The Endocrine System

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The Endocrine System

Not all co-ordination and control of the body is carried out by the nervous system. There is a system of control that uses chemicals in its mechanism.

This system is called the endocrine system.

The endocrine system is made up of a series of hormone glands that produce hormones.

Hormones are the chemical messengers of the body.

The hormone glands produce and release their own hormone that affects particular organs of the body.

The bloodstream receives the hormones directly from the glands and carries them to their particular organ.

The Endocrine System

The pituitary gland: lies under the base of the skull.

It secretes eight hormones, some of which are responsible for controlling the other endocrine glands of the body.

The thyroid gland: produces thyroxine that controls the speed at which oxygen and food products are burned up to produce energy.

The pancreas: secretes digestive juices. It also secretes insulin that regulates the amount of sugar in the blood.

The ovaries: in females, secretes oestrogen the hormone that controls the development of secondary sexual characteristics and plays an important part during pregnancy.

The testes: in males secretes testosterone the hormone that controls the development of secondary sexual characteristics.

The adrenal glands: lie just infront of each kidney. They secrete the hormones adrenalin and noradrenalinat times of stress.

As soon as adrenalin is secreted into the bloodstream the body responds by:

  • using up more oxygen
  • releasing more energy
  • increasing the rate of breathing
  • diverting blood away from areas such as the digestive system towards the muscles

The body is then prepared for instant action.