The endocrine system consists of a group of glands and organs that regulate and control various body functions by producing and secreting hormones. Hormones are chemical substances that affect the activity of another part of the body. In essence, hormones serve as messengers, controlling and coordinating activities throughout the body.
An important property of blood is its degree of acidity or alkalinity. The acidity or alkalinity of any solution, including blood, is indicated on the pH scale. The pH scale, ranges from 0 (strongly acidic) to 14 (strongly basic or alkaline). A pH of 7.0, in the middle of this scale, is neutral. Blood is normally slightly basic, with a normal pH range of about 7.35 to 7.45. Usually the body maintains the pH of blood close to 7.40.
Amyloidosis is a rare disease in which abnormally folded proteins form into collections called amyloid fibrils that accumulate in various tissues and organs, sometimes leading to organ dysfunction, organ failure, and death.
Carcinoid tumors are noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant) growths that sometimes produce excessive amounts of hormone-like substances (such as serotonin), resulting in the carcinoid syndrome. Carcinoid syndrome is a group of specific symptoms that occur as a result of these hormones.
The body needs fats for growth and energy. It also uses them to synthesize hormones and other substances needed for the body’s activities. The body may deposit excess fat in blood vessels and within organs, where it can block blood flow and damage organs, often causing serious disorders.
Multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes are rare, inherited disorders in which several endocrine glands develop noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant) tumors or grow excessively without forming tumors.
The thyroid is a small gland, measuring about 2 inches (5 centimeters) across, that lies just under the skin below the Adam’s apple in the neck. The two halves (lobes) of the gland are connected in the middle (called the isthmus), giving the thyroid gland the shape of a bow tie. Normally, the thyroid gland cannot be seen and can barely be felt. If it becomes enlarged, doctors can feel it easily, and a prominent bulge (goiter) may appear below or to the sides of the Adam’s apple.
Water accounts for about one half to two thirds of an average person’s weight. Fat tissue has a lower percentage of water than lean tissue and women tend to have more fat, so the percentage of body weight that is water in the average woman is lower (52 to 55%) than it is in the average man (60%). The percentage of body weight that is water is also lower in older people and in obese people. The percentage of body weight that is water is higher (70%) at birth and in early childhood.