Hormones & Endocrine System for Nurses. Made simple.

This is a one hour Lecture for undergraduate Nurses at a major university. It is accompanied by a power point presentation which is not possible here but all the diagrams are included. Only legal use of anabolic steroids is discussed here. Author is aware of anabolic steroid use and abuse, the complications etc. Neither, of these topics is covered in this lecture.

Endocrine System is defined as a system of ductless glands that regulates bodily functions via hormones secreted into the bloodstream.

Endocrine Disorders : The endocrine system includes the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, pineal body, thyroid, adrenal glands, and gonads (ovaries and testes). An endocrine disorder is said to occur when there is oversecterin or undersecretion of any of these hormones. The endocrine and the nervous systems regulate body activities.

Tag words: Hormones, Steroids, Anabolic steroids, pituitary gland, pineal body, hormones, steroids, adrogens, Adrenocorticotropic hormone, Antidiurtetic hormone, Oxytocin, insulin, glucagon, epinephrine, norepinephrine

CNS : Acts through electrical impulses and neurotransmitters which cause muscle contraction and glandular secretion. The effect is of short duration, measured in seconds, and localized.

Endocrine system produces chemical messengers (hormones) that influence growth, development, and metabolic activities. There are two major categories of glands in the body – exocrine and endocrine .

Exocrine Glands: Produce secretions which are released to the outside; the sweat, salivary mammary, and digestive gland systems are examples of exocrine glands.

Endocrine Glands: Ductless glands. Greek term "endo," means within, and "krine," means secrete. The hormones are secreted directly into the blood and are carried throughout the body where they influence the appropriate receptor sites for that hormone.

Mixed Glands (Exocrine and Endocrine) Some glands have non-endocrine regions that have functions other than hormone secretion. For example, the pancreas has a major exocrine portion that secretes digestive enzymes and an endocrine portion that secretes hormones.

The ovaries and testes secrete hormones and also produce the ova and sperm.

Some organs, such as the stomach, t he intestines, and heart, produce hormones, but their primary function is not hormone secretion.

Male: Pituitary gland
Female: Pineal body

Thyroid Gland M&F

Thymus M&F

Adrenal Gland: M&F
Pancreas M&F

Ovary (female)
Testis (Male)

Diagram showing the major Endocrine Glands of the Human body.

1. Pituitary Gland (hypophysis) is 1 cm in diameter, pea sized. It is surrounded by bone and it rests in the sella turcica, a cavity in the sphenoid bone, connected to the hypothalamus of the brain by a slender stalk – the infundibulum.

2 distinct regions: The anterior lobe adenohypophysis, activity controlled by hypothalamus’s hormones. The posterior lobe : neurohypophysis, controlled by nerve stimulation.

Hormones of the Anterior Lobe (Adenohypophysis)

1. Growth hormones: stimulate growth of bones, and muscles through increased protein synthesis. It affects appearance & height. If there is too little growth hormone in a child: pituitary dwarf of normal proportions but small stature. Excess of the hormone: Giant .

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  1. A very realistic article. Simple to read and understand. Useful to know all these implications.

  2. Your kind words are appreciated. Thank you.

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