Do you ever feel so hungry that you immediately have to get something to eat? Or do you sometimes feel so sleepy that no amount of coffee is able to keep you up? Or do you sometimes feel a sharp pain in your hand after a terrible fall the other day? You can understand how these moods keep on changing from time to time. Have you ever thought about what causes these mood swings that we have? Who is the mastermind behind the different feelings, emotions, and moods that we have? Well, the mastermind here is a bunch of chemical hormones moving inside our bodies. In this article, we are going to learn about the role of hormones in the body.
Role of Hormones in the Human Body
Hormones can be defined as the secretions that are produced by the different glands present in the endocrine system of the human body. After the hormones pass through the blood system, these circulate throughout the entire body and participate in the activation of the target cells. Hormones are crucial for the body and the organ systems. The main function of hormones is to ensure the development and growth of the body, maintenance of metabolism, cognitive functioning, maintenance of body temperature, development of reproductive organs, etc.
Since the hormones in our body have so much responsibility, every single gland that produces hormones in our body has a special task. So, it is important to learn more about the endocrine system and the glands that help in the secretion of the hormones.
What Are the Hormone-Secreting Glands and What is the Role of Hormones in Our Body?
There are different glands in the endocrine system that are tasked with the secretion of different types of hormones. These hormones then enter the blood system and pass throughout the entire body to facilitate different tasks that take place. So, basically, the hormones are responsible for telling us to eat, sleep, drink, or feel. Let us have a look at the glands of the endocrine system and what hormones they can secrete.
This gland is situated in the bony and hollow section of the skull base. Another name for the pituitary gland is the ‘master gland’. It is the gland that is responsible for the functioning and activity of most of the other glands that secrete the hormones. The hormones that are secreted by the pituitary are the ones that send signals to the other glands in the endocrine system such as the thyroid glands, adrenal glands, testes, ovaries, and so on.
The signals sent by the pituitary gland then prompt the other glands to secrete the hormones. In fact, the pituitary gland is responsible for controlling all the major processes and functions that take place in the body such as growth, metabolism, blood pressure, and metabolism.
The adrenal glands also called the suprarenal glands are situated in the endocrine system. The term adrenal means ‘above the kidney’. These glands are responsible for secreting different hormones such as adrenaline (which is responsible for increasing the rate of metabolism along with elevating the dilation of blood vessels that reach the brain and heart), the cortisol which is the hormone responsible for controlling psychological and physical stress, and the steroids aldosterone which is responsible for the regulation of water and salt in the body.
Adrenal glands have a triangular shape and are situated on top of both our kidneys. Since this gland is responsible for creating adrenaline, every single time you feel a bit of stress, the adrenalin levels are increased in the body. That in turn, creates a ‘flight’ response in the body.
If you want to learn about the importance of hormones, you need to know about the thyroid gland for sure. This gland is shaped like a butterfly and is situated on the front section of the neck. The gland is responsible for the regulation and control of weight, metabolism, heartbeat, development, growth, and blood pressure among so many other things. The hormones secreted by the thyroid gland are known as thyroid hormones. Of the many hormones secreted by the gland, Thyroxine or T4 and Triiodothyronine or T3 are extremely important since these hormones oversee the metabolism in the human body.
There are 4 small glands beside the thyroid glands and we call them the parathyroid glands. The word ‘para’ means beside and it is of Greek origin. The main role of these glands is to ensure the regulation and control of the levels of calcium in the human body. If there is a decrease in the level of calcium in our body, the parathyroid glands will secrete the hormone called Parathyroid Hormone or PTH. This hormone enters the bone structure and extracts the calcium present in our bones and offers it to the blood in order to keep the balance.
This particular gland is only active till the human body researches the period of adolescence and it has a very important role to play. The thymus gland helps in providing protection to the human body against autoimmunity. This is a case when the immune system of the body starts attacking itself. Hence, the role of the thymus is really important in the lymphatic system which is the defence network of the human body. The Thymus is situated right on the upper section of the chest, behind the sternum and between the lungs.
Apart from these glands which are present in the endocrine system, there is another named hypothalamus which is not a part of the endocrine system but has a very crucial role to play. Situated on the brain’s base, it releases hormones that are responsible for the regulation of hunger, body temperature, sleep, libido, thirst, and mood. One of the main functions of the hypothalamus is to establish a connection between the endocrine system and the nervous system of the body via the pituitary gland.
The endocrine glands function as the controllers of the various processes that take place in the human body. from making us feel happy to help us achieve great metabolism, these hormones definitely have a very important role to play in the human body.