. 1025), describing the abnormal appetite, the collapse of sexual functions and the sweet taste of diabetic urine.

1835: Irish doctor Robert James Graves describes a case of goiter with bulging eyes (exophthalmos). The thyroid condition Graves’ disease was later named after the doctor.

1902: William Bayliss and Ernest Starling perform an experiment in which they observe that acid instilled into the duodenum (part of the small intestine) causes the pancreas to begin secretion, even after they had removed all nervous connections between the two organs.

1889: Joseph von Mering and Oskar Minkowski observe that surgically removing the pancreas results in an increase of blood sugar, followed by a coma and eventual death.

1921: Otto Loewi in 1921 discovers neurohormones by incubating a frog’s heart in a saline bath.

1922: Leonard Thompson, at age 14, is the first person with diabetes to receive insulin. Drugmaker Eli Lilly soon starts mass production of insulin.

Additional reporting by Alina Bradford, Live Science contributor.

The endocrine system produces hormones that regulate your body and mind. (Image credit: by Ross Toro, Infographics Artist)

Editor’s Note: If you’d like more information on this topic, we recommend the following book:

Related pages

Systems of the human body

  • Circulatory System: Facts, Function & Diseases
  • Digestive System: Facts, Function & Diseases
  • Immune System: Diseases, Disorders & Function
  • Lymphatic System: Facts, Functions & Diseases
  • Muscular System: Facts, Functions & Diseases
  • Nervous System: Facts, Function & Diseases
  • Reproductive System: Facts, Functions and Diseases
  • Respiratory System: Facts, Function & Diseases
  • Skeletal System: Facts, Function & Diseases
  • Skin: Facts, Diseases & Conditions
  • Urinary System: Facts, Functions & Diseases

Parts of the human body

  • Bladder: Facts, Function & Disease
  • Human Brain: Facts, Anatomy & Mapping Project
  • Colon (Large Intestine): Facts, Function & Diseases
  • Ears: Facts, Function & Disease
  • Esophagus: Facts, Function & Diseases
  • How the Human Eye Works
  • Gallbladder: Function, Problems & Healthy Diet
  • Human Heart: Anatomy, Function & Facts
  • Kidneys: Facts, Function & Diseases
  • Liver: Function, Failure & Disease
  • Lungs: Facts, Function & Diseases
  • Nose: Facts, Function & Diseases
  • Pancreas: Function, Location & Diseases
  • Small Intestine: Function, Length & Problems
  • Spleen: Function, Location & Problems
  • Stomach: Facts, Function & Diseases
  • The Tongue: Facts, Function & Diseases

Additional resources

Doctors May Have Found Secretive New Organs in the Center of Your Head

After millenniums of careful slicing and dicing, it might seem as though scientists have figured out human anatomy. A few dozen organs, a couple of hundred bones and connective tissue to tie it all together.

But despite centuries of scrutiny, the body is still capable of surprising scientists.

A team of researchers in the Netherlands has discovered what may be a set of previously unidentified organs: a pair of large salivary glands, lurking in the nook where the nasal cavity meets the throat. If the findings are confirmed, this hidden wellspring of spit could mark the first identification of its kind in about three centuries.

Any modern anatomy book will show just three major types of salivary glands: one set near the ears, another below the jaw and another under the tongue. “Now, we think there is a fourth,” said Dr. Matthijs Valstar, a surgeon and researcher at the Netherlands Cancer Institute and an author on the study, published last month in the journal Radiotherapy and Oncology.

The study was small, and examined a limited patient population, said Dr. Valerie Fitzhugh, a pathologist at Rutgers University who wasn’t involved in the research. But “it seems like they may be onto something,” she said. “If it’s real, it could change the way we look at disease in this region.”

Even without a direct therapeutic application, Dr. Yvonne Mowery, a radiation oncologist at Duke University, said she “was quite shocked that we are in 2020 and have a new structure identified in the human body.”

Dr. Valstar and his colleagues, who usually study data from people with prostate cancer, didn’t set out on a treasure hunt for unidentified spit glands. But the structures are important to researchers and doctors who deal in oncology.

Salivary glands collectively churn out about a quart of spit each day, which is responsible for “a lot of things that make you enjoy life,” Dr. Valstar said. It lubricates the mouth, making it easier to speak and swallow. It ferries the tasty chemicals in food to the microscopic cells that can sense them. It even comes imbued with crude healing powers, waging war against germs and speeding the closure of wounds.

Doctors take numerous precautions to avoid damaging the glands when administering radiation therapy, which can, with a single misdirected zap, permanently compromise the delicate tissues.

While perusing a set of scans from a machine that could visualize tissues in high detail, the researchers noticed two unfamiliar structures dead center in the head: a duo of flat, spindly glands, a couple of inches in length, draped discreetly over the tubes that connect the ears to the throat.

Puzzled by the images, they dissected tissue from two cadavers and found that the glands bore similarities to known salivary glands that sit below the tongue. The new glands were also hooked up to large draining ducts — a hint that they were funneling fluid from one place to another.

It’s not completely clear how the glands eluded anatomists. But “the location is not very accessible, and you need very sensitive imaging to detect it,” said Dr. Wouter Vogel, a radiation oncologist at the Netherlands Cancer Institute and an author on the study. The body’s other large salivary glands, which sit closer to the surface of the skin, can also be poked and prodded; that’s far less feasible with this fourth pair of structures, which are tucked under the base of the skull.

The new find, Dr. Vogel said, might help explain why people who undergo radiation therapy for cancer of the head or neck so often end up with chronic dry mouth and swallowing problems. Because these obscure glands weren’t known to doctors, “nobody ever tried to spare them” from such treatments, Dr. Vogel said.

Dr. Alvand Hassankhani, a radiologist at the University of Pennsylvania, said he was hesitant to label the structures “new organs.” In addition to the three pairs of known large salivary glands, some 1,000 minor salivary glands are sprinkled across the lining of the mouth and throat. They are more petite and tougher to find through imaging or scanning than their heftier cousins. It’s possible that the Dutch researchers just happened upon a better way to image a set of underappreciated minor glands, Dr. Hassankhani said.

Dr. Fitzhugh and Dr. Mowery were slightly more persuaded, but both called for more data. “To have it one clinical data set is never enough,” Dr. Mowery said.

The patient population in the study also wasn’t very diverse, Dr. Fitzhugh said. The original group examined by the researchers was made up entirely of people with prostate or urethral gland cancer, and included only one woman among 100 subjects.

“You’d like to see more balance,” Dr. Fitzhugh said.

The imaging techniques used in the study were also specifically tailored to hunt for tumorous growths in this patient population. It may be worth widening these experiments to include a new group of people, using different methods, she said.

Dr. Fitzhugh added that it should be easier to spot the camera-shy glands with traditional techniques “now that they know to look for it.”

Sweat Gland – an overview

IV Sweat Gland

Structure and Function

Sweat glands are coiled tubular structures vital for regulating human body temperature. Humans have three different types of sweat glands: eccrine, apocrine, and apoeccrine. Eccrine sweat glands are abundantly distributed all over the skin and mainly secrete water and electrolytes through the surface of the skin. Apocrine glands secrete oily substances containing lipids, proteins, and steroids through hair canals and are found only in skin containing hair (restricted to the armpits, mammary, anal, and genital areas) [189,190]. Rather than responding to temperature, apocrine glands often respond to emotional stimuli including anxiety and fear. Under these circumstances, sweating is often observed in the armpits, palms, and soles of the feet [191–193]. For decades it was believed that these are the only two types of sweat glands. In 1987, however, apoeccrine glands were identified in areas of apocrine glands but secreted watery fluids similar to eccrine glands [194]. Unlike humans, animals such as dogs and mice have sweat glands only in their paws because they have evolved a different method of thermoregulation, namely panting. In these animals, sweat glands are present in the paws to provide friction for running and climbing. For the purposes of this chapter, we focus only on eccrine sweat glands, referring to them hereafter as “sweat glands.”

In humans, roughly 1.6 to 5 million sweat glands are found in the skin, and the amount varies between individuals as well as anatomic sites [195]. The region with greatest sweat gland density is the palms and soles of the feet, which contain 600–700 sweat glands/cm2[195]. The primary function of sweat glands is to keep the core body temperature at approximately 37 °C by releasing sweat in a hot environment or during physical activity [189,195]. Sweat glands are innervated by neurons, so the process of sweating is controlled by the central nervous system. Thermosensitive neurons in the brain can detect the internal body temperature and external skin temperature, instructing sweat glands to respond accordingly to maintain a constant core body temperature [189,195]. When an increase in temperature is detected, sweat is induced to cool the skin, and internal body temperature decreases when the sweat evaporates from the surface of the skin. Therefore, sweat glands are essential in keeping the body temperature constant. A core body temperature higher than 40 °C can result in protein denaturation and apoptosis [189]. Physically, it can lead to hyperthermia, commonly known as heat exhaustion or heat stroke, which can be fatal.

Sweat is a dilute electrolyte solution composed of 99% water, sodium chloride, potassium, bicarbonate, calcium, magnesium, lactate, ammonia, and urea [196]. During sweating, some of the ions are reabsorbed through Na+/K+ ATPases on the membrane of the sweat duct [189,195]. In addition to Na+/K+ pumps, chloride channels also are found in sweat glands.

Sweat glands consist of a coiled acinar secretory structure in the dermis and a straight duct that connects this acinar structure to the surface of the epidermis (Figure 4). This acinar secretory coil contains a basal layer composed of two distinct cell types, clear cells and myoepithelial cells, as well as a luminal layer composed of dark cells [5] (Figure 4). These dark cells secrete glycoproteins that can be identified with periodic acid Schiff (PAS) staining. In the basal layer, clear cells are rich in mitochondria and contain basolateral infoldings where water and ions are secreted. This sweat subsequently travels through small intercellular canals to reach the lumen and through the sweat duct to be secreted at the skin surface [5]. Myoepithelial cells are located at the periphery of sweat glands and are believed to provide support for the sweat gland structure (Figure 4).

Sweat Gland Disorders

Sweat gland disorders range from excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) and decreased sweating (hypohidrosis) to no sweating (anhidrosis). While hyperhidrosis is generally not a serious condition, anhidrosis can lead to death from hyperthermia. Patients with hypohidrosis or anhidrosis often display symptoms of heat intolerance that may lead to fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and difficulty breathing. Hyperhidrosis most commonly affects the armpits, palms, and soles of the feet [197]. Depending on its severity, hyperhidrosis can be treated with topical aluminum salts or anticholinergic oral medications [198].

Hypohidrosis and anhidrosis are commonly caused by obstruction of sweat pores and ducts, as seen in patients with psoriasis, dermatitis, sclerosis, and miliaria. Some patients with miliaria, also known as a sweat rash, feel a stinging sensation in the affected areas caused by sweat retention from the ductal occlusion [198]. In some cases, controlling the temperature and humidity of the environment to reduce sweating can relieve the obstruction. Hypohidrosis and anhidrosis may also be caused by dysfunctional sweat glands, as in Fabry’s disease of systemic sclerosis or absent sweat glands in anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia [198,199]. Anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia is a dermatological disorder that affects multiple skin appendages, including sweat glands [200]. It is caused by a mutation in the ED1 gene-encoding ectodysplasin-A (EDA) ligand, its EDA receptor, or EDARDD adaptor protein, and can be life threatening for children because of their inability to sweat [201–203]. Hypohidrosis may also result from injuries caused by burns, irradiation, and trauma that damage sweat glands. In general, all these conditions vary in severity and can either be localized to a specific region of the body or more globally affect a patient.

Hyperhidrosis, hypohidrosis, or anhidrosis may often be associated with more serious underlying diseases and processes. For instance, people undergoing anxiety, menopause, or drug withdrawal often experience excessive sweating. Because sweat glands are innervated by neurons, diseases affecting the central nervous system (such as Parkinson’s disease) or spinal cord often cause abnormal sweating [204,205].

Sweat Glands in Wound Healing

During wound healing, HF SCs can migrate up to the epidermis to help re-epithelialize the skin [11]. Although human skin contains both HFs and sweat glands in most regions of the body, certain areas such as the palms and soles only contain sweat glands and do not have any hair. Thus, there is great interest in the ability of sweat glands to participate in epidermal wound healing, especially in areas lacking HFs. The first experiment to test their epidermal regenerative potential was performed by Miller et al. [206], who generated wounds on porcine skin, which is very similar to human skin. Deep wounds were generated to remove HFs along with the epidermis, and because sweat glands reside deeper in the dermis, they occasional remained. Interestingly, although shallow wounds containing HFs healed faster, the deep wounds also re-epithelialized in the absence of HFs. This newly formed skin over the deep wounds was distinctly different from the surrounding skin and did not contain any HFs [206]. Thus, one possible explanation was that cells from the remaining sweat glands migrated up to re-epithelialize the epidermis in the absence of HFs. In an independent study, a skin graft generated from human sweat gland cells formed a fully stratified epidermis when transplanted onto the back of an immunocompromised rat [207]. Furthermore, sweat gland cells have been shown to contribute to wound healing of human skin [208]. Taken together, these reports suggest that sweat gland cells also have the potential to differentiate into cells of the epidermis and contribute to wound healing after injury. However, which sweat gland cells have this potential and whether they are the SCs that maintain the normal homeostasis of this appendage remain unclear.

Sweat Gland Stem Cells and Their Multipotency in Regeneration of the Epidermis, Sweat Glands, and Hair Follicles

Lu et al. [17] recently reported the presence of unipotent SCs in adult sweat glands located in the basal and luminal layers. Upon injury, the unipotent sweat gland SCs located in the luminal and basal layers of the glandular region become activated to replenish their respective layers and therefore restore sweat function. Similar to the quiescent characteristic of HF SCs in the bulge, myoepithelial sweat gland cells localized in the acinar basal layer are also slow-cycling LRCs that have the potential to regenerate skin under favorable conditions [17,18]. Interestingly, however, these cells of the acinar (glandular) region do not respond to shallow epidermal scrape wounds. Instead, sweat duct cells become activated to re-epithelialize the epidermis in conjunction with surrounding basal layer epidermal SCs. These sweat duct cells were likely activated over the glandular cells because of their close proximity to the wound and epidermis, serving as a first line of defense. It was speculated that deeper wounds may subsequently activate the sweat gland SCs of the glandular region. Indeed, recent transplantation studies have demonstrated that basal layer sweat gland cells, including slow-cycling myoepithelial sweat gland SCs, can contribute and differentiate into the various layers of the stratified epidermis in addition to the de novo formation of sweat glands, further highlighting their SC characteristics [17,18] (Figure 4). Moreover, its fate is partially influenced by the surrounding environment. For example, transplantation of these sweat gland myoepithelial cells into cleared mammary fat pads of lactating mice results in the formation of mammary gland-like structures in addition to sweat glands [17]. Although unpurified, transplantation of sweat gland cells together with newborn dermal fibroblasts has shown that they are able to form HFs [18]. Taken together, recent reports of sweat gland SCs have shown their ability to differentiate into various components of the skin, including the epidermis, sweat gland or even mammary gland and HF, highlighting its potential in regenerative wound healing of the skin.

Iron | Tervisliku toitumise informatsioon

Iron is found in the human body only in a bound, soluble and non-toxic form. Free iron is dangerous for the human body, since it quickly oxidizes to hardly soluble harmful substances.

Iron is needed:
  • for hematopoiesis, where it is used in the synthesis of hemo- and myoglobin. Iron plays a key role in binding and transporting oxygen in the composition of hemoglobin, which is necessary for life, incl.h and diseases,
  • to reduce fatigue and maintain normal skin color.

Iron is found in both plant and animal foods. Iron from animal food, for example from meat, is absorbed by the body by 15–35%, and from plant food, for example from cereals, by 2–20%, and in the latter case, vitamin C plays an important role. Long-term deficiency of available iron is the most common cause of anemia. … The composition of the product influences how the iron included in it is absorbed. The degree of digestibility increases if meat and fish are present in the daily diet, as well as sufficient vitamin C. Digestibility decreases if a person eats foods (for example, spinach or rhubarb) that contain oxalates, phytic acid and some other organic acids.

Iron deficiency can occur:
  • with large blood loss,
  • in pregnant women,
  • in premature babies or children with low body weight,
  • in infants and young children,
  • in adolescent girls,
  • in vegetarians,
  • for diseases of the digestive system.

Excessive use of iron for a long time, mainly in the form of bioactive supplements, can be harmful to the body. Excess iron leads to deep oxidative stress, which is the cause of many diseases. Excess iron threatens primarily adult men and postmenopausal women, and it is advisable for them not to exceed the amount of iron consumed for a long time.

The best sources of iron are animal products such as liver, blood sausage, eggs, lean beef and pork, but also seeds, raisins, bread, whole grains, buckwheat, and strawberries.Foods rich in fat and sugar are usually low in iron.

In women, iron loss with menstrual blood is very different. This means that some women need more iron than can be obtained from regular food. If iron is absorbed by 15%, then 90% of the iron requirement in women of childbearing age will be covered by 15 mg of iron per day.

To maintain the balance of iron in the body at the beginning of pregnancy, it is required to accumulate about 500 mg of iron stores. Some women do not have enough dietary iron to meet their biological iron requirements in the last two trimesters of pregnancy and require iron supplements.

For the recommended amounts of minerals by age group, see the table for details.

The recommended daily intake of iron is 10-15 mg. 10 mg of iron contains, for example, the following products:
  • 50 g braised liver,
  • 55 g wheat bran,
  • 90 g lentils,
  • 125 g blood sausage,
  • 400 g braised beef.

If you eat a variety of foods, in accordance with the quantities recommended in the food pyramid, there is no problem getting enough iron.

Iron deficiency: German doctors warn of danger | Culture and Lifestyle in Germany and Europe | DW

Of all the pathologies associated with a lack of nutrients in the human body, iron deficiency is the most common. According to the estimates of the World Health Organization, almost a third of the world’s population suffers from this. The risk group, first of all, includes women of reproductive age (first of all, pregnant women, since the embryos are diligently stealing iron from their body), children and adolescents, the elderly, athletes, as well as vegetarians and vegans.

A new study from the Medizinische Hochschule Hannover has shown that iron levels are often too low in people with heart disease.

When there is cause for alarm

Approximately 3-5 grams of iron is found in the body of a healthy adult. But 1-2 milligrams of this microelement is excreted daily from the body – with sweat, urine, and sometimes with blood.And what has been lost must be replenished, first of all, by adhering to a balanced diet. Otherwise, unpleasant consequences cannot be avoided. It can even come to such a serious illness as iron deficiency anemia (anemia).

Brittle hair, pale dry skin, cracks in the corners of the mouth, burning and pain in the tongue, changes in the mucous membrane of the oral cavity, which becomes grayish-greenish – these are just some of the symptoms of the disease. A person, whose body lacks iron for a long time, gets tired quickly, concentrates poorly, suffers from headaches, his working capacity decreases, memory is impaired, the immune system weakens, he is overcome by apathy, and even a small physical activity is accompanied by a rapid heartbeat.

The effect of iron deficiency in the body on the work of the human heart was the subject of a study conducted by scientists at the Hanover Medical School. As these studies have shown, insufficient iron content hinders the pumping function of the heart. As a result, the energy required for the cells of the heart muscle is produced less, and this provokes cardiac diseases.

The lack of iron in the body is especially dangerous for those who have suffered a heart attack. The recovery process for such patients is the most painful.But the course of treatment with iron preparations helps. As the experiments carried out by the Hanoverian scientists have shown, after the first injection, the patient has a noticeable improvement in his physical condition. At the same time, doctors in no case recommend self-medication and uncontrolled use of medicines containing iron. An overdose of such medications is no less dangerous.

“Iron” diet

It is impossible to replenish iron deficiency without proper nutrition – the daily use of foods rich in this trace element. Powerful sources of iron include nuts, seeds, apples, whole grains, legumes like lentils and beans, mushrooms, seafood, and spinach.

To maintain the required level of iron in the body 3-4 times a week, you must also eat one portion of lean meat. For better absorption of iron, it is best to consume it in combination with vitamin C. It is found in sufficient quantities in vegetables such as potatoes, Brussels sprouts, sauerkraut, paprika, and citrus fruits.

German doctors recommend avoiding red wine, coffee, cocoa, tea and milk when consuming iron-containing food. They are advised to drink them no earlier than half an hour after the meal or half an hour before it. Better yet, maintain a two-hour interval, or even replace these drinks with orange juice.

See also:

  • How Germans Get Rid of Ailments


    Before deciding what to do with a particular illness, it’s a good idea to have a cup of herbal tea.It can be bought in Germany not only in a pharmacy, but also in any store. Herbal teas have a beneficial effect. In addition, they perfectly raise the general tone and help to relax.

  • How Germans Get Rid of Ailments


    A well-known remedy for cough – licorice root, licorice or licorice (lat. Glycyrrhiza glabra), is the basis of the German favorite “viscous” delicacy. Regardless of the shape and degree of sweetness, licorice candy can do other wonders as well.A paste of crushed licorice lozenges and petroleum jelly helps to get rid of calluses and horny skin on the feet.

  • How the Germans get rid of ailments


    Today, few people know about the benefits of mustard plasters in Germany. Also, rarely do Germans soar their feet with mustard powder. Mustard is better known here as a remedy for … heartburn! It sounds paradoxical, but a teaspoon of hot mustard, “taken” after a meal, soothes the stomach. The mustard oil contained in mustard improves the function of the gallbladder and liver, preventing the occurrence of heartburn.

  • How Germans Get Rid of Ailments


    In the Middle Ages, ginger imported from distant countries (lat. Zingiber officinale) joined the well-known remedies for “all diseases” in Germany – garlic and horseradish root. Rich in vitamins and essential amino acids, the miracle root improves digestion and blood circulation. And ginger tea with lemon and honey is a universal antipyretic and anti-inflammatory agent.

  • How the Germans get rid of ailments


    The fact that a moderately “accepted” drink not only warms, but also relieves of various ailments has been known for a long time.Adherents of traditional medicine in Germany use vodka as a remedy for … excessive sweating of the feet and hands. To get rid of such a nuisance, it is recommended to wipe your hands and feet with gauze soaked in vodka twice a day.

  • How Germans Get Rid of Ailments

    German Salo

    A slice of smoked bacon or “speck”, as the Germans call it, can save you from a toothache! Anyway, calm her down for a while until you get to the dentist. Do not rush to eat the whole piece at once – leave it behind your cheek, where the tooth hurts, and in 15-20 minutes it will feel better for you. The meat salt “draws” fluid from the swollen gums and acts as a mild pain reliever.

  • How Germans Get Rid of Ailments

    Olive Oil

    Due to its high content of oleic (monounsaturated) acid, olive oil is considered to be simply miraculous. It has healing properties. For example: to eliminate eczema, thoroughly rub oil into reddened skin.An excellent prophylactic agent against skin inflammations is a bath with the addition of 100 ml of oil and 500 ml of milk.

  • How the Germans get rid of ailments


    Legends can be made about the benefits of white cabbage. In Germany, it is considered a migraine remedy. The juice of both fresh and sauerkraut is especially useful, according to traditional healers. A compress applied to the forehead of finely chopped cabbage leaves wrapped in a cotton towel also helps.

  • How the Germans get rid of ailments


    Instead of mustard plasters, cottage cheese is often used in Germany. Curd compress helps to get rid of annoying cough. To do this, the heated (not hot!) Curd mass is spread on a towel and placed alternately on the chest and back, covering the patient with a woolen blanket.

  • How Germans Get Rid of Ailments

    Black Pepper

    As you know, they knock out a wedge with a wedge, and hiccups with pepper! This physiological reaction of the body cannot be called dangerous, it usually goes away by itself.But sometimes the hiccups can be excruciatingly prolonged. In this case, it is recommended to sniff the ground black pepper. The alkaloid piperine contained in it will cause a “defensive reaction”, and the hiccuping sneeze will get rid of the hiccups.

  • How the Germans get rid of ailments

    Baking powder

    Artificial baking powder or just soda – the Germans resort to this “handy” remedy urgently for inflammation of the bladder. A pinch of baking soda or baking powder, dissolved in a glass of water, neutralizes the acidic environment, so favorable for the growth of bacteria, and turns it into an alkaline one.

  • How Germans Get Rid of Ailments


    With a breakdown, flu and other ailments, the list of “healing” dishes in Germany is headed by chicken broth cooked over low heat. Spices are added to the broth: cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves, parsley roots, onions, and, if desired, a small piece of ginger. The favorite German chicken broth soup – with thin, homemade noodles.

    Author: Inga Wanner

Self-protection against radiation | US EPA

Radioactive radiation is a part of our life.Background radiation is constantly present around us, emitted mainly by natural minerals. Fortunately, it is very rare for the average individual to be exposed to uncontrolled sources of radiation in excess of background radiation. However, it is advisable to prepare and know how to act in the event of such a situation.

The best way to prepare is to understand the principles of radiation protection through time, distance and shielding. During a radiological emergency (a large release of radioactive material into the environment), we can use these principles to protect ourselves and to protect our families.

Page content:

Time, distance and shielding

Time, distance and shielding reduce exposure to radiation in much the same way they protect you from excessive sun exposure:

  • Time: for those who are exposed additional exposure to radioactive radiation in addition to natural background radiation, limiting or shortening the exposure time reduces the radiation dose.
  • Distance: Just as the heat from a fire diminishes as you move away from it, the dose of radiation decreases significantly as the distance from the radiation source increases.
  • Shielding: Lead, concrete or water barriers provide protection against penetrating gamma rays and X-rays. For this reason, some radioactive substances are stored underwater or in concrete or lead-lined rooms, and dentists put a lead blanket on patients to take x-rays of the teeth. Therefore, installing a secure shield between you and the radiation source will significantly reduce or eliminate the radiation dose you receive.

Radiation emergencies

It has been demonstrated in practice that in the event of a large-scale release of radiation, such as from a nuclear power plant accident or terrorist attack, the following recommendations provide maximum protection.

In the event of a radiation accident, you can take the following measures to protect yourself, your loved ones and your pets: Get into the shelter, Stay in the shelter and Be in touch .Follow the recommendations of the emergency team and rescue service representatives.

Go to the shelter

In the event of a radiation hazard, you may be asked to enter the premises and take refuge there for a while.

  • This action is called Securing a Local Shelter.
  • Stay in the center of a building or basement, away from doors and windows.
  • Bring your pets to the shelter.

Stay in cover

Buildings are capable of providing tangible radiation protection.The more walls there are between you and the outside world, the more barriers there are between you and the radioactive substance outside. Timely sheltering and staying indoors after a radiological incident can limit your exposure to radiation and possibly save your life.

  • Close windows and doors.
  • Shower or wipe exposed body parts with a damp cloth.
  • Drink bottled water and eat from airtight containers.

Stay in touch

Emergency personnel are trained to respond to emergencies and will take specific measures to ensure the safety of people.Notification can be carried out through social networks, emergency warning systems, television or radio.

  • Receive operational information via radio, television, Internet, mobile devices, etc.
  • Emergency personnel will provide information on where to go to check for radioactive contamination.

If you find or come into contact with a radiation source, contact your nearest government radiation agency [you leave the EPA].

Where to go in case of a radiation emergency

Infographic adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC).

Move to the basement or the center of a solid building. The radioactive material settles on the outside of buildings, so it is best to stay as far away from walls and roofs as possible. Stay inside the building for at least 24 hours until emergency responders advise you that it is safe to go outside.

Preparing for a radiation emergency

For any emergency, it is important to have a plan in place so that you and your family know how to respond when a real emergency occurs. To prepare yourself and your family, follow these steps now:

  • Protect yourself: in the event of a radiation emergency, go into cover, stay in cover and stay connected. Repeat this recommendation to your family members when there is no emergency so they know how to deal with a radiation accident.
  • Make a Family Emergency Communication Plan: Share and practice your family communication plan with your loved ones so your family knows how to respond in an emergency. For more information on creating a plan, including templates, visit the Make a Plan section of Ready.gov/plan (in English).
  • Assemble Emergency Kit: This kit can be used in any emergency and includes non-perishable food items, a battery-operated radio or a hand-operated generator, water, flashlight, batteries, first aid supplies, and copies of important documents for you if you are going to be evacuated.For more information on what’s included in the kit, see the Basic Disaster Supplies Kit section on Ready. gov/kit (in English).
  • Review your community’s radiation emergency plan: Consult with local officials, your child’s school, where you work, etc. to find out how prepared they are for a radiological emergency.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Emergency Alarm and Alert System: This system will be used to alert the public in the event of a radiological incident.Many communities have text message or email alert systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet for your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts”.
  • Identify reliable sources of information: Identify reliable sources of information for yourself now and refer back to those sources in the event of an emergency for messages and instructions.Unfortunately, from past disasters and emergencies, we know that few groups of people can take advantage of the opportunity to spread false information.

Potassium iodide (KI)

Do not take potassium iodide (KI) or give it to others unless specifically advised by the health department, emergency personnel, or your doctor.

KI is prescribed only in cases of radioactive iodine release into the environment and protects only the thyroid gland.KI works by filling a person’s thyroid gland with stable iodine, while the harmful radioactive iodine is not absorbed from the release, thereby reducing the risk of developing thyroid cancer in the future.

Below are the Q&A from the Potassium Iodide (KI) page on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

What is potassium iodide?

KI (potassium iodide) does not keep radioactive iodine from entering the body and is unable to eliminate the health effects caused by radioactive iodine when the thyroid gland is damaged.

KI (potassium iodide) protects only the thyroid gland from radioactive iodine, but not other parts of the body.

KI (potassium iodide) is not able to protect the body from other radioactive elements besides radioactive iodine — in the absence of radioactive iodine, taking KI does not provide protection and can be harmful.

Table salt and iodine-rich foods do not contain enough iodine to prevent radioactive iodine from entering the thyroid gland. Do not use table salt or food as a substitute for KI.

How does KI (potassium iodide) work?

The thyroid gland is unable to distinguish between stable and radioactive iodine. It absorbs both types of iodine.

KI (Potassium Iodide) prevents radioactive iodine from entering the thyroid gland. When a person takes KI, the stable iodine in the drug is absorbed by the thyroid gland. Since KI contains so much stable iodine, the thyroid gland becomes “overfilled” and can no longer absorb iodine — neither stable nor radioactive — for the next 24 hours.

KI (potassium iodide) cannot provide 100% protection against radioactive iodine. Security will increase depending on three factors.

  • Time after radioactive contamination: The sooner a person takes KI, the more time it will take for the thyroid gland to “refuel” with stable iodine.
  • Absorption: The amount of stable iodine that enters the thyroid gland depends on how quickly KI is absorbed into the bloodstream.
  • Radioactive Iodine Dose: Minimizing the total amount of radioactive iodine received by humans reduces the amount of harmful radioactive iodine that is absorbed by the thyroid gland.

How often should I take KI (Potassium Iodide)?

Taking a higher dose of KI (potassium iodide) or taking KI more often than recommended does not provide more protection and can cause serious illness or death.

A single dose of KI (potassium iodide) protects the thyroid gland for 24 hours. To protect the thyroid gland, as a rule, a single dose in the prescribed size is sufficient.

In some cases, people may be exposed to radioactive iodine for more than a day.If this happens, health or rescue officials may recommend that you take one dose of KI (potassium iodide) every 24 hours for several days.

What are the side effects of KI (potassium iodide)?

Side effects of KI (potassium iodide) may include stomach or gastrointestinal upset, allergic reactions, rashes, and inflammation of the salivary glands.

When taken as recommended by KI (Potassium Iodide), may occasionally cause harmful effects on thyroid-related health.

These rare side effects are more likely if the person:

  • takes a dose of KI higher than the recommended
  • takes the drug for several days in a row
  • already has thyroid disease

Newborn babies (under 1 month of age) who receive more than one dose of KI (potassium iodide) are at risk of developing a condition known as hypothyroidism (too low thyroid hormone levels). if left untreated, hypothyroidism can damage the brain.

  • Babies receiving more than one dose of KI should have their thyroid hormone checked and monitored by a doctor.
  • Avoid reintroducing KI to newborns.

Articles: The role of iron in the body and why iron deficiency is dangerous

The trace element iron (Fe, ferrum) in the body is so small that it is barely enough to make a small nail weighing about 5 g. But … The role of even such a small amount of iron is so is great that its lack immediately affects our health and well-being.Let’s pay special attention to this vital trace element and determine its place in our daily life.

Starring – Iron

Iron is one of the most abundant trace elements on the planet. Iron from water and soil is absorbed by plant roots and enters the body of living organisms through the food chain. With the participation of iron, plants carry out photosynthesis – the process of forming organic compounds from carbon dioxide and water with the participation of sunlight. And, importantly, in the process of this reaction, oxygen is released – the basis of life on the planet.

What are the main functions of iron in our body?

With the participation of iron in the human body, the most important processes occur: respiratory activity, synthesis of enzymes, proteins, DNA, energy metabolism, redox reactions, etc.

Most of the iron in the human body is contained in red blood cells – erythrocytes, in the combination of iron and protein – hemoglobin.It is thanks to the iron that hemoglobin is able to retain oxygen and deliver it from the lungs to all cells of the body, and carbon dioxide in the opposite direction. Without iron, the respiration process at the cellular level would be simply impossible.

Another compound of protein and iron, myoglobin, is found in the muscles and heart. The main function of myoglobin is the formation of oxygen reserves and consumption as needed by the body.

In addition, iron in the body takes part in the formation of many enzymes and proteins, the conversion of calories into energy, the metabolism of cholesterol, the destruction and utilization of toxins, stimulates the growth and physical development of children, strengthens the immune system, supports the thyroid gland and liver, maintains the beauty of hair, skin and nails.

How much iron do you need to be healthy?

The body’s need for this trace element is influenced by gender, age and physiological state. Women need more iron than men. This is due to the monthly blood loss during menstruation and the peculiarities of the hormonal system. Every day, a woman should receive at least 15 mg of iron with food, and during pregnancy and lactation – 20 mg or more. The daily requirement for iron for men is 10 mg, for children and adolescents under 18 years of age – 5-15 mg: the older the child, the higher the need.

Why is there a deficiency of iron in the body?

Lack of iron can occur for various reasons. Its main source is food, so most often iron deficiency occurs due to an unbalanced diet, insufficient intake of this trace element and vitamins A, C, B9 and B12, which contribute to its absorption.

Very often, an iron deficiency state occurs when you reject animal products, because they are a source of easily assimilated heme iron. It is known that iron is absorbed from meat products up to 35%, and from plant foods only by 1-5%.

Another main reason for the lack of iron in the body is its active consumption during growth periods, during pregnancy and lactation.

Iron deficiency can occur with blood loss due to surgery, injury, childbirth, heavy menstruation. With various diseases of the stomach and intestines, helminthic invasions, the absorption of this microelement is most often impaired, which also leads to its lack in the body.

Lack of iron in the body can occur during excessive physical exertion due to disruptions in the transport of iron.

What signs indicate a lack of iron in the body?

With iron deficiency, a person constantly experiences weakness and rapid fatigue, fatigue worries even in the morning after waking up. Memory impairment, distraction, irritability, drowsiness, headaches, flashing “flies” before the eyes, dizziness and even fainting may disturb.

With a lack of this trace element, the skin becomes dry and pale, nails – brittle, hair – dry and dull. Peeling and cracks often appear in the corners of the mouth.

If there is a long-term lack of iron in the body, persistent colds and intestinal infections are typical, since iron takes an active part in the formation of human immune defenses.

Even minor physical activity causes heart palpitations and shortness of breath – the lack of oxygen in the body affects.

As the severity of iron deficiency aggravates, appetite may be impaired, taste is distorted, and discomfort occurs when swallowing.

The most reliable and reliable method for determining the lack of iron in the body is a blood test and determination of the level of iron in the blood serum. Contact a doctor at least once a year and undergo these studies in order to prevent the development of iron deficiency and not fight its consequences later.

How to prevent iron deficiency in the body and how to deal with it?

The main source of iron is food, therefore, first of all, adjust your diet.Look for foods that are high in iron and nutrients that help it absorb better.

Red meat and offal, especially liver, eggs, oysters, tuna, buckwheat, beets, celery, tomato juice, legumes, baked potatoes in their skins, nuts, pomegranates, apples, peaches, apricots, figs, prunes, are leading in the list of iron-containing products. raisins, nuts, dark chocolate.

Also replenish your diet with foods containing vitamin C – rose hips, citrus fruits, walnuts, currants, red peppers, sea buckthorn, parsley, dill, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

To saturate the body with vitamins A and B12, which will help the iron to be absorbed, eat more fish, seafood, offal, dairy products, fruits and vegetables of yellow, red and orange shades.

The use of strong tea, coffee should be limited, and alcohol should be abandoned altogether, because they interfere with the absorption of iron by the body.

Move more. Moderate physical activity increases the blood supply to all organs, the body is better saturated with oxygen, and so it is easier to get rid of fatigue and drowsiness.

If iron deficiency does not have other, more serious problems, then after a month or two of a balanced diet and moderate physical activity, improvement can be achieved. If, as before, the condition does not improve, you should contact your doctor for a detailed examination and solution of the problem.

Additional intake of iron-containing dietary supplements is a reliable way to prevent and correct iron deficiency states. But it is very important to choose the right product that contains iron in a bioavailable, easily digestible form and those components that contribute to the best absorption of this trace element.These are the properties of the new natural vitamin complex from Amrita – “Ferrum Balance” .

Considering the benefits and indispensability for our body, iron rightfully claims the title of a vital trace element. Thanks to it, we are able to breathe, live, look good and cope with a thousand tasks every day. Therefore, every day form your diet and lifestyle for the benefit of your body, do not forget to visit a doctor at least once a year to control the level of iron in the blood.Be healthy and active! 90,090 9,0003 90,000 How long does the coronavirus live on surfaces?

You can catch Covid-19 by touching surfaces infected with the new virus, and now scientists are figuring out how long it lives outside the human body.

With the spread of the coronavirus, our fear of getting infected from objects, money, surfaces is growing.

Around the world, we can now observe the same picture: people try to open doors with their elbows, passengers on public transport try not to touch the handrails, and office workers diligently wipe their desks every morning.

In many cities, transport and streets are actively disinfected, and they intensively clean up offices, hospitals and shops. In some places, volunteers even clean ATM keyboards at night.

Like many other respiratory viruses, including influenza, Covid-19 is spread through tiny droplets released from the nose and mouth of an infected person when they cough or sneeze.

Up to 3000 of these drops can be released during one cough. These particles can be deposited on nearby people, clothing and surfaces, but some of the smaller particles can remain in the air.

There is also evidence that the virus lives longer in fecal matter, so a person who does not wash their hands thoroughly after using the toilet can infect anything they touch.

Regardless, the CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other healthcare organizations note that washing hands and daily disinfecting frequently touched surfaces is key in preventing the spread of Covid-19. Therefore, although we still do not know exactly how many infections are caused by directly contaminated surfaces, experts advise to be careful.

Scientists are now trying to figure out how long SARS-CoV-2 – the name of the virus that causes Covid-19 disease – can survive outside the human body.

Niltier Doremalan is a virologist at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and her colleagues tested how long SARS-CoV-2 can survive on various surfaces.

Their research shows that when an infected person coughs or sneezes, the virus remains viable in the air even after three hours. The smallest droplets ranging in size from 1 to 5 micrometers – about 30 times smaller than the width of a human hair – can stay in calm air for several hours.

This means that the virus circulating in unfiltered air conditioning systems lives no more than a couple of hours, especially since droplets in moving air settle faster on surfaces.

But NIH research has found that SARS-CoV-2 virus that gets on cardboard remains viable for 24 hours. And on plastic and stainless steel, it can survive up to two to three days.

The findings indicate that the virus can survive for a long time on doorknobs, plastic or laminated surfaces, and other hard objects.However, the researchers found that copper surfaces tend to kill the virus in about 4 hours.

But there is a faster way – studies have shown that the coronavirus can be destroyed in a minute by disinfecting surfaces with 62-71% alcohol or 0.5% bleach with hydrogen peroxide or household bleach containing 0.1% sodium hypochlorite.

It is not yet known how long the virus can survive on clothing and other surfaces that are more difficult to disinfect.In order to find out, more research is needed, but scientists suggest that the virus will dry faster on natural fibers, which absorb moisture well. Scientists also continue to study the effect of high temperatures and humidity on the virus.

What flushes calcium from the human body, what foods and why lead to the flushing of calcium from the bones?


Why do bones get brittle?

Bone fragility is associated with a condition referred to as osteoporosis.In osteoporosis, the structure of the bones is disturbed, they become porous, like a sponge, and easily break.

Why does osteoporosis develop?

There are many reasons, but in any case, with osteoporosis, bone tissue ceases to renew itself normally and retain calcium.

Normally, the process of bone tissue renewal is ongoing. In osteoporosis, bone is destroyed but not recovered sufficiently. The most common cause of osteoporosis is hormonal changes after menopause.Female sex hormones affect the synthesis of bone protein – collagen, which forms a matrix – a kind of mesh in the niches of which calcium is fixed. After menopause, collagen synthesis decreases – and, accordingly, the bone’s ability to retain calcium decreases.

As a result, the risk of fracture increases significantly, even with light loads or injuries. The problem is widespread: according to statistics, in Russia after 50 years, 8 out of 10 women suffer from osteoporosis 1 .

Unfortunately, osteoporosis can develop at an earlier age. Risk factors are insufficient consumption of foods rich in calcium, abuse of carbonated drinks, coffee, certain medications, and a number of diseases.

Risk groups

After 45 years, calcium reserves begin to decline markedly. This applies to both men and women, but women are at increased risk after menopause. So, in the first five years after the onset of menopause, the loss of bone mass in a woman can be up to 1/3 of the bone mass lost by her in her entire life 3 .

If a child (adolescent) has not gained peak bone mass, he may have an increased risk of osteoporosis in the future. People who do not consume enough calcium-rich foods, such as dairy products, are also at risk.

How to stop the “leaching” of calcium from the body

We all know that for the prevention of fractures and osteoporosis, all women (especially over 45 years old) need calcium. For the body to properly absorb calcium, vitamin D3 is required – that is, you need to consume it in sufficient quantities with food or spend a lot of time in the sun, which is not always possible, especially in our climatic conditions.

Therefore, calcium preparations are enriched with vitamin D3, which promotes its absorption.

But few people know that for full bone mineralization it is not enough to take only calcium and vitamin D3, because calcium tends to be leached out of the bone tissue. Therefore, it is necessary not only to saturate the bones with calcium, but also to stop its leaching.

For this, it is extremely important to support the synthesis of the main protein of bone tissue – collagen, because calcium is fixed in special niches formed by collagen.Collagen synthesis is influenced by the so-called osteotropic minerals: copper, magnesium, zinc, manganese and boron. For example, copper promotes the formation of “crosslinks” between collagen strands, contributing to the formation of the correct structure, and zinc supports the synthesis of hormones that have a positive effect on bone tissue.

Therefore, to prevent calcium leaching from bones and prevent the development of osteoporosis, it is necessary to take calcium and vitamin D3 in combination with certain minerals, such as copper, magnesium, zinc, manganese and boron, and the effectiveness of such a complex has been confirmed in an independent clinical study 4 .

90,000 The effect of alcohol on human health

Alcohol and human health are incompatible things

Ethyl alcohol is a poisonous narcotic substance.

Alcohol contains the following toxic impurities: esters, aldehydes, fusel oils, free acids. Alcoholic drinks take away water from all cells of the body, with which it comes in contact.

Alcohol enters the bloodstream and the person starts to get drunk.The gastric mucosa absorbs approximately 90% of the alcohol taken orally. Alcohol destroys the central nervous system . It changes the function of nerve cells, penetrating into them. Every second patient with alcoholism has an affected cardiovascular system.

Alcohol affects the pancreas, affects the liver, stomach, esophagus.

Most of all from alcohol suffers the human brain .

Alcohol sticks together red blood cells in the blood, which leads to the formation of blood clots.

One hundred grams of vodka has been proven to kill 8,000 brain cells. As a result, the brain becomes smaller in volume, scars and ulcers appear on it, hemorrhages and voids are also possible.

The greatest influence of alcohol falls on the cerebral cortex. The higher nervous system suffers from this. A drunk person thinks hard and makes decisions difficult.

Effects of alcohol on the human body

The body of a person who drinks alcohol wears out several times faster than the body of a healthy person who does not drink.Alcoholic drinks affect absolutely all systems and organs, without exception, weaken the immune system, and lead to frequent diseases.

Harm of alcohol

45% of drinking people die from heart attacks. The percentage of those drinkers who commit suicide is also not small. Death also occurs from diseases that arise from the regular intake of alcohol. Alcohol encourages actions of a criminal nature , rash misconduct.

Alcohol is closely related to the potency .Alcohol reduces attraction to the opposite sex, reduces sexual activity.

Many experienced alcoholics are no longer interested in many life questions, for them only one thing is important – where to find a drink!

Take care of your health! Don’t drink! Give up alcohol at all!

SPb GBUZ “City Polyclinic No. 72” conducts medical examination at St. Petersburg., Pos. Metallostroy, Pionerskaya st., 1 (adult department).

Where to go:

1) Prevention room No. 308 (3rd floor):

Monday – 11.00-14.00

Tuesday – 16.00-20.00

Wednesday – 08.00-12.00

Thursday – 13.00-17.00

Friday – 10.00-14.00

2) To the local therapist from 8.00-20.00 every day, except Saturday and Sunday.

For inquiries by phone: 241-54-58 (registration office), 241-54-59 (office number 308).