Tests & Procedures Index



Hormones and the Endocrine System

The endocrine system uses hormones to control and coordinate your body's internal balance or homeostasis, its 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 producedHormone(s) secretedHormone function
Adrenal glands Aldosterone Regulates salt and water balance
Adrenal glands 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
Pituitary gland Antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin) Affects water retention in kidneys; controls blood pressure
Pituitary gland Corticotropin Controls production and secretion of adrenal cortex hormones
Pituitary gland Growth hormone Affects growth and development; stimulates protein production
Pituitary gland Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) Controls reproductive functioning and sexual characteristics
Pituitary gland Oxytocin Stimulates contraction of uterus and milk ducts in the breast
Pituitary gland Prolactin Initiates and maintains milk production in breasts
Pituitary gland Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) Stimulates the production and secretion of thyroid hormones
Kidneys Renin and Angiotensin Controls blood pressure
Kidneys Erythropoietin Affects red blood cell (RBC) production
Pancreas Glucagon Raises blood sugar levels
Pancreas Insulin Lowers blood sugar levels; stimulates metabolism of glucose, protein, and fat
Ovaries Estrogen Affects development of female sexual characteristics and reproductive development
Ovaries Progesterone Stimulates the lining of the uterus for fertilization; prepares the breasts for milk production
Parathyroid glands Parathyroid hormone Affects bone formation and excretion of calcium and phosphorus
Thyroid gland Thyroid hormone Affects growth, maturation, and metabolism

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Online Resources of Endocrinology

Last reviewed: 4/22/2013