Essay About Endocrine System

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The endocrine system is a group of glands distributed throughout the human body. This group of glands secretes substances called hormones. These hormones are dumping into the bloodstream (Shier, Butler & Lewis, 2009). The endocrine system does not have a single anatomic location. It is dispersed throughout the human body. The final purpose of this process is to control, regulate, and coordinate the functioning of the human body. Some body functions can be activated or inhibited by hormones, which are secreted in very small quantities. The hormone related diseases may be due to hyper secretion, or a hypo secretion. The hormones secreted by the endocrine glands regulate growth, development and function of many tissues, and coordinate the…show more content…

The thyroid is a small gland in the neck, in front of the trachea below the larynx. Thyroid hormones control metabolism, which is the body's ability to break down food and store it for energy, and convert food waste products, releasing energy in the process. Hyperthyroidism (too much hormone) may result Grave's disease. Symptoms include anxiety, rapid heart rate, diarrhea and weight loss, nervousness, anxiety, and irritability.
The parathyroid glands are located in front of the base of the neck around the thyroid gland and secrete parathyroid hormone. Parathyroid hormone regulates blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. This hormone (parathyroid hormone) affects the bones, kidney, and intestine (Shier et al., 2009).
Adrenal glands are endocrine glands that sit atop the kidneys (Shier et al., 2009). The adrenal glands secrete hormones that increase heart rate, the force of cardiac muscle contraction, breathing rate, elevate blood pressure and blood glucose level. This activity prepares the body foe energy expending action, sometimes called fight or flight responses (Shier et al., 2009).
According to Shier, Butler & Lewis (2009) “other glands that produce hormones and thus are parts of the endocrine system include the pineal gland and the thymus gland”. Shier et al., 2009 argued the pineal gland, located deep between the cerebral hemispheres, secretes hormone melatonin that acts on certain brain regions that function as a biological clock. The changing levels

Here is an essay on ‘Endocrine Glands’ for class 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Endocrine Glands’ especially written for school and college students.

Essay on Endocrine Glands

Essay Contents:

  1. Essay on the Introduction to Endocrine Glands
  2. Essay on Pituitary Gland
  3. Essay on Thyroid Gland
  4. Essay on Parathyroid Gland
  5. Essay on Suprarenal or Adrenal Glands
  6. Essay on Pancreas
  7. Essay on Sex Glands
  8. Essay on Thymus
  9. Essay on Pineal Gland

Essay # 1. Introduction to Endocrine Glands:

Endocrine means, Endo = within and Krine = to secrete. This system consists of ductless glands of the body. The ductless glands are organs which have resemblance to a gland but no ducts are attached to the glands to carry the secretions. The secretions are directly poured into the blood circulation.

The internal secretions of the endocrine glands are known as “hormones.” These are described as the chemical messengers of the body. These hormones guide and control the growth, multiplication metabolic activities of various tissues and so many regulatory functions inside the body. They play an important role in regulating the functions of different organs to which they are carried through the blood stream.

Endocrine glands are of two types:

1. Holocrine Glands:

These glands secrete only hormones.

2. Heterocrine Glands:

These glands secrete hormones and have other functions also.

Essay # 2. Pituitary Gland

Pituitary gland is a small body hanging down from the middle of the lower surface of the brain. This gland is about 1 c.m. (0.4 inches) in diameter. Its colour is reddish grey.


Pituitary gland consists of two main lobes:

1. Anterior lobe or Anterior Pituitary.

2. Posterior lobe or posterior pituitary.  

These two lobes are connected by a small intermediate lobe.

Functions of Pituitary Gland:

a. Anterior Pituitary:

The Anterior lobe of the pituitary gland produces a number of hormones which control the activities of all other endocrine glands.

Anterior pituitary gland-secretes six hormones as follows:

1. Growth Hormone (GH)/ Somatotropic hormone.

2. Thyrotrophic Hormone/ Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)

3. Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH)

4. Follicle -stimulating Hormone (FSH)

5. Luteinising Hormone (LH)

6. Luteotrophin Hormone /Prolactin.

1. Growth Hormone:

This is also known as somato tropic hormone. This hormone is necessary for the normal growth and development of the body.

2. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone:

This hormone is also known as Thyrotrophic Hormone. It regulates the synthesis of thyroid hormone in the thyroid gland. It controls the activities and growth of thyroid gland.

3. Adrenocorticotropic Hormone:

This hormone stimulates the adrenal cortex to synthesize its hormones. It also regulates the activities of Adrenal glands.

4. Follicle Stimulating Hormone:

It stimulates the ovary in females to synthesize oestrogen. It also stimulates the testes in males to provide spermatozoa.

5. Luteinising Hormone:

It controls the secretion of oestrogens and progesterone in the ovary and testoterone in the testis.

6. Luteotrophin Hormone:

The other name of this hormone is prolactin. It stimulates milk production and secretion in mammals. It also maintains the uterine growth and development during pregnancy.

b. Posterior Pituitary:

The posterior lobe of the pituitary gland secretes two hormones:

1. Oxytocin

2. Vasopressin /Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH)

1. Oxytocin:

This hormone has got two functions:

1. It contracts the uterus during delivery or birth of the child.

2. It also helps in the ejection of milk from the mammary gland.

2. Vasopressin:

This hormone is also known as Antidiuretic hormone.

Its functions are:

1. It helps in decreasing urine output by increasing tubular reabsorption in the kidney. In diabetes, it diminishes the amount of urine, in which a large amount of clear urine without sugar is passed.

2. Increasing blood pressure by constricting capillaries and arterioles is another function of the hormone vasopressin.

Essay # 3. Thyroid Gland:

The thyroid gland is situated in the lower part of the neck and extended on both side of the Larynx. It is brownish red in colour. There are two lobes in thyroid gland, one on each side of the trachea. These two lobes are connected by a strip of thyroid tissue called the “is thumus” which lies in front of the trachea.


The thyroid gland is divided into a number of lobules by means of connective tissue. There are a number of spherical cells called follicles inside the lobules. Each follicle is lined by a single layer of epithelial cells. These cells secrete a sticky jelly like fluid called as colloid of the thyroid. It contains an iodine compound. The colloid stores the thyroid hormones and releases at the time of necessity.


The thyroid gland synthesizes and secretes two hormones:

1. Thyroxine (T.4)

2. Trilodothyronine (T.3)

The secretion of thyroid hormones is controlled by Thyroid stimulating Hormone (TSH) of Anterior Pituitary Gland. The thyroid hormones influence growth and metabolism.

The major functions are:

1. Increase in oxygen consumption and heat production in tissues.

2. Regulation of Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).

3. Increase in the absorption and utilization of glucose.

4. Helps in physical and mental growth and development of the body.

5. Increase in the rate of cholesterol synthesis in liver.

6. Helps in Protein synthesis.

7. Myelination of central Nervous system.

8. Decrease blood calcium level.

9. Acts as the storage of iodine as thyroxine is rich in iodine.

10. Regulates the chemistry of the tissues and stimulates the process of oxidation.

Disorders of Thyroid Function:

There may be two types of disorders of thyroid functions:

1. Hypothyroidism (Deficiency of the secretion):

(a) Deficiency of the secretion of the gland at birth produces a condition known as cretinism. It occurs due to intra­uterine thyroid deficiency. It produces mental retardation.

(b) Myxoedema is another condition which is due to thyroid deficiency occurring after birth. In this case, the general metabolic process slows down. It produces retardation of physical growth. In this case there is a tendency to gain weight, slowness of mind and speech, skin becomes thickened and dry and there is hair falls.

(c) Endemic goitre occurs due to deficiency of iodine in food. It produces enlargement of the thyroid gland.

2. Hyperthyroidism (Increased secretion):

(a) The metabolic rate is raised and the body temperature may be higher than normal.

(b) Loss of weight, nervousness, high pulse rate, Cardiovascular symptoms may arise which can lead to heart failure.

(c) Grave’s disease or exophthalmic goiter is due to excessive production of thyroid hormone which produce protrusion of eyeballs.

Essay # 4. Parathyroid Gland:

The parathyroid glands are four small glands situated two on each side of the thyroid gland in the neck. They are embedded on the posterior surface of the thyroid gland. The weight of these four glands is about 0.1 to 0.2 gm. These glands are reddish or yellowish-brown.


The parathyroid glands are composed of mass of epithelial cells.

These cells are of two types:

(1) Chief cells:

They secrete the parathyroid Hormone (PTH) or Parathormone.

The secretion of PTH is not under nervous or hormonal control. A decrease in calcium level of plasma increases the secretion of PTH and vice versa.

(2) Oxyphil cells.


1. Parathormone increases calcium level of Blood plasma and extracellular fluid.

2. Regulates calcium metabolism.

3. It decreases blood phosphate level.

4. Mobilizes calcium of bone into the extracellular fluid, when dietary uptake of calcium is low.

5. Increases reabsorption of calcium in the renal tubule.

6. Increases the absorption of calcium in the gastrointestinal tract.

Disorders of Parathyroid Function:

Hyperparathyroidism: (Less secretion)

1. There is deficiency of the calcium content in blood. It is known as “Hypocalcaemia” which leads to Tetany.

2. It is characterized by muscular contraction, convulsions of the hands and feet etc.

Hyperparathyroidism: (Excess secretion)

1. The over-activity of the glands is associated with enlargement of the glands.

2. Calcium balance is disturbed. It produces “Osteitis fibrosa Cystica.” in which there is decalcification of bones and bone cysts may be formed.

3. The calcium may be deposited in the kidney, causing renal stones and kidney failure.’

Essay # 5. Suprarenal or Adrenal Glands:

The adrenal or suprarenal glands are two in number, which are situated just on the top of each kidney like a cap. These are small yellowish glands. Each adrenal weighs about 5 gms. This gland is called the gland of emergency.


The adrenal glands can be divided into two parts, whose structure and functions are also different.

These are:

1. Outer Cortex

2. Inner Medulla

1. Outer Adrenal Cortex:

It is yellowish in colour. This part has three distinct layers of cells.

They are:

i. Zona glomerulose:

It is the outer layer which secretes the hormone mineralocorticoids.

ii. Zona Fasciculate:

This is the middle layer of the cortex which secretes glucocorticoid hormones.

iii. Zona Reticularis:

It is the inner layer secreting sex steroids.

Functions of Hormones of Cortex:

The functions of these hormones are as follow:

a. Mineralo Corticoids:

These are aldosterone. They influence water and mineral metabolism. They help to maintain electrolyte and water balance of the body by increasing the reabsorption of sodium in the renal tubule and by promoting excretion of potassium.

b. Glucocorticoids:

These are Cortisol, cortisone and corticosterone.

Their functions are:

1. Influence Carbohydrate metabolism

2. Increase Glycogen Synthesis.

3. Breaking down of protein into amino-acids.

4. Mobilize and redistribute fat.

5. Decrease the production of eosinophil’s and lymphocytes.

6. Anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effect.

7. Adaptation of stress.

c. Sex Steroids:

They are androgens in males and oestrogenes in females. They influence growth and sex development. The secretion of the hormones of the adrenal cortex is controlled by Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH) of Anterior Pituitary Gland. Hypo-secretion of Adrenal Cortex leads to Addison’s disease which is characterized by loss of weight hypotension, pigmentation of skin etc. Hyper secretion produces Cushing’s Syndrome which is called as Moon Face. It is characterized by deposition of fat on face, neck, diabetes and hypertension.

2. Adrenal Medulla:

This is the inner part of Adrenal glands. It secretes adrenaline and non adrenaline hormones.

Functions of Adrenalin Hormone:

1. Increases the rate and force of heart beat.

2. This hormone acts as the resource of the body in an emergency by which one can fight and escape from an enemy. In a emergency or in emotions this hormone is carried round the body through blood stream and affects different organs in different ways.

3. The secretion acts as a chemical whip to awaken all the organs for increased activity to meet the danger.

4. It helps constriction of skin and blood capillaries, dilation of arteries of heart and skeletal muscles’.

5. The energy level of the body is increased by this hormone as it raises blood glucose.

6. Helps in dilation of the pupil of the eyes.

7. Relaxation of the intestine can be possible by this hormone.

Functions of Non-Adrenalin Hormone:

1. Helps in constriction of small arteries.

2. Increase the Blood Pressure.

In times of emergency like shock, fear, anger, danger, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves stimulate the adrenal medulla, so that large amount of adrenalin and non-adrenaline hormones are secreted which make immediate physiological adjustment. Therefore suprarenal glands are called as “emergency glands.”

Essay # 6. Pancreas:

The Pancreas lies under the stomach in front of the abdominal a orta. It extends between the C-shaped curvature of the Duodenum. It performs both exocrine and endocrine functions. As an exocrine gland, pancreatic juice is secreted from the secretory cells “acini” which helps in the digestion of food. The endocrine part is called “Islets of Langerhans.”

Structure of Islets of Langerhans:

The Islets are present mostly in the tail portion of pancreas. There are one to two million islets in the pancreas. The islets contain three major types of cells, the alpha, beta and delta cells.

1. Alpha cells from 25% of the islets which secrete the hormone glucagon.

2. Beta cells constitute 60% and secrete insulin hormone.

3. Delta cells from 10% of endocrine tissues and secrete somatostatin hormone.

Functions of Hormones:

i. Glucagon:

1. It increases the blood sugar level by breaking down glycogen in the liver to glucose.

2. It helps in mobilization of stored fat.

3. It releases insulin from pancreas.

ii. Insulin:

1. It decreases the level of glucose.

2. It promotes formation of glycogen from glucose in the liver and muscles.

3. It prevents fresh synthesis of glucose.

4. Stimulates the utilization of glucose in the skeletel muscle.

5. Converts glucose into fat in the adipose tissue.

iii. Somatostatin:

1. It prohibits secretion of insulin and glucagon from the islets.

2. Decreases secretion and absorption in the gastrointestinal tract.

3. Slows down the assimilation of food from intestine.

Decrease in the synthesis of insulin or any type of disorder gives rise to the disease Diabetes.

Essay # 7. Sex Glands:

The Sex glands are:

1. Ovaries in the female which secretes oestrogen and progesterone.

2. Testes in the male which secretes Testo styrene.

Production of these internal secretions are regulated by the Anterior Pituitary Hormones. During childhood, small amount of these hormones are secreted. But at puberty the output of these hormones increases, causing rapid development of sex characteristics.

Functions of the Hormones:


It is the female sex hormones secreted by the ovaries.

Its functions are:

1. Regulation of menstrual cycle.

2. Development of secondary sex characteristics.

3. Development of Mamary Glands.

4. High pitched voice.

5. Deposition of subcutaneous tissue.

6. Growth of hairs in public and axillary region.

7. Influences the growth and development of fallopian tubes.

8. It influences behavioral and psychic patterns in females. The secretion of oestrogen is controlled by follicle stimulating hormone of Anterior Pituitary Gland.


It is a female sex hormones and its functions are as follows:

1. Menstruation and development of uterus and breast.

2. Preparation of the uterus to receive the fertilized ovum.

3. During pregnancy, this hormone stimulates growth of mammary glands.

Progesterone is called as the “Hormone of Pregnancy.”


This hormone is secreted from the male sex organ Testes.

The important functions are:

1. Stimulation of spermatogenesis.

2. Promotes growth and activity of prostate, penis and scrotum.

3. Development of secondary sex characteristics like moustache, harsh voice.

4. It enhances skeletal and muscular growth.

The secretion of Testes is controlled by luteinizing hormone of Anterior Pituitary.

Essay # 8. Thymus:

Thymus gland is present in the upper chest cavity on the trachea. It is partly an endocrine gland and partly lymphoid structure. It lies behind the sternum but in front of the heart. It is pink in colour and is consisting of two lobes in which a number of lobules are there. The thymus is bigger in size at birth. It grows in size until puberty, then the size gradually decreases.


The hormone secreted is thymosin or thymine.

Its functions are as follows:

1. It controls the production of lymphocytes.

2. Regulates transmission of minerals in bones.

3. It plays some role in sexual development.

Essay # 9. Pineal Gland:

It is a small greyish -red gland situated in the roof of the brain. It is covered by corpus collosum and cerebral hemispheres. The shape of this gland is like a pine cone. It weighs about 150 mg.


Pineal gland secretes several hormones including melatonin and serotonin.

The functions are:

1. The pineal gland appears to function as a biological clock.

2. It influences the release of Gonadotropic hormones from Anterior Pituitary Gland.

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