The endocrine system is an information signaling system that coordinates most bodily functions. It senses environmental changes and secretes corresponding hormones to coordinate metabolism, maintain homeostasis, and regulate growth and development.
The endocrine system works as a hierarchy through the hypothalamus – pituitary – peripheral endocrine glands. The hypothalamus integrates signals from the central nervous system and secrets factors to either stimulate or inhibit the secretion of pituitary hormones, which subsequently stimulate peripheral endocrine glands. Peripheral glands include the thyroid, alimentary glands, reproductive glands, adrenal glands, parathyroid, heart, skin, bone marrow and adipose tissue.
Hormones are categorized as peptides, steroids, or amines. Hormonal dysregulation causes systemic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, dwarfism, etc.