Endocrine System and Hormones

By Jenny H. | Updated: Jun 18, 2020

Endocrine system

The endocrine system, like the nervous system, is a structure of glands that are crucial for certain functions in the body. It works as an information signal system by releasing hormones from the tissue into the bloodstream to communicate with the necessary cells. The endocrine system is an umbrella term for many glands in the body including: thyroid gland, pancreas, testes, ovaries, adrenal glands, parathyroid gland, and pituitary gland.

Many important hormones are created by glands within the endocrine system, which may help or hinder a woman during menopause. Read on to discover more.

About the Endocrine System

Once hormones are released by the glands of the endocrine system, they are passed into the bloodstream, diffusing through the whole body.

These chemical messengers are only able to be picked up by one, specific cell and thus the message can be sent through the whole body. Three of the main hormone-releasing glands are:

  • Pineal gland. Found in the brain, this gland produces melatonin, the sleep hormone, and is responsible for the daily rhythms of the body. Sometimes it is referred to as the body's third eye.
  • Thymus gland. Located just above the heart, this gland is of more importance at a younger age and its main function is to control the immune system of the body.
  • Thyroid gland. Found in the neck, it is controlled by the brain and pituitary gland and is responsible for metabolism.

Functions of the Endocrine System

There are a range of functions that the endocrine system is in charge of and these include:

Digestive system
  • Digestion
  • Repair
  • Sexual reproduction
  • Growth
  • Homeostasis

Endocrine System Problems

There can be numerous complications that affect the endocrine system, due to deficient or excessive hormone production. These include:

  • Menstrual abnormalities. This can refer to irregular menstruation, spotting or missed periods.
  • Parathyroid problems. Blood is more prone to containing high calcium levels when the parathyroid gland is enlarged.
  • Thyroid problems. By comparison with other potential endocrine system problems, overactive or underactive thyroid problems are common.
  • Neuroendocrine tumors. Rare but sometimes found in the endocrine glands (like the pancreas, bowel, and adrenal gland); neuroendocrine tumors often result from an excessive release of adrenaline.
  • Pituitary adenomas. Not enough or too much of one hormone can lead to tumors in the pituitary gland.
  • Diabetes. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are caused by too much sugar consumption. It is the job of the endocrine system to monitor this.

More about the Endocrine System and Menopause

The majority of problems relating to the endocrine system come as a result of a fluctuation in hormones. Menopause is well-known for causing this and, therefore, the chance of problems during this time can be increased. Click on the following link for more information about hormone imbalance.

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