The Endocrine System

The Endocrine System :

Endocrine glands secrete onto adjacent tissue where the hormone is picked up by the blood, lymph system or nerve cells and transported to the target organ. The adrenals, thyroid, parathyroid, pituitary, hypothalamus, pineal and ovary are endocrine glands. The secretions of endocrine glands are called hormones. Mixed exocrine and endocrine glands, which secrete in both ways, include the liver, testes and pancreas. Endocrine glands release extremely small amounts because hormones are powerful substances. The activities of the endocrine glands form one of the most complex systems in the body. Although each gland has its own unique function, the glands are interdependent, and the function of one depends on the activity of another. The hypothalamus produces several hormones, including those that regulate pituitary activity. The pituitary produces its own hormones that regulate growth and stimulate other endocrine glands. The adrenals, thyroid, testes and ovaries are dependent upon pituitary stimulation. The hormones these glands produce govern metabolism, blood pressure, water and mineral balance and reproductive functions and they help defend against injury. The term hormone is derived from a Greek word meaning stir up.

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