Hormones and Your Endocrine System | OSF HealthCare
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Hormones and Your Endocrine System

The endocrine system makes hormones. These are chemicals that control and coordinate many things in your body. This includes your:

  • Metabolism

  • Energy level

  • Reproduction

  • Growth and development

  • Response to injury, stress, and environmental factors

Below is a list of hormones what they do in your body:

Hormone name

Where the hormone is made

What the hormone does

Aldosterone

Adrenal glands

Controls salt, water balance, and blood pressure

Cortisol (corticosteroid)

Adrenal glands

Controls key functions in the body. Acts as an anti-inflammatory. Controls blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and muscle strength. Controls salt and water balance.

Antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin)

Pituitary gland

Affects water retention in kidneys and sodium balance. Controls blood pressure.

Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)

Pituitary gland

Controls the making of cortisol and other steroids in the adrenal glands.

Growth hormone (GH)

Pituitary gland

Affects growth and development. Promotes the making of protein. Affects where fat is on the body.

Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)

Pituitary gland

Controls the making of sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone) and the making of eggs and sperm.

Oxytocin

Pituitary gland

Triggers contraction of the uterus and milk release in breasts during breastfeeding. May play a role in trust and bonding, especially between parents and children.

Prolactin

Pituitary gland

Starts and keeps up the making of milk in breasts. Affects sex hormone levels.

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)

Pituitary gland

Triggers the making and release of thyroid hormones

Renin

Kidneys

Controls blood pressure

Erythropoietin

Kidneys

Affects the making of red blood cells (RBCs)

Glucagon

Pancreas

Raises blood sugar levels

Insulin

Pancreas

Lowers blood sugar levels. Triggers the metabolism of glucose, protein, and fat.

Estrogen

Ovaries

Affects growth and function of uterus and breasts. Helps protect bone health.

Progesterone

Ovaries

Grows the lining of the uterus for fertilization. Prepares the breasts for making milk.

Parathyroid hormone (PTH)

Parathyroid glands

Plays the most important role in controlling blood calcium levels

Thyroid hormone

Thyroid gland

Controls metabolism. Affects growth, maturation, and nervous system activity.

Epinephrine

Adrenal glands

Increases heart rate, oxygen intake, and blood flow

Norepinephrine

Adrenal glands

Maintains blood pressure

Testosterone

Testes (testicles)

Controls sexual growth and function. Helps protect bone health.

Melatonin

Pineal gland

Helps with sleep

Growth hormone- releasing hormone (GHRH)

Hypothalamus

Controls growth hormone release in the pituitary gland

Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH)

Hypothalamus

Controls thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) release in the pituitary gland

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)

Hypothalamus

Controls the making of LH/FSH in the pituitary gland

Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH)

Hypothalamus

Controls adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) release in the pituitary gland

Humoral factors

Thymus

Helps develop the immune system during puberty

Online Medical Reviewer: Maryann Foley RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Robert Hurd MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Ronald Karlin MD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2020
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