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endocrine system gateway page
What does the endocrine system do?
The endocrine system is responsible for processes that happen slowly (i.e., cell growth), whereas faster processes (like breathing and body movement) are controlled by the nervous system. The fundamental components of the endocrine system are hormones and glands. Hormones are substances that are produced by one part of your body and that affect the functioning of other, faraway parts of your body. The organs that manufacture hormones are called glands. Hormones transfer information and instructions from one set of cells to another. A gland is a group of cells that produces and secretes chemicals. A gland selects and removes substances from the blood, then processes them, and finally secretes the finished chemical product for use somewhere in the body. The major glands that comprise the endocrine system are the pituitary, parathyroids, thyroid, hypothalamus, adrenals, pineal body, and the reproductive glands (include ovaries and testes), and the general term for all of the body's glands is the endocrine system.
Why is the endocrine system important?
The endocrine system is instrumental in regulating growth and development, tissue function, mood, metabolism, sexual function, and reproductive processes.
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