why do we need the endocrine system

You might say endocrine (say: EN-doh-krin) glands are a little bossy they tell your cells what to do! But that's actually a good thing. Without your endocrine glands and the hormones they release your cells wouldn't know when to do important things. For instance, your bones wouldn't get the message that it's time for you to grow and get bigger. And your body wouldn't know that it's time to begin puberty, the body changes that turn kids into grownups. You have a variety of endocrine glands in different sizes and shapes located in different parts of the body. You might be surprised to learn that the pituitary (say: pih-TOO-uh-ter-ee) gland, which is about the size of a pea, is the "master gland" of the endocrine system. It makes and releases a bunch of hormones that control other glands and body functions. Tiny and tucked beneath your brain, the pituitary helps you grow big by producing growth hormone. Your thyroid (say: THY-royd) gland is in your neck and it's shaped like a bowtie or a butterfly. It makes hormones that are important for growth and it helps you stay alert and full of energy. Your adrenal (say: uh-DREE-nul) glands are really important to your body in times of trouble, like when you're sick or under stress.


Adrenaline (say: uh-DREN-uh-lin), one of the adrenal gland hormones, gives you the boost you need if you're being chased by a wild animal or even your brother! Your pancreas (say: PAN-kree-us) is your largest endocrine gland and it's found in your belly. The pancreas makes several hormones, including
(say: IN-suh-lin), which helps glucose (say: GLOO-kose), the sugar that's in your blood, enter the cells of your body. Your cells need to be fueled with glucose to function, like a car's engine needs gas. And we all know what happens when you run out of fuel! Your body does an amazing job of making sure that hormones are released in just the right amounts at just the right time. If there's a problem with the endocrine system, a person's body might not grow like it should or it might not work the way it's supposed to. (say: dye-uh-BEE-tees) is one common problem with the endocrine system. It occurs when a person's pancreas doesn't make enough insulin. It's also an endocrine problem if a kid isn't growing as quickly as expected because his or her pituitary gland isn't making enough growth hormone. Fortunately, special doctors called endocrinologists (say: ) know a lot about the endocrine system and can help treat people with hormone problems.


But most kids will never need to worry about their endocrine system because it works fine on its own. How does that make a kid feel? Gland-tastic! The Endocrine System Essentials The endocrine system is made up of a network of glands. These glands secrete hormones to regulate many bodily functions, including growth and metabolism. Endocrine diseases are common and usually occur when glands produce an incorrect amount of hormones. The endocrine glands must release the correct amount of hormones (if they release too much or too little, it is known as hormone imbalance). Your body also needs a strong blood supply to transport the hormones throughout the body. There must be enough receptors (which are where the hormones attach and do their work) at the target tissue. Those targets must be able to respond appropriately to the hormonal signal. The model here would be like primary, where the pituitary produces TSH, the TSH is carried via the bloodstream to the thyroid, the thyroid has the appropriate receptors, but for whatever reason it isnвt able to effectively make or secrete thyroid hormone.

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