Endocrine system – Anatomical terminology for healthcare professionals | Kenhub


Black eyeliner, studded belts, a piercing
that seemed cool at the time, lashing out at the world on My space and MSN messenger
– what do all these things have in common? Our teenage years. Who knew all of those adolescent hormones
rushing through our bodies would make us do such crazy things. Whether you hated your parents for three years
straight or had an identity crisis at the age of sixteen, the truth is adolescence is
hard. However, learning about the hormones responsible
for all these madness doesn’t have to be. Welcome to episode ten of the Kenhub series
“Anatomical Terminology for Healthcare Professionals” – finding balance with endocrine system
terminology. Now if you’ve watched any of the videos
in this series, you’ll know by now that our goal is to help you learn how to understand
anatomical terminology rather than just memorizing it. We’ve been showing you how terms are made
by breaking every term down into familiar word parts, prefixes, roots, and suffixes. So the next time you see a new, scary-looking
term, you’ll know how to deal with it. We’ll be focusing on the terminology of
the endocrine system in this video, but if you want to learn more about the anatomy of
the organs and structures we’ll encounter today, you can head over to kenhub.com, where
you’ll find hundreds of detailed anatomical articles as well as beautiful illustrations
to help you improve your learning. If you’ve ever studied the endocrine system,
you’ll know there are two main elements to it – the endocrine glands and the hormones
they secrete. So let’s learn the roots associated with
them beginning first with endocrine- or endocrin/o- with the O at the end, which is the root for
endocrine system or endocrine glands. It comes from the Greek endon which means
“within” and krinein “to secrete.” It is used in words like endocrinologist – a
medical specialist concerned with the endocrine system. Aden- or aden/o- with the O at the end is
a general root referring to glands and is used in terms like adenectomy which is surgical
excision of a gland. The root associated with hormones is simply
hormon- or hormon/o- with the O at the end. You’ll see it used, for example, in hormonagogue
– an agent that increases the production of a hormone. Speaking of secretion of hormones, we have
the root crin- or crin/o- with the O at the end which means just that – secrete. An example of it in use could be the term
crinogenic which refers to an agent which stimulates the gland into secretion. Let’s take a look now at some terminology
related to some of the individual endocrine organs starting with the pituitary gland. First thing to note is that the pituitary
also gets called the hypophysis. Since this gland has two names, it also has
two roots associated with it, and good news, they’re both really straightforward. The root pituit- can be used in terms like
hyperpituitatirism, which refers to pathological increased activity of the pituitary gland. The root hypophys-, of course, means hypophysis
and you’ll see it in terms like hypophysectomy which is the removal of the pituitary gland. Let’s talk a little bit about the hormones
related to the pituitary gland. Let’s begin with the term which describes
many of the hormones produced by the anterior pituitary, which are known as the tropic hormones. These are hormones which influence the action
of another gland. For example, we have follicle-stimulating
hormone and luteinizing hormone, often simply abbreviated to FSH and LH and both of which
affect the functions of the testes and ovaries. We also have thyroid-stimulating hormone and
adrenocorticotropic hormone, which affect the thyroid and adrenal glands respectively. Keep in mind that we’re going to look at
all these glands individually over the course of this tutorial. Looking quickly at the posterior pituitary
gland, it produces non-tropic hormones such as antidiuretic hormone which is involved
in water retention and oxytocin which influences uterine contractions and lactation. So what happens when things don’t go right
with the pituitary? Due to the wide array of hormones the pituitary
secretes, it can affect many processes in your body. One hormone of interest is growth hormone
and excessive secretion of it can cause acromegaly which is enlargement of the limbs. Overproduction of the hormone in children
can cause increased growth of long bones and lead to gigantism, which refers to abnormal
height. On the other end of the scale, we, of course,
have dwarfism. Now moving on, we have the roots thyr- or
thyr/o- with the O at the end, and thyroid- or thyroid/o- with the O at the end which
are associated with the thyroid gland. For example, thyromegaly means enlargement
of the thyroid gland, also known as goiter. Now when it comes to medical conditions, the
thyroid gland is particularly fascinating. For example, we have Graves’ disease which
is an autoimmune disorder that causes overactivity of the thyroid gland that, in turn, can cause
inflammation of various tissues around the body resulting in conditions like exophthalmos. What is that? You might be asking right now. Well, we’ll break it down for you. In Greek, ex stands for external, enophthalmos
for eye. Combine the two and we get bulging of the
eyeballs out of their sockets. Congenital hypothyroidism is a disease which
results in stunted physical and mental development due to the lack of thyroid gland secretion
or absence of the gland itself from birth. A similar disorder known as myxedema can be
acquired in adulthood as a result of reduced thyroid activity or removal of the thyroid
gland. It causes deposit of mucin in the skin causing
then swelling which is hinted in the name of this disorder. The next pair of glands we’re looking at
are the suprarenal or adrenal glands and their two roots – adren- or adren/o- with the
O at the end and adrenal- or adrenal/o- with the O at the end. They are formed by the Latin prefix ad- for
near and ren- or ren/o- with the O at the end which means kidney, indicating their location
on top of the kidneys. The adrenal gland can also sometimes be called
epinephros which also means near the kidney, but in Greek. This explains why the primary hormones of
this gland are either known as adrenaline and noradrenaline or, alternatively, epinephrine
or norepinephrine. Epinephrine or adrenaline and norepinephrine
or noradrenaline are produced in the inner portion of the adrenals called the medulla. So, the substances pertaining to the medullum
could be referred to as adrenomedullary. Similarly, we also have the root adrenocortic-
or adrenocortic/o- with the O at the end associated with the outer portion of the adrenals known
as the cortex. For example, adrenocorticotropic hormone is
secreted by the pituitary gland and acts to stimulate the adrenal cortex in secreting
cortisol. You’ll find that in terminology, it is all
connected and the same word parts tend to pop up, so once you learn a word part once,
you can use it again and again and again. Now, it’s time to take a look at some medical
conditions associated with adrenal glands. Let’s start with adrenal virilism. It refers to the development of secondary
male sexual characteristics in females or abnormally premature development in males. It is caused by excessive production of androgenic
or male hormones by the adrenal glands, which normally only produce it in small amounts. Now, it’s time to take a look at the pancreas
or, more specifically, the endocrine part of the pancreas, which is known as the pancreatic
islets or islets of Langerhans. The root we have associated with them is insul-
or insul/o- with the O at the end and is actually a good description of the endocrine tissue
arrangement because it arises from the Latin word insula which means “island.” For example, insular means pertaining to the
pancreatic islets. This, of course, also used in relation to
insulin – a hormone produced by the endocrine pancreas which regulates our blood sugar levels. Speaking of blood sugar, it’s important
for us to also be aware of these root words – gluco- and glycol- – which both come
from the Greek words for “sweet.” You’ll see them in terms like glucagon – the
name of another hormone produced at the endocrine pancreas which increases blood sugar levels. Now, it is time for us to address some medical
conditions associated with the endocrine pancreas. Firstly, we have hypoglycemia, which is a
term for low blood sugar or blood glucose which is, of course, regulated by the hormone
secreted by the pancreatic islets. It is also sometimes referred to as glucopenia. Hyperglycemia, in contrast, means high blood
sugar. Now, of course, we can’t talk about the
endocrine pancreas and not mention diabetes mellitus. It is a condition where due to ceased production
of insulin or inability by cells to react to insulin, glucose is no longer absorbed
by cells around the body. The word diabetes comes from the Greek, diabetes,
which means “to pass through”, and mellitus means “sweetened by honey” in Latin, referring
to excess glucose in blood and urine of diabetic patients. But did you know that not all types of diabetes
are related to blood sugar? For example, diabetes insipidus refers to
a disorder of fluid imbalance, excessive urination, and thirst caused by abnormalities in the
pituitary gland. To finish our round up of endocrine organs,
let’s briefly discuss some terminology of the gonads which, of course, the testes in
males and the ovaries in women. The root here is unsurprisingly gonad- or
gonad/o- with the O at the end and you’ll see it in terms like gonadoblastoma, which
refers to a benign tumor made up of gonadal elements. If you watched our episode on the urogenital
systems, you will remember that the root words associated with the ovaries are ovari- or
ovari/o- with the O at the end or oophor- or oophor/o- with the O at the end. While those associated with the testes are
testiculo-, orchi- or orchi/o- with the O at the end, or orchid- or orchid/o- with the
O at the end. Now, in terms of gonadal hormones, the key
term here is actually androgen which comes from the root word andr- or andr/o- with the
O at the end which means “male” in Greek. But don’t let the name fool you. Both men’s and women’s gonads produce
androgens. The principal types of androgens are testosterone
and androstenedione which, again, are found in both males and females. Androgens are, of course, present in much
higher levels in men and play an important role in male secondary sex characteristics
and reproductive activity. In both sexes, one of the purposes of androgens
is to be converted into hormones known as estrogens. These, of course, are found at much higher
levels in females and control the menstrual cycle and development of the female secondary
sexual characteristics. Let’s quickly talk about some hormone medical
conditions related to the gonads. The first is gynecomastia. The prefix gynec- or gynec/o- with the O at
the end comes from the Greek gyne for “woman” and mastia from mastos for “breasts.” Surprisingly, this disorder refers to a male
condition resulting in the development of breast tissue either due to elevated estrogen
or decreased testosterone secretion. Imbalance of reproductive hormones in females
can result in our final condition of interest today, which is known as polycystic ovary
syndrome. It refers to the presence of numerous immature
follicles in the ovaries which resembles cysts due to suppressed ovulation. And that marks the end of all the terminology
we wanted to teach you in this video. Now, why don’t you put all this fresh knowledge
to the test and try to figure out what the following terms mean. Let us know your answers in the comments below. And although this tutorial might be over,
don’t let that put a stop to your learning. Deepen your anatomical knowledge over on kenhub.com
with the help of our articles and beautiful illustrations. Don’t forget to subscribe to this channel
if you want to see more videos, and see you in the next installment of our series where
we’ll cover the largest organ of the body while discussing the terminology of the integumentary
system.