Summary

Glands of the endocrine system produce hormones that are distributed throughout the body by blood vessels. Hormones are messengers that influence how tissues, organs, and other parts of your body function. Glands can overproduce or underproduce hormones causing parts of the body to behave inappropriately.

Hormonal drug therapy is used to return the patient to hormonal balance by either replacing the missing hormone or by inhibiting the secretion of the hormone. Hormonal drug therapy is used for hormones produced by the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands.

The pituitary gland secretes the growth hormone. Octreotide (Sandostatin) is used to suppress growth hormone release. Somatrem (protropin) and somatropin (Humatrope) are used to replenish missing growth hormone.

The adrenal glands produce a number of hormones. Corticotropin (Acthar) is used to treat adrenal gland insufficiency.

The thyroid gland secretes two hormones that regulate protein synthesis and enzyme activity and to stimulate mitochondrial oxidation. These are Thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Levothyroxine sodium (Levothroid, Synthroid) is used to increase the production T3 and T4. Thiourea derivatives (thioamides) inhibit T3 and T4.

The parathyroid glands secrete parathyroid hormone (PTH) that regulate calcium levels in the blood. Calcitonin increases the level of PTH.

The pancreas secretes insulin that is used to metabolize glucose. Insulin is used to treat a decreased output of insulin by the pancreas.

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