Advanced endocrine system physiology

You can’t really point to any single organ as “the endocrine system,” because they’re actually a family of glands that secrete hormones into the body. Hormones travel through the bloodstream to interact with specific target cells and organs. This signaling system helps to keep the entire body well-balanced and on the same page.

Glands are special organs that secrete chemical messages called hormones, which seep into the blood - it’s like putting a tea bag in hot water. As the heart pumps, this blood carries these chemical messages throughout the body, allowing the hormones to interact with specific target cells and organs. Endocrine glands help us to maintain our appetites, grow up, metabolize molecules, concentrate urine,- and oh, so much more! We will examine how these variegated hormones play a role in homeostasis as the body responds to a changing environment.

Consider any behavior, sleeping for instance, and think about all of the organs that have to work together to have it go smoothly. The heart and lungs need to slow down, the brain needs to stop taking in the cues from the environment, and the bladder needs to wait until morning to empty. This coordinated effort is achieved by a number of unique hormones acting on different tissues. Learn more about how this process works and why it’s so critical to our everyday lives!