How does endocrinology work

Complex control mechanisms in the body

The Endocrinium developed together with the nervous system in evolution as a central integration mechanism that enables communication between cells and organs. The higher the development of living things, the more complex it is Control mechanisms are required. The endocrinium is therefore indispensable for growth, development, reproduction, but also for adaptation to the environment and the reaction to loads and stress.

Hormones as messenger substances

The term "endocrine" describes the release of Messenger substances into the bloodstream. These messenger substances are called Hormones designated. Hormones are substances that have an extraordinary effect even in small amounts. Examples are the influence of insulin on blood sugar, the role of growth hormone in size development and the importance of sex hormones for reproduction. For hormones to work, they have to interact with specialized molecules on the surface or inside the target cell. These recipient molecules are called Receptors designated. After specific binding of the hormone to its receptor, a signal cascade is triggered, which ultimately leads to the typical response of the target cell.

Distribution of hormones not only through the blood

In recent years, endocrinology has undergone an important conceptual expansion. It has become clear that hormones don't necessarily have to be released into the bloodstream to be effective. Many times it has been shown that hormones too in the immediate neighborhood the hormone-producing cells develop their effect (paracrine communication). Hormones also work on some cells directly back to their cell of origin (autocrine communication). Comparative endocrinology was able to show that even simple forms of life use the possibilities of endocrine signaling.

The nervous system and endocrinium connect all organs

Just as all organs are connected to one another via the nervous system, they are also connected to one another via the endocrinium. There is one between the nervous system and the endocrinium very close correlation. The brain is an important endocrine gland that has a hormonal influence on all body functions via the hypothalamus. Conversely, the brain is also the target organ of numerous hormones (e.g. gonadal, thyroid, adrenal hormones).

Endocrinology as an important basis of biology

Since hormonal communication is a fundamental principle at all stages of life, modern biology can do without the results basic endocrinological research not operated. Knowledge of the evolution of the complex endocrine systems is a prerequisite for understanding how cell associations and organ systems work.

Diagnosis and therapy of various diseases

Quantitative or qualitative disorders of the endocrine system are those The cause of various diseases: Diabetes mellitus, thyroid diseases and osteoporosis affect millions of people in Germany. More than 10% of all couples suffer from involuntary childlessness. Hormonal disorders can affect all organs. Numerous tumors grow in a hormone-dependent manner, and they often also produce hormones themselves. The great advances in basic research allow the doctor to more rationally understand the regulatory mechanisms of the endocrine system Diagnostics and therapy to use. The frequency and diversity of endocrine disorders will also require broad endocrinological basic research and a sufficient number of endocrinologically trained doctors in the future.

Information on hormone-related diseases