The endocrine system consists of a number of glands -- including the pineal gland, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, and adrenal gland -- that produce and secrete hormones that circulate within the body. Of all these different glands, the pituitary gland is the one sometimes referred to as the master gland. The pituitary gland is instrumental in growth and development, metabolism, and reproduction. Some of the hormones that the pituitary gland produces include prolactin, which stimulates the breasts to produce milk during pregnancy; growth hormone, which regulates growth; and thyrotropin, which signals the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormone.
There are a number of conditions and diseases that can affect the functioning of the endocrine system, including diabetes (the most common endocrine system condition), Cushing's Syndrome, and autoimmune adrenal insufficiency. Some of these diseases affecting the endocrine system occur because of excessive amounts of a hormone (for example, Cushing's Syndrome); while others occur when glands stop making hormones that are important for certain bodily functions (which is the case with autoimmune adrenal insufficiency). Still others occur because of defects in the production or action (or both) of a certain hormone (such as with diabetes).
Welcome to the Endocrine System Health Channel by eMedTV. Here you will find a collection of articles dedicated to this topic. We hope that you will find this channel to be a valuable resource on the various conditions and diseases that can affect the endocrine system, as well as how they can be diagnosed and treated. Maybe you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes and are wondering which diabetes drugs may be right for you. Or maybe you would like to know about the risks associated with having Addison's disease during pregnancy. You will find the information you need here.
Many people begin their eMedTV endocrine system experience by clicking on any of the featured endocrine system articles located on this page. They may also begin by using the health topics section on the left side to find a particular topic of interest. If you do not find the endocrine system information that you need in either of these locations, use the search box at the top of the page. If you are interested in diabetes information, we have a specific Health Channel for this condition – click Diabetes
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