Foods to Keep Your Endocrine System Happy and Healthy

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The Endocrine System and Nutrition
Thyroid Gland The thyroid gland is a single organ, but is divided into right and left lobes that are joined by a thin structure termed the isthmus Fig. While synthesizing vitamin D from sun exposure is ideal, foods such as cod liver oil, organic eggs, fortified dairy products, fortified cereals, mushrooms and oily fish will also boost vitamin D levels. Even though key nutrients play specific roles in maintaining your endocrine system, the best way to keep your endocrine system healthy is to eat a balanced diet customized for your specific needs. See Appendix F for a complete list of body parts and how they should be coded. Anatomy and Physiology The endocrine system is composed of several single and paired ductless glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream.

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Endocrine System and Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases

Iodine, an essential mineral, helps make thyroid hormone, which is important for metabolic processes. In addition to iodized table salt, foods rich in iodine include cod, wild-caught salmon, sardines, sea vegetables, scallops, shrimp, whole grains and plain yogurt. The adrenal glands are especially important during times of stress because they secrete epinephrine and norepinephine in order to trigger the "fight or flight" response.

Stress stimulates the adrenals to release cortisol, the "stress hormone," to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure, metabolism, immune response and anti-inflammatory actions. If cortisol levels remain high, adrenal fatigue can occur. In the November issue of "Today's Dietitian," registered dietitian Dina Aronson suggested certain anti-inflammatory foods to support adrenal health.

These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and fatty fish. The hypothalamus plays a key role in metabolism and weight management. A study published in a issue of the "British Journal of Nutrition" found diets high in certain polyunsaturated fatty acids, including a 1: According to this study, a diet low in saturated fat and rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids will improve hypothalamus function.

Foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids include flaxseed oil, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, wild-caught salmon, grass-fed beef, eggs, sardines and tuna.

A disruption in the sleep cycle has cascading, negative effects on the entire endocrine system and overall health. Vitamins B-5 pantothenic acid and B-6 pyridoxine help the pineal gland to produce and release melatonin, a hormone that regulates circadian rhythms -- your body's inner clock mechanism. Foods containing vitamins B-5 and B-6 include avocado, beans, lentils, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, tuna and turkey.

Foods for Thyroid Health The thyroid is the largest endocrine gland, and thyroid disease and inflammation can have a significant effect on the overall functioning of the endocrine system. Ways to Maintain a Healthy Endocrine System.

Causes of Low Cortisol. Foods and Herbs for Pineal Gland Health. The adrenal glands, also called the suprarenals, are paired, one on top of each kidney. Different hormones are secreted by the two different parts of these glands: The adrenal medulla is the inner portion of the adrenal gland. It produces sympathomimetic hormones that stimulate the fight-or-flight response to stress, similar to the action of the sympathetic nervous system.

Adrenal Cortex Hormones and Their Effects. The pancreas, located inferior and posterior to the stomach, is a gland with both exocrine and endocrine functions Fig. The exocrine function is to release digestive enzymes through a duct into the small intestines. The endocrine function, accomplished through a variety of types of cells called islets of Langerhans, is to regulate the level of glucose in the blood by stimulating the liver. The two main types of islets of Langerhans are alpha and beta cells.

Alpha cells produce the hormone glucagon, which increases the level of glucose in the blood when levels are low. Beta cells secrete insulin, which decreases the level of glucose in the blood when levels are high. Insulin is needed to transport glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells. In the absence of glucose in the cells, proteins and fats are broken down, causing excessive fatty acids and ketones in the blood.

Normally, these hormones regulate glucose levels through the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. See Figure for a diagram explaining the effects of insulin and glucagon. The thymus gland is located in the mediastinum above the heart. It releases a hormone called thymosin, which is responsible for stimulating key cells in the immune response. For more details, see Chapter 9 on the circulatory and lymphatic systems.

The ovaries and testes, the female and male gonads, also act as endocrine glands, which influence reproductive functions. The pineal body gland is located in the center of the brain, functioning to secrete the hormone melatonin, thought to be responsible for inducing sleep.

Aside from the endocrine organs that have been discussed, there are a number of tiny arteriovenous structures that act as chemoreceptors throughout the body. These structures, called glomera sing. The glomera named are the aortic, carotid, coccygeal, and jugular bodies.

To practice labeling the endocrine system, click on Label It. Most of the pathology of the endocrine system is the result of either hyper — too much or hypo — too little hormonal secretion. Developmental issues also play a role in determining when the malfunction occurs and what the results will be. Boop, and James W. Mathew and Lawrence D. Kadam and Michael V. Ferrie, and Chrysostomos P.

Functions of the Endocrine System The endocrine and nervous systems work together and separately to achieve the delicate physiological balance necessary for survival, termed homeostasis. Anatomy and Physiology The endocrine system is composed of several single and paired ductless glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream. Note This chapter includes all the anatomy necessary to assign ICD endocrine system codes, including detail on the mammillary body, the adenohypophysis, and the parafollicular cells of the thyroid.

Note Pay attention to the General Guidelines for laterality for the endocrine system. Pituitary Gland The pituitary gland, also known as the hypophysis, is a tiny gland located behind the optic nerve in the cranial cavity in a depression in the sphenoid bone called the sella turcica.

Principal anterior and posterior pituitary hormones and their target organs. LH stimulates ovulation in the female and the secretion of sex hormones in both the male and the female.

ICSH stimulates production of reproductive cells in the male. Growth hormone GH also called human growth hormone [hGH] or somatotropin hormone [STH] Stimulates growth of long bones and skeletal muscle; converts proteins to glucose. Prolactin PRL also called lactogenic hormone Stimulates milk production in the breast. Thyrotropin also called thyroid-stimulating hormone [TSH] Stimulates thyroid to release two other thyroid hormones. Neurohypophysis Hormones and Their Effects Neurohypophysis Hormones Effect Antidiuretic hormone ADH also called vasopressin Stimulates the kidneys to reabsorb water and return it to circulation; is also a vasoconstrictor, resulting in higher blood pressure.

Oxytocin OT Stimulates the muscles of the uterus during the delivery of an infant and the muscles surrounding the mammary ducts to contract, releasing milk. Thyroid Gland The thyroid gland is a single organ, but is divided into right and left lobes that are joined by a thin structure termed the isthmus Fig. Tetraiodothyronine also called thyroxine [T 4 ] Increases cell metabolism. Triiodothyronine T 3 Increases cell metabolism. Parathyroid Glands The parathyroids are four small glands right and left, superior and inferior located on the posterior surface of the thyroid gland in the neck.

Adrenal Glands Suprarenals The adrenal glands, also called the suprarenals, are paired, one on top of each kidney. The adrenal cortex secretes three hormones that are called steroids. Acts as a neurotransmitter in the nervous system.

Epinephrine also called adrenaline Dilates bronchi, increases heart rate, raises blood pressure, dilates pupils, and elevates blood sugar levels. Norepinephrine also called noradrenaline Increases heart rate and blood pressure and elevates blood sugar levels for energy use.

Pancreas The pancreas, located inferior and posterior to the stomach, is a gland with both exocrine and endocrine functions Fig. Thymus Gland The thymus gland is located in the mediastinum above the heart. Ovaries and Testes The ovaries and testes, the female and male gonads, also act as endocrine glands, which influence reproductive functions. Pineal Body The pineal body gland is located in the center of the brain, functioning to secrete the hormone melatonin, thought to be responsible for inducing sleep.

Note Aside from the endocrine organs that have been discussed, there are a number of tiny arteriovenous structures that act as chemoreceptors throughout the body.

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