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The Endocrine System: Get To Know Your Body’s Engine

By |2022-02-03T14:35:54-05:00January 19th, 2022|Categories: Health A-Z|Tags: , |

The small-but-mighty endocrine system is quite the powerhouse, packed with the glands responsible for producing hormones that regulate important functions of your body, including sleep, metabolism, and growth.

These hormones affect every single part of your body. It’s vital to have a functional endocrine system, as hormone overproduction or underproduction by these glands can lead to serious health issues.

Here’s how certain glands power your body and everyday life.

Pineal Body: Located in the brain; produces melatonin, which helps with sleep

Hypothalamus: Located in the brain; regulates hunger, body temperature, thirst, and moods

Pituitary: Also in the brain; controls other glands in your body and produces hormones that affect growth, breastfeeding, and blood pressure

Parathyroid Glands: About the size of a grain of rice; located behind the thyroid and control your body’s calcium level, which affects how your bones, kidneys, and nervous system operate

Thyroid: Located at the base of the neck; produces hormones that affect your body’s temperature, heartbeat, and how well you burn calories

Pancreas: Creates insulin, a hormone that helps regulate your body’s blood sugar

Testes: Make testosterone, the sex hormone that affects growth, facial and body hair, and sperm production

Ovaries: Produce estrogen and progesterone, the sex hormones that affect the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and breast growth

4 Sneaky Ways Your Thyroid Can Shake Up Your Body

Have you been feeling “off” with no obvious explanation? You might be suffering from a thyroid condition. When the thyroid is out of whack—often caused by an autoimmune disorder—your body may make too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism). These conditions can throw off your body and make you feel generally unwell.

Check out some of the tricky ways your thyroid might be interfering with your well-being.

1 – You’re feeling extra tired. Feeling fatigued even after a solid night’s sleep or a restful weekend? Crashing and burning after bursts of extra energy? The thyroid could be to blame.

2 – Your heart is beating differently. Hyperthyroidism can cause your heart rate to increase, even without extra exercise or activity. The opposite is true of hypothyroidism, which can cause a slower-than-normal heartbeat.

3 – Your hair and skin feel dry and brittle. Thyroid dysfunction could have your hair and skin constantly begging for moisture. You may be dealing with brittle hair that breaks or thins easily, too.

4 – Your weight keeps fluctuating. Weight gain is common in those with an underactive thyroid, and losing a significant amount of weight unintentionally could point to an overactive thyroid. These issues might happen without any significant change to your diet and exercise routine.

When to Call a Doctor

If you’re experiencing unusual symptoms or just don’t feel right, talk to your doctor about having your thyroid checked. A simple blood test can reveal thyroid issues, which are typically treated with medication. More serious concerns of the thyroid include:

Goiters: Otherwise known as an enlarged thyroid, this condition may be marked by difficulty swallowing, trouble breathing when lying down, voice hoarseness, or feelings of choking.

Cancer: If your doctor feels there is any suspicion of thyroid cancer, you could be referred to a thyroid surgeon who can conduct a thyroid nodule biopsy.

To find a physician, visit or 866-CENTRA7 (866-236-8727).

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