The Endocrine System
The endocrine system is is the system of the body that regulates hormones and biological processes.
The organs included in the Endocrine system include:
- Pituitary Gland
- Adrenal Glands
- Thyroid and parathyroid glands
- Gonads (Ovaries & Testicles)
- Placenta (during pregnancy)
Endocrine disorders are common, and include:
- Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
- Hypothyroidism & Hyperthyroidism
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Fertility & menopause issues
- and many more!
While all hormones are important, there are some that are more commonly and directly associated with certain illnesses and conditions.
Insulin is a hormone secreted from the beta-islet cells of the pancreas. Insulin is an anabolic hormone that facilitates glucose into cells. Cells need glucose for energy. When there is a lack of insulin, there is a lack of intracellular glucose, and this causes the body to panic – leading to ketoacidosis.
High insulin levels can cause hypoglycemia, which can be very dangerous. This is usually from too much insulin administration, or from an insulin-secreting tumor (called an insulinoma).
DKA, or diabetic ketoacidosis, is a severe complication of hyperglycemia and uncontrolled diabetes, and nurses need to know how to care for it!