Many of our blogs have discussed toxic substances that are endocrine disruptors. But what does that mean? What does our endocrine system do? This week, we want to talk about this very important system in our body and share what it does.
- Our endocrine system influences almost every function and system in our bodies. Cardiovascular, sleep, reproduction, growth and development, mood…the list goes on and on
- The endocrine system regulates and influences the body through glands and organs such as the thyroid gland, pancreas, pituitary gland, ovaries and testes.
- These glands and structures release hormones that help to maintain balance in our bodies and keep us functioning like we should.
- Hormones are chemical substances in our bodies that regulate and control other cells, tissues and organs in our bodies. They tend to have hard to pronounce names like angiotensin, the hormone that helps regulate blood pressure, insulin which regulates blood sugar and progesterone, estrogen and testosterone that all regulate reproductive organs and growth.
- The endocrine system reaction and release is slower to start and lasts over time, lasting hours or days as compared to the quick responses of our nervous system.
- Hormones get to their targeted cells, tissues and organs through our bloodstream.
- Hormones have special shapes for the specific cell, tissue and/or organ they are made for: that way, only the targeted tissue recognizes it and uses it.
- Many outside influences such as stress, diet and toxins can upset the balance of this delicate system and cause disease such as diabetes and cancer.
These are just a few of the very important facts to know about our endocrine system. Next week, we will look at some of the endocrine disruptors and why it is important to think about the outside influences that can affect this delicate system.