According to Britannica, in 1841, Friedrich Henle was the first to recognize “ductless glands” that secrete their products into the bloodstream and not into specialized ducts. In 1855 Claude Bernard distinguished the effects of these ductless glands from other glandular products by the term “internal secretions.” This was the first suggestion of what was to become the modern concept of hormones.
Endocrinology is the study of hormones, endocrine glands, and organs. For diabetes doctors, Metabolism is essential to consider when understanding endocrinology, and researchers and scientist have been studying metabolism within the field of endocrinology for a long time.
Hormone-secreting glands and specific organs in your body make up your endocrine system. A hormone is a chemical messenger that travels from one endocrine gland or organ in your body to another part of your body through your blood. Hormones help features of your body communicate with other components and have a prominent role in many vital bodily functions, such as metabolism.
Endocrinology is essential to metabolism because it focuses on endocrine glands that release hormones. The human body makes and releases over 50 hormones, including adrenaline, estrogen, insulin, melatonin and testosterone, among others. Certain glands in your body called endocrine glands make and release hormones. Glands are tissues in your body that create and release substances. The endocrine glands in your body include the adrenal, pineal, pituitary, and thyroid.
Britannica does a fantastic job of accurately outlining how endocrinology evolved. The following is from the Britannica page, and I encourage you to read it.
The first endocrine therapy was attempted in 1889 by Charles Brown-Séquard, who used extracts from animal testes to treat male aging; this prompted a trend in “organotherapy” that led to adrenal and thyroid extracts. This was the beginning of modern cortisone and thyroid hormones. The first hormone to be purified was secretin, produced by the small intestine to trigger the release of pancreatic juices; it was discovered in 1902 by Ernest Starling and William Bayliss. Starling applied the term “hormone” to such chemicals in 1905, proposing a chemical regulation of physiological processes operating in conjunction with nervous regulation; this essentially was the beginning of the field of endocrinology.
The early years of the 20th century saw the purification of several other hormones, often leading to new therapies for patients affected by hormonal disorders. In 1914 Edward Kendall isolated thyroxine from thyroid extracts; in 1921, Frederick Banting and Charles Best discovered insulin in pancreatic extracts, immediately transforming the treatment of diabetes (that same year, Romanian scientist Nicolas C. Paulescu independently reported the presence of a substance called pancrein, which is thought to have been insulin, in pancreatic extracts). In 1929 Edward Doisy isolated an estrus-producing hormone from the urine of pregnant females.
The availability of nuclear technology after World War II also led to new treatments for endocrine disorders, notably using radioactive iodine to treat hyperthyroidism, significantly reducing the need for thyroid surgery. Combining radioactive isotopes with antibodies against hormones, Rosalyn Yalow and S.A. Berson in 1960 discovered the basis for radioimmunoassay, which enables endocrinologists to determine with significant precision minute amounts of the hormone, permitting the early diagnosis and treatment of endocrine disorders.
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