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The endocrine system consists of all the glands in the human body responsible for producing hormones that regulate bodily functions such as growth, metabolism, reproduction, and mood.
See the fact file below for more information on the endocrine system or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Endocrine System worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
What is the Endocrine System?
- The word endocrine comes from the Greek words endon (meaning within or inside) and crinis (meaning secrete).
- The endocrine system is a group of glands that secrete chemical substances called hormones into the circulatory system.
- The different glands that make up the endocrine system are the adrenal glands, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, pituitary gland, pineal gland, hypothalamus, pancreas, ovaries (only found in females), and testicles (only found in males).
- Almost all organs in the body are affected by the endocrine system.
- Endocrinology is a branch of scientific study that deals with the endocrine system and its diseases.
What Are Hormones?
- Hormones are chemical substances produced in the body of an organism.
- Hormones are transported in the bloodstream of humans.
- Hormones act as stimuli to prompt specific cells and organs into action.
- Different types of hormones act on certain body parts depending on the bodily function or process.
- Because of hormones, information gets transported from one set of cells to another and the functions of different body parts are coordinated.
What is the Hypothalamus?
- The hypothalamus is found in the lower central area of the brain, between the thalamus and the pituitary gland.
- It is about the size of an almond.
- The hypothalamus regulates important bodily processes such as body temperature, sleep, metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure, thirst, and appetite, among others, in order to keep the body in homeostasis.
- Homeostasis is the body’s way of maintaining a healthy, balanced state.
- To achieve homeostasis, the hypothalamus is the key link between the endocrine and nervous systems.
- The hypothalamus secretes hormones that either stimulate or stop the production of other hormones.
What are Adrenal Glands?
- Adrenal glands, also called suprarenal glands, are glands found above the kidneys that produce hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, and aldosterone.
- Adrenaline is released during a stressful situation and prompts the body’s fight-or-flight response.
- Cortisol regulates the body’s metabolism and response to stress.
- Aldosterone helps manage blood pressure.
What is the Thyroid Gland?
- The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland shaped like a butterfly and is found in the neck below the Adam’s apple.
- The thyroid gland releases thyroxine, triiodothyronine, and calcitonin.
- Thyroxine is the inactive form of triiodothyronine.
- Triiodothyronine regulate the body’s metabolism, muscle control, brain development, and other skeletal, circulatory, and digestive functions.
- Calcitonin is produced by C-cells and plays a role in calcium regulation in the body.
What is the Pineal Gland?
- The pineal gland is situated at the center of the brain.
- It produces the hormone melatonin which regulates sleep patterns.
What are the Parathyroid Glands?
- The parathyroid glands are four pea-sized glands located behind the thyroid gland.
- These glands produce the parathyroid hormone.
- They are responsible for regulating the calcium levels in the body.
- The hormone takes effect in the kidneys and in the bones.
What is the Pituitary Gland?
- The pituitary gland is a pea-sized gland found in a bony hollow at the base of the brain behind the nose bridge.
- It is also referred to as the master gland because it controls most of the other endocrine glands and the bodily processes they regulate.
- The gland’s functions include, but are not limited to, regulating the body’s growth, metabolism, reproduction, and blood pressure.
- The pituitary gland releases hormones that act as chemical messengers to regulate the activity of cells.
- It also sends hormones to the thyroid gland, adrenal gland, ovaries, and testes so that these glands get stimulated to produce hormones too.
- Hormones produced by the pituitary gland are the growth hormone, gonadotropins, prolactin, thyroid stimulating hormone, and adrenocorticotropic hormone.
- The growth hormone regulates the body’s growth and metabolism.
- Gonadotropins stimulate production of sex hormones.
- Prolactin stimulates the body to produce milk.
- The thyroid stimulating hormone acts on the thyroid to stimulate hormone production.
- The adrenocorticotropic hormone stimulates cortisol production in the adrenal glands.
What are Pancreas?
- The pancreas is both an endocrine and exocrine gland.
- Its function as an endocrine gland is mainly to release insulin, somatostatin, glucagon, and pancreatic polypeptide into the blood.
- Insulin and glucagon are hormones that regulate the body’s blood sugar levels.
- Somatostatin is known as the growth hormone-inhibiting hormone because it prevents the secretion of other hormones.
- Pancreatic polypeptide is a self-regulating hormone produced in response to changes in blood sugar levels.
What are Ovaries and Testicles?
- The ovaries are the reproductive gonads of females while testicles are the reproductive gonads of males.
- A woman has two ovaries situated on either side of the uterus.
- Ovaries produce the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone.
- Estrogen is vital in the regulation and development of the female reproductive tissues.
- Progesterone plays a role in a woman’s menstrual cycle and pregnancy by regulating the conditions of the uterus’ inner lining.
- Testicles, also known as testes, are found in the scrotum.
- Testicles produce the testosterone hormone which is responsible in the regulation and development of male reproductive tissues.
Endocrine Disorders and Diseases
- The most common endocrine disorder in the United States is diabetes.
- Diabetes is an endocrine disease in which one’s blood sugar levels are too high.
- Cushing’s disease is caused by high levels of cortisol.
- Gigantism is caused by high levels of the growth hormone.
- Hyperthyroidism is the condition caused by high levels of thyroid hormones while hypothyroidism condition is the disease caused by low levels of thyroid hormones.
- Hypopituitarism occurs when the pituitary gland produces abnormally low levels of hormones.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition when there’s an overproduction of the male hormone androgen in females causing abnormalities in menstrual cycles, and at times, infertility.
Endocrine System Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about endocrine system across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Endocrine System worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the endocrine system which consists of all the glands in the human body responsible for producing hormones that regulate bodily functions such as growth, metabolism, reproduction, and mood.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Endocrine System Facts
- Gland To Know You
- Locate the Gland
- Hormone Crossword
- Body’s Regulators
- From Pituitary With Love
- Compare and Contrast
- Hormone or False
- Describe the Disorder
- Keeping Healthy
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Link will appear as The Endocrine System Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, January 3, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.