Hormones and the Endocrine System

The endocrine system uses hormones to control and coordinate your body's internal metabolism (or homeostasis) energy level, reproduction, growth and development, and response to injury, stress, and environmental factors. Consider the following hormones and their role in the workings of the endocrine system:

Where the hormone is produced

Hormone(s) secreted

Hormone function

Adrenal glands

Adrenal glands

Pituitary gland

Pituitary gland

Pituitary gland

Pituitary gland

Pituitary gland

Pituitary gland

Pituitary gland

Kidneys

Kidneys

Pancreas

Pancreas

Ovaries

Ovaries

Parathyroid glands

Thyroid gland

Aldosterone

Regulates salt, water balance, and blood pressure

Corticosteroid

Controls key functions in the body; acts as an anti-inflammatory; maintains blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and muscle strength; regulates salt and water balance

Antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin)

Affects water retention in kidneys; controls blood pressure

Adrenocorticotropin

Controls production and secretion of adrenal cortex hormones (cortisol and aldosterone)

Growth hormone (GH)

Affects growth and development; stimulates protein production; affects fat distribution

Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)

Controls reproductive functioning and sexual characteristics

Oxytocin

Stimulates contraction of uterus and milk ducts in the breast

Prolactin

Initiates and maintains milk production in breasts; impacts sex hormone levels

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)

Stimulates the production and secretion of thyroid hormones

Renin and angiotensin

Controls blood pressure

Erythropoietin

Affects red blood cell (RBC) production

Glucagon

Raises blood sugar levels

Insulin

Lowers blood sugar levels; stimulates metabolism of glucose, protein, and fat

Estrogen

Affects development of female sexual characteristics and reproductive development

Progesterone

Stimulates the lining of the uterus for fertilization; prepares the breasts for milk production

Parathyroid hormone (PTH)

Affects bone formation and excretion of calcium and phosphorus

Thyroid hormone

Affects growth, maturation, nervous system activity, and metabolism

Adrenal glands

Epinephrine

Increases heart rate, oxygen intake, and blood flow

Adrenal glands

Norepinephrine

Maintains normal body activities

Testes (testicles)

Testosterone

Develop and maintain male sexual characteristics and maturation

Pineal gland

Melatonin

May play a role in gonadotropin (sex hormones) regulation

Hypothalamus

Growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH)

Regulates growth hormone release in the pituitary gland

Hypothalamus

Thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH)

Regulates thyroid stimulating hormone release in the pituitary gland

Hypothalamus

Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH)

Regulates LH/FSH production in the pituitary gland

Hypothalamus

Corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH)

Regulates adrenocorticotropin release in the pituitary gland

Thymus

Humoral factors

Helps develop the lymphoid system