- The body comprises many systems, one of which is the endocrine system. You may be curious to know how does the endocrine system work. This system is as intricate as all the other systems of the body. Although it is quite fascinating, disorders and imbalances usually occur. First, let’s look at a breakdown of the body’s makeup.
Let’s Break It Down
The body is fascinating, complex, and impossible to recreate. Four basic structures are cells, tissues, organs, and systems. Later, we’ll get back to answering the question, “How Does the Endocrine System Work.”
- Cells are made up of smaller units contained within them; however, cells function independently. They regulate all areas of life in the human body.
- Tissues are made up of cells. These cells are usually similar, but other related cells may be part of a tissue. Together they carry out a specific function or functions.
- Organs are a combination of tissue which carry out specific functions as specified by their hormones.
- Systems are a group of organs. Together they meet the needs of different areas of the body.
Of course, the body is made up of so much more such as elements also present in the earth and atmosphere.
What Is The Endocrine System?
The endocrine system is made up of several glands which produce their own unique hormones. These are released into the bloodstream to carry out various functions throughout the body. This system is responsible for growth and development, reproduction, metabolism, and others.
The main glands are pituitary, pineal, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, pancreas, ovaries, and testes.
Well, how does the endocrine system work? Here’s how …
… All the major glands of the endocrine system target different cells and organs. The reproductive organs, for example, are controlled by the estrogen and testosterone hormones regulating male and female reproduction activities.
The pituitary gland produces hormones responsible for growth, production of milk for breastfeeding, estrogen and testosterone. It receives information from the brain and passes it on to other glands. These glands use the information to help the organs they control carry out their functions.
The pineal gland plays a part in helping to prepare the body for sleep. It produces melatonin.
The hormones of the thyroid glands regulate metabolism
Healthy bones are determined by the levels of calcium and phosphorus, which are controlled by the parathyroid glands.
Adrenal glands produce adrenaline, in addition to hormones which regulate metabolism and sexual functions. Adrenaline helps us to take action when we feel threatened … flight or fight.
Insulin and glucagon, produced by the pancreas, regulate sugar in the body.
The endocrine system is responsible for ensuring optimal functioning of the organs systems in the entire body.
Working To Maintain Balance
Amidst the complexities of this unique system, its job is to maintain balance … ensuring hormone production and that communication with other systems and organs is clear. Messages are transmitted from the brain, the central nervous system. This super highway keeps working involuntarily to accomplish its mission. We see this from the different glands and their hormones mentioned above.
The entire endocrine system works in cycles either individually or several together. This is demonstrated as the pituitary glands send messages from the brain, stimulating other glands and organs to get their jobs done.
There is a chain of command which, when broken, leads to irregularities. When everything is going according to plan, combined with wholesome practices, we enjoy the benefits of good health. Some of these practices include proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep.
Nevertheless, There Is A Problem
We would like to see everything functioning in our bodies without disorders and diseases; however, this is not always the case. Sometimes there are miscommunication or non communication caused by different factors. Under or overproduction of hormones results in irregularities.
An example is excessive production of testosterone in women, which may lead to hirsutism, excessive hair growth that is typical in men. Another example is hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism due to irregularities of the thyroid glands. This results in the slowing down or speeding up of body functions, respectively.
There is a vast amount of information about the endocrine system. Taking time out to learn more will give you a better understanding of your body and the many changes you go through. When we see symptoms in one area, they are usually stemmed from something going on in other areas.
Be mindful that irregularities may be taking place in the endocrine system as well as other systems within the body. It is best to consult your doctor and/or get a referral to an endocrinologist.
Is This The End?
Here’s the thing: There is a chain of command in the universe, man-made organizations, and our bodies. It is fascinating to learn about its complexities … cells making up tissues, which make up organs, which make up systems. The endocrine system plays a key role in producing hormones through its glands. As these travel through the bloodstream, they get to their target location throughout the body.
The endocrine system strives to maintain balance in every area, It is a superhighway having a chain of command that governs it. We enjoy the privilege of optimal health when everything is functioning properly … when the cycle isn’t broken.
We looked at the main glands in the endocrine system: pituitary, pineal, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, pancreas, ovaries, and testes. Each of their hormones enables functioning of the organs they target. Functions include growth and development, reproduction, metabolism, and others.
Life isn’t perfect. We must face the reality that there will be issues arising caused by hormonal and other imbalances. A better understanding of our bodies and how it works will, hopefully, help us to take the necessary actions to eliminate some of the problems.
An endocrinologist specializes in matters pertaining to the endocrine system,
I hope this short article, “How Does the Endocrine System Work,” has helped you in some way. Feel free to leave your questions and comments below. I will do my best to address them.