Endocrine System and Specific Target Cells

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The foundations of the Endocrine System consist of hormones and glands. These glands are ductless and their secretions are sent through the bloodstream. Endocrine glands also control bodily metabolic activity. The major glands that make up the human endocrine system are the hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroids, adrenals, pineal body, the pancreas, and the reproductive glands, which include the ovaries and testes. The endocrine system has three basic functions, regulate metabolic functions of the body, regulate rate of chemical reactions in various cells, and to influence the ability of substances to transport themselves through cell membranes. The endocrine system works in the following way, a hormone is secreted, it travels from the endocrine gland through the bloodstream to the target cells. Along the way to the target cells, special proteins bind to some of the hormones. The special proteins act as carriers that control the amount of hormone that is available to interact with and affect the target cells. Also, the target cells have receptors that latch onto only specific hormones, and each hormone has its own receptor, so that each hormone will communicate only with specific target cells that possess receptors for that hormone. When the hormone reaches its target cell, it locks onto the cell's specific receptors and these hormone-receptor combinations transmit chemical instructions to the inner workings of the cell. There are many things that can go wrong with the endocrine system. For example, Adrenal insufficiency, which causes weakness, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, dehydration, and skin changes. Malfunctions in the endocrine system also result in diabetes type 1 and 2. Diabetes is when the pancreas, an endocrine gland, fails to produce enough insulin. Some symptoms include excessive thirst, hunger, urination, and weight loss. Another malfunction of the endocrine system can be growth hormone problems. Growth hormone in children who are still...
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