One of the regular readers suggested adding a section for endocrinology so that people here can understand exactly the entire process on how human growth occurs and how height is determined.

The information that I have already provided is not very detailed on how exactly the hormones like estrogen, igf-1, hgh, the growth plates, and the pituitary gland are exactly connected to each other. One of the things I will do sometime within the next 4 months is to find a medical school textbook on endocrinology and explain the exact step-by-step process on how everything happens.

Note: All citations, references, links, sources, and used material will be labeled with a specific number i.e. Source 1 = (1)

Sources Used: Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4, Source 5, Source 6, Source 7, Source 8, Source 9, Source 10, Source 11, Source 12, Source 13

First, “What is Endocrinology?”

Medical Definition: Endocrinology is a branch of medicine that deals with the endocrine glands, actions of hormones and their metabolic consequences. (1)

There are two types (actually 3 but we won’t talk about the last one) of endocrinology going on today, scientific and clinical…

1. Scientific Endocrinology: It deals with the discovery and analysis of the structure and function of various hormones

2. Clinical Endocrinology: It deals with the clinical disorders of the endocrine system and the systems’s complex pathophysiology and management. (source)

Me: So we are basically going to look at the endocrine system, the organs associated with it, their functions, the hormones, and the pathways of the hormones that are related to growth and height.

For human growth, the endocrine glands that affect it are the…

  • Pituitary gland
  • Thyroid gland
  • Parathyroid gland
  • Testes and Ovaries (Sex or Reproductive organs)

1. Pituitary gland – secretes Growth Hormone (GH) aka Somatropin.

  • Somatropin (GH) – is the main regulator of height (2). Its functions include…
  •  – Stimulates bone and muscle growth
  •  – Maintains the normal rate of proteins synthesize in all the body cells
  •  – Speeds the release of fats as an energy source for growth
2. Parathyroid glands – releases the Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) when a low blood calcium is detected
  • Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) – stimulate the osteoclasts to break down the bone tissue so that calcium salts can be released into the blood
3. Thyroid gland – releases the hormone called Calcitonin in response to high levels of calcium in the blood
  • Calcitonin – seems to have the opposite effect as the Prathyroid Hormone (PTH)
  •  – it inhibits osteoclast activity allowing osteoblasts to form bone tissue. Thus, the excess calcium gets stored in the bone matrix


3 thoughts on “Endocrinology

  1. MiniGolfer

    Be sure to include also ER-alpha, ER-beta, IGF-II, Ihh, and PTH. There are many others but I think maybe starting with the basics would be a good start and then we can visualize what to add.

    1. admin

      I will. The Endocrinology section is something I don’t plan to write up for at least for a few months since there is so much other things I still have to get through. I’ll put the stuff in at some point.

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