Endocrine System

Function

The endocrine system is made up of glands that produce and secrete hormones, chemical substances produced in the body that regulate the activity of cells or organs. These hormones regulate the body's growth, metabolism (the physical and chemical processes of the body), and sexual development and function.

Homeostasis

Homeostasis is the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes. Many endocrine glands are linked to neural control centers by homeostatic feedback mechanisms. The two types of feedback mechanisms are negative feedback and positive feedback. Negative feedback decreases the deviation from an ideal normal value, and is important in maintaining homeostasis. Most endocrine glands are under the control of negative feedback mechanisms.

Negative Feedback Mechanism

Almost all homeostatic control mechanisms are negative feedback mechanisms. These mechanisms change the variable back to its original state or “ideal value”. The control of blood sugar (glucose) by insulin is a good example of a negative feedback mechanism. When blood sugar rises, receptors in the body sense a change . In turn, the control center (pancreas) secretes insulin into the blood effectively lowering blood sugar levels. Once blood sugar levels reach homeostasis, the pancreas stops releasing insulin.

Type I Diabetes

Type I diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin


Symptoms:


  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry - even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss - even though you are eating more


Statistics:


  • In 2012, 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes.
  • Approximately 1.25 million American children and adults have type 1 diabetes.


Treatment:


  • People with type one diabetes need to have insulin pumped into their system with either a shot or insulin pump.

Type II Diabetes

A chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood sugar (glucose)


Symptoms:


  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry - even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet


Statistics:


  • 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes, 8.1 million of whom may be undiagnosed and unaware of their condition.
  • In adults 20 and older, more than one in every 10 people suffers from diabetes, and in seniors (65 and older), that figure rises to more than one in four.
  • 1.7 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in U.S. adults in 2012, and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes is on the rise.


Treatments:


  • Hormones used for blood sugar control.