The Body Endocrine System
Chemicals are produced throughout your body that are used to control certain functions. The endocrine system is used by your body to coordinate these chemicals and hormones. The endocrine system is used in regulating, tissue function, growth and development, metabolism, mood, sexual function and reproductive processes. The glands of the endocrine system include: pituitary gland, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal gland, pineal gland, ovaries and testes, pancreas, hypothalamus.
The jobs of any one of these glands is to produce, secretes or give off chemicals and hormones. The glands use the bloodstream to transport the materials they need to carry out their functions. More then 20 different hormones are released directly into the bloodstream. There they can be transported to different cells to carry out their functions.
The pituitary gland is sometimes referred to as the master gland as it has the to deal with the greatest amount of hormone production and in some way deals with all physiologic processes. The pituitary gland has two parts the posterior and anterior pituitary. The hypothalamus is what comes before the pituitary sending releasing(Turn on) and inhibiting(Turn off) hormones. Specific hypothalamic hormones bind to receptors on specific anterior pituitary cells, modulating the release of the hormone they produce. For example thyroid-releasing hormones are sent from the hypothalamus to the anterior pituitary that then tell the thyroid gland to release hormones to do its job. "The thyroid plays an important role in regulating the body's metabolism and calcium balance. The T4 and T3 hormones stimulate every tissue in the body to produce proteins and increase the amount of oxygen used by cells".(University of Maryland Medical Center, Thyroid Gland | University of Maryland Medical Center http://umm.edu/programs/diabetes/health/endocrinology-health-guide/thyroid-gland#ixzz2jiG73Xm2)
These hormones that the endocrine secretes and controls help us live our lives and adapt to situations and stressors that are demanded on our bodies. The brain releases these hormones to change the way our brain works, how we behave and how our body reacts. Most of these hormones helped our ancestors hundreds of years ago to deal with difficult situations such as hunger. Feeding and hunger are controlled by the hypothalamus which encourages us to seek out food which can use hormones to allow us to eat even the most unappealing things. In a life or death situation these hormones are used to make our bodies extremely efficient. Survival with little to no food for prolonged periods of time would not be possible without these hormones. for example if the body is deprived of food for a long period of time hormones shut down non vital processes such as fingernail or hair growth and shuts down the production of new cells to increase our hunting and problem solving skills and to allow use to use as little energy as possible until the next meal.
Other hormones released by the anterior pituitary are Growth hormone, released under influence of hypothalamic Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone (GHRH), (also known as growth-hormone-releasing factor (GHRF)).
Thyrotrophins: Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), released under influence of hypothalamic Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH)
Corticotropins: Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), released under influence of hypothalamic Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone (CRH), Beta-endorphin, influenced by the hypothalamic Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone (CRH)
Lactotrophins: Prolactin (PRL), also known as 'Luteotropic' hormone (LTH), whose release is not consistently stimulated by hypothalamic TRH, oxytocin, vasopressin, vasoactive intestinal peptide, angiotensin II, neuropeptide Y, galanin, substance P, bombesin-like peptides (gastrin-releasing peptide, neuromedin B and C), and neurotensin.
Gonadotropins: Luteinizing hormone (also referred to as 'Lutropin' or 'LH').Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), both released under influence of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH).
Other hormones released by the posterior pituitary are Magnocellular Neurons: Antidiuretic hormone (ADH, or vasopressin and AVP, arginine vasopressin), most of which is released from the supraoptic nucleusin the hypothalamus Oxytocin, most of which is released from the paraventricular nucleus in the hypothalamus.