The endocrine system consists of specialized structures that secrete hormones in to the blood stream to be transported to the organs they affect. The structures responsible for hormone production are glands, specific clustered cells of the gut and blood vessel walls and specialised nerve endings.
Location: Between the cerebral hemispheres, attached to the third ventricle of the brain.
Hormones produced: Melatonin, serotonine.
Pathologies: Insomnia, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), bipolar disorder.
Location: Inferior to the thalamus, posterior to optic chiasm.
Pathologies: Hypopituitarism, deficiencies in pituitary hormones.
Location: Middle of the base of the brain, inferior to the hypothalamus.
– Anterior lobe: Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), luteinising hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), growth hormone (GH), prolactin (PRL).
– Posterior lobe: Vasopressin (VP)/ antidiuretic hormone (ADH), oxytocin. – Intermediate lobe: Melanocyte stimulating hormone.
Pathologies: Hormonal deficiencies: Rare but can be caused by necrosis of pituitary from lodged thrombus or space occupying lesions. TSH deficiency – hypothyroidism. ACTH deficiency – reduced cortisol. GH deficiency – retarded growth (children), osteoporosis, thin skin, muscle weakness. Patient looks older than chronological age. LH and FSH deficiency – failure to reach puberty (children).
Location: Anteriorly in the lower neck.
Hormones produced: Thyroxine (T4), triiothyronine (T3).
Pathologies: Goitre, hyperthyroidism (Graves disease, post partum thyroiditis, pituitary tumour), hypothyroidism (Hashimotos disease).
Location: Posterior surface of thyroid gland.
Hormones produced: Parathyroid hormone (PTH).
Pathologies: Hyperparathyroidism, hypercalcemia, kidney stones, hypoparathyroidism, osteoporosis, paget disease.
Location: beneath the sternum at heart level.
Hormones produced: Thymic factor (TF), thymosin, thymic humeral factor (THF), thymopoietin.
Pathologies: Reduced immune function.
Location: On top of each kidney (adrenal/suprarenal).
– Adrenal cortex: cortisol, aldosterone, androgens.
– Adrenal medulla: adrenaline, noradrenaline.
Pathologies: Cortex excess (Cushing syndrome), cortex failure (addison disease), congenital adrenal hyperplasia, primary hyperaldosteronism (conn’s syndrome), adrenal medulla excess.
Location: Epigastric region of the abdomen.
Hormones produced: Insulin, glucogon.
Pathologies: Diabetes mellitis.
Location: Hypogastric (pubic) region of the abdomen.
Hormones produced: Oestrogens (oestradiol), progesterone.
Pathologies: Polycystic ovary syndrome, hyperandrogenism, teratoma, malignancy.
Location: within scrotal sack directly behind penis.
Hormones produced: Testosterone, anti-Müllerian hormone, oestradiol.
Pathologies: Hypogonadism, epididymitis, testicular torsion, varicocele, hydrocele, testicular cancer.
- 5 Sites that Give an Overview of the Endocrine System (psych.answers.com)
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