According to Merriam-Webster’s medical dictionary the endocrine system is a group of body organs or structures that together perform one or more vital functions. The endocrine system releases secretions from glands into the bloodstream so they can act on specific organs to support the vital functions of the body. The secretions that are released from the glands are called hormones. Hormones are chemical substances produced in the body that regulate or modulate activity of the target cell or organ.
I find the endocrine system to be fascinating because hormones, which are the messengers for the endocrine system, help regulate every other system of the body. Here are examples of how hormones affect all of our systems. In our female reproductive system we need hormones to begin her period, our menstrual cycle, ovulations, to get pregnant, during childbirth, and menopause. Our digestive system uses hormones to regulate our blood sugar levels from our meals, the amount of fat storage levels, rate of digestion for meals, the amount of acid produced in our stomach, and the release of bile to digest fats. Our thyroid gland is responsible for our metabolism and cell growth and development. In our skeletal system uses hormones regulate our calcium and bone matrix. We use hormones to help produce our white and red blood cells. In our urinary system hormones help us with our water balance and blood pressures. Our nervous system use hormones to regulate our stress hormones and our fight or flight response. They also regulate our sleeping and waking cycles along with many other nervous system responses. This list is just the tip of the iceberg hormones are everywhere in our bodies. One of the complexities of the endocrine system is that our hormones interact with one another as well. So as one group of hormones gets far out of balance it can throw off other hormones creating a domino affect in the body. It is important to recognize any symptoms and treat them promptly to keep our hormones balanced.
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