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Anatomy and Physiology ~ Understanding the Endocrine System

Endocrine System Structure and Function

Endocrine system

The endocrine system is a controlling and coordinating system in the body which functions by producing chemical messengers known as hormones. There are seven main structures:stangor-fig03_023

  • Hypothalamus
    • Function – controls the functioning of the pituitary gland
  • Pituitary
    • Function – known as the master gland, it releases hormones that affect the working of other glands
  • Thyroid
    • Function – releases hormones to increase the rate of energy and protein metabolism of most body cells
  • Thymus
    • Function – releases hormones important in the development of immunity
  • Adrenals
    • Function – releases hormones during stress, regulates water and electrolyte balance
  • Pancreas
    • Function – releases hormones to regulate the transport of glucose and blood sugar levels
  • Ovaries & Testes
    • Function – releases hormones needed for reproduction and development of secondary sex characteristics
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