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    which of these endocrine glands produce hormones that work with the sympathetic nervous system and cause the fight or flight response?


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    The Endocrine System: The Adrenal Glands and the Stress Response

    Today, we’re going to talk about stress and the hormones and endocrine glands involved in the stress response!

    The Endocrine System: The Adrenal Glands and the Stress Response

    Posted on 3/19/20 by Laura Snider

    Stress is a pretty big deal in modern society. Most of us spend a lot of time either feeling it, trying to relieve it, or both.

    So, what stress? At its core, stress is all about how the body reacts to a potential threat. The fight-or-flight (or fight-flight-freeze) response, aka the “alarm” stage of the stress response, is there for a good reason—it prepares the body to deal with danger (you know, like outrunning a ferocious animal that’s trying to eat you, or fighting off a fellow cave-person coming at you with a spear). Once the danger has passed, the body goes back to business as usual.

    Chronic stress, on the other hand, happens when the body is constantly responding to stress and remaining in a heightened state for a long time. It can really do damage to the body over time.

    Today, we’re going to talk about both of these types of stress—the classic fight-or-flight response as well as what happens when your body experiences persistent stress.

      Meet the adrenal glands

    When it comes to the body’s stress response, the adrenal glands are the stars of the show. My colleagues here at VB like to refer to these guys as “the party hats of the kidneys,” which is a pretty apt description considering their fun pointy shape and the fact that there’s one sitting atop each kidney. You might also know the adrenal glands as the suprarenal glands for this reason—suprarenal literally means “above the kidney."

    Let's check out the adrenal glands in context in Human Anatomy Atlas:

    Each adrenal gland has two main parts: an outer cortex, which makes up the majority of the gland, and an internal medulla. The cortex is composed of glandular epithelial tissue, whereas the medulla is made of nervous tissue.

    Different regions of the cortex produce a variety of different hormones, including mineralocorticoids (which affect water and mineral balance), glucocorticoids (which affect glucose levels), and gonadocorticoids (adrenal sex hormones). Cortisol is a glucocorticoid released during the later part of the stress response.

    The medulla produces epinephrine/adrenaline (E) and norepinephrine/noradrenaline (NE). Epinephrine is the principal hormone that interacts with the sympathetic nervous system in the initial part of the fight-or-flight response.

    Fun fact: epinephrine and norepinephrine function both as hormones in the endocrine system and as neurotransmitters in the nervous system! In fact, norepinephrine is the main neurotransmitter of the sympathetic nervous system.

      The acute stress response: playing hormone telephone

    Now that you’ve gotten to know the adrenal glands a bit, let’s go step-by-step through the fight-or-flight response.

    When your senses perceive a dangerous or threatening event, this triggers the amygdala—part of the limbic system involved in memory and emotion—to sound the first alarm. Basically, the amygdala presses the big, red “PANIC” button or, if you like thinking in terms of Lord of the Rings references like I do, lights the beacon at the top of the mountain that means “Gondor calls for aid!”.

    The hypothalamus, a key player in the endocrine system, sees that beacon and musters the soldiers of Rohan to help—that is, it activates the sympathetic nervous system. This, in turn, signals the adrenal glands to secrete epinephrine and norepinephrine into the bloodstream.

    Image from Human Anatomy Atlas.

    The release of epinephrine helps the body respond to danger in a number of ways. The bronchioles in the lungs expand, and the rate of respiration increases, allowing for greater oxygen intake. The heart beats faster, causing a rise in pulse and blood pressure. All this is so that the muscles and the brain can get all the blood (and therefore oxygen) they need to function optimally.

    Other physiological changes that occur during the fight-or-flight response are dilation of the pupils and increased tension in the muscles as they prepare to move. Digestion and reproductive functions are suppressed.

    Microanatomy view of a terminal bronchiole from Human Anatomy Atlas.

    Need a good way to remember epinephrine’s role in the stress response? Think about what an EpiPen (a shot of epinephrine) does to counteract a severe allergic reaction. While anaphylaxis constricts airways and lowers blood pressure, epinephrine from the EpiPen relaxes muscles in the airways, helping them to expand, and constricts the blood vessels, boosting blood pressure. It also increases heart rate and blood flow to the heart.

    Ok, back to the short-term stress response. If the perceived threat remains beyond that first rush of epinephrine, a system called the HPA axis will kick in to help the body stay alert and ready for action. HPA is a super helpful acronym—it not only represents the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands, but it also does so in the correct order.

    Source : www.visiblebody.com

    Adrenal Glands: Definition, Function, Adrenal Gland Disorders

    Adrenal glands secrete adrenaline to help your body respond to stress, but they also regulate many vital processes in your body, such as metabolism.


    All About the Adrenal Glands

    Beyond fight or flight, these glands are essential to your body’s everyday functioning

    Jan 5, 2022

    Robert M. Sargis, MD, PhD


    The adrenal glands are cone-shaped glands that sit atop each of your kidneys. iStock

    When you think of the adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands), stress might come to mind. And rightly so—the two adrenal glands are arguably best known for secreting the hormone adrenaline, which rapidly prepares your body to spring into action in a stressful situation.

    But the adrenal glands contribute to your health even at times when your body isn’t under extreme stress. In fact, they release hormones that are essential for you to live. Here is a look at the anatomy and function of these glands that sit on top of your kidneys, as well as some of the things that can go wrong with them.

    Anatomy of the Adrenal Glands

    The adrenal glands are two triangular-shaped organs that measure about 1.5 inches in height and 3 inches in length. They are located on top of each kidney. Their name directly relates to their location (—near or at; —kidneys).

    Each adrenal gland is made up of two distinct parts:

    The adrenal cortex—the outer part of the gland—produces hormones that are vital to life, such as cortisol (which helps regulate metabolism and helps your body respond to stress) and aldosterone (which helps control blood pressure).

    The adrenal medulla—the inner part of the gland—produces nonessential (that is, you don’t need them to live) hormones, such as adrenaline (which helps your body react to stress).

    Hormones Made by the Adrenal Glands

    The adrenal cortex and the adrenal medulla have very different functions. One of the main distinctions between them is that the hormones released by the adrenal cortex are necessary for life, while those secreted by the adrenal medulla are not.

    Adrenal Cortex Hormones

    The adrenal cortex produces two main groups of corticosteroid hormones: glucocorticoids and mineralcorticoids. The release of glucocorticoids is triggered by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. Mineralcorticoids are mediated by signals triggered by the kidney.

    When the hypothalamus produces corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), it stimulates the pituitary gland to release adrenal corticotrophic hormone (ACTH). These hormones, in turn, alert the adrenal glands to produce corticosteroid hormones.

    Glucocorticoids released by the adrenal cortex include:

    Hydrocortisone: Commonly known as cortisol, it regulates how the body converts fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to energy. It also helps regulate blood pressure and cardiovascular function.Corticosterone: This hormone works with hydrocortisone to regulate immune response and suppress inflammatory reactions.

    The principle mineralcorticoid is aldosterone, which maintains the right balance of salt and water while helping control blood pressure.

    There is a third class of hormone released by the adrenal cortex, known as sex steroids or sex hormones. The adrenal cortex releases small amounts of male and female sex hormones. However, their impact is usually overshadowed by the greater amounts of hormones (such as estrogen and testosterone) released by the ovaries or testes.

    Adrenal Medulla Hormones

    Unlike the adrenal cortex, the adrenal medulla does not perform any vital functions. That is, you don’t need it to live. But that hardly means the adrenal medulla is useless.

    The hormones of the adrenal medulla are released after the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated, which occurs when you’re stressed. As such, the adrenal medulla helps you deal with physical and emotional stress. You can learn more by reading this article on SpineUniverse, also part of the Remedy Health Media network, about the sympathetic nervous system.

    You may be familiar with the fight-or-flight response—a process initiated by the sympathetic nervous system when your body encounters a threatening (stressful) situation. The hormones of the adrenal medulla contribute to this response.

    Hormones secreted by the adrenal medulla are:

    Epinephrine: Most people know epinephrine by its other name—adrenaline. This hormone rapidly responds to stress by increasing your heart rate and rushing blood to the muscles and brain. It also spikes your blood sugar level by helping convert glycogen to glucose in the liver. (Glycogen is the liver’s storage form of glucose.)Norepinephrine: Also known as noradrenaline, this hormone works with epinephrine in responding to stress. However, it can cause vasoconstriction (the narrowing of blood vessels). This results in high blood pressure.

    Adrenal Gland Disorders

    There are multiple reasons why the adrenal glands might not work as they should. The problem could be with the adrenal gland itself, or the root cause may be due to a defect in another gland, such as the pituitary, that helps regulate the adrenal glands. In addition, some medications may cause problems in adrenal gland functioning.

    Source : www.endocrineweb.com

    Endocrine System Q Flashcards

    Start studying Endocrine System Q. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools.

    Endocrine System Q

    5.0 3 Reviews

    Which of these glands produces hormones that help to regulate body metabolism?

    Thymus Thyroid gland Parathyroid glands All of the above

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    Thyroid gland

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    What are the "chemical messengers" that coordinate and direct specific activities of the body.

    Neurons Muscles Hormones Ducts

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    1/19 Created by bmhunsy

    Terms in this set (19)

    Which of these glands produces hormones that help to regulate body metabolism?

    Thymus Thyroid gland Parathyroid glands All of the above Thyroid gland

    What are the "chemical messengers" that coordinate and direct specific activities of the body.

    Neurons Muscles Hormones Ducts Hormones

    Which type of diabetes may involve injections of insulin?

    Type 1 Both types Type 2 Neither types Both types

    Which of the following symptoms are associated with diabetes?

    Excessive urination Excessive thirst Excessive hunger All of the above All of the above

    Which of these glands produce a hormone that maintains the balance of calcium and phosphorus in the blood?

    Thyroid gland Adrenal glands Pancreas Parathyroid glands Parathyroid gland

    Where are insulin and glucagon produced?

    Pituitary gland Pancreas Stomach Brain Pancreas

    Which of these glands produce a hormone that is believed to affect the sleep cycle?

    Testes Ovaries Thymus Pineal body Pineal body

    Which of these disorders is when the thyroid is overactive, which leads to increased metabolism?

    Hypothyroidism Diabetes mellitus Hyperthyroidism Hyperthyroidism

    Which gland is known as the "master gland" because it produces hormones to regulate other glands?

    Pituitary gland Thymus Thyroid gland Pancreas Pituitary gland

    Which lobe of the pituitary gland produces more hormones?

    Anterior lobe Posterior lobe Anterior lobe

    What type of gland is the pancreas?

    Endocrine Exocrine All of the above All of the above

    Which of these endocrine glands produce hormones that work with the sympathetic nervous system and cause the "fight or flight" response?

    Parathyroid glands Adrenal glands Pancreas Pineal body Adrenal glands

    What do insulin and glucagon regulate?

    Sugar levels in the blood

    Calcium levels in the blood

    "Fight or flight" response

    Protein levels in the blood

    Sugar levels in the blood

    Which of these glands produce a hormone that stimulates cells in the immune system?

    Thymus Testes Pineal body Ovaries Thymus

    Goiter and bulging eyeballs are symptoms of which of these disorders?

    Diabetes mellitus Hyperthyroidism Hypothyroidism All of the above Hyperthyroidism

    Which of these disorders is when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin?

    Hyperthyroidism Hypothyroidism Diabetes mellitus Diabetes mellitus

    Which of these organs are the adrenal glands associated with?

    Eyes Kidneys Heart Lungs Kidneys

    Which of these disorders is when the thyroid is under-active, which leads to decreased metabolism?

    Diabetes mellitus Hypothyroidism Hyperthyroidism Hypothyroidism

    In which type of diabetes does the pancreas produce some insulin, but not enough of it?

    Type 1 Type 2 Type 2

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