8.6: Endocrine glands (2023)

Skills for Development

  • Describe the role of different glands in the endocrine system
  • Explain how different glands work together to maintain homeostasis

Both the endocrine and nervous systems use chemical signals to communicate and regulate the body's physiology. The endocrine system releases hormones that act on target cells to regulate growth, development, energy metabolism, reproduction, and many behaviors. The nervous system releases neurotransmitters or neurohormones that regulate neurons, muscle cells, and endocrine cells. Because neurons can regulate the release of hormones, the nervous and endocrine systems work in a coordinated manner to regulate the body's physiology.

Hypothalamic-Pituitary Axis

Thehypothalamusin vertebrates it integrates the endocrine and nervous systems. The hypothalamus is an endocrine organ located in the diencephalon of the brain. It receives information from the body and other areas of the brain and activates endocrine responses to environmental changes. The hypothalamus acts as an endocrine organ, synthesizing hormones and transporting them along axons to the posterior pituitary. It synthesizes and secretes regulatory hormones that control endocrine cells in the anterior pituitary gland. The hypothalamus contains autonomous centers that control the endocrine cells in the adrenal medulla through neuronal control.

Themucosa, sometimes called the pituitary gland or "master gland" is located at the base of the brain in the sella turcica, a groove of the sphenoid bone of the skull, shown in Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\). It is connected to the hypothalamus through a stalk calledpituitary stalk(or background). The anterior pituitary is regulated by releasing or inhibiting the release of hormones produced by the hypothalamus, and the posterior pituitary receives signals through neurosecretory cells to release hormones produced by the hypothalamus. The pituitary gland has two distinct regions—the anterior pituitary and the posterior pituitary—which between them secrete nine different peptide or protein hormones. The posterior lobe of the pituitary gland contains axons of the neurons of the hypothalamus.

8.6: Endocrine glands (1)

Anterior pituitary gland

Theanterior pituitary glandgland, or adenohypophysis, is surrounded by a capillary network that extends from the hypothalamus, down along the inferior fundus and toward the anterior pituitary gland. This capillary network is part of itpituitary portal systemwhich transports substances from the hypothalamus to the anterior pituitary and hormones from the anterior pituitary to the circulatory system. A portal system transports blood from one capillary network to another. Therefore, the pituitary portal system allows hormones produced by the hypothalamus to be transported directly to the anterior pituitary without first entering the circulatory system.

The anterior pituitary gland produces seven hormones: growth hormone (GH), prolactin (PRL), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), melanin-stimulating hormone (MSH), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone. hormone (LH). Anterior pituitary hormones are sometimes referred to as tropic hormones because they control the function of other organs. While these hormones are produced by the anterior pituitary gland, their production is controlled by regulatory hormones produced by the hypothalamus. These regulatory hormones can be releasing hormones or inhibitory hormones, causing the anterior pituitary to secrete more or less hormones. These travel from the hypothalamus through the pituitary portal system to the anterior pituitary where they exert their effect. Negative feedback then regulates how many of these regulatory hormones are released and how much anterior pituitary hormone is secreted.

(Video) Endocrine System: What Is It, Functions & Organs | Video for Kids

Posterior pituitary

Theposterior pituitary glanddiffers significantly in structure from the anterior pituitary. It is a part of the brain that extends down from the hypothalamus and contains mainly nerve fibers and glial cells, which support axons that extend from the hypothalamus to the posterior pituitary gland. The posterior pituitary and the threshold together are referred to as the neurohypophysis.

The hormones antidiuretic hormone (ADH), also known as vasopressin, and oxytocin are produced by neurons in the hypothalamus and transported within these axons along the background to the posterior pituitary. They are released into the circulatory system via nerve signaling from the hypothalamus. These hormones are considered posterior pituitary hormones, even though they are produced by the hypothalamus, because that is where they are released into the circulatory system. The posterior pituitary itself does not produce hormones, but stores hormones produced by the hypothalamus and releases them into the bloodstream.

Thyroid gland

Thethyroid glandit is located in the throat, just below the larynx and in front of the trachea, as shown in figure \(\PageIndex{2}\). It is a butterfly-shaped gland with two lobes connected to itisthmus. It has a dark red color due to its extensive vascular system. When the thyroid becomes enlarged due to dysfunction, it can be felt under the skin of the neck.

8.6: Endocrine glands (2)

The thyroid gland consists of several spherical thyroid follicles, which are lined with a simple cuboidal epithelium. These follicles contain a thick fluid, calledcolloid, which stores the glycoprotein thyroglobulin, the precursor of thyroid hormones. The follicles produce hormones that can be stored in the colloid or released into the surrounding capillary network for transport to the rest of the body via the circulatory system.

Thyroid follicle cells synthesize the hormone thyroxine, also known as T4because it contains four iodine atoms and triiodothyronine, also known as T3because it contains three iodine atoms. Follicular cells are stimulated to release stored T3and T4by thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which is produced by the anterior pituitary gland. These thyroid hormones increase mitochondrial ATP production rates.

A third hormone, calcitonin, is produced byfollicular cellsof the thyroid either releasing hormones or inhibiting hormones. Calcitonin release is not controlled by TSH, but is released when calcium ion concentrations in the blood increase. Calcitonin works to help regulate calcium concentrations in body fluids. It acts on the bones to inhibit osteoclast activity and on the kidneys to stimulate calcium excretion. The combination of these two events lowers calcium levels in body fluid.

Parathyroid glands

Most people have fourparathyroid glands; However, the number can vary from two to six. These glands are located on the posterior surface of the thyroid gland, as shown in Figure \(\PageIndex{3}\). Normally, there is a superior gland and an inferior gland associated with each of the two lobes of the thyroid. Each parathyroid gland is covered by connective tissue and contains many secretory cells connected by a capillary network.


8.6: Endocrine glands (3)

The parathyroid glands produce parathyroid hormone (PTH). PTH increases blood calcium concentrations when calcium ion levels fall below normal. PTH (1) enhances Ca reabsorption2+by the kidney, (2) stimulates osteoclast activity and inhibits osteoblast activity, and (3) stimulates renal calcitriol synthesis and secretion, which enhances Ca2+absorption from the digestive system. PTH is produced by the chief cells of the parathyroid. PTH and calcitonin work in opposition to each other to maintain Ca homeostasis2+levels in body fluids. Another type of cells, oxyphil cells, are present in the parathyroid but their function is not known. These hormones encourage bone growth, muscle mass, and blood cell formation in children and women.

Adrenal glands

Theadrenal glandsrelated to the kidneys. a gland is located on top of each kidney, as shown in Figure \(\PageIndex{4}\). The adrenal glands consist of an outer adrenal cortex and an inner adrenal medulla. These areas secrete different hormones.

8.6: Endocrine glands (4)

Adrenal cortex

Theadrenal cortexconsists of layers of epithelial cells and associated capillary networks. These layers form three distinct regions: an outer glomerular zone that produces mineralocorticoids, a middle zona fasciculata that produces glucocorticoids, and an inner reticular zone that produces androgens.

The main mineralocorticoid is aldosterone, which regulates Na concentration+ions in urine, sweat, pancreas and saliva. The release of aldosterone from the adrenal cortex is stimulated by a decrease in blood sodium ion concentrations, blood volume, or blood pressure, or by an increase in blood potassium levels.

The three main glucocorticoids are cortisol, corticosterone and cortisone. Glucocorticoids stimulate glucose synthesis and gluconeogenesis (conversion of a non-carbohydrate into glucose) by liver cells and promote the release of fatty acids from adipose tissue. These hormones increase blood glucose levels to keep levels in a normal range between meals. These hormones are secreted in response to ACTH and levels are regulated by negative feedback.

Androgens are sex hormones that promote masculinity. They are produced in small amounts by the adrenal cortex in both men and women. They do not affect sexual characteristics and may supplement the sex hormones released by the gonads.

Adrenal medulla

Theadrenal medullacontains large, irregularly shaped cells closely associated with blood vessels. These cells are innervated by preganglionic autonomic nerve fibers from the central nervous system.

(Video) Endocrine System in Hindi | Endocrine Gland | Exocrine Glands | Science GK | GK science mcq | MCQ

The adrenal medulla contains two types of secretory cells: one that produces epinephrine (adrenaline) and another that produces norepinephrine (noradrenaline). Epinephrine is the major hormone of the adrenal medulla accounting for 75 to 80 percent of its secretions. Epinephrine and norepinephrine increase heart rate, breathing rate, heart muscle contractions, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels. They also speed up the breakdown of glucose in skeletal muscle and stored fat in adipose tissue.

The release of epinephrine and norepinephrine is stimulated by nerve impulses from the sympathetic nervous system. The secretion of these hormones is stimulated by the release of acetylcholine from preganglionic sympathetic fibers innervating the adrenal medulla. These nerve impulses come from the hypothalamus in response to stress to prepare the body for the fight or flight response.


Thepancreas, depicted in Figure \(\PageIndex{5}\), is an elongated organ located between the stomach and the proximal part of the small intestine. It contains both exocrine cells that secrete digestive enzymes and endocrine cells that release hormones. It is sometimes referred to as a heterocrine gland because it has both endocrine and exocrine functions.

8.6: Endocrine glands (5)

The endocrine cells of the pancreas form groups called pancreatic islets or theislets of Langerhans, as shown in the thumbnail shown in Figure \(\PageIndex{6}\). Pancreatic islets contain two main types of cells:alpha cells, which produce the hormone glucagon, andbeta cells, which produce the hormone insulin. These hormones regulate blood glucose levels. As blood glucose levels fall, alpha cells release glucagon to raise blood glucose levels by increasing the rates of glycogen breakdown and glucose release from the liver. When blood glucose levels rise, such as after a meal, beta cells release insulin to lower blood glucose levels by increasing the rate of glucose uptake in most cells of the body and increasing glycogen synthesis in skeletal muscle and the liver. Together, glucagon and insulin regulate blood glucose levels.

8.6: Endocrine glands (6)


The pineal gland produces melatonin. The rate of melatonin production is affected by photoperiod. In addition to the visual pathways, they innervate the pineal gland. During the photoperiod of the day, some melatonin is produced. However, melatonin production increases during the dark photoperiod (night). In some mammals, melatonin has an inhibitory effect on reproductive functions by reducing the production and maturation of sperm, eggs and reproductive organs. Melatonin is an effective antioxidant, protecting the CNS from free radicals such as nitric oxide and hydrogen peroxide. Finally, melatonin is involved in biological rhythms, particularly circadian rhythms such as the sleep-wake cycle and eating habits.


The gonads—male testicles and female ovaries—produce steroid hormones. The testes produce androgens, with testosterone being the most important, which allow the development of secondary sex characteristics and the production of sperm. The ovaries produce estradiol and progesterone, which cause secondary sex characteristics and prepare the body for childbirth.

Table \(\PageIndex{1}\):Endocrine glands and their related hormones
Endocrine Gland Related Hormones Result
Hypothalamus release and inhibition of hormones regulates the release of hormones from the pituitary gland. produce oxytocin. cause uterine contractions and secretion of milk in women
antidiuretic hormone (ADH) reabsorption of water by the kidneys. vasoconstriction to increase blood pressure
Pituitary (Anterior) growth hormone (GH) promotes the growth of body tissues, protein synthesis. metabolic functions
prolactin (PRL) promotes milk production
thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) stimulates the release of thyroid hormones
adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulates the release of hormones from the adrenal cortex, glucocorticoids
follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) stimulates the production of gametes (both eggs and sperm). estradiol secretion
luteinizing hormone (LH) stimulates the production of androgens by the gonads. ovulation, progesterone secretion
melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) stimulates the melanocytes of the skin by increasing the production of melanin pigment.
Pituitary gland (posterior) antidiuretic hormone (ADH) stimulates water reabsorption by the kidneys
oxytocin stimulates uterine contractions during childbirth. milk extrusion; stimulates the prostate gland and contraction during emission
Thyroid thyroxine, triiodothyronine stimulation and maintenance of metabolism. growth and development
calcitonin lowers blood Ca2+flat
Parathyroid parathyroid hormone (PTH) increases blood Ca2+flat
Adrenal glands (Cortex) aldosterone increases blood Na+flat? increase K+secretion
cortisol, corticosterone, cortisone increase in blood glucose levels. anti-inflammatory effects
Adrenal glands (Medulla) epinephrine, norepinephrine stimulation of the fight or flight response. increase in blood glucose levels. increase metabolic activities
Pancreas insulin lowers blood glucose levels
glucagon increases blood glucose levels
Epiphysis melatonin regulates certain biological rhythms and protects the CNS from free radicals
Bullocks androgens regulating, promoting, increasing or maintaining sperm production; male secondary sexual characteristics
Ovaries estrogen promotes the growth of the lining of the uterus. female secondary sexual characteristics
progestins promotes and maintains the growth of the uterine lining

Organs with Secondary Endocrine Functions

There are many organs whose primary functions are non-endocrine but also possess endocrine functions. These include the heart, kidneys, intestines, thymus, gonads and adipose tissue.

The heart has endocrine cells in the walls of the atria that are specialized cardiac muscle cells. These cells release the hormoneatrial natriuretic peptide (ANP)in response to increased blood volume. The high blood volume causes the cells to stretch, resulting in the release of hormones. ANP acts on the kidneys to decrease Na reabsorption+, causing Na+and water that must be excreted in the urine. ANP also reduces the amounts of renin released by the kidneys and aldosterone released by the adrenal cortex, further preventing water retention. In this way ANP causes a decrease in blood volume and blood pressure and decreases Na concentration+in the blood.

The gastrointestinal tract produces several hormones that aid in digestion. Endocrine cells are found in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract throughout the stomach and small intestine. Some of the hormones produced include gastrin, secretin and cholecystokinin, which are secreted in the presence of food and some of which act on other organs such as the pancreas, gall bladder and liver. They trigger the release of gastric juices, which help break down and digest food in the gastrointestinal tract.

While the adrenal glands associated with the kidneys are largeendocrine glands, the kidneys themselves also have an endocrine function. Renin is released in response to reduced blood volume or pressure and is part of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system that leads to the release of aldosterone. Aldosterone then causes Na retention+and water, increasing blood volume. The kidneys also release calcitriol, which helps absorb Ca2+and phosphate ions.Erythropoietin (EPO)is a protein hormone that triggers the formation of red blood cells in the bone marrow. EPO is released in response to low oxygen levels. Because red blood cells are oxygen carriers, increased production results in a greater supply of oxygen throughout the body. EPO has been used by athletes to improve performance, as greater oxygen delivery to muscle cells allows for greater endurance. Because red blood cells increase blood viscosity, artificially high levels of EPO can cause serious health risks.

Theangerlocated behind the sternum. it is more prominent in infants, and becomes smaller in size during adulthood. The thymus produces hormones called thymosins, which help develop the immune response.

Adipose tissue is a connective tissue found throughout the body. It produces the hormoneleptinin response to food intake. Leptin increases the activity of anorexigenic neurons and decreases the activity of orexigenic neurons, creating a feeling of satiety after eating, thereby affecting appetite and reducing the desire for further food. Leptin is also related to reproduction. It must be present for GnRH and gonadotropin synthesis to occur. Extremely thin females may enter puberty late. However, if adipose tissue levels increase, more leptin will be produced, improving fertility.

(Video) endocrine system in arthropods/zoology / miller harley/ADS/BSc


The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain and is connected to the hypothalamus via the fundus. The anterior pituitary receives products from the hypothalamus from the pituitary portal system and produces six hormones. The posterior pituitary gland is an extension of the brain and releases hormones (antidiuretic hormone and oxytocin) produced by the hypothalamus.

The thyroid gland is located in the neck and consists of two lobes connected by the isthmus. The thyroid consists of follicular cells that produce the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine. Parafollicular cells of the thyroid produce calcitonin. The parathyroid glands are located on the back surface of the thyroid gland and produce parathyroid hormone.

The adrenal glands are located on top of the kidneys and consist of the renal cortex and the renal medulla. The adrenal cortex is the outer part of the adrenal glands and produces corticosteroids, glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids. The adrenal medulla is the inner part of the adrenal gland and produces the catecholamines epinephrine and norepinephrine.

(Video) Write the names of all the major endocrine glands present in the human body. Which of these gland

The pancreas is located in the abdomen between the stomach and the small intestine. Clusters of endocrine cells in the pancreas form the islets of Langerhans, which consist of alpha cells that release glucagon and beta cells that release insulin.

Some organs have endocrine activity as a secondary function but have another primary function. The heart produces the hormone atrial natriuretic peptide, which works to reduce blood volume, pressure, and Na+concentration. The gastrointestinal tract produces various hormones that aid in digestion. The kidneys produce renin, calcitriol and erythropoietin. Adipose tissue produces leptin, which promotes satiety signals to the brain.


adrenal cortex
outer part of the adrenal gland that produces corticosteroids
adrenal glands
endocrine glands associated with the kidneys
adrenal medulla
inner part of the adrenal glands that produces epinephrine and norepinephrine
alpha cell
endocrine cell of the pancreatic islets that produces the hormone glucagon
anterior pituitary gland
part of the pituitary gland that produces six hormones. also called adenohypophysis
atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP)
hormone produced by the heart to reduce blood volume, pressure, and Na+concentration
beta cell
endocrine cell of the pancreatic islets that produces the hormone insulin
fluid within the thyroid gland that contains the glycoprotein thyroglobulin
endocrine gland
gland that secretes hormones into the surrounding interstitial fluid, which then diffuses into the blood and is carried to various organs and tissues of the body
erythropoietin (EPO)
hormone produced by the kidneys to stimulate the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow
pituitary portal system
system of blood vessels that carries hormones from the hypothalamus to the anterior pituitary gland
islets of Langerhans (pancreatic islets)
endocrine cells of the pancreas
tissue mass connecting the two lobes of the thyroid gland
hormone produced by adipose tissue that promotes feelings of satiety and reduces hunger
organ located between the stomach and small intestine that contains exocrine and endocrine cells
parafollicular cell
thyroid cell that produces the hormone calcitonin
parathyroid gland
gland located on the surface of the thyroid gland that produces parathyroid hormone
endocrine gland located at the base of the brain consisting of an anterior and posterior region. also called the pituitary gland
pituitary stalk
(also, infundibulum) stalk connecting the pituitary gland to the hypothalamus
posterior pituitary gland
brain expansion that releases hormones produced by the hypothalamus. Along with the fundus, it is also referred to as the neurohypophysis
gland located behind the sternum that produces thymosin hormones that help develop the immune system
thyroid gland
endocrine gland located in the neck that produces the thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine


8.6: Endocrine glands? ›

Endocrinology. Hypertension - or high blood pressure - affects millions of Americans. Endocrine hypertension is a subset of hypertension caused by hormone imbalance, most frequently involving the pituitary or adrenal gland.

What does endocrine high mean? ›

Endocrinology. Hypertension - or high blood pressure - affects millions of Americans. Endocrine hypertension is a subset of hypertension caused by hormone imbalance, most frequently involving the pituitary or adrenal gland.

What is endocrine gland? ›

An organ that makes hormones that are released directly into the blood and travel to tissues and organs all over the body. Endocrine glands help control many body functions, including growth and development, metabolism, and fertility. Some examples of endocrine glands are the pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands.

What are the 9 endocrine glands in the human body? ›

While many parts of the body make hormones, the major glands that make up the endocrine system are the:
  • hypothalamus.
  • pituitary.
  • thyroid.
  • parathyroids.
  • adrenals.
  • pineal body.
  • the ovaries.
  • the testes.

What is the most common endocrine gland disorder? ›

In the United States, the most common endocrine disease is diabetes. There are many others. They are usually treated by controlling how much hormone your body makes. Hormone supplements can help if the problem is too little of a hormone.

What causes high endocrine levels? ›

A hormone imbalance may occur if this feedback system has trouble keeping the right level of hormones in the bloodstream, or if your body doesn't clear them out of the bloodstream properly. Increased or decreased levels of endocrine hormone may be caused by: A problem with the endocrine feedback system. Disease.

What are signs of endocrine problems? ›

What Are the Symptoms of an Endocrine Disorder?
  • Mood swings.
  • Fatigue.
  • Weakness.
  • Unintended weight fluctuations.
  • Changes in blood glucose levels or cholesterol levels.

What are the endocrine diseases? ›

Endocrine Disease Topics
  • Acromegaly.
  • Adrenal Insufficiency & Addison's Disease.
  • Cushing's Syndrome.
  • Cystic Fibrosis link.
  • Graves' Disease.
  • Hashimoto's Disease.

What causes endocrine? ›

Endocrine conditions can be due to three main causes: 1) Underproduction of a certain hormone; 2) Overproduction of a certain hormone; 3) A malfunction in the production line of a hormone or in its ability to function correctly.

What is the most common disease treated by an endocrinologist? ›

The most common endocrine disorder diagnosed and treated by endocrinologists in the United States is diabetes. Approximately 30 million Americans have this endocrine disorder. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough of a hormone called insulin.

When should a woman see an endocrinologist? ›

If your primary healthcare provider suspects your body may be having issues with certain hormones, they may have you see an endocrinologist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. An endocrinologist could also be part of a team of healthcare providers to treat certain conditions such as cancers and fertility issues.

What are the common endocrine glands of female? ›

The female ovaries, male testes, and pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands are major constituents of the endocrine system.

What are the 5 major endocrine organs? ›

Important endocrine glands include the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, thymus, and adrenal glands.

What 3 diseases can affect the endocrine system? ›

Diabetes: A chronic condition when the pancreas fails to produce adequate insulin to regulate blood glucose levels. Grave's Disease (Hyperthyroidism): An immune system disorder that affects the production of thyroid hormones. Hashimoto's Disease (Hypothyroidism): A condition that causes an underactive thyroid gland.

What is a rare endocrine disorder? ›

Some of the rare endocrine tumors that affect children, teens, and young adults are: Adrenocortical carcinoma. Anaplastic thyroid cancer. Carcinoid tumor. Medullary thyroid cancer.

What are the two most common endocrine disorders in older adults? ›

Adult hypopituitarism, hypothyroidism, osteoporosis, diabetes mellitus, adrenal insufficiency, various forms of hypogonadism, and endocrine malignancies are all more frequent in old age.

How do you fix endocrine imbalance? ›

Here are some ways to naturally balance your hormones.
  1. Get enough protein. ...
  2. Exercise regularly. ...
  3. Maintain a moderate weight. ...
  4. Watch your gut health. ...
  5. Lower sugar intake. ...
  6. Reduce stress. ...
  7. Get enough sleep. ...
  8. Eat healthy fats.

What are the endocrine causes of fatigue? ›

Various hormone imbalances may also lead to fatigue symptoms including adrenal problems (commonly called Adrenal Fatigue). Thyroid problems (like Hashimoto's Disease), testosterone related issues in men, undiagnosed diabetes, and pituitary problems among several others.

How do you clear your endocrine system? ›

10 Natural Ways to Balance Your Hormones
  1. Eat enough protein at every meal. ...
  2. Engage in regular exercise. ...
  3. Maintain a moderate weight. ...
  4. Take care of your gut health. ...
  5. Lower your sugar intake. ...
  6. Try stress reduction techniques. ...
  7. Consume healthy fats. ...
  8. Get consistent, high quality sleep.
Jan 31, 2022

What are the 2 major types of endocrine disorder? ›

There are two major types of Endocrine disorders. These include: Endocrine disease due to a hormonal imbalance. Endocrine disease due to formation of lesions in the endocrine system.

What blood tests check endocrine system? ›

Types of Endocrine Tests
  • Cortisol Blood Test. The hormone cortisol helps your body handle physical stress from illness, injury or another cause. ...
  • Thyroid Gland Tests. We use thyroid gland tests to check for thyroid disorders such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. ...
  • Prolactin Test.

What does an endocrine test show? ›

An endocrine test can help diagnose a variety of specialities and hormonal diseases, including: pituitary thyroid adrenal bone and parathyroid (gland beside thyroid gland) neuroendocrine tumours (in cells of endocrine and nervous systems) carcinoid tumours (slow-growing neuroendocrine tumours)

What happens if the endocrine system does not function properly? ›

This imbalance can cause health problems, such as weight gain, high blood pressure and changes in sleep, mood and behavior. Many things can affect how your body creates and releases hormones. Illness, stress and certain medications can cause a hormone imbalance.

What are 4 common problems with the endocrine system? ›

Common Endocrine Disorders

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) Hashimoto's thyroiditis (an autoimmune disease resulting in low production of thyroid hormone and hypothyroidism) Graves' disease (a type of hyperthyroidism resulting in excessive production of thyroid hormone)

What medications are used to treat endocrine disorders? ›

  • Basaglar.
  • insulin degludec.
  • insulin detemir.
  • insulin glargine.
  • insulin glargine-aglr.
  • insulin glargine-yfgn.
  • Lantus.
  • Lantus SoloStar.

What will an endocrinologist do on a first visit? ›

At your first appointment, your endocrinologist will ask about your symptoms, medications, health habits, and family history of hormone-related problems. Your medical records will be reviewed, and your referring doctor will be consulted.

Why does an endocrinologist look at your hands? ›

The endocrinologist will then perform a check-up to ensure you have no abnormalities on your body. This includes checking your hands and feet for any skin infections or sores, assessing gum health, and feeling your abdomen for any protrusions.

How do you test for endocrine disorders? ›

These tests and tools are used to diagnose and evaluate endocrine disorders:
  1. CT scan.
  2. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)
  3. Nuclear medicine studies.
  4. Parathyroid ultrasound.
  5. Post-thyroidectomy ultrasound.
  6. Thyroglobulin stimulation studies.
  7. Thyroid ultrasound.
  8. Ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration.

Does an endocrinologist check hormone levels? ›

Endocrinologists can check your hormone levels and are trained to look for common hormonal disorders like infertility, diabetes, stunted growth, thyroid disease, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, and many others.

What are 8 endocrine glands? ›

The endocrine system includes the hypothalamus, pineal gland, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, thymus, adrenal glands, and pancreas. It also includes the testes in males and the ovaries and placenta (during pregnancy) in females.

Which gland is only found in females? ›

Ovaries: They are the ductless reproductive glands found only in females and is found in pair. It is the part of the female reproductive system that generates the reproductive cells, that is, the egg cells or the oocytes.

What is the master gland of the endocrine system? ›

The pituitary gland is sometimes called the master gland of the endocrine system. This is because it controls the functions of many of the other endocrine glands. The pituitary gland is small. It is about the size of a pea.

Which gland in the endocrine is the most important Why? ›

The pituitary gland is sometimes called the "master" gland of the endocrine system because it controls the functions of many of the other endocrine glands.

What is the largest pure endocrine gland in the body? ›

Thyroid gland is the largest endocrine gland of the body. ​ It is present in the neck region and is responsible for the secretion of hormones like thyroxine that control the metabolic rate in the body.

Which gland affects how the kidneys operate? ›

Adrenal glands, also known as suprarenal glands, are small, triangular-shaped glands located on top of both kidneys. Adrenal glands produce hormones that help regulate your metabolism, immune system, blood pressure, response to stress and other essential functions.

Is Lupus an endocrine disorder? ›

In SLE the autoimmune process affects the neuroendocrine axis. Stress modulates disease expression in lupus patients. The disease affects the endocrine system. Hypothyroidism occurs in SLE patients in a higher rate than that of the general population.

What endocrine disorder causes weight loss? ›

Unintentional weight loss can result from hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, which is linked with high thyroid hormone levels. Easily check your thyroid hormones from the comfort of home with the at-home Thyroid Test.

What are autoimmune endocrine issues? ›

Autoimmune endocrine diseases are serious disorders that utilize immense health care resources and cause tremendous disability. They include type 1 diabetes mellitus, thyroiditis, Graves disease, Addison disease, and polyglandular syndromes.

Is endocrine a disability? ›

Even the smallest change in hormone levels can produce complications throughout your body. As a result of the debilitating effects of some endocrine disorders, they may be recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as a disabling disease and be eligible for disability.

Are endocrine system disorders life threatening? ›

Yes, in some cases, endocrine disorders can be life-threatening. Immediate medical attention is required in case the patient shows the below mentioned conditions; Confusion or loss of consciousness. Low blood pressure or heart rate.

What endocrine disorder causes dizziness? ›

Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are two types of thyroid disorders that can cause complications most likely to result in dizziness or balance problems. Both conditions cause irregularities in the amount of thyroid hormone that's produced and delivered into your bloodstream.

Which endocrine abnormality causes dementia? ›

Possible metabolic causes of dementia include: Hormonal disorders, such as Addison disease, Cushing disease. Heavy metal exposure, such as to lead, arsenic, mercury, or manganese. Repeat episodes of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), most often seen in people with diabetes who use insulin.

Which of the following are signs of aging in the endocrine system? ›

Like all other body systems, the endocrine system undergoes age-related changes that negatively affect its functioning. As a result of these changes, older people are more prone to disturbed sleep patterns, have a reduced metabolic rate, lose bone density, accumulate body fat, and show increases in blood glucose.

Does endocrine mean diabetes? ›

Diabetes is the most common endocrine disorder in the United States, with over 10% of Americans struggling with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

What happens if hormone levels are too high? ›

High estrogen levels can cause symptoms such as irregular or heavy periods, weight gain, fatigue, and fibroids in females. In males, they can cause breast tissue growth, erectile dysfunction, and infertility.

What is the endocrine gland blood sugar level? ›

Endocrine glands release hormones (chemical messengers) into the bloodstream to be transported to various organs and tissues throughout the body. For instance, the pancreas secretes insulin, which allows the body to regulate levels of sugar in the blood.

What endocrine gland increases blood sugar level? ›

When blood glucose levels fall too low (low blood glucose), the pancreas pumps out more glucagon. This hormone helps blood glucose rise back up in multiple ways: It causes the liver to convert stored glucose into a usable form and then release it into the bloodstream. (A process called glycogenolysis.)

What are the signs of too much hormones? ›

Hormone imbalance symptoms that affect your metabolism
  • Slow heartbeat or rapid heartbeat (tachycardia).
  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss.
  • Fatigue.
  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhea or more frequent bowel movements.
  • Numbness and tingling in your hands.
  • Higher-than-normal blood cholesterol levels.
  • Depression or anxiety.
Apr 4, 2022

Can high hormone levels cause weight gain? ›

An evaluation with an endocrinologist can help determine if a hormonal condition is the underlying cause of weight gain. Declining estrogen, adrenal disorders, hormonal resistance, thyroid imbalance, and several other hormonal imbalances can lead to weight gain.

What causes high hormone levels in females? ›

Body fat: Fat tissue (adipose tissue) secretes estrogen. Having a high percentage of body fat can lead to high estrogen levels. Stress: Your body produces the hormone cortisol in response to stress. Producing high amounts of cortisol in response to stress can deplete your body's ability to produce progesterone.

What foods disrupt endocrine system? ›

4 Foods That Throw off Your Hormonal Balance
  • Red Meat. Red meat contains high amounts of saturated and hydrogenated fats which are considered unhealthy types of fat. ...
  • Processed Foods. Processed and refined foods have been linked to various health issues. ...
  • Caffeine. ...
  • Soy and Dairy products.

Can a blood test detect endocrine system? ›

Blood tests are used to diagnose various endocrinology disorders by determining hormone levels and glucose levels that may be causing problems with the body's metabolism.


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