Endocrine System and Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases

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Balancing the Endocrine System Naturally
Sometimes called the master gland because of its role in controlling the functions of other endocrine glands, the hypophysis is composed of anterior and posterior lobes, each with their own function. It produces sympathomimetic hormones that stimulate the fight-or-flight response to stress, similar to the action of the sympathetic nervous system. Your endocrine system is linked to all kinds of functions in your body. Soy products, broccoli, beans and legumes all contain phytoestrogens. Prolactin PRL also called lactogenic hormone Stimulates milk production in the breast. The pancreas, located inferior and posterior to the stomach, is a gland with both exocrine and endocrine functions Fig.

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Foods to Keep Your Endocrine System Happy and Healthy

Vitamins also help maintain your internal clock, the biological process that helps you wake up in the morning and get to sleep at night. The primary hormone that maintains this clock is melatonin, a chemical produced in your brain. In the dark, your melatonin levels rise and you begin to feel sleepy, and these melatonin levels decrease in response to light so that you feel more alert during the day.

Vitamins B-5 and B-6 both help your brain produce melatonin to support your internal clock. Eat meats, dairy products and lentils as sources of both nutrients. Even though key nutrients play specific roles in maintaining your endocrine system, the best way to keep your endocrine system healthy is to eat a balanced diet customized for your specific needs.

Eating too much or too little each day disrupts your endocrine system -- excess fatty tissue secretes abnormally high levels of estrogen, and people with very little fat also face a risk of hormone imbalance. Phytoestrogens should also be consumed in moderation. Since the function of phytoestrogens in humans is not completely understood, eating a diet high in these chemicals might have adverse health effects, especially if you have suffer from estrogen-sensitive cancers such as breast cancer.

If you're concerned about how to eat to keep your endocrine system healthy, consult a doctor or other medical professional for help planning a diet to suit your circumstances. Sylvie Tremblay holds a Master of Science in molecular and cellular biology and has years of experience as a cancer researcher and neuroscientist. Based in Ontario, Canada, Tremblay is an experienced journalist and blogger specializing in nutrition, fitness, lifestyle, health and biotechnology, as well as real estate, agriculture and clean tech.

Skip to main content. Phytoestrogens Some foods impact your endocrine system due to their phytoestrogen content. Vitamins, Minerals and Thyroid Hormones Your thyroid is the largest endocrine gland in your body, and secretes the thyroid hormones T3 and T4 into your bloodstream. B Vitamins and Melatonin Vitamins also help maintain your internal clock, the biological process that helps you wake up in the morning and get to sleep at night.

Considerations Even though key nutrients play specific roles in maintaining your endocrine system, the best way to keep your endocrine system healthy is to eat a balanced diet customized for your specific needs. References 7 Tulane University: Phytoestrogens Linus Pauling Institute: Selenium Linus Pauling Institute: Pantothenic Acid Linus Pauling Institute: It is located in the anterior part of the neck and is bounded by the trachea behind it and the thyroid cartilage above it.

It regulates the metabolism of the body and normal growth and development, and controls the amount of calcium Ca deposited into bone. The thyroid gland is composed of small sacs, called follicles, that absorb iodine.

The sacs are surrounded by follicular cells that produce triiodothyronine T 3 and thyroxine T 4. Parafollicular cells in the thyroid produce and secrete calcitonin, which controls the amount of calcium in the blood.

Thyroid-stimulating hormone TSH , released by the anterior pituitary gland, causes the thyroid to release T 3 and T 4. Thyroid Gland Hormones and Their Effects. The parathyroids are four small glands right and left, superior and inferior located on the posterior surface of the thyroid gland in the neck. They secrete parathyroid hormone PTH in response to a low level of calcium in the blood. When low calcium is detected, the PTH increases calcium by causing it to be released from the bone, which results in calcium reabsorption by the kidneys and the digestive system.

PTH is inhibited by high levels of calcium. The adrenal glands, also called the suprarenals, are paired, one on top of each kidney. Different hormones are secreted by the two different parts of these glands: The adrenal medulla is the inner portion of the adrenal gland. It produces sympathomimetic hormones that stimulate the fight-or-flight response to stress, similar to the action of the sympathetic nervous system.

Adrenal Cortex Hormones and Their Effects. The pancreas, located inferior and posterior to the stomach, is a gland with both exocrine and endocrine functions Fig. The exocrine function is to release digestive enzymes through a duct into the small intestines. The endocrine function, accomplished through a variety of types of cells called islets of Langerhans, is to regulate the level of glucose in the blood by stimulating the liver. The two main types of islets of Langerhans are alpha and beta cells.

Alpha cells produce the hormone glucagon, which increases the level of glucose in the blood when levels are low. Beta cells secrete insulin, which decreases the level of glucose in the blood when levels are high. Insulin is needed to transport glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells. In the absence of glucose in the cells, proteins and fats are broken down, causing excessive fatty acids and ketones in the blood. Normally, these hormones regulate glucose levels through the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.

See Figure for a diagram explaining the effects of insulin and glucagon. The thymus gland is located in the mediastinum above the heart. It releases a hormone called thymosin, which is responsible for stimulating key cells in the immune response.

For more details, see Chapter 9 on the circulatory and lymphatic systems. The ovaries and testes, the female and male gonads, also act as endocrine glands, which influence reproductive functions.

The pineal body gland is located in the center of the brain, functioning to secrete the hormone melatonin, thought to be responsible for inducing sleep. Aside from the endocrine organs that have been discussed, there are a number of tiny arteriovenous structures that act as chemoreceptors throughout the body. These structures, called glomera sing. The glomera named are the aortic, carotid, coccygeal, and jugular bodies.

To practice labeling the endocrine system, click on Label It. Most of the pathology of the endocrine system is the result of either hyper — too much or hypo — too little hormonal secretion. Developmental issues also play a role in determining when the malfunction occurs and what the results will be. Boop, and James W. Mathew and Lawrence D. Kadam and Michael V. Ferrie, and Chrysostomos P. Functions of the Endocrine System The endocrine and nervous systems work together and separately to achieve the delicate physiological balance necessary for survival, termed homeostasis.

Anatomy and Physiology The endocrine system is composed of several single and paired ductless glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream. Note This chapter includes all the anatomy necessary to assign ICD endocrine system codes, including detail on the mammillary body, the adenohypophysis, and the parafollicular cells of the thyroid. Note Pay attention to the General Guidelines for laterality for the endocrine system.

Pituitary Gland The pituitary gland, also known as the hypophysis, is a tiny gland located behind the optic nerve in the cranial cavity in a depression in the sphenoid bone called the sella turcica. Principal anterior and posterior pituitary hormones and their target organs.

LH stimulates ovulation in the female and the secretion of sex hormones in both the male and the female. ICSH stimulates production of reproductive cells in the male. Growth hormone GH also called human growth hormone [hGH] or somatotropin hormone [STH] Stimulates growth of long bones and skeletal muscle; converts proteins to glucose.

Prolactin PRL also called lactogenic hormone Stimulates milk production in the breast. Thyrotropin also called thyroid-stimulating hormone [TSH] Stimulates thyroid to release two other thyroid hormones. Neurohypophysis Hormones and Their Effects Neurohypophysis Hormones Effect Antidiuretic hormone ADH also called vasopressin Stimulates the kidneys to reabsorb water and return it to circulation; is also a vasoconstrictor, resulting in higher blood pressure.

Oxytocin OT Stimulates the muscles of the uterus during the delivery of an infant and the muscles surrounding the mammary ducts to contract, releasing milk. Thyroid Gland The thyroid gland is a single organ, but is divided into right and left lobes that are joined by a thin structure termed the isthmus Fig. Tetraiodothyronine also called thyroxine [T 4 ] Increases cell metabolism. Triiodothyronine T 3 Increases cell metabolism.

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