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What is endocrinology?

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Quick Answer

Endocrinology is a medical specialty focused on the glands and organs that produce and regulate hormones, known collectively as the endocrine system. These glands include the pancreas, hypothalamus, ovaries and testes, adrenals, and thyroid. Hormones regulate bodily functions such as respiration, metabolism, reproduction and growth.

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Full Answer

The pancreas produces the hormones insulin and glucagon, which help to regulate digestion and blood sugar. The hypothalamus controls involuntary bodily functions, appetite and sleep. The ovaries in females and testes in males produce hormones that control reproduction and sexual development. The adrenals produce hormones related to the body's stress response, such as adrenaline and norepinephrine. The thyroid produces hormones that regulate blood pressure, body temperature and metabolism, as well as managing how the body responds to other hormones.

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