Endocrinology is the study of medicine as it relates to hormones and endocrines. Experts in the field study and treat diseases caused by hormonal imbalance and other related issues. In Las Vegas, endocrinology is often overlooked by the general public, but its study is vital to the field of medicine.
The Endocrine System
The endocrine system is composed of hormones-producing glands that are responsible for regulating metabolism, sleep cycles, reproduction and other functions that the body needs to thrive. Our hearts pump blood to every part of the body, so we know how essential the heart is to our functioning. Even though the endocrine system isn’t as well-known as the heart, the system regulates many of the body’s core functions. Among the number of glands essential to daily operation of the body are the thyroid, hypothalamus, thymus, pancreas and pineal glands.
The Thyroid Gland
Positioned in front of the trachea and below the larynx, the thyroid regulates the body’s metabolism and blood-calcium levels. The gland accomplishes such tasks by releasing three hormones: calcitonin, thyroxine, and triiodothyronine. Calcitonin slows down the amount of calcium lost from bones, thereby regulating blood calcium. Thyroxine works to stimulate the body so that more oxygen is produced and metabolism rates are increased. Triiodothyronine also affects metabolism rates as well as body temperature and heart rate.
Located in the thoracic cavity, the thymus is composed of lymphoid tissue. The gland takes immature T blood cells and turns them into mature cells capable of warding off viruses. In many respects, a healthy thymus equals healthy living. With the gland working to strengthen the immune system by producing mature T cells, the thymus serves as a sort of antibacterial that keeps influenza and other illnesses away. Thymus glands that do not operate properly do not produce enough T cells, which causes the body to be more susceptible to viruses.
The Hypothalamus Gland
The hypothalamus is located in the brain near the pituitary gland. In addition to assisting the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus releases hormones that perform a myriad of tasks in the body. Dopamine, for instance, tells the pituitary gland that less prolactin is needed in the body. Somatostatin is another hormone released by the hypothalamus that regulates the amount of thyroid-stimulating hormones released.
Many are familiar with this gland because of its negative effects on the body when plagued by cancerous cells. The pancreas, however, is more than a place where abnormal cells can grow. Digestive enzymes are produced in the gland and insulin is also created in the pancreas. Most diabetics are familiar with insulin because they must inject the hormone when enough of it is not produced in the pancreas. Insulin helps regulates carbohydrate metabolism and fat storage. A healthy pancreas secretes the substance after an individual consumes starches and sugars.
The Pineal Gland
Located inside of the brain, the pineal gland produces melatonin. This hormone regulates sleep cycles and sexual development. An individual with irregular activity in the pineal gland will have difficulty going to sleep. Such people may also have trouble procreating since sexual development is abnormal. When experiencing such problems, it is best to seek help from an expert in the field of endocrinology in Las Vegas.
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