The Endocrine System

Topics: Testosterone, Androgen, Endocrine system Pages: 4 (1207 words) Published: August 23, 2013
The endocrine system is the system of glands, each of which secretes different types of hormones directly into the bloodstream (some of which are transported along nerve tracts to maintain homeostasis. The endocrine system is an information signal system like the nervous system, yet its effects and mechanism are classifiably different. The endocrine system's effects are slow to initiate, and prolonged in their response, lasting from a few hours up to weeks. Hormones are substances (chemical mediators) released from endocrine tissue into the bloodstream where they travel to target tissue and generate a response. For instance, the pancreas secretes insulin, which allows the body to regulate levels of sugar in the blood. Hormones regulate various human functions, including metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sleep, and mood. Features of endocrine glands are, in general, their ductless nature, their vascularity, and usually the presence of intracellular vacuoles or granules storing their hormones. The thyroid gets instructions from the pituitary to secrete hormones which determine the pace of chemical activity in the body (the more hormone in the bloodstream, the faster the chemical activity; the less hormone, the slower the activity). HCG is a gonadotropin (glycoprotein hormone) secreted by the pituitary gland. HCG is among the family of endocrine system hormones that regulate growth, reproductive and sexual functions in the body. Cushing's disease is caused by a tumor or excess growth (hyperplasia) of the pituitary gland. This gland is located at the base of the brain. People with Cushing's disease have too much ACTH. ACTH stimulates the production and release of cortisol, a stress hormone. Too much ACTH means too much cortisol. Cortisol is normally released during stressful situations. It controls the body's use of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and also helps reduce the immune system's response to swelling (inflammation). Treatment involves...
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