Hormones FAQ

1. What are hormones?
Hormones are chemicals that are produced by glands in your body which are then transported through your blood stream to regulate the function of various organs in your body.
2. What is the endocrine system?
The endocrine system in you body consists of all the glands in your body that produce hormones. These glands include the hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, adrenal, ovary and testes.
3. What can go wrong with the endocrine system?
As the endocrine system controls and regulates many organs and processes in your body, the levels of your different hormones need to be within their target ranges. If an endocrine gland produces too much or too little hormone, this can have widespread effects on multiple organs.
4. What is the pituitary gland?
The pituitary gland can be considered to be the master gland in the body that controls many of the other glands and organs. It is a pea-sized gland situated in the brain and produces many different hormones.
5. What hormones does the pituitary gland produce?
The pituitary gland produces:
a) Prolactin – regulates milk production
b) Luteinising hormone - regulates levels of male and female hormones
c) Follicular stimulating hormone – regulates sperm and egg production
d) Growth hormone – promotes growth during childhood
e) Adrenocorticotropic hormone – controls the adrenal gland
f) Thyroid stimulating hormone – controls the thyroid gland
g) Antidiuretic hormone –maintains water balance
h) Oxytocin – helps with expression of milk
6. What is the hypothalamus?
The hypothalamus produces hormones that modulate the hormone production in the pituitary gland.
7. What is the thyroid gland?
See Thyroid FAQ
8. What are the parathyroid glands?
The parathyroid glands are 4 small glands that are situated behind the thyroid gland. They help to control your calcium level.
9. What are the adrenal glands?
You have two adrenal glands, one above each kidney. The adrenal glands produce a number of hormones:
a) Cortisol is produced in your adrenal gland in response to the hormone ACTH from the pituitary. Cortisol is a stress hormone and is important in maintaining your blood pressure.
b) Aldosterone produced in your adrenal gland helps to regulate your blood pressure and salt balance.
c) Adrenalin produced in your adrenal gland is another hormone that is important at times of stress.
10. What is the pancreas?
The pancreas is an organ that produces insulin. Insulin is needed to control the level of glucose in your blood.
See Diabetes FAQ
11. Is obesity caused by hormones?
See Obesity FAQ

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