The endocrine system is a network of glands, organs, and tissues designed to release directly into the bloodstream hormones that control many essential body processes. The glands of the endocrine system include the following:
• Hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the region of the brain that coordinates production and release of hormones by the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland, the adrenal glands, and the testicles.
• Pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is the most important endocrine gland. It is often called the master gland because it produces hormones that control other endocrine glands and many essential body processes.
• Thyroid gland. The thyroid gland produces the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which have an important role in metabolism (the chemical processes that take place in your body), and calcitonin, which helps regulate the calcium level in your blood and helps your bones retain calcium.
• Parathyroid glands. The parathyroid glands produce parathyroid hormone, which helps regulate the calcium level in your blood.
• Adrenal glands. The adrenal glands produce corticosteroid hormones, which 365 have an important role in metabolism; epinephrine, which helps your body Endocrine respond to stress or danger; aldosterone, which helps regulate your blood system pressure and the sodium and potassium levels in your blood; and testosterone, which regulates your reproductive system.
• Pancreas. The pancreas produces insulin and glucagon, hormones that regulate the use of sugar (glucose), fats, and proteins in your body.
• Testicles. The testicles produce androgens (male sex hormones), the most important of which is testosterone, which regulates your reproductive system.
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