The human endocrine system produces more than 50 hormones that are the body’s main system for internal chemical regulation. Hormones reach the entire human body and are therefore important in controlling whole-body activities. Hormones control such functions as metabolic rate, growth, maturation as well as reproduction. Many hormones maintain a balance, known as homeostasis, within the body. Three glands that maintain homeostasis within the body are the thyroid gland, the pancreas and the pituitary gland.
From the thyroid gland are two antagonistic hormones, the parathyroid hormone and calcitonin. The parathyroid hormone raises the blood calcium level while calcitonin lowers the blood calcium level. These contradictory effects make the two hormones antagonistic hormones. Calcium levels are important in supporting the body as well as being used for cell chemical activity. Calcium needs to be kept within a small range in the blood and interstitial fluid for many body functions. Without calcium, muscles do not function properly, blood cannot clot and cells cannot transport across their membranes. Basically, without calcium, our bones would break, the muscles of our body would not move, we would hemorrhage if we received a cut and the cells that make up our body would stop working.
From the pancreas are two more antagonistic hormones, insulin, which lowers blood glucose level and glucagon, which raises blood glucose level.
The opposing hormones are used to maintain the equilibrium of glucose within the body. Homeostasis is maintained when the normal blood glucose level is at this equilibrium. Inability to maintain this homeostasis can lead to disease, organ damage and death.
The pituitary gland sends out many hormones from signals received from the control center of the endocrine system – the hypothalamus. The pituitary gland is separated into the posterior and anterior pituitary. An example of a hormone secreted from the...