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The Body > The Endocrine System

The Endocrine System

A piano The endocrine system carries out a wide variety of physiological processes through chemical messengers called "hormones." This system is a collection of glands that produces these hormones, which are necessary for normal bodily functions.

When functioning properly, the endocrine system, is like a fine-tuned orchestra. Because the endocrine system is comprised of several organs, many functions can go awry. In this section we'll explain the intricacies of the endocrine system and just how you can "make it play" the music you want it to.


What is the Endocrine System?

submitted by Dr. Gary Farr 12/6/2011
The endocrine system is a rather complex system that performs a wide variety of physiological processes through chemical messengers called "hormones". The various endocrine organs are in a constant state of attempting to balance their hormone secretions so that normal body functions can be carried out.

Hormones of the Endocrine System

submitted by Dr. Gary Farr 12/20/2011
This article decribes all of the known hormones and the respective gland that produces the hormone.

The Adrenal Glands

submitted by Dr. Gary Farr 12/7/2011
The adrenal glands lie on the upper inner surface of each kidney. Each gland consists of two parts that are quite distinct both in their structure and function. This is the adrenal medulla and the adrenal cortex. We'll describe each part individually.

The Adrenal Stress Index Test

submitted by Dr. Gary Farr 12/31/2009
The Adrenocortex Stress Profile is a powerful and precise non-invasive test that evaluates levels of the body's important stress hormones, cortisol and DHEA. This profile serves as a critical tool for uncovering biochemical imbalances that can underlie anxiety, chronic fatigue, obesity, diabetes and a host of other clinical conditions. It's also a crucial tool for monitoring DHEA and/or cortisone therapy.

The Comprehensive Thyroid Assessment

submitted by Dr. Gary Farr 6/24/2004
The Comprehensive Thyroid Assessment is a thorough analysis of thyroid hormone metabolism, including central thyroid gland regulation and activity, thyroid production and secretion, peripheral thyroid conversion, and thyroid autoimmunity. This test allows the practitioner to pinpoint common imbalances that underlie a broad spectrum of chronic illness.

The Ovaries

submitted by Dr. Gary Farr 12/8/2011
The ovaries are multipurpose organs. They harbor, nurture, and guide the development of the egg so that when it is extruded from the ovary (ovulation) it has been prepared for its migration down the fallopian tube, its penetration by sperm, and its eventual implantation in the wall of the uterus. Additionally, the ovary is a sophisticated endocrine structure.

The Pancreas

submitted by Dr. Gary Farr 12/8/2011
In humans the pancreas weighs approximately 80 grams, has roughly the configuration of an inverted smoker's pipe, and is situated in the upper abdomen. The head of the pancreas (equivalent to the bowl of the pipe) is immediately adjacent to the duodenum, while its body and tail extend across the midline nearly to the spleen. The bulk of pancreatic tissue is devoted to its exocrine function, the elaboration of digestive enzymes that are secreted via the pancreatic ducts into the duodenum.

The Parathyroid Gland

submitted by Dr. Gary Farr 12/11/2011
The parathyroid gland is the sole organ in the human body responsible for directly regulating calcium levels. The level of calcium in the blood is closely regulated, and wide fluctuations in either direction can be life-threatening. Calcium is a key element in the human body. Not only does it serve as the major constituent for bone, but it is also essential for the normal functioning of all body cells, as it is a mediator for many cell functions. For example, without calcium, blood will not clot.

The Pineal Gland

submitted by Dr. Gary Farr 12/12/2011
Melotonin is the only hormone secreted by the pineal gland. (The pineal gland is a tiny endocrine gland situated at the centre of the brain.) Melatonin was discovered in 1958 by Aaron B. Lerner and other researchers working at Yale University. Melatonin is produced in humans, other mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. It is present in very small amounts in the human body.

The Pituitary Gland - Advanced Version

submitted by Dr. Gary Farr 12/19/2011
The pituitary gland lies at the base of the skull, nestled in a bony structure called the sella turcica. This article is lengthy but I've tried to break it up into readable parts. This is a complicated gland.

The Pituitary Gland - Basic Verion

submitted by Dr. Gary Farr 12/19/2011
The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain in a pocket inside the sphenoid bone known as the sella tursica. It weighs only 1/2 gram (.018 ounces) of which 85% is water and it produces 1/100,000th of a gram of hormones daily. The pituitary gland via hormone secretion directly affects the thyroid, adrenals, ovaries, testes, kidneys, breasts. According to An Endocrine Interpretation of Chapman’s Reflexes: the pituitary "also exerts a definite influence on the intestines, bladder, uterus, stomach, and spleen, its actions causing contraction of the plain, unstriped muscles of the entire body".

The Testes

submitted by Dr. Gary Farr 12/20/2011
The testes, or testicles, are the male gonads. They contain germ cells that differentiate into mature spermatozoa, supporting cells called Sertoli cells, and testosterone-producing cells called the Leydig cells. The germ cells migrate to the fetal testes from the embryonic yolk sac. The Sertoli cells are analogous to the granulosa cells in the ovary, and the Leydig (interstitial) cells are analogous to the stromal cells of the ovary.

The Thyroid Gland

submitted by Dr. Gary Farr 12/20/2011
All animal life requires oxygen for sustenance, and the human species is no exception. Oxygen drives the basic metabolic processes that permit growth, development, reproduction, physical movement, and constant body temperature. The complex of chemical interactions necessary to sustain these processes is called metabolism, and the prime, overall regulators of metabolism are the thyroid hormones.

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