The endocrine system is the system of glands, each of which secretes different types of hormones directly into the bloodstream. Hormones are chemical messengers that travel through the bloodstream to tissues or organs to generate a response.
Hormones work slowly and may create a prolonged response, lasting from a few hours up to several weeks.
Hormones regulate various bodily functions, including:
- Growth and development
- Metabolism - digestion, elimination, breathing, blood circulation and maintaining body temperature
- Sexual function
The endocrine system includes glands and other organs that create or regulate hormones. Hormonal glands include:
- Adrenal Gland
- Ovaries and Testes
- Pineal gland
If your hormone levels are too high or too low, you may have a hormone disorder. A hormone disorder may also occur if your body does not respond to hormones the way it is supposed to.
Stress, infection and changes in your blood's fluid and electrolyte balance can also influence hormone levels.
Diabetes is the most common type of hormone disorder. It results from the body making an insufficient amount of insulin, or not responding to the insulin.
Hormonal disorders are usually treated by getting the body to produce a normal amount of the hormone, to get the body to respond effectively to the hormone, or taking hormone supplements.
Examples of hormone supplements include insulin shots or thyroid supplements.