The Endocrine System

Introduction:

Hi! I'm chocomonster1, a 6th grader from the Amigos School. Here, you can learn about the endocrine system, but if you would like to learn a little more, click on the links at the bottom of the article.

Primary Function:

There isn’t a single system that you couldn’t live without. Imagine if you didn’t have your endocrine system. You wouldn’t react to anything, even if a giant moose was charging towards you. You wouldn’t get any signal to run away. If you didn’t have your endocrine system, you wouldn’t grow up properly to become a full-grown man or woman. If you’ve ever wondered why you’re towering over people or practically being stepped on because of your height, it’s because your endocrine system. The endocrine system is made up of organs called glands, which produce specific chemicals called hormones, for your body to grow and function. Hormones are chemicals that signal what your next move is. Whether it’s passing a soccer ball, or growing hair in places you didn’t know could grow hair, it’s all signaled by hormones. Hormones are like mail carriers. They bring specific things to specific cells. Hormones only act with specific cells called target cells. Target cells are cells that share the same chemical structure with specific hormones. Once the right amount of hormone is released, one of the glands called the hypothalamus, signals for the gland to stop producing more hormones. Without these organs in your system, nothing would be signaled! To watch a video on the main unction on the endocrine system, click here.

Organs:
Endocrine_Glands.jpg
#13: Pancreas, #9: Adrenal Glands

All the organs that make up the endocrine system are called glands. Glands are organs that produce hormones to help regulate growth and body functions. Each gland has its own job to keep your body healthy, and function properly by releasing hormones. For instance, the hypothalamus, located in the brain, links the nervous and endocrine systems. The pituitary gland, also located in the brain, is known as the “master gland” and is only the size of a pea. It controls other endocrine glands and regulates growth, water balance and blood pressure. The thyroid gland controls the amount of energy that is released from food molecules inside cells. The parathyroid glands are tiny glands and regulate the amount of calcium in the blood and bones. The thymus gland helps the immune system develop during childhood. The pancreas produces two hormones called insulin and glucagon, which help regulate the amount of glucose in the blood. If your blood sugar is too high, insulin helps bring it down by giving it to the cells for energy. If your blood sugar is too low, the glucagon helps get stored glucose in the liver to bring it to the blood and restore your blood sugar. The adrenal glands trigger the body’s response to emergency situations. They also affect salt and water in blood and kidneys. If anything happens to these glands, your body wouldn’t function properly. Luckily, other systems are there to help this system and the endocrine system is there for them.

Systems it works with:

The endocrine system depends on many other systems to do its job. For glands to release hormones, they need to get the signal to release them. The nervous system sends out nerve impulses to the hypothalamus, which signals other glands to release hormones. The circulatory system is the highway for hormones to reach their target cells. One system that NEEDS the endocrine system is the excretory system. The endocrine system regulates the salt and water balance in the kidneys, organs of the excretory system. The digestive system provides energy, sugar and nutrients to the endocrine system and both contain the pancreas. The endocrine system helps the immune system develop during childhood. It also regulates the amount of calcium in bones in the skeletal system. The skeletal system also protects glands in the endocrine system such like the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. The reproductive system is practically “siblings” with the endocrine systems. They both contain the testes and ovaries and without the endocrine system, they couldn’t release the egg and sperm. The endocrine system works with many systems and without one you wouldn’t function properly.

Health

If one little thing goes wrong with the endocrine, it could affect the rest of the body. One main disease of the endocrine system is diabetes. There are two kinds of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is when the pancreas produces the hormone, but then the immune system attacks it so there is no longer any insulin to get into the blood stream. Without any insulin in the bloodstream, there isn’t anything to control the amount of glucose in the Diabetes_in_the_U.S..jpgblood, and there would be no energy for your cells. In Type 2, the pancreas produces insulin but when it tries to “unlock” the cells, it doesn’t work so the glucose builds up in your blood. To see a video of how diabetes functions, click here. Other diseases of the endocrine system can affect one way a certain part of your body grows. Sometimes, the thyroid gland can expand and your neck will become a huge lump. There are a few ways you can help these diseases. You could see a special doctor called an endocrinologist that can help treat people with different problems. You could also take insulin shots to help decrease the amount of glucose in your body. It’s also important to be more cautious of what you eat. People with diabetes can’t eat things with sugar like candy, because it releases a lot more glucose than something like broccoli. These are all functional ways to help keep your endocrine system healthy.




To see my bibliography, click here.
To see my web, click here.
To see my poster, click here.
To learn more about the endocrine system, visit i.am.ns.10's page by clicking here.
For more info on the endocrine or other human body systems, visit kidshealth.org by clicking here.
To see this article in spanish, click here.