Centres of Excellence -> Endocrinology and Diabetes -> How does the endocrine system work?

How does the endocrine system work?

Endocrine function is achieved through more than 60 types of different hormones, i.e. signal molecules of different biochemical structure, which are mostly created and secreted from glands of internal secretion directly into the blood, but can also be created in other cells and tissues such as mucous membranes and fat tissue. Endocrine glands do not function independently. They are under the control of the central endocrine gland (pituitary gland) and structures in the brain (hypothalamus), which by secreting their own hormones monitor and direct their function. Some of the hormones perform their role only locally without affecting distant tissues, others act on the same type of cells or on the same organ from which they are released. However, most hormones perform their function on distant organs by binding to specific target molecules (so-called receptors). When the hormone reaches its target, it tells that part of our body what task to do, when to do it and for how long. Hormones are often called "messengers" because they help different parts of the body communicate and coordinate. They are involved in all processes, such as growth and development of the organism, mood, heat exchange, weight gain, pregnancy, breastfeeding, menstrual cycle, sexual function, work of the heart and kidneys, digestion, metabolic processes, etc.

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