What is the Endocrine System?
The endocrine system is a series of glands that produce and secrete hormones, used by the body to control growth, development, movement, reproduction, metabolism, respiration and sensory perception. The hormones are sent through the bloodstream to various parts of the body to tell them what they’re supposed to do.
The common hormone-producing glands in the body include:
- Thyroid – produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism, including muscle, digestive and heart function.
- Hypothalamus – maintains your body’s homeostasis, or internal balance
- Adrenal – produces hormones that regulate your blood pressure, metabolism, immune system and response to stress.
- Pituitary – helps regulate the important functions like growth and reproduction.
- Parathyroid – plays a key role in regulating blood calcium levels
- Testes – are responsible for making sperm and producing testosterone
What problems can arise with the endocrine system?
When these glands aren’t producing the right amount of hormone, certain diseases can develop, including:
- Diabetes refers to a group of diseases that affect how your body Is able to utilize glucose leading to an excess of sugar in the blood. This can eventually result in injury to multiple organs including your eyes, kidneys and nervous system.
- Hyperthyroidism encompasses a group of disorders which results in excess of thyroid hormone in the body which can result in weight loss, rapid heart rate, anxiety and fatigue.
- Osteoporosis, a disease that leads to bone loss which subsequently increases your risk for fractures.
- Hyperaldosteronism, a condition which can result in poorly controlled hypertension and low potassium levels.
- Low testosterone, or Low-T, leads to reduced muscle mass, fatigue, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, depression and other mood related symptoms.
The highly trained specialists and knowledgeable staff at CHI Memorial Endocrinology Associates are invested in your care. While endocrine issues can affect many of the body’s essential functions – like growth and development, sexual function, metabolism and mood – many can be effectively treated by correcting the hormone imbalances and through collaboration with surgeons and other medical specialists. If you are living with uncontrolled symptoms of an endocrine disorder or believe you may have a hormone imbalance, talk with your doctor today and request a referral for an evaluation.Call 423.206.9025 for more information.