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Exploring the medical and scientific background of blood drinking
Investigation and Research Into Sanguinarians
Investigation and Research Into Sanguinarians
Copyright 2005
by Sarah Mediv 
  All Rights reserved 
  E-Mail: s_faolchu@yahoo.com

Murray, Robert K. et. el "Harper's Illustrated Biochemistry. 28th Edition" China: McGraw-Hill Company Inc. 2009.

Haberle, J et. al "Congenital glutamine deficiency with glutamine synthetase mutations." N Engl J Med. 2005 Nov 3;353(18):1926-33. Web. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16267323>

Exner, R et. al "Glutamine deficiency renders human monocytic cells more susceptible to specific apoptosis triggers." Surgery. 2002 Jan;131(1):75-80. Web. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11812966>
Endocrinology is the study of the endocrine glands and hormones. The endocrine glands are any of the organs of our body that produce the hormones. Usually these are "long distance" signals... one part of the body telling another part of the body to increase or decrease production of a hormone or enzyme. Because of this action on many parts of the body, it is actually tied to other fields of medicine as well. Here, I intend to discuss some of the major and a few minor endocrine organs and how they may play a role in sanguinarians.

What are the Endocrine Organs and What Does Each Do?

There are ten "major" endocrine glands. these are the glands for which secretion of hormones is the primary purpose:
1) Hypothalamus: In the brain. Controls many of the other endocrine organs. Responsible for hunger and thirst responses.
2) Pituitary: In the brain. Controls sleep/wake and seasonal cycles, growth, lactation, ovarian and adrenal control.
3) Pineal: In the brain. Control melatonin in response to light cycles.
4) Thyroid: In the neck. Controls metabolism and calcium regulation.
5) Parathyroid glands: In the neck. Controls muscle and bone growth as well as calcium and phosphorus regulation.
6) Thymus: Above and infront of the heart. Controls t-cells for immunity.
7) Pancreas: Near the stomach. Controls glucose regulation.
8) Adrenals: Above the kidneys. Controls steroid production and stress responses ("fight or flight")
9) Ovaries: Lower abdomen (females). Controls uterine cycles and secondary sex characteristics (breasts and hair)
10) Testes: Outside the abdomen (males). Controls development and function of male sex organs and secondary characteristics (body hair, voice changes).
"Minor" endocrine organs are those that secrete hormones but that is not the primary purpose of the organ. This includes muscle, gut, spleen and kidneys. They secrete hormones for growth, hunger and blood regulation but are minor in comparison to the major organs. Here, we will focus primarly on the major organs.

What Happens When the Endocrine Organs Do Not Work Properly?

When the endocrine organs either fail to release hormones or release too much hormone many different diseases can occur. Examples for each include:
1) Because of the control the hypothalamus exerts over other endocrine organs, disease of the hypothalamus usually manifests as disorders of other endocrine organs.
2) Pituitary disorders result in dwarfism, gigantism, diabetus insipidus and acromegaly.
3) Pineal disorders are usually related to a mass or cyst on the gland and thus manifest as headaches and insomnia.
4) Thyroid disorders result in Grave's disease, myxedema and cretinism.
5) Parathyroid disease is typically a result of low production (hypoparathyroidism)
6) Thymomas result in breathing difficulty and night sweats.
7) Pancreatic disease results in diabetus mellitus.
8) Adrenal gland disease results in Cushing's or Addison's Disease
9) Ovarian disorders cause changes in the menstrual cycle or pregnancy complications.
10) Testicular disorders usually affect fertility and may cause feminization if hormone changes occur.