Learn Endocrine System & Functions of Various Endocrine Glands

Luteinizing Hormone

ENDOCRINE SYSTEM

Endocrine System is one of the systems of our body which helps in performing various biological processes of our body. And the knowledge of such systems and processes is a must not only for School or College students but also for aspirants that are preparing for various competitive exams such as SSC CGL/CHSL/CAPF/MTS, Railways, UPSC, etc.

So here in this article, I sprinkle on one of the important biological systems of our body, i.e., Endocrine System which consists of various Endocrine Glands. From this article you will get to know about:

  • The Endocrine System,
  • Endocrine Glands,
  • Exocrine Glands,
  • Hormones,
  • Hormones secreted by various Endocrine glands, and
  • Functions of Various Endocrine Glands.

 

Now let’s dive in the topic:The first question that arises from here is –

 

What is Endocrine System?

The endocrine system comprises a collection of glands in the head, neck and trunk that secretes hormones that helps in coordinating the activities and regulating the metabolism, growth and development of living organisms.The Endocrine systeminfluences almost every cell, organ, and functions of our body. It is instrumental in regulating mood, tissue function, sexual function and reproductive processes.

Now question arises that –

 

What are Hormones?

So, basically hormones are the chemical substances that coordinateour most of bodily functions ranging from simple functions such as hunger, reproduction and growth to much more complex functions like our emotions and behaviour. And hormones are produced byvarious primary glandsin our body which make up our endocrine system, i.e.,

  • Endocrine glands – are ductless glands which secretes hormones directly in the blood stream in small amounts, e.g., Thyroid gland, Pituitary Gland.

 

  • Exocrine glands – are glands that have ducts which secretes its product into a tube, e.g., Salivary gland that secretes saliva into the salivary duct.

 

Hormones are basically of two types, i.e., Peptide Hormones and Steroid Hormones.

  1. Peptide hormones are short chains of amino acids and are hydrophilic (water loving), so they don’t pass easily through cell membranes, e.g., insulin.

 

  1. Steroid hormones are composed of lipids, are hydrophobic (water fearing) and can pass easily through the hydrophobic lay layer of the plasma membrane and enter cells, e.g., testosterone and estrogen.

 

Now, let’s focus on the various the hormones secreted by nine Endocrine glands to perform various functions of our body:

 

Functions of Various Endocrine Glands

 

Pituitary Gland: –

The Pituitary Gland lies just below the brain. And it is called the Master Gland as hormones secreted by it activate several other glands.

Hormones Secreted by Pituitary Gland are:-

 

TSH: Thyroid Stimulating hormone (Thyroid Gland) – it helps in stimulating the activity of the thyroid gland in secreting its hormones, i.e., T3 and T4.

 

GH: Growth Hormone (Body Growth) – it acts on bones, cartilage and muscles to promote the growth of the tissues. If GH is produced in excess amount then it may lead to exaggerated bone growth and gigantismin children.

 

FSH: Follicle Stimulating Hormone (Pubertal Maturation) – it helps in stimulating the gonads as in females, it acts on the ovaries to induce the growth of follicles while it stimulates spermatogenesis in males.

 

LH: Luteinizing Hormone (Reproductive System) – it also helps in stimulating the gonads as in females, it acts upon the ovaries to stimulate ovulation and the formation of the corpus luteum while in males it stimulates the production of testosterone by acting on the testicles.

 

ADH: Antidiuretic hormone (Water Balance & BP) – it helps in the regulation of water in the body thereby regulating the blood pressure in the bodyas it allows the reabsorption of free water via the renal tubes.

 

Oxytocin (Uterine Contraction) – it is secretedduring delivery in females only to increase the strength and frequency of uterine contractions and therefore to help the baby’s birth. And also after baby’s birth it regulates the function of mammary gland during lactation period.

 

Prolactin (Milk Production) –it helps in regulating the production and secretion of milk by the mammary glands in females.

 

Thyroid Gland: –

The Thyroid Gland is attached to wind pipe. It controls the metabolism rate of carbohydrates, fats & proteins.

  • It is one of the largest endocrine glands.
  • Its deficiency causes Goiter, i.e., enlargement of the thyroid gland or neck.
  • It secretes two hormones, that are :-
    1. Thyroxin:T3 & T4 – helps in the uptake of Iodine.
    2. Calcitonin – helps in maintaining the level of Calcium in Blood.

 

Parathyroid Gland: –

The Parathyroid Gland is located in the thyroid gland. It helpsin bone metabolism and also regulates Calcium and Phosphate level in the blood by secretingParathormone.

 

Adrenal Gland: –

The Adrenal Gland lies above Kidney. It is also called as Gland of Emergency.

  • It regulates heart rate, blood pressure and breathing.
  • It is released in excitement, anger and other situations.
  • It secretes 2 hormones, i.e.,
  1. Adrenaline – it is released during the emergency situations such as fightto regulate the rate of the heartbeat and blood pressure.
  2. Corticosteroids– it stimulates the formation of glucose and also act as immunosuppressive, i.e., to reduce the action of the immune system.

 

Pancreas:

Pancreasis located in the abdominal cavity behind the stomach. We can call it as a mixed gland because it produces not only endocrine secretions, i.e., insulin, Glucagon etc.but also produces exocrine secretions, i.e., pancreatic juice.

  • It regulates sugar level and glucose level in the blood.
  • These enzymes help to further break down the carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids.
  • It secretes 2 important hormones, i.e.,
    1. Insulin– it reduces level of Glucose in the blood.
    2. Glucagon– it reduces increases the level of Glucose in the blood.
  • We can say that when glucose level is low in the blood as during fasts, glucagon is secreted while insulin is inhibited. And when glucose level is high in the blood as after meals, insulin is secreted while glucagon is inhibited.
  • The deficiency of Insulin in the body causes Diabetes Mellitus characterized by a low glucose uptake by cells and a high blood glucose level.

 

To learn better from visuals, browse video on Endocrine System by clicking – 


Thymus: – it is situated at lower neck. It releases thymus hormone that helps in the development of immune system.

 

Pineal Gland: – it is located in brain, and secretes Melatonin that regulates circadian rhythm, i.e., wake-sleep cycle of the body. This is the reason that why individuals who work during the night find it hard to fall asleep during the day, and consequently stay awake for the next night.

 

Ovaries: – (In Females) a pair of Ovaries is located on each side of uterus. It secretes 2 hormones, i.e., Progesterone & estrogen which helps in the development of female characteristics and reproductive functions.

 

Testes: – (In Males) it is situated in Scrotum and secretes testosterone that secretes the male gamete and helps in the development of Male characteristics.

 

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January 27, 2020

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