Over the course of our lifetimes our bodies undergo a series of extraordinary metamorphosis, we grow experience, puberty and many of us reproduce behind the scenes, the endocrine system works constantly to orchestrate these changes alongside growth and sexual maturity. This system regulates everything from your sleep to the rhythm of your beating heart exerting its influence over each and every one of your cells, the endocrine system relies on interactions between three features to do its job, glands hormones and trillions of cell receptors, firstly there are several hormone producing glands, three in your brain and seven in the rest of your body, each is surrounded by a network of blood vessels from which they extract ingredients to manufacture dozens of hormones, those hormones are then pumped out in tiny amounts usually into the bloodstream, from there each hormone needs to locate a set of target cells in order to bring about a specific change to find its targets, it’s helped along by receptors which are special proteins inside or on the cells surface, those receptors recognize specific hormones as they walked by and bind to them, when this happens, that hormone receptor combination triggers a range of effects that either increases or decreases specific processes inside the cell to change the way that cell behaves by exposing millions of cells at a time to hormones in carefully regulated quantities, the endocrine system drives large-scale changes across the body, take for instance, the thyroid and the two hormones it produces, triiodothyronine and thyroxine, these hormones travel to most of the body’s cells where they influence how quickly those cells use energy and how rapidly they work, in turn that regulates everything from breathing rate to heartbeat, body temperature and digestion hormones also have some of their most visible and familiar effects during puberty in men, puberty begins when the testes starts secreting testosterone that triggers the gradual development of the sexual organs, makes facial hair sprout and causes the voice to deepen and height to increase in women, estrogen secreted from the ovaries signals the start of adulthood, it helps the body develop, makes the hips widen and thickens the wombs lining preparing the body for menstruation or pregnancy.

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