What Is Endocrinology


What Is Endocrinology ?  

Endocrinology is that study which involves hormones and their production by the respective glands. It also includes the study of the synthesis, functions and effects of hormones. Hormones may be chemically classified as Amines, Peptides and Steroids.

Hormones are responsible for many functions in the body. They control the rate of basal metabolism; maintain homeostasis which is maintenance of the internal environment; and regulate body temperature despite fluctuations in the external environment. Hormones control growth, development and differentiation of the body tissues of the organisms.

Hormones are secreted by the endocrine glands. From here, the hormones are secreted directly into the blood. Since these glands lack ducts, they are also called ductless glands or endocrine glands. The different endocrine glands in man are the Pituitary gland, the thyroid gland, the adrenal glands, the gonads, the thymus, the placenta, the gastric and intestinal mucosa and the kidney.

Some of the hormones secreted by the pituitary glands are somatotropic hormone which enhances metabolic processes and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). The thyroid gland produces the important hormone thyroxin which regulates the rate of metabolic activities and growth.

The parathyroid gland produces parathyroid hormone which maintains metabolism of calcium and phosphate. The pancreas produces insulin which helps maintain the sugar level in the blood. They also secrete glucagons. The adrenal glands produce adrenaline, which is also called the emergency hormone. It is secreted in response to stimuli from the central nervous system. The sex glands produce hormones like testosterone, estradiol , estrogen and progesterone.

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