The endocrine system is one of the most important since it contains glands that produce and secrete hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that control all bodily functions. While people might not know the underlying systems in their body, the endocrine system plays a critical role in regulating all biological processes through glands, such as the thyroid gland (which produce and release triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4)) and the adrenal glands (which produce cortisol), and maintain health and well-being.
Endocrine Case 1
The case involves the thyroid gland, responsible for growth and metabolism (how the body uses energy). The gland is a small butterfly-shaped organ situated in the front of the neck. Hormones released from the gland are responsible for numerous functions, including heart rate, breathing, body weight, menstrual cycle, nervous system, and body temperature (La Perle & Dintzis, 2018). The processes will either stall or stop without the hormones produced by the thyroid gland.
The thyroid gland produces two thyroid hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), using iodine from food. The gland also stores the hormones and releases them when the body requires them for a specific function (Neal, 2016). The gland should produce and release the right amount of hormones to maintain healthy bodily functions.
The nodules could affect the hormonal secretions by causing hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid). The condition occurs when a nodule grows in the gland and causes it to enlarge and produce excessive hormones (La Perle & Dintzis, 2018). The production can come from single or multiple nodules, with varying effects on health.
The Adrenal Glands
The glands, also known as suprarenal glands, are other important parts of the endocrine system. They are a pair of triangular-shaped glands on the two sides of the kidneys. The gland comprises the cortex and medulla. The two glands play a critical role in numerous bodily functions.
Normally functioning adrenal glands produce hormones. They are responsible for regulating numerous functions in the body, such as blood pressure, immunity, metabolism, and how the body reacts to stress (La Perle & Dintzis, 2018). The hormones produced by the glands are responsible for how the body reacts to stress and numerous other roles that support existence.
Cortisol is one of the hormones produced by the adrenal glands. The normal function of cortisol includes a response to illness and regulating body metabolism. The cortisol receptors in the body regulate various cellular levels, such as blood glucose, memory, and inflammation (Neal, 2016). Cortisol also controls the pressure of the blood flow, salt, and water balance. As a result, abnormal production of the hormone can have adverse health effects.
Abnormal cortisol secretion can cause symptoms, such as weight gain, extra fat, thin and fragile skin, stretch marks, muscle loss and weakness, and a rounded face. The symptoms occur because the blood receives more of the hormone needed for normal functioning (La Perle & Dintzis, 2018). When the hormone is not functioning optimally, the body experiences abnormal symptoms and adverse outcomes associated with health and well-being.
Many people do not understand the anatomy of their body, including the critical role of the endocrine system. The endocrine system’s essential components are the thyroid glands (responsible for secreting T3 and T4) and adrenal glands (responsible for secreting cortisol). Normal functioning of the glands is critical to support health and well-being since the hormones generated bodily support functions.