The Endocrine System

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The endocrine system is a group of glands distributed throughout the human body. This group of glands secretes substances called hormones. These hormones discharge into the bloodstream (Shier, Butler & Lewis, 2009). The endocrine system does not have a single anatomic location. It is dispersed throughout the human body. The final purpose of this system is to control, regulate, and coördinate the functioning of the human body (p.291). Some body functions can be activated or inhibited by hormones, which are secreted in very small quantities. Hormone related diseases may be due to hyper secretion or hypo secretion. The hormones secreted by the endocrine glands regulate the growth, development and function of many tissues, and coördinate the body's metabolic processes (pp. 294-296). An inadequate secretion of hormones may cause disorders in the body, which on occasion may result in serious health consequences. The major endocrine glands are the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands, pancreas, pineal gland, thymus gland, and reproductive glands (Shier et al., 2009). The pituitary gland is situated at the base of the brain and it secretes hormones that control the operation of the major endocrine glands (pp. 295-299). In reaction to excess or deficiency of pituitary hormones, the glands affected by these hormones can cause an excess or a deficiency of their own hormones. On the other hand the pituitary gland acts on the stimulation of the thyroid gland to secrete hormones that regulate the body's metabolism, energy, and nervous system activity (p. 295).The thyroid is a small gland in the neck, in front of the trachea and below the larynx. Thyroid hormones control metabolism, which is the body's ability to br...

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...docrine system, immune system and nervous system fail to function gradually. This gradual failure might occur at different moments, leading to imbalances between them, and increased risk of disease for the elderly. Thyroid functions decline with aging and thyroid disorders are more common in older adults. For example, hypothyroidism is associated with acceleration of aging (Haywood and Getchell, p.81, 2009).In conclusion, the endocrine system maintains homeostasis of the human body through its contribution to each of the functions involved. There are lifestyles that help ensure a healthy endocrine system and in this way avoid developing diabetes mellitus Type 2, such as engaging in daily physical exercise and maintaining healthy eating habits. A good endocrine health improves performance of activities of daily living, work, leisure and social participation.

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