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Endocrine system

  • The endocrine system is the collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things.
  • Your endocrine system is made of many glands and organs. They have different functions, and work together to keep you healthy. These are the glands of your endocrine system:
  • Adrenal glands - influence the way your body uses energy, they also release a hormone called adrenaline when you are under stress
  • Hypothalamus - part of your brain that controls hormone production by releasing different chemicals to the pituitary gland
  • Ovaries - produce estrogen and progesterone in women, and also release egg cells
  • Pancreas - releases the insulin your body needs to metabolize sugar; problems with the pancreas can lead to diabetes
  • Parathyroid - located behind the thyroid gland, they are essential for proper bone development
  • Pineal gland - connects the endocrine system with the nervous system; produces several important hormones, including melatonin, important to sleep/wake cycles and sexual development
  • Pituitary gland – likely the most important gland in your body, it is crucial to growth, mental development and reproduction; influences or controls the rest of your endocrine system
  • Testes - produce the hormone testosterone; in men, testosterone maintains sperm production and bone mass
  • Thymus - crucial to normal immune function in childhood; once a child reaches puberty, its tissue is replaced by fat
  • Thyroid gland – located in the front of your neck, it releases hormones that control your metabolism and govern the way your body uses energy

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