Hormones and Behavior
Hormones and Behavior
The endocrine system is the collection of glands that produce hormones. Hormones are chemical substances that act like messenger molecules in the body. They regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, and many other things. These hormones can affect an individual’s behavior in many ways. The Endocrine System is made up of several different endocrine glands the pituitary gland, pineal gland, thyroid gland, and adrenal gland. Each gland secretes different hormones that have many different effects on the body and behavior.
The Pituitary gland is called the “Master Gland”. It is called this because its hormones influence other endocrine glands. Oxytocin is a hormone released by the pituitary gland. This hormone helps in regulating behaviors related to happiness such as sexual activity, social bonding, and helps to reduce stress. Oxytocin also plays a role in pregnancy and labor. The pituitary gland causes contractions in the uterus during labor and stimulates the ducts of the breasts to help eject milk.
The Adrenal Gland is located underneath the back of the rib cage on top of the kidneys. The adrenal gland helps do several things such arouse the body, regulates salt balance, adjust the body to stress and affects sexual functioning. Epinephrine is a hormone released by the adrenal gland. This hormone is associated with fear and is what helps arouse the body. Epinephrine is most commonly known as adrenaline.
When a person has hormone levels that are too high or too low, that indicates a problem with the endocrine system. It can be a sign of a Hormone disease. Hormone diseases can also occur if the body does not respond to hormones in the appropriate ways. Stress, infection, and changes in the blood’s fluid and electrolyte balance can also influence hormone levels, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The most common endocrine disease in the United States is diabetes. Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not properly process glucose, a simple sugar. This is due to the lack of insulin or, if the body is producing insulin, because the body is not working effectively, according to Dr. Jennifer Loh, chief of the department of endocrinology for Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii. Maintaining a healthy endocrine system helps your body perform many of its vital functions, such as growth, development, reproduction and immunity. The endocrine system may also affect some aspects of personality and behavior. To keep the endocrine system functioning properly, eat healthy and reduce stress. An unhealthy endocrine system can result in thyroid diseases, osteoporosis and a variety of other problems, both large and small. Here’s how to maintain the endocrine system.