Glands in human body and their functions: The request could not be satisfied
Glands and hormones in human body
In the human body, the endocrine system consists of a network of glands and secrete hormones to regulate the functions of the body including growth and metabolism. When glands produce an incorrect amount of hormones, it results in endocrine diseases. Therefore, the endocrine system is a network of glands that secrete hormones to help the body to function properly. Let us tell you that hormones coordinate a range of bodily functions.
There are some special tissues in our body called endocrine glands that secrete chemical substances called hormones. These hormones help in coordinating the activities of living organisms and their growth. Following are the characteristics of hormones:
- Hormones are secreted by endocrine glands in small amounts.
- Hormones are secreted directly into blood and travel throughout the body through the blood circulatory system.
- Hormones have their effect on the sites different from where they are made.
- Hormones act on specific tissues or organs.
A gland secretes a specific substance in the body. There are two types of glands. They are:
i) Exocrine glands
ii) Endocrine glands
Exocrine glands are the glands that secrete their product into a duct. For example, the salivary gland secretes the saliva into the salivary duct.
Endocrine glands are the glands that secrete their product directly into the blood. There are no ducts in endocrine glands. The chemical substance secreted by endocrine glands is called hormone. These hormones travel through the blood and act on the concerned body part. Hormones are a kind of chemical messengers.
There are glands that have both exocrine and endocrine functions. Pancreas, testes, and ovaries perform both exocrine and endocrine functions. For example, the pancreas acts as an endocrine gland and secretes insulin. It also acts as an exocrine gland and secretes pancreatic juice into the pancreatic duct.
The Endocrine System
The endocrine system also helps in coordinating the activities of our body. The endocrine glands present in our body are the pineal gland, hypothalamus gland, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, thymus, pancreas, adrenal gland, testes, and ovaries. The nervous system controls the working of endocrine glands. The hormones act as a messenger between the nervous system and organs of the body.
Hypothalamus and pituitary gland are main centres for the coordination of the nervous system and endocrine system. The hypothalamus helps in collecting information from the regions of the brain and from blood vessels passing through it. The information is then passed on to the pituitary gland which by its secretions regulates the activities of all other endocrine glands. In the human body, hormones help in growth, metabolic activities and reproduction.
This gland is present in the brain and produces releasing hormone and inhibitory hormone. Hypothalamus regulates the secretions of hormones from the pituitary gland.
This gland is present just below the brain and secretes a number of hormones. One of the hormones secreted by the pituitary gland is growth hormone. This growth hormone controls the development of bones and muscles. A person having a deficiency of growth hormone becomes very short and the person having too much growth hormone becomes very tall.
The thyroid gland is attached to the windpipe and makes a hormone called thyroxin which contains iodine. The function of this hormone is to control the rate of metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the body. The deficiency of iodine in the diet can cause a deficiency of thyroxin hormone in the body. This causes a disease called a goitre.
There are four parathyroid glands that are embedded in the thyroid gland. The parathyroid gland secretes a hormone called parathormone which helps to regulate calcium and phosphate levels in the blood.
This gland is present in the lower part of the neck and upper part of the chest. Thymus gland secretes thymus hormone which helps in the development of the immune system of the body.
This hormone is present just below the stomach and secretes a hormone called insulin. The function of insulin is to lower the blood sugar level. The deficiency of insulin hormone causes a disease called diabetes. A person having diabetes has large quantities of sugar in the blood.
Adrenal glands are located at the top of two kidneys. These glands secrete an adrenal hormone that regulates heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and carbohydrate metabolism. This hormone is secreted in large amounts when the person is excited or frightened. This gland is also called glands of emergency.
This gland is present only in males and makes male sex hormones called testosterone. The testosterone controls the development of male sex organs and male features such as deeper voice, mustache, beard, etc.
This gland is present in females only and make a female sex hormone called oestrogen and progesterone. Oestrogen helps in controlling the development of female sex organs and female features such as feminine voice, soft skin, and mammary glands. The progesterone hormone controls the uterus changes in the menstrual cycle. It helps in the maintenance of pregnancy.
The excess or deficiency of hormones has a harmful effect on our bodies. So in order to control and regulate the production and release of hormones in the body, there is a feedback mechanism that is in-built in our body.
Glands in the Human Body and their Functions
What is a Gland?
Gland is the name given to an organ, the function of which is to produce and release chemicals which help the human body in some way or the other. Basically, there are two types of glands in human body which are then further subdivided into various other glands. These two main glands found in the human body are Exocrine Glands and Endocrine Glands. The Exocrine Glands are glands which have a duct which connects them to the surface of the body and the products produced by them are released through these ducts. Some of the examples of these types of glands are the Sweat Glands, Salivary Glands, Mammary Glands etc. The second type of gland is the Endocrine Glands. These glands form a part of the endocrine system of the body. They are not attached to the surface of the body as they do not have ducts in them. They release the products they form directly into the bloodstream. Some of the examples of the Endocrine Glands are the Pineal Glands, Thyroid Glands, Adrenal Glands etc.
Glands in the Human Body and their Functions
As stated, there are two types of glands in our body which are the Exocrine Glands and the Endocrine Glands. The function of these glands is to secrete substances like enzymes and hormones which help in the growth and development of the body. Below mentioned are the glands present in the body and their specific functions related to the body.
Exocrine Glands: These glands have ducts which connect them to the surface of the body and the products produced by these glands get collected in these ducts and are released to the surface of the body like sweat or tears.
Some of the glands which come under the category of Exocrine Glands are:
Sweat Gland and its Function: These glands are also known by the name of Sudoriferous Glands. These glands are present over the entire surface of the body. The primary function of these glands is to regulate the function of the body. Citing an example, if the weather is too hot outside, the body temperature increases, then the sweat glands release sweat from the body which cools down the body. The Sweat Glands are further divided into two types which are the Eccrine Sweat Glands and Apocrine Sweat Glands. The Eccrine Sweat Glands are quite small and they do not extend to the surface of the body. These glands are coiled and are tubular in shape and they discharge their secretions directly into the surface of the skin. Apocrine Sweat Glands are also coiled and tubular in shape and release a cloudy and secretion with an odor. These secretions when acted on by bacteria present in the atmosphere result in an odor. This is the cause of a foul odor noticed especially in the armpits or the sole of the foot in extremely hot conditions.
Salivary Gland and its Function: The primary function of this gland is to produce saliva which begins the process of digestion of food in the body. These glands are again subdivided into three categories knows as the Parotid Glands, Submandibular Glands, and Sublingual Glands. The Parotid glands are present underneath and in front of the ears. These glands are the largest of all salivary glands. The Submandibular Glands are located just under the mandible. The Sublingual Glands are present in the floor of the mouth between the tongue and mandible. They release their secretions directly into the mouth. Saliva that we have in our mouth is digestive secretions which are produced by these glands. The functions of the saliva are to keep the mouth and tongue, moistening the food so that it is easily swallowed and passes smoothly through the esophagus into the stomach. Saliva also dissolves some part of food thus stimulating the taste buds. It also does the function of keeping the mouth clean.
Mammary Gland & its Functions: This gland is present in the breasts of females and its primary function is lactation or producing milk. This glandular tissue is present in both males and females but in females this tissue starts to develop after attaining puberty as a result of release of estrogen. Mammary Glands produce milk only after the birth of a baby. At the time when a female is pregnant, the hormones progesterone and prolactin are released. The progesterone reacts with prolactin and thus preventing these glands from producing milk. During this period, very small amount of a substance called colostrum is produced. This substance is extremely rich in antibodies and nutrients and is helpful for the infant in the first few days of life. Post child birth, the progesterone level in the body start to go down whereas the prolactin levels remain increased thus allowing the mammary glands to produce milk. After every feeding the milk in the breast is finished only to be refilled again. Once a woman passes the reproductive age and reaches menopause there is degeneration of this gland and thus the gland loses its ability to produce milk.
Lacrimal Gland & its Functions: The function of this gland is to produce tears and keep the surface of the eyes moist. They also act as a lubricant for the eyelids and are helpful in eliminating or washing out any foreign bodies which may enter the eye from the outside atmosphere like dust. These glands act up and release tears when an individual is emotionally charged up, either very happy or very sad resulting in tears rolling down from the eyes.
Sebaceous Gland & its Functions: The function of the Sebaceous Glands is to produce an oily substance called as sebum which keeps the skin moist. Sebaceous Glands are situated neighboring the hairs in sebaceous follicles. The hormones resulting in physical changes after puberty cause these glands to produce more oil. This oil which is released by the gland sometimes reacts with the dead cells on the surface of the body causing a block over the skin pore resulting in what is known as a pimple.
Endocrine Glands: Now coming to the endocrine glands, as stated these glands produce hormones which are directly released into the blood stream. They do not have any ducts which connect them to the surface of the body. Below mentioned are the glands which form the Endocrine Glands and their functions in detail.
Pineal Gland & its Functions: This gland is situated in a small cavity just above the back portion of the pituitary gland right in the middle of the brain. It is sometimes also referred to as the controller gland. This function of the pineal gland is to promote growth of the body and controlling the sex glands. The reason why it is sometimes referred to as the controller gland is because it controls the functioning of the other glands. It also helps in neutralizing the affect of light on the color of the skin.
Pituitary Gland & its Functions: This gland is located right at the base of the brain and is joined to the hypothalamus. This gland requires help from other glands to function and becomes active when other glands undergo a malfunction and when there are increased secretions from other glands then this gland reduces secretions. The function of pituitary gland is promote grown and development of bones and muscles of the body. An increase or decrease in the functioning this gland decides the height and weight of an individual. Pineal gland also activates the seminal cells in males and ovary in females. Pineal gland also helps in production of milk in the mammary glands after the birth of a child. This gland also functions by signaling the kidneys to absorb more fluids.
Thyroid Gland & its Functions: The location of thyroid gland is at the upper end of bronchial tube neighboring the vocal cords. This gland absorbs iodine which is required by the body. Since this gland absorbs iodine it utilizes this iodine for metabolism of fats, carbs, and proteins thus helping with digestion of food. Iron is also released through this gland and is very useful for the body. Phosphorus release is used by the nerves.
Parathyroid Gland & its Functions: The location of parathyroid gland is above and below the thyroid gland adjacent to the vocal cords. Parathyroid gland is protected by the thyroid gland but they are in no way same as the thyroid gland whether it be structure or function. The function of parathyroid gland is to control the amount of calcium in the blood and play a vital role in activation of muscles and the nervous system. A defect in secretion from this gland may lead to may disease conditions.
Thymus Glands & its Functions: This gland is situated just behind the junction of the collarbone and the neck right in the middle of the chest. The main function of the thymus gland is to control development until the individual attains puberty. This gland also does not allow sex glands to grow till the individual attains puberty. This gland also plays a vital role in the development of brain and also facilitates removal of waster products from the body.
Adrenal Glands & its Functions: These glands are present above the kidneys and are attached to the diaphragm. The secretions of adrenal glands are extremely essential for sustaining life. The hormones it releases are helpful in curing many illnesses like gout, blood circulation problems, colon defects, asthma and the like. Adrenal gland also facilitates emotional changes in an individual. Adrenal gland is so important that without it, it is impossible to imagine life. Another function of the adrenal gland is to help in metabolism. This gland promotes contraction and expansion of different muscles and arteries of the heart. In a crisis situation, this gland acts up and sends an emergency signal in the body thus preparing the body to face the situation and making us emotionally strong to face the situation.
Organs of the endocrine system: Anatomy and functions
Organs of the endocrine system: want to learn more about it?
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The endocrine system is a collection of glands. These glands secrete a variety of hormones, which travel to specific target organs via the bloodstream. Hormones have specific functions such as regulating growth, metabolism, temperature and reproductive development. Like the nervous system, the endocrine system acts as a signaling pathway, although hormones are slower acting than nerve impulses.
Endocrine signals can last from a few hours to a few weeks. The main control center for the organs in the endocrine system is the hypothalamus in the brain. The field of medicine concerned with the endocrine system is known as endocrinology.
Borders: anteriorly – anterior commissure, lamina terminalis, optic chiasm; posteroinferiorly – posterior perforated substance; inferiorly – infundibular stalk; superiorly – hypothalamic sulcus and the base of the third ventricle
Structure: chiasmatic region, tuberal region, mammillary bodies
Function: produces releasing and inhibiting hormones that affect the pituitary gland
Hormones: anti-diuretic (ADH), corticotropin-releasing (CRH), gonadotropin-releasing (GnRH), growth hormone-releasing and -inhibiting (GHRH and GHIH), oxytocine, prolactine-releasing and -inhibiting (PRH and PIH), thyrotropine-releasing (TRH)
Location: pituitary fossa, connected to hypothalamus via infundibulum
Structure: adenohypophysis, neurohypophysis
Function: produces stimulating-hormones that affect endocrine glands of the body
Hormones of adenohypophysis: human-growth hormone (hGH), thyroid-stimulating (TSH), follicle-stimulating (FSH), luteinizing (LH), prolactin (PRL), adenocorticotropic (ACTH), melanocyte-stimulating (MSH)
Hormones of neurohypophysis: oxytocin, antidiuretic hormone (ADH)
Location: between superior colliculi
Function: regulates sleep-wake cycle
Location: anterior surface of neck at levels C5-T1
Structure: left lobe, right lobe, isthmus (connects the lobes)
Function: regulates metabolysm (by enhancing it)
Hormones: thyroxine (T4), triiodthyronine (T3), calcitonine
Location: posteriorly to the lobes of thyroid gland
Function: regulates blood levels of calcium (by increasing it)
Hormone: parathyroid hormone
|Endocrine pancreas and gastric mucosa||
Location: Langerhans islets of the pancreatic tissue, gastric mucosa
Function: regulates blood levels of glucose, regulates digestion
Hormones: insulin, glucagone, gastrin, secretin, ghrelin, motilin, cholecystokinine, gastric inhibitory polypeptide
Location: superior poles of kidneys
Structure: adrenal cortex (secretes glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids), adrenal medulla (secretes biogene amines)
Function: regulates blood pressure, electrolyte balance, stress response
Hormones: glucocorticoids – cortisol, corticosterone; mineralocorticoid – aldosteron; biogene amines – epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine
Function: regulates sexual development, behaviour and characteristics; regulates gametogenesis
Hormones of testes: testosterone
Hormones of ovaries: estrogen, progesterone
|Clinical relations||Hyperfunction, hypofunction, adenoma, carcinoma|
This article will discuss all of the important anatomical and functional aspects of endocrine system.
Organs of the endocrine system
Endocrine glands tend to be vascular and do not have ducts. Ducts are instead found in exocrine glands, which produce hormonal signals outside of the body. The hormones of endocrine glands are stored in vacuoles or granules, ready to be released.
Endocrine glands are found throughout the body and have a variety of different roles. The key endocrine glands and organs are listed below:
- Pineal gland
- Pituitary gland
- Thyroid gland
- Parathyroid gland
- Adrenal glands
- Gastrointestinal tract
The hypothalamus is an almond-sized structure in the limbic system of the brain, and the endocrine system’s control center. Its borders are the following:
Anteriorly: anterior commissure, lamina terminalis, and optic chiasm
Posteroinferiorly: the posterior perforated substance
Inferiorly: the infundibular stalk
Superiorly: the hypothalamic sulcus and the base of the third ventricle
Anteroposteriorly, the hypothalamus can be divided into three regions: chiasmatic, tuberal and the region of the mammillary bodies. The chiasmatic region lies immediately above the optic chiasm (hence its name) and is related with the circadian rhythm and the variations of the endocrine secretion throughout the day. The tuberal zone contains the tuber cinereum. This mass of grey matter is located between the mammillary bodies and the optic chiasma. The infundibulum projects from the tuber cinereum, becoming continuous with the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland. A structure called the median eminence is separated from the base of the infundibulum by a tuberoinfundibular sulcus. And finally the region of the mammillary bodies, which are hemispheral and pea sized structures situated anteriorly to the posterior perforated substance. Their role is to control memory and emotional expression.
Mediolaterally, the hypothalamus can be divided again into three zones: periventricular, intermediate and, lateral. The regions and zones contain and border several hypothalamic nuclei, each one being responsible for particular functions.
The hypothalamus controls the endocrine system via several pathways. These include direct projections to the posterior pituitary (neurohypophysis), and indirect control over the anterior pituitary (adenohypophysis) via projections to the median eminence and via the autonomic nervous system. The hypothalamus carries out its control by producing releasing or inhibiting hormones, known as neurohormones. Releasing hormones stimulate the production of hormones in the pituitary gland, whilst inhibiting hormones inhibit it.
The neurohormones produced by the hypothalamus to manipulate hormone production by the pituitary gland include:
Anti-diuretic hormone (ADH): This increases water absorption in the kidneys.
Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH): This stimulates the release of corticosteroids by the adrenal glands, regulating metabolism and immune response.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH): GnRH stimulates the production of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), which combine to maintain ovary and testes functioning.
Growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) or growth hormone-inhibiting hormone (GHIH): GHRH prompts the release of growth hormone (GH), whilst GHIH has the opposite effect. In children, GH is essential to maintaining a healthy body composition. In adults, it ensures healthy bone and muscle mass and is involved in fat distribution.
Oxytocin: This is involved in the release of breast milk, orgasm, and smooth muscle contraction. It also regulates body temperature by helping to redistribute heat, and sleep cycles as increasing levels of oxytocin are thought to help induce sleep.
Prolactin-releasing hormone (PRH) or prolactin-inhibiting hormone (PIH): PRH stimulates the production of breast milk, whilst PIH inhibits it. This can also be seen in males too, although it is a sign of significant health issues.
Thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH): TRH triggers the release of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), causing the release of thyroid hormones which regulate metabolism, energy, growth, and development.
The pituitary gland (hypophysis cerebri) is a pea-sized, ovoid shaped structure attached via the infundibulum to the tuber cinereum of hypothalamus. It is located within the pituitary fossa (sella turcica) of the sphenoid bone. The diaphragma sellae of the dura mater only partially encloses the gland within the fossa because it contains an aperture for the infundibulum. A venous sinus separates the gland from floor of the fossa.
The pituitary gland has two main parts: neurohypophysis and adenohypophysis. The neurohypophysis is an actual downgrowth of the diencephalon directly connected to the hypothalamus. Both parts include the infundibulum. The neurohypophysis incorporates the stem of the infundibulum, which is a continuation of the median eminence of the tuber cinereum. It also contains the posterior (neural) lobe. The adenohypophysis can be separated into the pars intermedia (the boundary between the two pituitary lobes) and the pars anterior (anterior lobe), both forming a part of the adenohypophysis. The adenohypophysis also contains the pars tuberalis, a vascularized sheath surrounding the stem of the infundibulum.
The main neurosecretory pathway through the neurohypophysis originates from the supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei of the hypothalamus and terminates near the sinusoids of the posterior lobe. As a result, hormones are released directly in the circulation. Another group of neurons that end in the median eminence and infundibular stem release the inhibitory and releasing hormones within the hypophyseal portal system, ultimately controlling the secretory activity of the adenohypophysis.
The pituitary gland stores some of the hormones that the hypothalamus produces, before releasing them into the blood. Out of the two lobes, the anterior lobe is larger, making up 75% of the gland. It also has a larger role in the release of hormones, although the posterior lobe still does some work.
The anterior lobe secretes a total of 7 different hormones into the bloodstream, which are as follows:
Human-growth hormone (hGH): hGH stimulates tissue growth and protein synthesis for tissue repair.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH): TSH causes hormone production by the thyroid gland.
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH): This causes estrogen production in females, as well as the development of oocytes (immature egg cells). FSH also stimulates sperm production in the testes .
Luteinizing hormone (LH): LH stimulates estrogen and progesterone production in females, and testosterone production in males.
Prolactin (PRL): This stimulates milk production in the mammary glands.
Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH): This is involved in the body’s stress response and causes the production of cortisol in the adrenal cortex.
Melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH): MSH can cause darkening of the skin. It may also be involved in brain activity but its exact role in this is still unknown. The pars intermedia manufactures MSH during fetal development.
Meanwhile, the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland is only involved in the release of two hormones; oxytocin and antidiuretic hormone (ADH). Oxytocin is involved in childbirth, milk production, and orgasm. ADH is important in reducing water loss by decreasing urination and sweating, therefore increasing blood pressure.
Along with the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, the pineal gland (epiphysis cerebri) is found in the brain. It is a small organ located in a depression between the superior colliculi, inferiorly to the splenium of the corpus callosum. The gland is enclosed within the lower layer of tela choroidea of the third ventricle.
The pineal gland has a base that is directed anteriorly and is divided into a superior and inferior laminae by the pineal stalk, which also serves as a point of attachment to the roof of the third ventricle. The laminae contain the posterior and habenular commissures, respectively.
The gland parenchyma is highly vascularized and divided into lobules by several septa, which also carry blood vessels and sympathetic nerves. These adrenergic sympathetic axons originate from the tentorium cerebelli and enter the gland as the nervus conarii. The pineal gland parenchyma consists mainly of pinealocytes. The pineal stalk consists mostly of glia.
The pineal gland has a more specific function, being involved only in the secretion of the hormone melatonin. It is released from bulbous expansions of the cell bodies of pinealocytes. This hormone is involved in both sexual development and the sleep-wake cycle. In terms of reproductive development, melatonin blocks the secretion of gonadotropins (FSH and LH) from the pituitary glands.
Melatonin also regulates the sleep-wake cycle by reacting to the amount of light hitting the retina. The retina relays this information to the hypothalamus, which in turn sends information to the pineal gland. The pineal gland secretes melatonin depending on the amount of light hitting the retina. The less light there is, the more melatonin is produced, inducing sleep.
The thyroid and parathyroid glands are endocrine glands at the base of the neck. The thyroid gland is the largest gland of the endocrine system. It is located in the anterior portion of the neck at the level of the C5-T1 vertebrae, deep to the sternothyroid and sternohyoid muscles.
It consists of two lobes, right and left, which ascend upwards to the thyroid cartilage, joined together by an isthmus. The lobes are anterolaterally in relation to the larynx and trachea, while the isthmus is anterior to the second and third tracheal rings. In some individuals, a conical pyramidal lobe ascends from the isthmus towards the hyoid bone.
The thyroid gland is enclosed inside a fibrous capsule, which is attached to the cricoid cartilage and tracheal rings by dense connective tissue. The fibrous capsule itself is enclosed in a loose sheath of fascia. The gland is highly vascularised. The arteries supplying it are the superior and inferior thyroid arteries, which lie between the fibrous capsule and the sheath of fascia. Venous drainage of the gland is via the superior, middle and inferior pairs of thyroid veins, which form the thyroid plexus of veins. Innervation is from the cervical sympathetic ganglia, as well as parasympathetic fibers from the vagus nerves.
The thyroid gland is important in regulating metabolism. It produces 2 important metabolic hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). T4 contains 4 iodine atoms, whilst T3 contains 3 iodine atoms. T3 and T4 both affect the body’s metabolism by influencing protein production of every cell in the body. This protein production in turn affects tissue growth, temperature, energy use, and heart rate. The thyroid gland also produces calcitonin, which is an antagonist to parathyroid hormone.
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Location and characteristics
The parathyroid glands (usually 4 in total) are small, flattened, and oval structures located on the posterior surface of each lobe of the thyroid gland. They normally lie between the fibrous capsule of the thyroid gland and its external fascial sheath.
The glands are separated into two superior and two inferior ones. The location of the superior parathyroid glands is quite constant, at the level of the inferior border of the cricoid cartilage, 1 cm superior to the entry point of the inferior thyroid arteries into the thyroid gland. The inferior parathyroid glands are usually situated near the inferior poles of the thyroid gland but have a more varied location.
Arteries supplying the parathyroid glands branch from the inferior thyroid arteries. Venous drainage is via parathyroid veins which subsequently drain into the thyroid venous plexus. Innervation is from the parasympathetic fibers from the vagus nerves, similar to the thyroid gland.
The parathyroid glands maintain calcium levels in the blood by producing parathyroid hormone. Together with calcitonin, these two hormones maintain the level of calcium ions in the blood, which is important in bone health, as well as muscle and nervous system function.
Enteric endocrine system
The gastrointestinal tract itself can produce hormones and is known as the enteric endocrine system. Hormone secreting cells are dispersed throughout the lining of the stomach and small intestine. These cells do not produce hormones continuously, instead they do so in response to the environment inside the stomach and intestine, reacting to the amount of food moving through.
The pancreas is particularly important in the enteric endocrine system, as it releases the hormones insulin and glucagon, which regulate blood sugar levels. The pancreas is an accessory digestive gland. It crosses the bodies of the L1 and L2 vertebrae transversely. The pancreas is situated anteriorly to the stomach and between the duodenum on the right and the spleen on the left. Its anterior margin is in contact with the transverse mesocolon.
This gland has four parts: a head, neck, body, and tail.
The head is attached to the descending and horizontal parts of the duodenum, embracing it in a C-shaped fashion. The uncinate process is an inferior projection from the head, which extends posterior to the superior mesenteric artery (SMA).
- The short neck of the pancreas is covered by peritoneum and is located adjacent to the pylorus of the stomach. The hepatic portal vein is formed posterior to it, by the joining of the splenic vein and the superior mesenteric vein (SMV).
- The body of the pancreas continues transversely from the neck, passing anteriorly to the aorta and L2 vertebra and posterior to the omental bursa. The anterior surface is covered by peritoneum and also forms part of the stomach bed.
- The tail is situated anterior to the left kidney and it is an intraperitoneal structure. It is closely related to the hilum of the spleen and the left colic flexure.
Running from the tail to the head, through the parenchyma, is the main pancreatic duct. It joins the common bile duct, just outside the duodenum, forming the short hepatopancreatic ampulla (ampulla of Vater). This structure opens into the descending part of the duodenum. The hepatopancreatic sphincter (sphincter of Oddi) prevents the reflux of duodenal content into the ampulla. The main pancreatic duct also contains a sphincter that controls the flow inside it.
The blood supply is via pancreatic arteries, which branch off several vessels located nearby. Venous drainage is via pancreatic veins and most of these empty in the splenic vein. Innervation of the pancreas is from the vagus and abdominopelvic splanchnic nerves.
There are six key gastrointestinal hormones:
Gastrin: This is stimulated by the presence of peptides and amino acids in the gastric lumen, and is important in the secretion of gastric acid.
Secretin: This is produced in response to acidic pH levels, and causes the production of water and bicarbonate from the pancreas and bile duct to help increase pH again.
Ghrelin: Ghrelin stimulates appetite and feeding.
Motilin: Motilin is involved in movement and contractions of the gastrointestinal tract.
Cholecystokinin: This stimulates the secretion of pancreatic enzymes and emptying of the gallbladder in response to an increase in fatty acids and amino acids in the small intestine.
Gastric inhibitory polypeptide: This prevents gastric movement and secretions, and causes the release of insulin in response to an increase in glucose and fat in the small intestine.
Suprarenal (adrenal) glands
The adrenal (suprarenal) glands are two triangular shaped glands found on top of the kidneys. They have a yellowish appearance and are located between the superomedial aspects of the kidneys and the diaphragm. The glands are surrounded by renal fascia, which also provide an attachment point to the crura of the diaphragm. A septum separates the glands from the kidneys. The two glands are not identical. The right one is more pyramidal and apical, while the left one is more crescent-shaped. They also have slightly different positions and relations. Veins and lymphatic vessels enter and leave each gland via the hilum.
The blood supply to the adrenal glands is via superior, middle, and inferior suprarenal arteries. Venous drainage is via the right and left suprarenal veins, which subsequently drain into the inferior vena cava and left renal vein, respectively. Innervation is from the celiac plexus and abdominopelvic splanchnic nerves.
Structure and function
The glands are divided into two parts; the adrenal cortex and the adrenal medulla. The adrenal cortex is the outer part of an adrenal gland, and produces hormones vital to life such as glucocorticoids – the horomes hydrocortisone (cortisol), and corticosterone. Hydrocortisone regulates energy production, blood pressure, and heart function. Corticosterone plays a role in immune responses and reduction in inflammation. The adrenal cortex also produces aldosterone, which controls blood pressure.
The adrenal medulla is the inner portion of the gland. It is actually a mass of nervous tissue containing many capillaries and sinusoids. The medulla produces hormones such as adrenaline. The adrenal medulla helps the body deal with stress by producing two hormones, epinephrine and norepinephrine. Epinephrine is more commonly known as adrenaline and is involved in the body’s fight or flight response, increasing heart rate and blood glucose levels, and causing an increase in blood flow to the brain and muscles. Norepinephrine works with adrenaline, by constricting blood vessels and increasing blood pressure during the stress response.
The endocrine organs in the reproductive systems are the ovaries and testes, in females and males respectively. The testes are paired ovoid glands that produce spermatozoa and the male hormones, mainly testosterone. Each testis is suspended in the scrotum by its own spermatic cord, the left one hanging more inferiorly than the right one, mostly due to the length of the spermatic cord. The testes are almost completely covered by the visceral layer of the tunica vaginalis, a closed peritoneal sac. A recess in the tunica vaginalis represents the sinus of the epididymis. The tunica vaginalis also has a parietal layer, which is adjacent to the internal spermatic fascia. A fluid filled cavity is located between the visceral and parietal layers, conveying some degree of mobility for the testes.
The testes have a tough fibrous outer surface called the tunica albuginea. On the internal, posterior aspect of the fibrous there is a ridge called the mediastinum of the testis. Fibrous septa extend from this ridge between lobules formed by seminiferous tubules. Spermatozoa are produced inside these tubes. Straight tubules join the seminiferous tubules to the rete testis, which are canals situated in the mediastinum of the testes.
These glands receive their blood supply from the testicular arteries, originating from the abdominal aorta. The venous drainage is via the pampiniform venous plexus, which surrounds the testicular artery. The plexi of each testis join to form the left and right testicular veins. They drain into the left renal vein and inferior vena cava, respectively. Innervation of the testes is via the testicular plexus, which originates from the renal and aortic plexi.
The ovaries are almond-shaped glands in which oocytes develop and produce the female hormones. Each one is suspended by the mesovarium, a peritoneal fold subdivision of the broad ligament of the uterus. Before puberty, the surface of the ovary is covered by the ovarian mesothelium, also known as surface epithelium, giving it a shiny appearance. This structure consists of a single layer of cuboidal cells. After puberty, the surface of the ovary becomes scarred due to ovulation, which involves ruptures of ovarian follicles and oocyte discharge.
The ovaries lie suspended inside the pelvic cavity on each side of the uterus, close to the lateral wall of the pelvis. Specifically, they are located inside the ovarian fossa. Attached to the superolateral aspect of the ovary is the suspensory ligament of the ovary. This is a peritoneal fold enclosing the ovarian vessels, lymphatics, and nerves, which become continuous with the mesovarium. The ligament of the ovary passes through the mesovarium, keeping the ovary attached to the uterus. It is the remnant of the ovarian gubernaculum of the fetus.
Blood supply to the ovaries is via the ovarian arteries arising from the abdominal aorta. Venous drainage is via the pampiniform venous plexus inside the broad ligament. The veins from the plexus join to form the ovarian veins, which accompany the ovarian arteries. The right ovarian vein drains in the inferior vena cava, while the left one drains in the left renal vein. Innervation is from the ovarian plexus.
Sex hormones are produced in these organs as a result of LH and FSH production by the pituitary gland. The hormones they produce are important in sexual development, reproduction, and regulation of the menstrual cycle.
The two key hormones produced by the ovaries are estrogen and progesterone. Their production is triggered by the release of hormones by the hypothalamus. There are three types of estrogen: estradiol, estrone, and estriol. These combine to ensure healthy sexual development and fertility. Estradiol is important in breast development, fat distribution, and development of the reproductive organs. Progesterone is most important during pregnancy and ovulation, where it ensures that the lining of the uterus is suitable for foetus growth.
In males, testosterone is produced by the testes. Testosterone enhances bone growth, hair growth, and the development of sexual organs during puberty. Testosterone is also important in increasing muscle strength.
- The endocrine system is a collection of glands that secrete a variety of hormones, which travel to specific target organs via the bloodstream. Endocrine glands tend to be vascular and do not have ducts. The hormones of endocrine glands are stored in vacuoles or granules, ready to be released.
- The hypothalamus is the endocrine system’s control center. It can be divided into chiasmatic, tuberal and mammillary bodies regions. Its control over the endocrine system is via direct projections to the neurohypophysis and indirect ones to the adenohypophysis.
- The pituitary gland is located within the pituitary fossa, partially covered by the diaphragma sellae. It is divided into an anterior lobe (adenohypophysis) and a posterior lobe (neurohypophysis). The secretion of the hypophysis is controlled directly by the hypothalamus via tracts to the neurohypophysis and indirectly, via the hypophyseal portal system, to the adenohypophysis.
- The pineal gland is located at the level of the superior colliculi. It consists of pinealocytes that produce melatonin, an important hormone in the sleep-wake cycle.
- The thyroid gland is the largest endocrine gland and it is located in the neck at the level of C5-T1 vertebrae. It consists of two lobes joined together by an isthmus. It produces the hormones thyroxine, triiodothyronine and calcitonin.
- The parathyroid glands are located on the posterior surface of the thyroid gland. There are two superior and two inferior ones. These glands produce the parathyroid hormone.
- The enteric endocrine system is located in the gastrointestinal tract. The pancreas comprises an important part of it, secreting the hormones insulin and glucagon. This gland has a head, a neck, a body and a tail. It releases its hormones within the main pancreatic duct, which opens in the duodenum.
- The adrenal glands are located on top of the kidneys, from which they are separated by a septum. The glands consist of an outer part (adrenal cortex) and inner part (adrenal medulla). The adrenal cortex produces glucocorticoids, while the adrenal medulla produces adrenaline and epinephrine.
- The testes and ovaries are considered as the endocrine organs of the reproductive systems. The testes produce spermatozoa and mainly the hormone testosterone. They are suspended in the scrotum by the spermatic cord. The ovaries are the site for oocyte development and the production of estrogen and progesterone hormones. The ovaries are located in the ovarian fossa.
Organs of the endocrine system: want to learn more about it?
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Susan Standring: Gray’s Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice, 41st edition, Elsevier
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J. Barron: The Endocrine System: Hypothalamus, Pituitary, & Pineal Glands. Baseline of Health Foundation (accessed 22nd July 2016)
R. Bailey: Pineal Gland. About Education, (accessed 22nd July 2016)
R. Bowen: The Enteric Endocrine System. (accessed 22nd July 2016)
R. M. Sargis: An Overview of the Adrenal Glands. Endocrineweb, (accessed 22nd July 2016)
R. M. Sargis: An Overview of the Hypothalamus. Endocrineweb, (accessed 22nd July 2016)
R. M. Sargis: An Overview of the Pineal Gland. Endocrineweb, (accessed 22nd July 2016)
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Glandular tissue: The Histology Guide
What is a Gland?
An organised collection of secretory epithelial cells.
Most glands are formed during development by proliferation of
epithelial cells so that they project into the underlying connective
tissue. Some glands retain their continuity with the surface via
a duct and are known as EXOCRINE GLANDS. Other
glands lose this direct continuity with the surface when their
ducts degenerate during development. These glands are known as
This is the parotid gland, a type of salivary
gland. Can you identify the secretory acini and the ducts in this
typical exocrine gland. The intensity of staining should tell you
that the secretory cells of this gland are serous. This gland secretes
thin watery secretions, which are rich in enzymes and antibodies,
and the ducts open onto surface of oral mucosa.
Exocrine glands have ducts
– and they secrete onto a surface: examples of exocrine glands
are: sebaceous and sweat glands (in the skin), salivary glands
(oral), Brunner’s glands. So, we have covered their basic structure
and function in tissue types, and we have looked at several examples
of exocrine glands in other topics.
Exocrine glands can be Unicellular – Goblet cells, or
Multicellular – and the basis of their classification was
covered in the topic on epithelia.
Hormones co-ordinate, integrate and regulate interdependent processes
around the body. These hormones are secreted by the endocrine
Endocrine glands do not have ducts. Their secretions
(hormones) are secreted into the blood stream. Because of this,
the hormones can act over long distances, and reach any organ
in the body to co-ordinate activity. Often there is a specific
‘target’ organ that the hormone acts on. This long range activity
is also often called neuroendocrine – as it is
somewhat analogous to the co-ordinating activity of neurones.Some
short range endocrine activity also occurs in the digestive system
– and this is known as paracrine activity – for
example enteroendocrine cells of the gut respond to activity by
secreting peptides of monoamines that act locally.
The secretory cells of endocrine glands are therefore always
found in close proximity to a capillary bed, and have a rich network
of blood vessels.
The signalling molecules released – hormones, are
usually released by exocytosis, by the secretory cells, into the
interstitial spaces and pass through fenestrated cpaillaries to
enter the blood stream and move to target organs. The target organs
will have specific receptors for the hormone, and can respond
when the hormone binds. This means you should know the gland,
hormone, target organ/cells and response to the hormone.
How the endocrine glands are classified
Discrete Endocrine Glands – these include the pituitary
(hypophysis), thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal and pineal glands.
Endocrine component of Glands with both an Endocrine and an Exocrine
Function. These include the kidney, pancreas and gonads. And
finally, there is a Diffuse Neuroendocrine system, which includes
This topic only covers the Discrete Endocrine Glands;
– pituitary, thyroid parathyroid and adrenal glands.
Other endocrine glands are covered in their respective topics.
The pineal gland – a small gland 6-8mm long
is found in the brain, close to the hypothalamus, and is a photoreceptor
organ, which is stimulated by information received via the retina,
that secretes the hormone melatonin, which appears to regulate
the circadian rhythms of the body. Secretions of this hormone
at night, cause a hypnotic effect. Its structure is not covered
Endocrine Glands | Tampa General Hospital
All types of endocrine glands are part of system that generates and excretes hormones within the body (as opposed to exocrine system glands, which produce substances that are carried out of the body by ducts). The hormones produced by these glands function as messengers, and they are carried through the blood stream to other organs throughout the body, where they help regulate bodily functions that range from growth to reproduction.
Some of the major endocrine glands are located in the brain, including the pineal gland, pituitary gland, and hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is seen as the switchboard of the endocrine system, connecting the nervous system to the endocrine system, and is responsible for providing hormones that cause other glands to start or stop producing hormones of their own. The pituitary gland, which is often referred to as the “master gland” for its wide range of responsibilities, supplies the body with growth hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone, and several other essential hormones. Other endocrine glands occur in the neck, including thyroid and parathyroid glands, which help control the basal metabolic rate of the body, stimulate bone construction, and regulate levels of calcium and phosphate in the bloodstream.
There are several additional endocrine glands that reside in the abdomen, with major glands including the pancreas and adrenal glands. The pancreas, which is located behind the stomach, regulates levels of sugars within the bloodstream through the use of insulin and other hormones. The adrenal glands sit atop the kidneys and produce adrenaline, as well several steroid hormones. Although reproductive organs, including the ovaries (in women) and the testes (in men), serve other functions, they can also be considered as endocrine glands because they produce hormones as well.
When all of the body’s endocrine glands are working well together, the body can regulate basic functions, digest food properly, grow, and react appropriately to stress. However, there are many endocrine disorders in which the glands aren’t producing the right amount of hormones, there aren’t enough hormone receptors available for them to function correctly, or the organs are simply not responding to the signals given by the hormones.
Tampa General Hospital has the resources necessary to treat a wide variety of endocrine disorders, including diabetes, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, and many other conditions. In fact, TGH is recognized as one of the nation’s best hospitals and highest ranked in Florida for Diabetes & Endocrinology by U.S. News & World Report for 2021-2022.
5 Important Hormones and How They Help You Function: The Well for Health: Health and Wellness Center
Hormones are chemical messengers that use your bloodstream to travel throughout your body to your tissues and organs. Did you know that your body houses 50 different types of hormones? They control a number of functions including metabolism, reproduction, growth, mood, and sexual health.
If your body is producing too little or too much of a hormone, it can make you very ill and set you up for a number of serious health problems. At The Well for Health in Davidson, North Carolina, our dedicated team of holistically-minded practitioners works with you to identify and resolve hormone problems. Let’s take a closer look at five important hormones and how they help you function well.
The fat-storage hormone, insulin, is released by your pancreas and regulates many of your metabolic processes. This hormone makes it possible for your organs, liver, and fat to absorb glucose. If your body doesn’t generate enough insulin or if it isn’t using it well, blood sugar accumulates and can set you up for diabetes.
The pineal gland in your brain produces melatonin, which is instrumental in your sleep/wake cycles and your internal body clock. As the light of day becomes the dark of night, your brain amps up your melatonin levels to prepare you for sleep. Interruptions to natural darkness impair melatonin levels and sleep quality. For instance, late-night exposure to the blue light of screens can interrupt natural sleep patterns.
Also known as the female sex hormone, estrogen is released by a woman’s ovaries. It’s a crucial element of the development of breasts, pubic hair, and the widening of hips. In addition to regulating a female’s periods, estrogen is also involved in bone formation, blood clotting, and the health of your skin and nails. If you are depleted in estrogen, you may have low moods or depression. When estrogen levels fluctuate, as they do during menopause, you may experience hot flashes, low libido, and weight gain.
Testosterone is a sex hormone that’s manufactured in male testicles and female ovaries. It’s most often associated with sex drive, but is also closely associated with muscle and bone mass and the distribution of fat cells. Low levels of testosterone cause erectile dysfunction, low sex drive, decreased semen production, loss of muscle, and low bone density.
Cortisol is the stress hormone. It’s a natural alert system to let you know when you’re under duress. While it’s helpful when you need to be aware of imminent danger, consistently high cortisol levels can lead to anxiety, weight gain, migraines, heart problems, irritability, brain fog, and sleep disturbances.
At The Well for Health, we know that balanced hormones are essential for your overall health and wellness. We work closely with you to test your blood levels to discover your deficiencies so we can customize a plan that may include bioidentical hormone therapy, lifestyle changes, optimization of your adrenal and thyroid function, and hormone replacement therapy.
Call us today for compassionate and comprehensive hormone treatments that restore your quality of life. You can also request an appointment online.
Tubarial Glands: New Organ Discovered in Human Body | Anatomy, Medicine
Our body contains a pair of previously overlooked and clinically relevant nasopharyngeal salivary glands, according to new research led by the Netherlands Cancer Institute and the University of Amsterdam. Sparing these newly-identified glands, named the ‘tubarial glands,’ in patients receiving radiotherapy may provide an opportunity to improve their quality of life.
This illustration shows the location of the newly-identified tubarial glands. Image credit: Netherlands Cancer Institute.
The human salivary gland system can be divided into two separate groups: major and minor glands.
The major salivary glands are parotid, submandibular, and sublingual glands. The minor glands are distributed in groups of hundreds in the upper aerodigestive tract mucosa.
These glands produce the saliva required for mastication, swallowing, digestion, tasting and dental hygiene.
“The recently introduced molecular imaging modality of positron emission tomography/computed tomography with radio-labeled ligands to the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA1 PET/CT) can visualize salivary glands with high sensitivity and specificity,” said lead author Dr. Matthijs Valstar, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in the Department of Head and Neck Oncology and Surgery at the Netherlands Cancer Institute and the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Amsterdam, and his colleagues from the Netherlands.
“Surprisingly, we observed that PSMA PET/CT also depicted an unknown bilateral structure posterior in the nasopharynx, with ligand uptake similar to the known major salivary glands.”
“To our knowledge, this structure did not fit prior anatomical description.”
The researchers confirmed the presence of tubarial glands in PSMA PET/CT scans of 100 patients (99 male, one female; median age 69.5; range 53-84) and the tissue of two human bodies.
“The two new areas that lit up turned out to have other characteristics of salivary glands as well,” Dr. Valstar said.
“We call them tubarial glands, referring to their anatomical location.”
The scientists assume the physiological function of the tubarial glands is the moistening and lubrication of the nasopharynx and oropharynx.
“Radiation therapy can damage the salivary glands, which may lead to complications,” said senior author Dr. Wouter Vogel, a radiation therapist in the Department of Nuclear Medicine and the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Netherlands Cancer Institute.
“Patients may have trouble eating, swallowing, or speaking, which can be a real burden.”
“Radiation treatment of these new glands can also go hand in hand with these complications.”
The team analyzed the data of 723 patients who had undergone radiation treatment and found that the radiotherapy dose to this area was associated with complications (xerostomia and dysphagia).
This means that the discovery is not only surprising, but it could also be a benefit to cancer patients.
“For most patients, it should technically be possible to avoid delivering radiation to this newly-discovered location of the salivary gland system in the same way we try to spare known glands,” Dr. Vogel said.
“Our next step is to find out how we can best spare these new glands and in which patients.”
“If we can do this, patients may experience less side effects which will benefit their overall quality of life after treatment.”
The team’s paper was published online September 23, 2020 in the journal Radiotherapy and Oncology.
Matthijs H. Valstar et al. The tubarial salivary glands: A potential new organ at risk for radiotherapy. Radiotherapy and Oncology, published online September 23, 2020; doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2020.09.034
Endocrinology – the science of the structure and function of the endocrine glands, endocrine glands, hormones produced by them, the ways of their formation and action on the human body; and also about diseases caused by dysfunction of these glands or the action of these hormones. A feature of the endocrine glands is the absence of excretory ducts, so the hormones they produce are released directly into the blood. The ratio of hormones depends on: human development, metabolism, puberty, the correct course of pregnancy.
Endocrine glands are sensitive to changes occurring in the external environment and in the human body, which is manifested by their hypofunction (weakening the production of hormones) or hyperfunction (increased secretion of hormones and leads to the development of endocrine diseases.
More than 60 different hormones are currently known. The amount of hormones synthesized by the endocrine glands depends on the time of day, sleep or wakefulness, mental and physical condition of a person, age.
|Hypothalamus||Division of the brain, which is the highest center for the regulation of the autonomic functions of the body.|
|Pituitary gland||Endocrine gland that produces tropines – hormones that regulate the activity of other endocrine glands (thyroid, adrenal glands, ovaries and testicles) and indirectly affect the vital activity of the body, which are responsible for growth, metabolism, and reproductive function.|
|Thyroid||Participates in the regulation of metabolic processes in the body; produces hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which affect the cardiovascular system and are necessary for the normal development and functioning of the central nervous system. In addition, it produces the hormone calcitonin, which regulates calcium metabolism in the body.|
|Parathyroid glands||Four endocrine glands producing parathyroid hormone.Its production is due to the concentration of calcium in the blood: an increase in the level of calcium causes inhibition of the secretion of parathyroid hormone and vice versa. This biologically active substance is involved in the regulation of phosphorus-calcium metabolism and for this function it is a calcitonin antagonist.|
|Pancreas||The gland, which is both an external and internal secretion gland, produces the hormone insulin and digestive enzymes.Violation of insulin secretion leads to the development of diabetes mellitus.|
|Adrenal glands||Paired endocrine glands. Located above the upper poles of the kidneys, they produce hormones under the general name corticosteroids, which affect many metabolic processes, vascular tone, and immunity.|
|Testicles (testicles)||These are paired male sex glands, the main functions of which are the production of sperm, the secretion and release of male sex hormones (androgens) into the blood.|
|Ovaries||Paired female sex glands. They are the place where female reproductive cells develop and mature, and also produce sex hormones.|
|Placenta||An organ formed during pregnancy, which provides a connection between the fetus and the mother, and also acts as a temporary endocrine gland.|
|Thymus||The paired gland located on the anterior side of the mediastinum (chest pleura) and involved in the formation and regulation of the body’s immunity.|
|Gastrointestinal adipose tissue||Gastrointestinal hormones.|
Hormone deficiency. Occurs with a decrease in the production of hormones by the endocrine gland for various reasons: heart attacks, infections, autoimmune processes, tumors, hereditary diseases, increased binding of hormones to proteins.
Excess hormones. The reasons may be: excessive synthesis by the endocrine gland, hormone production by other tissues, increased production of hormones by tissues from its predecessor; can also occur when hormones are prescribed as a drug.
Synthesis of abnormal hormones by the endocrine glands. This often occurs with congenital genetic abnormalities.
Resistance (immunity) to hormones. Body tissues do not give an adequate response to a normal or increased amount of the hormone in the blood. The immunity of tissues to a hormone has various reasons: the appearance of antibodies to hormones, a hereditary nature, a defect in tissue receptors.
The danger of endocrine diseases lies in the fact that they lead to disruption of the functioning of almost all body systems.Therefore, it is important to notice them in time and start treatment. The main diagnostic method in this case is a blood test to determine the level of hormones. Additionally, ultrasound, computed tomography, etc. are used.
There are many diseases of the endocrine system. The most common are thyroid disease, diabetes and obesity.
Diagnostics and treatment in the Clinic of “New Technologies of Medicine”
Clinic of “New Technologies of Medicine” offers services for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases associated with disorders in the endocrine system:
- Carries out all types of laboratory research: general clinical, hormonal, microbiological, etc.; home blood sampling service
- Ultrasound examination
- Management of patients with diabetes mellitus
- Diagnostics and treatment of diseases of the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, pituitary gland
- Treatment of climacteric syndrome, infertility
An endocrinologist should be contacted if you or your loved ones have:
- Thyroid diseases
- Diabetes mellitus
- Overweight or underweight, sudden changes in body weight over a short period of time
- Insufficient or rapid growth during puberty; enlargement of hands, feet, nose, change in the shape of the chin in adulthood
- Early menopause (up to 53 years of age), pain in joints and large bones, bone fractures resulting from minor injuries
- Discomfort in the neck area, sensation of “lump in the throat”, aggravated by swallowing
- Constant or intermittent heartbeat, heart rhythm disturbances, feeling of inner trembling, excessive emotionality, tearfulness
- Constipation, swelling of the face
- A sharp deterioration in visual acuity, the appearance of a “veil”, “mesh”, “flies” before the eyes, redness of the eyes, lacrimation, “bulging”
- Visible signs of goiter
- Dry mouth, constant thirst, itching without rash, frequent urination, especially at night
- General weakness, fatigue, drowsiness, decreased body temperature, numbness of the extremities, memory impairment, frequent headaches
- Increased blood pressure at a young age (up to 45 years), crisis course of hypertension, not amenable to treatment with a standard set of drugs
- Dry and thinning skin, hair loss, acne
- In adolescent girls – early (up to 10 years) onset of menstruation, a long period of stabilization of the cycle.In adult women, menstrual irregularities of any type, miscarriage, discharge from the mammary glands
- In men – changes in body hair, erectile dysfunction, discharge from the mammary glands
90,000 Endocrine system diseases. Articles on a medical topic. LLC “Health”
Doctor-endocrinologist is engaged in diagnostics, treatment and prevention of diseases of the endocrine system.
The competence of an endocrinologist includes all issues related to the human endocrine system.An endocrinologist studies the development, structure and function of the endocrine glands, as well as the exchange of hormones in the body, disorders of the secretion of these hormones and diseases caused by impaired secretion.
At present, the most common pathologies faced by endocrinologists are diabetes mellitus and thyroid diseases, failure of the mechanisms of action of hormones in the body and their metabolism, dysfunctions of the sweat glands.
Diseases of the human endocrine system include a number of pathologies.For the best understanding and convenience of classifying the disease, it is advisable to divide it into groups, depending on their origin.
Classification of diseases of the endocrine system
Hypothalamic-pituitary system: acromegaly and gigantism, Itsenko-Cushing’s disease, prolactinoma, hyperprolactinemia, diabetes insipidus.
Diseases of the thyroid gland: hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, diffuse toxic goiter, thyrotoxic adenoma, autoimmune thyroiditis, subacute thyroiditis, endemic goiter, nodular goiter, thyroid cancer.
Diseases of the islet apparatus of the pancreas: diabetes mellitus.
Diseases of the adrenal glands: hormone-active tumors of the adrenal glands, chronic adrenal insufficiency, primary hyperaldosteronism. Diseases of the female genital glands: premenstrual syndrome, menstrual dysfunction, menopause.
It should be noted that the last group of diseases (pathology of the female reproductive glands) also falls within the competence of gynecology and endocrinology.A gynecologist-endocrinologist deals with the diagnosis and treatment of gynecological endocrinological diseases, which are associated with disruption of the functioning of endocrine organs. For example, menstrual irregularities, painful periods, ovarian dysfunction, endometriosis, menopause, excess male sex hormones.
Another direction of the gynecologist-endocrinologist is the selection of methods of hormonal contraception. A gynecologist-endocrinologist studies the hormonal function of the body, diagnoses and treats diseases that are associated with a violation of the production of certain hormones.
The competence of an endocrinologist includes the thyroid gland, the hypothalamus (the subtropical region, the part of the brain located under the optic hillocks), the pineal gland, the pancreas, the pituitary gland (the lower cerebral appendage, the endocrine gland) and the adrenal glands.
Especially in the presence of external factors affecting the human body, the need for modern diagnostics and timely treatment increases significantly. For example, in some regions of Russia, residents may need iodine, or vice versa – the consumption of iodized foods and water is too high.The impact of such factors on a person must be controlled.
Iodine is necessary for the synthesis of the thyroid hormone – thyroxine, as well as for the creation of phagocytes – blood cells, which must destroy “debris” and “foreign” agents in cells. Phagocytes are able to “capture” and “digest” foreign bodies, in particular microorganisms and even defective cells. Lack of iodine causes serious metabolic disorders, contributes to the development of an enlarged thyroid gland (endemic goiter) and a decrease in immunity.
A visit to an endocrinologist is mandatory at the first manifestations of diseases of the endocrine system. If you experience characteristic concerns, you should contact a specialized medical institution as soon as possible.
The characteristic manifestations of endocrine system diseases include:
- With diabetes mellitus: dry mouth, thirst, polyuria (increased urine production), especially at night, weight loss of varying degrees, significant increase in appetite, drowsiness, general weakness and fatigue, a sharp decrease in working capacity, decreased libido and potency, weakness of the body and a tendency to infections such as furunculosis, periodontal disease, as well as fungal diseases and itching of the skin.
- In most patients with thyroid diseases, thyrotoxicosis syndrome (diffuse toxic goiter), the following manifestations are observed: general weakness, rapid fatigue, irritability, increased sweating, fussiness, hyperactivity, involuntary oscillatory movements of the whole body or its individual parts, poor heat tolerance, increased palpitations, increased appetite, weight loss, sexual dysfunction and menstrual irregularities.
- In the pathology of hypothyroidism syndrome, the patient may observe the following ailments: general weakness, fatigue, drowsiness, poor cold tolerance, decreased body temperature, noticeable memory impairment, dry skin, increased body weight with decreased appetite, dry breaking hair, low hoarse voice, constipation , heavy and prolonged menstruation, infrequent menstruation, joint soreness without edema.
Pathology of the hypothalamic-pituitary system is also within the competence of an endocrinologist, since the hypothalamic-pituitary system is a union of the structures of the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, performs the functions of both the nervous system and the endocrine system.This neuroendocrine complex is an example of how closely the nervous and humoral modes of regulation are interconnected in the human body. The pathology of the hypothalamic-pituitary system includes hyperprolactinemia syndrome and diabetes insipidus.
The disease, hyperprolactinemia syndrome in women, is accompanied by the following pathologies: galactorrhea (spontaneous release of milk from the mammary glands), amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), infertility, decreased libido, lack of orgasm, frigidity, vaginal dryness, excess hair growth on the face, around the nipples, on white lines of the abdomen.
As a rule, the pathology of diabetes insipidus is accompanied in the patient by increased urine output, consumption of too much water and sleep disturbance.
Thus, we can say with confidence about the exceptional role of the endocrine system in the regulation of various life processes. The state of the human endocrine system in the most direct way affects the general condition of the body. If at least one of the endocrine glands malfunctions, a change in the work of other organs is observed.As a rule, the consequences of a failure in the normal production of hormones have a negative effect on the entire body.
It is important to remember that any pathology of the endocrine system can be detected at early stages of development and successful treatment can be carried out.
Family Medicine Center “ALMITA” – Endocrinology
Endocrinology (from endo – inside, Greek kríno – I separate, isolate and logos – doctrine, science), the science of the structure and function of the endocrine glands (endocrine glands), the hormones they produce, the ways of their formation and action on the human body
Endocrine glands include:
- thyroid gland
- parathyroid gland
- pancreas (insular part) gland
- adrenal glands
- testicles in men
- ovaries in women
- pituitary gland
The cells of the endocrine glands produce substances (hormones) that, after being excreted, go directly into the bloodstream. This is their difference from exocrine glands, which secrete their secretion into a duct that extends to the outer surface of the body (salivary, sweat glands, stomach, lungs). A hormone is a chemical that enters the bloodstream and travels through the blood to various organs, where it increases or decreases the activity of other cells, called target cells.Through target cells, hormones have an effect on almost all vital functions of the human body. The amount of hormones produced depends on the time of day, sleep or wakefulness, age, mental and physical condition of the person. They enter the bloodstream as needed, and are excreted from the body in small quantities unchanged with bile and urine
The basic principle of the treatment of endocrine diseases is the achievement of physiological boundaries in the hormonal regulation of functions.Cure can usually be achieved in uncomplicated diseases caused by overactive glands, using chemicals that selectively reduce the overactive glands, X-rays or the use of radioactive isotopes that damage hormone-producing cells, and surgical treatments. In diseases of the endocrine glands that occur with hypofunction, the eugormonal state is achieved by using hormonal drugs (so-called replacement therapy, for example, insulin treatment for diabetes mellitus) or drugs that activate the function of the corresponding glands.It is of great importance to identify “risk factors”, that is, those conditions that contribute to the onset of the disease. So, in diabetes mellitus, these include unfavorable heredity, obesity, and some others.
Do you want to have a healthy baby? For any management of pregnancy, each woman needs two visits to the endocrinologist.
It is during this period that the latent pathology of the thyroid gland, gestational diabetes mellitus must be excluded. The presence of latent pathology will have a bad effect not only on the current and future health of the mother, but also on the health of the unborn child, and timely diagnosis and treatment will reduce serious complications to a minimum.
Causes of thyroid diseases | How to tell if your thyroid gland is out of order
This small organ does a serious big job in the human body. The thyroid gland produces the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which, being released into the blood, affect all cells and tissues of the body, and also regulate the rate of metabolic processes.
How common are violations in her work?
Among diseases of the endocrine system, treatment of the thyroid gland ranks second in the frequency of visits to the clinic after diabetes mellitus.Almost every second resident of a modern city is at risk of dysfunction and proper production of thyroid hormone.
Among the possible causes of pathology:
- insufficient intake of iodine in the body,
- bad ecology,
- genetic factors,
- psycho-emotional overload,
- transferred infections and chronic diseases.
How do you know if the thyroid gland is out of order?
Symptoms of thyroid diseases are conventionally divided into three groups, depending on changes in the function of the organ.
If you have a decrease in the level of thyroid hormones, then all metabolic processes in the body slow down and the patient feels:
- fatigue and weakness,
- memory impairment,
- dry skin and brittle hair.
All this is accompanied by swelling and weight gain.
If the level of thyroid hormones in the blood increases, the patient is susceptible to:
- irascibility and irritability,
- heart palpitations with arrhythmias,
- restless sleep,
- increase in body temperature.
Sometimes symptoms of thyroid disease in women can be regarded as normal age-related changes in the body.It is important to correctly diagnose the disease and draw up a competent treatment regimen.
There are also such diseases that proceed without changing the level of the organ’s functionality. Only its external structure changes. This is primarily manifested in an increase in volume and the appearance of nodules.
Diagnosis of diseases
It is not easy to recognize the numerous symptoms of endocrine system diseases and organize them into a coherent whole. This can only be done by an experienced endocrinologist who has modern diagnostic tools.For the diagnosis and correct treatment of the thyroid gland, the results are used:
- enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay,
- computed tomography.
Contact our medical center if you suspect a malfunction of the endocrine system, and we will provide you with timely professional medical assistance.
90,000 Skin: structure and function of human skin
What is skin
The skin covers our entire body and is the largest human organ.An adult has a skin area of about 2 square meters. Together with subcutaneous adipose tissue, its weight averages 16-17% of the total body weight .
It protects our body from the environment by maintaining its homeostasis (a self-regulating process). The skin provides natural thermoregulation: prevents overheating or hypothermia of the body. She participates in respiration and metabolic processes.
Our emotions and physical condition are reflected on the skin, as in a mirror.
If we talk about the structure of the skin, then it consists of three main layers: epidermis, dermis and hypodermis (subcutaneous fat).
Let’s take a closer look at the structure of the skin.
Epi is translated from Greek as “over”, dermis – skin. The epidermis is the upper layer of the skin, its thickness is about 0.05-0.1 mm .
Four layers are distinguished in the structure of the epidermis :
• stratum corneum (outer layer)
Every 3-4 weeks the epidermis is renewed.This process begins in the basal (primordial) layer. The cells ascend to the upper stratum corneum, transforming into other types of cells along the way.
Cells on the basement membrane mature and become keratinocytes. Keratinocytes divide and move closer to the outer layer – the stratum corneum. As cells are pushed towards the surface, they become flatter. In the end, they lose their core, die off and turn into scales, of which the stratum corneum consists. Thus, a barrier from the external environment is created.The process of renewal of the stratum corneum is constant, we lose about 40,000 scales per minute. If the skin is healthy, this process is invisible to the eye. [one].
Underneath the epidermis there is a deeper layer – the dermis (skin). Its thickness is almost 2 mm. It is represented by connective tissue, which is based on strong protein fibers – collagen and elastin. Collagen makes our skin firm, elastin – elastic.
The dermis contains a complex network of blood and lymphatic vessels, nerve endings, hair follicles, sweat and sebaceous glands are also located in the dermis.In terms of structure, the dermis can be divided into two levels: superficial papillary dermis and deep reticular dermis.
Hypodermis (subcutaneous adipose tissue)
Hypodermis (or subcutis (sub – under, cutis – the name of the dermis and the upper layer of the skin)) is the largest and heaviest layer, without it the skin would weigh 3 kg, and with it it can weigh up to 20 kg .
Thanks to the hypodermis, the human body acquires soft features, without it bones and joints would be clearly visible. Loose connective tissue and fat are involved in the structure of this layer.The hypodermis is penetrated by blood vessels and nerve endings, but larger than in the dermis.
Of course, the structure of the skin is much more complex, but these three layers of which the skin is composed, represent its main “floors”.
Skin functions are very diverse and each layer has its own tasks.
The epidermis primarily creates a protective barrier and has an acid mantle. It protects against the effects of various harmful substances and allergens, as well as mechanical influences.The protective function of the skin is one of the most important.
Acids on the stratum corneum lower the pH and bind water, keeping the top layer of the skin hydrated. The pH level is important for the skin microbiome – a collection of microorganisms on the surface of the human skin that perform important protective and regulatory functions.
The spiny layer contains Langerhans cells, which are responsible for the immune defense of the skin. Merkel cells are also located in the upper layer and among their functions is to provide skin sensitivity .
Even in the epidermis, there are pigment cells, melanocytes, which determine the color of the skin and perform the function of protection against UV rays .
The dermis regulates heat transfer from the body. To reduce body temperature, sweat glands move moisture to the surface of the skin. To keep us warm, it reduces blood flow to the skin, which helps to retain heat inside the body.
Thanks to the dermis, our skin is firm and elastic. Here are the hair follicles from which the hair grows.
The blood vessels of the dermis supply the skin with oxygen and nutrients and support the immune system.Nerve endings located in the dermis transmit important information to the brain, such as fever or pain.
The hypodermis accumulates and stores nutrients. Subcutaneous fat prevents hypothermia of the body. It creates additional protection for the internal organs.
As you can see, the importance of skin functions to humans cannot be overemphasized.
Facial skin care depends on the condition of your skin (sensitivity, sebaceous gland secretions, age-related changes, etc.)) and better to be picked up by a dermatologist. Basic care includes cleansing, moisturizing and sun protection. Funds are selected individually.
One of the basic rules for skin care is to avoid daily bathing with soap. You can shower every day without harming your skin using water as it has a neutral pH. If you want to use a detergent, it must be odorless, colorless and almost free of foam. Using soap with a high pH, we destroy the protective barrier, and it takes 4 weeks for the epidermis to fully recover.
It is more beneficial for human skin to take a shower than a bath. Since the skin leaches out after a long stay in the bubble bath.
Be careful with different oils. They are harsh cleaning agents and are not suitable for maintenance. Dry eczema may develop on the skin due to the frequent use of the oil. Fat-containing creams, ointments or liposols are much better suited for the moisturizing function .
Do not aggressively remove the stratum corneum, as it protects the soft tissue from compression.Its excess can be removed with a file.
The stratum corneum of the legs may crack and the skin may become rough. To prevent dangerous bacteria from penetrating through cracks in the skin, you can use a greasy ointment. Apply it before bed and wrap your feet in an airtight foil. This procedure will allow the ointment to penetrate even into the stratum corneum .
1. Adler J. What does the skin hide. 2 square meters that dictate how we live. M .: Publishing house “E”, 2017, p.13.
2. Bykov V.L. Private histology of a person. 2nd ed. SPb .: SOTIS, 1999, p. 215.
3. Medical encyclopedia. Kozha [Electronic resource] URL: dic.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enc_medicine/14590
Blood test for hormones, the norm and interpretation of the results of indicators
Hormones are biologically active substances that are produced by the endocrine system. They are responsible for the functioning of most vital organs, regulate growth and metabolism. Although their content in the circulatory system is insignificant compared to other components, they play one of the key roles in the body.Different hormones perform different functions, they can both complement each other and cause negative effects. In order for our body to function normally, its hormonal background must be in balance. Deviations in one direction or another immediately lead to disorders, and sometimes even to serious pathologies. Hormonal norms are not a constant unit; their percentage depends on gender, age, and a number of other factors.
A blood test for hormones allows you to determine if the hormonal balance is not disturbed.Today, there is an increase in endocrine diseases caused by dysfunction of the endocrine glands. To prevent negative consequences by starting therapy in a timely manner, it is recommended to regularly check your hormonal background. This can be done in our multidisciplinary medical center VIMPEL-MEDCENTR. Highly qualified specialists, who have the best diagnostic equipment at their disposal, will help identify problems in the body at the earliest stages.
When a study of the hormonal background is prescribed
In one way or another, hormones are involved in almost all vital processes of the human body.Starting from birth, they regulate human health, psycho-emotional state and life in general. Due to these biologically active substances, a person adapts to changes in the environment, enters into relationships, has children, in other words, exists normally. Hormonal imbalance can have the most serious consequences.
A blood test for hormones is not simply prescribed. That is, during a routine examination, no one will do a study of the endocrine system.Such diagnostics, as a rule, are carried out exclusively in the direction of a doctor who has a suspicion of a malfunction of the thyroid gland, diabetes mellitus or other endocrine disease. In addition, such an analysis is often prescribed to girls and women suffering from constant menstrual irregularities, infertility, acne, recurrent miscarriages and obesity.
For pregnant women, this is one of the obligatory studies, since a lack of one or another hormone can lead to irreversible consequences.
How to donate correctly
Blood for analysis is taken from a vein. Depending on the symptomatology, the doctor identifies a group of hormones that need to be checked. It is advisable to completely limit physical and psycho-emotional stress in 12 hours, not to consume alcoholic beverages, medications and food containing iodine.
Particular attention is required to prepare for the donation of blood samples for the fair sex – it should be carried out at a certain period of the menstrual cycle, which is designated by the doctor.The procedure itself is usually scheduled for delivery in the morning, on an empty stomach.
General indicators, decoding
A complete picture of the state of the body and hormonal levels can be obtained by passing one of the following types of tests:
- Free T4 is one of the most important biologically active substances of the thyroid gland, which responds for the transportation of protein compounds and maintaining their optimal balance in the body.The normal plasma level for a healthy person is 10 to 22 mmol / L. An excess indicates somatic or mental ailments, lipemia. Deficiency – about pregnancy, poor nutrition, high physical exertion, the use of a number of drugs.
- TSH – directly affects the thyroid gland, is responsible for the circulation of its components. The norm for an absolutely healthy person is from 0.4 to 4 mU / liter. Excess indicates adrenal insufficiency, complex non-thyroid pathology, etc.Low level – about thyrotoxicosis, cortisol imbalance, etc.
- T3 general – needed to stabilize the peripheral endocrine glands. The norm is 1.3 – 2.7 nmol / l. An overabundance of the hormone indicates pregnancy, the use of drugs or estrogens. The disadvantage is about the pathology of the gastrointestinal tract, acromegaly, hemolysis, starvation and other disorders.
- T4 common – one of the main bioactive substances of the thyroid gland. The correct values are from 59 to 160 nmol / L. Going beyond these figures in a big way may indicate obesity, the presence of hepatitis, pregnancy, etc.and to a lesser extent – about starvation, excessive physical exertion, kidney and gastrointestinal tract diseases.
- Free T3 – stimulates the circulation of oxygen in soft tissues. The norm is in the range – from 2.6 to 5.6 pmol per liter. Exceeding the indicators indicates hyperthyroidism, toxicosis, shortage – the syndrome of peripheral vascular resistance, taking iodine-containing drugs.
- Antibodies to thyroglobulin (AT-TG) help to detect some autoimmune diseases. The normal indicator is in the range from 0 to 4.11 U / ml.
- TSH is one of the main functional elements of the thyroid gland. The norm for a healthy person is in the range from 258 to 574 nmol / liter. A higher score may indicate pregnancy, hepatitis, or hypoproteinemia.
- Estradiol is an active component in the blood of women, which is responsible for the maturation of germ cells and affects the correct development of the fetus during pregnancy. The rate varies depending on the life cycle: from 200 to 286 pm / l (for women in the follicular phase), from 52 to 136 pm / l (for women during menopause) and from 441 to 576 (girls in the luteal phase).An excess indicates possible tumors on the ovaries, a deficiency indicates a failure in the release of gonadotropic hormones.
- Testosterone – directly affects the growth of muscle mass, strengthening bones, the formation of sexual characteristics. Indicators range from 2 to 10 ng / ml in men and from 0.2 to 1 in women
- Progesterone appears in the body after the formation of an egg. The pregnancy hormone, as it is also called, is responsible for the stability of the development of the intrauterine fetus. The norm is from 22 to 30 nm / l in the luteal phase, 1 – 2.3 nm / l in the follicular phase, 1 – 1.8 during menopause.If the value is higher than normal, then this may indicate pathological processes in the adrenal cortex, if less – about ovarian sclerosis.
- ACTH – is responsible for the release of bioactive substances in the adrenal cortex. Correct values are up to 50 pg / ml. If more – hyperplasia is possible, less – adrenal insufficiency, tumor.
- Prolactin – is responsible for the stimulation of lactation in women, the work of the prostate in the stronger half.For the latter, the norm is from 100 to 266 μg / l, for women of childbearing age from 129 to 539 μg / l, for women in menopause – from 106 to 289 μg / l.
- STH – is responsible for the development of bone and muscle mass and other important organs. The norm is up to 10 ng / ml. Increased indicators indicate acromegaly or gigantism, decreased ones indicate pituitary dwarfism.
- LH – ensures the full maturation of the egg in women and sperm in men. The norm for guys is from 2.12 to 4 IU / ml, for girls, depending on the menstrual cycle, from 1.55 to 53 IU / ml.Deviation in one direction or another is a sign of various dysfunctions of the gonads.
- Adrenaline and norepinephrine – are responsible for the rhythm of the heart muscle, pressure, blood vessels, motor skills, form the glucose level. Correct indicators are from 1.9 to 2.45 nm / l and from 0.6 to 3.22, respectively. An overabundance signals jaundice, renal pathologies, a deficiency – about myasthenia gravis or damage to the hypothalamus.
- Cortisol – responsible for the susceptibility to allergic reactions, systematizes the production of antibodies.The norm is from 229 to 749 nm / l. If the indicators are less, there is a likelihood of Addison’s disease or adrenal gland disease, exceeding the norm indicates an adenoma or cancer.
- Aldosterone is an important hormone responsible for the balance of water and salt. The correct value ranges from 30 to 172 pg / ml. The disadvantage is a sign of thrombosis, poor nutrition, arterial embolism. Excess may indicate a neoplasm in the adrenal glands or hyperplasia.
Do not neglect the hormone tests recommended by your doctor.Such a diagnosis makes it possible to identify serious diseases even at the stage of their primary formation, thereby increasing the chances of a quick recovery. VIMPEL-MEDCENTR is a high-quality and accurate research, detailed consultations and treatment of various diseases in Moscow. You can make an appointment on the website or by phone.
Date of publication: 09.24.2020 16:28:13
All about the thyroid gland – diseases, symptoms and treatment
We are glad to welcome those who have opened this page.With this article, we want to form in you an active, rational and responsible attitude to your health and motivation for health improvement.
We ask you to answer a few questions about the thyroid gland.
Read the following statements carefully and if you answer “true” add 1 point, “false” – 2 points, “don’t know” – 3 points.
- 1. Is the thyroid gland a small organ located on the front of the neck at the bottom of the neck?
- 2.Does the thyroid gland produce hormones that are released into the blood and affect all cells and tissues in the body?
- 3. Diseases of the thyroid gland affect people from childhood, or to be more precise, already in the womb and throughout life?
- 4. Increased fatigue, weakness, weight gain, swelling of the face, dry skin, brittle nails and hair, constipation, memory impairment – these symptoms can be manifestations of thyroid pathology?
- 5.Heart palpitations and interruptions in the work of the heart, weight loss, feeling hot and heavy sweating, increased emotional lability – these symptoms can be manifestations of thyroid pathology?
- 6. Can the thyroid gland cause damage to the heart?
- 7. Can a thyroid disorder lead to menstrual dysfunction and infertility?
- 8. Is adequate intake of iodine with food important for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland?
- 9.Is iodized salt necessary to replace iodine in the body?
- 10. Is the need for iodine different in different periods of life?
- 11. Are some thyroid diseases hereditary?
- 12. Does the term “goiter” mean only an increase in the volume of the thyroid gland?
- 13. Can nodules develop in the thyroid gland?
- 14. Is an ultrasound of the thyroid gland necessary to determine the structure of the thyroid gland?
- 15.To clarify the function of the thyroid gland, it is necessary to study the level of thyroid hormones in the blood serum?
- 16. Can the thyroid function be normal in nodular and multinodular goiter?
When you set from 0 to 20 points – you are well aware of the role of the thyroid gland in our body, from 20 and above – you need to carefully read the information below.
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The thyroid gland and its importance in the body
The thyroid gland is a small organ located on the front of the neck in the lower part of it, weighing 15-20 grams. The gland is named so because it is located in front of the thyroid cartilage of the larynx. It has two lobes connected by an isthmus.
The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones – thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which, released into the bloodstream, affect all cells and tissues of the body, regulate the rate of various metabolic processes.These hormones are responsible for many vital functions: they regulate the activity of the brain, nervous and cardiovascular systems, gastrointestinal tract, affect reproductive function, the functioning of the mammary and gonads, and much more.
To determine the volume of the thyroid gland, ultrasound is used, normally the volume of the gland should not exceed 18 ml in women and 25 ml in men. An enlarged thyroid gland or “goiter” can be a sign of various diseases of the thyroid gland, and be accompanied by both a decrease and an increase in functions.Euthyroid goiter is more common – an enlargement of the gland without disrupting its functions.
Endemic goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland that develops as a result of insufficient intake of iodine in the body. Iodine comes to a person with food and water. Iodine is an important component of thyroid hormones and is essential for their normal functioning. If iodine intake is reduced, the thyroid gland increases compensatory to provide the body with sufficient hormones.
The most dangerous is iodine deficiency during the period of intensive growth of the child’s body, during puberty, pregnancy and breastfeeding. The entire territory of Russia is an iodine-deficient region, in order to prevent the development of goiter, it is necessary to use iodized salt in the diet. Individual iodine prophylaxis involves taking iodine-containing drugs.
In the thyroid gland, nodules may appear.One of the predisposing factors for their development is iodine deficiency in the body. With nodular or multinodular goiter, thyroid function may be normal, increased, or decreased. “Thyroid nodule” is not a diagnosis yet, many diseases of the thyroid gland can manifest themselves with nodular goiter. All patients who have nodules in the thyroid gland, which, according to ultrasound data, exceed 1 cm in diameter, must undergo a puncture biopsy in order to determine the cellular composition of the node.
Diseases of the thyroid gland, accompanied by a violation of its function
this is an acute failure of the thyroid gland, a disease in which the thyroid gland cannot produce hormones in the required amount, which leads to a violation and slowdown of metabolic processes in the body.
There are many different signs that may indicate hypothyroidism, these are: increased fatigue, weakness, swelling of the face, dry skin, weight gain, memory impairment, constipation, chilliness.Hypothyroidism can be caused by many factors, the most common being chronic autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s goiter), a disease in which the gland is destroyed. Other causes of hypothyroidism include surgery on the thyroid gland and treatment with radioactive iodine. Patients with insufficient thyroid function should receive substitution therapy.
The reverse process is also possible – hyperthyroidism – excessive activity of the thyroid gland for the production of hormones.It can be a short reaction to physical overstrain or mental overload, or the process can be stable, in this case we are talking about thyrotoxicosis.
literally “thyroid hormone poisoning” is a condition caused by persistent increases in thyroid hormone levels due to an overactive thyroid gland.
A person becomes irritable, whiny, restless, gets tired quickly, loses weight, despite a good appetite, he is disturbed by palpitations, interruptions in the work of the heart, excessive sweating, trembling in the hands or the whole body, the skin becomes moist and hot.Often there is a protrusion of the eyeballs, lacrimation begins, pain in the eyes.
The most common cause of thyrotoxicosis is diffuse toxic goiter (Graves’ disease), an autoimmune disease that causes the thyroid gland to enlarge. Less commonly, the causes are thyroid nodules (toxic adenoma, Plummer’s disease) or inflammation.
Diagnosis of thyroid diseases
Diagnosis of thyroid diseases is carried out by a doctor on the basis of examination and collection of anamnesis, laboratory tests are prescribed to confirm and clarify the diagnosis (measurement of thyroid-stimulating hormone, assessment of the concentration of triiodothyronine, thyroxine, thyroglobulin content, absorption of radioactive iodine by the thyroid gland, various samples and analysis for antibodies) and ultrasound (ultrasound) of the thyroid gland, x-rays or computed tomography.If a tumor is suspected, a biopsy is performed.
If after reading this information you still have any questions, be sure to contact a specialist.
Remember that only a qualified endocrinologist can prescribe the correct treatment for you, select the necessary medications and monitor their effectiveness.