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Endocrine Glands

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  • 1. Endocrine Glands & Their Functions Anatomy & Physiology II Georgia Perimeter College K. Donaldson, Instructor
  • 2. Endocrine Glands
    • The body contains two kinds of glands: endocrine and exocrine
    • Exocrine Glands: (sudoriferous, sebaceous, and digestive) secrete their products through ducts into body cavities or onto body surfaces.
    • Endocrine Glands: Secrete their products (hormones) into the extracellular spaces around the secretory cells, rather than into ducts. The secretion then diffuses into capillaries and is carried away by the blood.
  • 3. Endocrine Glands
    • The endocrine system consists of endocrine glands and several organs that contain endocrine tissue.
    • The science concerned with the structure and functions of the endocrine glands and the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the endocrine system is called endocrinology.
  • 4. Comparison of Nervous & Endocrine Systems
    • Together the nervous and endocrine systems coordinate functions of all body systems.
    • The nervous system controls homeostasis through nerve impulses (action potentials) conducted along axons of neurons.
    • In contrast, the endocrine system releases its messenger molecules called hormones into the bloodstream. The circulating blood then delivers hormones to virtually all cells throughout the body.
    • Certain parts of the nervous system stimulate or inhibit the release of hormones. Hormones in turn may promote or inhibit the generation of nerve impulses.
  • 5. Comparison of Nervous and Endocrine Systems
    • Certain parts of the nervous system causes muscles to contract and glands to secrete; the endocrine system. Hormones, in turn, may promote or inhibit the generation of nerve impulses.
    • The nervous system causes muscles to contract and glands to secrete the endocrine system affects virtually all body tissues, altering metabolic activities, regulating growth and development and guiding reproductive processes.
    • Nerve impulses are generally much more rapid in producing their effects than are hormones; the effects of the nervous system are also quite brief compared with those of the endocrine system.
  • 6. Overview of Hormone Effects
    • Hormones regulate the internal environment, metabolism, and energy balance.
    • They also help regulate smooth and cardiac muscular contraction, glandular secretion and certain immune responses.
    • Hormones play a role in the integration of growth and development, the maintenance of homeostasis despite emergency environmental disruptions and contribute to the basic processes of reproduction.
  • 7. Hormones
    • Hormones only affect specific target cells that have receptors to recognize a given hormone.
    • Receptors, like other cellular proteins are constantly synthesized and broken down.
    • When a hormone (or neurotransmitter) is present in excess , the number of receptors may decrease (down regulation) thereby decreasing the responsiveness of target cells to the hormone.
  • 8. Hormones
    • When a hormone (or neurotransmitter) is deficient , the number of receptors may increase (up-regulation ), making the target tissue more sensitive to the stimulating effect of the hormone.
    • Hormones that pass into the blood to act on distant target cells are called circulating hormones or endocrines.
    • Hormones that act on target cells close to their site of release are called local hormones or paracrines or autocrines.
  • 9. Hormones
    • Chemically, hormones are classified as steroids, biogenic amines, proteins and peptides and eicosanoids.
    • Eicosanoids include prostaglandins and leukotrienes.
    • Water soluble hormones circulate in free form in the blood; lipid soluble steroid and thyroid hormones are carried attached to transport proteins.
  • 10. Mechanisms of Hormone Action
    • The response to a hormone depends on both the hormone and the target cell; various target cells respond differently to the same hormone.
  • 11. Mechanisms of Hormone Action
    • Hormones bind to and activate their specific receptors in two quite different ways.
    • Steroid hormones and thyroid affect cell function by binding to and activating an intracellular receptor (usually in the nucleus), consequently altering gene expression.
  • 12. Mechanisms of Hormone Action
    • Water-soluble hormones alter cell function by activating plasma membrane receptors, which initiate a cascade of events inside the cell.
    • After a water-soluble hormone is released from an endocrine gland, it circulates in the blood, reaches a target cell, and brings a specific message to that cell; since such a hormone can deliver its message only to the plasma membrane, it is a called the “first messenger.”
  • 13. Mechanisms of Hormone Action
    • A second messenger is needed to relay the message inside the cell where hormone-stimulated responses can take place; the best known second messenger is cyclic AMP (cAMP) but other substances are known second messengers.
    • G-Proteins are a common feature of the most second messenger systems; the symptoms of cholera are a direct result of the cholera toxin on G-Proteins in the intestinal lining.
  • 14. Mechanisms of Hormone Action
    • Cyclic AMP does not directly produce a particular physiological response, but instead activates one or more enzymes known as protein kinases.
    • The responsiveness of a target cell to a hormone depends on the hormone’s concentration and the number of receptors. The manner in which hormones interact with other hormones is also important.
  • 15. Circulating and Local Hormones
    • Hormones that travel in blood and act on distant target cells are called circulating hormones or endocrines .
    • Hormones that act locally without first entering the blood stream are called local hormones .
    • Those that act on neighboring cells are called paracrines .
    • Those that act on the same cell that secreted them are termed autocrines .
  • 16. Chemical Classes of Hormones
    • Lipid-soluble hormones include the steroids, thyroid hormones, and nitric oxide, which acts as a local hormone in several tissues.
    • Water-soluble hormones include the amines; peptides, proteins, and glycoproteins; and eicosanoids.
  • 17. Hormone Transport In Blood
    • Most water-soluble hormones circulate in plasma in a free, unattached form.
    • Most lipid-soluble hormones bind to transport proteins to be carried in blood.
    • The transport proteins improve the transportability of lipid-soluble hormones by making them temporarily water-soluble, retard passage of the small hormone molecules through the kidney filter thus slowing the rate of hormone loss in urine, and provide a ready reserve of hormone already present in blood.
    • Protein and peptide hormones, such as insulin, will be destroyed by digestive enzymes and must be given by injection.
  • 18. Mechanisms of Hormone Action
    • The response to a hormone depends on both the hormone and the target cell; various target cells respond differently to different hormones.
    • Actions of Lipid-Soluble Hormones
    • Lipid-soluble hormones bind to and activate receptors within cells.
    • The activated receptors then alter gene expression which results in the formation of new proteins.
    • The new proteins alter the cells activity and result in the physiological responses of those hormones.
  • 19. Mechanisms of Hormone Action
    • Action of Water-Soluble Hormones
    • Water-soluble hormones alter cell functions by activating plasma membrane receptors, which set off a cascade of events inside the cell.
    • The water-soluble hormone that binds to the cell membrane receptor is the first messenger .
    • A second messenger is released inside the cell where hormone stimulated response takes place.
    • A typical mechanism of action of a water-soluble hormone is using cyclic AMP as the second messenger.
    • The hormone binds to the membrane receptor.
    • The activated receptor activates a membrane G-protein which turns on adenylate cyclase .
    • Adenylate cyclase converts ATP into cyclic AMP which activates protein kinases .
    • Protein kinases phosphorylate enzymes which catalyze reactions that produce the physiological response.
    • Since hormones that bond to plasma membrane receptors initiate a cascade of events, they can induce their effects at very low concentrations.
    • The cholera toxin modifies G-proteins in epithelial cells lining the intestine so they become locked in an activated state which results in the massive fluid loss this toxin causes.
  • 20. Mechanisms of Hormone Action
    • Hormonal Interactions
    • The responsiveness of a target cell to a hormone depends on the hormone’s concentration, the abundance of the target cell’s hormone receptors, and influences exerted by other hormones.
    • Three hormonal interactions are the permissive effect , the synergistic effect , and the antagonist effect .
  • 21. Hormone Interactions
    • The responsiveness of a target cell to a hormone depends on several factors: the hormone’s concentration, the abundance of the target cell’s hormone receptors, and the influences exerted by the other hormones.
    • A target cell responds more vigorously when the level of a hormone rises or when it has more receptors (up-regulation) .
    • In addition, the actions of some hormones on target cells require a simultaneous or recent exposure to a second hormone. The second hormone in this case is said to have a Permissive Effect.
  • 22. Hormone Interactions
    • Examples of Permissive Effect: Epinephrine alone only weakly stimulates lipolysis (the breakdown of triglycerides) but when small amounts of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) are present, the same amount of epinephrine stimulates lipolysis much more powerfully.
    • Sometimes the permissive hormone increases the number of receptors for the other hormone and sometimes it promotes the synthesis of an enzyme required for the expression of the other hormone’s effects.
  • 23. Hormone Interactions
    • When the effect of two hormones acting together is greater or more extensive than the effect of each hormone acting alone, the two hormones are said to have a Synergistic Effect.
    • For example, normal development of oocytes in the ovaries requires both follicle-stimulating hormone from the anterior pituitary and estrogens from the ovaries. Neither hormone alone is sufficient.
  • 24. Hormone Interactions
    • When one hormone opposes the actions of another hormone, the two hormones are said to have Antagonistic Effects.
    • An example of antagonistic pair of hormones is insulin which promotes synthesis of glycogen by liver cells and glucagon, which stimulates breakdown of glycogen in the liver.
  • 25. Control of Hormone Secretions
    • Most hormones are released in short bursts, with little or no release between bursts. Regulation of hormone secretion normally maintains homeostasis and prevents overproduction or underproduction of a particular hormone; when these regulating mechanisms do not operate properly, disorders result.
    • Hormone secretion is controlled by signals from the nervous system, by chemical changes in the blood, and by other hormones.
    • Most often, negative feedback systems regulate hormonal secretions.
  • 26. Hypothalamus & Pituitary Gland
    • The hypothalamus is the major integrating link between the nervous and endocrine systems.
    • The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland (hypophysis) regulate virtually all aspects of growth, development, metabolism, and homeostasis.
    • The pituitary gland is located in the sella turcica of the sphenoid bone and is differentiated into the anterior pituitary ( adenohypophysis ), the posterior pituitary ( neurohypophysis ), and pars intermedia (avascular zone in between).
  • 27. Anterior Pituitary
    • Anterior Pituitary Gland (Adenohypophysis)
    • Hormones of the anterior pituitary are controlled by releasing or inhibiting hormones produced by the hypothalamus.
    • The blood supply to the anterior pituitary is from the superior hypophyseal arteries .
    • Hormones of the anterior pituitary and the cells that produce them are as follows.
  • 28. Anterior Pituitary
    • Human growth hormone ( hGH ) is secreted by somatotrophs .
    • Thyroid-stimulating hormone ( TSH ) is secreted by thyrotrophs .
    • Follicle-stimulating hormone ( FSH ) and luteinizing hormone ( LH ) are secreted by gonadotrophs.
    • Prolactin ( PRL ) is secreted by lactrotrophs .
    • Adrenocorticotrophic hormone ( ACTH ) and melanocyte-stimulating hormone ( MSH ) are secreted by corticotrophs .
    • Secretion of anterior pituitary gland hormones is regulated by hypothalamic regulating hormones and by negative feedback mechanisms.
  • 29. Anterior Pituitary
    • Human Growth Hormone and Insulinlike Growth Factors
    • Human growth hormone ( hGH ) is the most plentiful anterior pituitary hormone.
    • It acts indirectly on tissues by promoting the synthesis and secretion of small protein hormones called insulinlike growth factors ( IGFs ).
    • IGFs stimulate general body growth and regulate various aspects of metabolism.
    • Various stimuli promote and inhibit hGH production.
    • One symptom of excess hGH is hyperglycemia.
  • 30. Anterior Pituitary Gland
    • Thyroid-stimulating hormone ( TSH ) regulates thyroid gland activities and is controlled by TFH (thyrotropin releasing hormone).
    • Follicle-Stimulating Hormone ( FSH )
    • In females, FSH initiates follicle development and secretion of estrogens in the ovaries.
    • In males, FSH stimulates sperm production in the testes.
  • 31. Anterior Pituitary Gland
    • Luteinizing Hormone ( LH )
    • In females, LH stimulates secretion of estrogen by ovarian cells to result in ovulation and stimulates formation of the corpus luteum and secretion of progesterone.
    • In males, LH stimulates the interstitial cells of the testes to secrete testosterone.
    • Prolactin ( PRL ), together with other hormones, initiates and maintains milk secretion by the mammary glands.
    • Adrenocorticotrophic hormone ( ACTH ) controls the production and secretion of hormones called glucocorticoids by the cortex of the adrenal gland.
    • Melanocyte-stimulating hormone ( MSH ) increases skin pigmentation although its exact role in humans is unknown.
  • 32. Posterior Pituitary
    • Posterior Pituitary Gland (Neurohypophysis)
    • Although the posterior pituitary gland does not synthesize hormones, it does store and release two hormones.
    • The neural connection between the hypothalamus and the neurohypophysis is via the hypothalamohypophyseal tract.
    • Hormones made by the hypothalamus and stored in the posterior pituitary are oxytocin ( OT ) and antidiuretic hormone ( ADH ).
  • 33. Posterior Pituitary
    • Oxytocin stimulates contraction of the uterus and ejection (let-down) of milk from the breasts.
    • Nursing a baby after delivery stiumlates oxytocin release promoting uterine contractions and the expulsion of the placenta (Clinical Application).
    • Antidiuretic hormone stimulates water reabsorption by the kidneys and arteriolar constriction.
    • The effect of ADH is to decrease urine volume and conserve body water.
    • ADH is controlled primarily by osmotic pressure of the blood.
  • 34. Thyroid Gland
    • The thyroid gland is located just below the larynx and has right and left lateral lobes (Figure 18.10a).
    • Histologically, the thyroid consists of the thyroid follicles composed of follicular cells , which secrete the thyroid hormones thyroxine ( T4 ) and triiodothyronine ( T3 ), and parafollicular cells , which secrete calcitonin ( CT ).
    • Formation, Storage, and Release of Thyroid Hormones
    • Thyroid hormones are synthesized from iodine and tyrosine within a large glycoprotein molecule called thyroglobulin ( TGB ) and are transported in the blood by plasma proteins, mostly thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG).
  • 35. Thyroid Gland
    • The formation, storage, and release steps include iodide trapping, synthesis of thyroglobulin, oxidation of iodide, iodination of tyrosine, coupling of T1 and T2, pinocytosis and digestion of colloid, secretion of thyroid hormones, and transport in blood.
    • Thyroid hormones regulate oxygen use and basal metabolic rate, cellular metabolism, and growth and development.
    • Secretion of thyroid hormone is controlled by the level of iodine in the thyroid gland and by negative feedback systems involving both the hypothalamus and the anterior pituitary gland.
    • Calcitonin lowers the blood level of calcium. Secretion is controlled by calcium levels in the blood.
  • 36. Parathyroid Gland
    • The parathyroid glands are embedded on the posterior surfaces of the lateral lobes of the thyroid and contain principal cells , which produce parathyroid hormone , and oxyphil cells , whose function is unknown.
    • Parathyroid hormone ( PTH ) regulates the homeostasis of calcium and phosphate by increasing blood calcium level and decreasing blood phosphate level.
  • 37. Parathyroid Gland
    • PTH increases the number and activity of osteoclasts, increases the rate of Ca+2 and Mg+2 from reabsorption from urine and inhibits the reabsorption of HPO4-2 so more is secreted in the urine, and promotes formation of calcitriol, which increases the absorption of Ca+2, Mg+2,and HPO4-2 from the GI tract.
    • Blood calcium level directly controls the secretion of calcitonin and parathyroid hormone via negative feedback loops that do not involve the pituitary gland.
  • 38. Adrenal Glands
    • The adrenal glands are located superior to the kidneys; they consists of an outer cortex and an inner medulla.
    • Adrenal Cortex--The adrenal cortex is divided into three zones, each of which secretes different hormones.
    • The zona glomerulosa (outer zone) secretes mineralocorticoids .
    • The zona fasciculata (middle zone) secretes glucocorticoids .
    • The zona reticularis (inner zone) secretes androgens .
  • 39. Adrenal Glands
    • The adrenal glands are located superior to the kidneys; they consists of an outer cortex and an inner medulla.
    • Adrenal Cortex--The adrenal cortex is divided into three zones, each of which secretes different hormones.
    • The zona glomerulosa (outer zone) secretes mineralocorticoids .
    • The zona fasciculata (middle zone) secretes glucocorticoids .
    • The zona reticularis (inner zone) secretes androgens .
  • 40. Adrenal Glands
    • Adrenal Medulla--The adrenal medulla consists of hormone-producing cells, called chromaffin cells, which surround large blood-filled sinuses.
    • Medullary secretions are epinephrine and norepinephrine (NE), which produce effects similar to sympathetic responses.
    • They are released under stress by direct innervation from the autonomic nervous system. Like the glucocorticoids of the adrenal cortex, these hormones help the body resist stress. However, unlike the cortical hormones, the medullary hormones are not essential for life.
  • 41. Pancreas
    • The pancreas is a flattened organ located posterior and slightly inferior to the stomach and can be classified as both an endocrine and an exocrine gland.
    • Histologically, it consists of pancreatic islets or islets of Langerhans and clusters of cells (acini) (enzyme-producing exocrine cells).
  • 42. Pancreatic Islets
    • Cell Types in the Pancreatic Islets:
    • Alpha cells secrete the hormone glucagon which increases blood glucose levels.
    • Beta cells secrete the hormone insulin which decreases blood glucose levels.
    • Delta cells secrete growth hormone inhibiting hormone or somatostatin , which acts as a paracrine to inhibit the secretion of insulin and glucagon.
    • F-cells secrete pancreatic polypeptide , which regulates release of pancreatic digestive enzymes.
    • Regulation of glucagon and insulin secretion is via negative feedback mechanisms.
  • 43. Ovaries and Testes
    • Ovaries are located in the pelvic cavity and produce sex hormones ( estrogens and progesterone ) related to development and maintenance of female sexual characteristics, reproductive cycle, pregnancy, lactation, and normal reproductive functions. The ovaries also produce inhibin and relaxin.
    • Testes lie inside the scrotum and produce sex hormones (primarily testosterone ) related to the development and maintenance of male sexual characteristics and normal reproductive functions. The testes also produce inhibin .
  • 44. Pineal Gland
    • The pineal gland ( epiphysis cerebri ) is attached to the roof of the third ventricle, inside the brain.
    • Histologically, it consists of secretory parenchymal cells called pinealocytes , neuroglia cells, and scattered postganglionic sympathetic fibers. The pineal secrets melatonin in a diurnal rhythm linked to the dark-light cycle.
    • Seasonal affective disorder ( SAD ), a type of depression that arises during the winter months when day length is short, is thought to be due, in part, to over-production of melatonin. Bright light therapy, repeated doses of several hours exposure to artificial light as bright as sunlight, may provide relief for this disorder and for jet lag.
  • 45. Thymus
    • The thymus gland secretes several hormones related to immunity .
    • Thymosin, thymic humoral-factor, thymic factor , and thymopoietin promote the proliferation and maturation of T cells, a type of white blood cell involved in immunity.
  • 46. Other Hormones & Growth Factors
    • Several body tissues other than those usually classified as endocrine glands also contain endocrine tissue and thus secrete hormones.
    • Eicosanoids--Eicosanoids, ( prostaglandins [ PGs ] and leukotrienes [ LTs ]) act as paracrines and autocrines in most body tissues by altering the production of second messengers, such as cyclic AMP.
    • Prostaglandins have a wide range of biological activity in normal physiology and pathology.
    • Aspirin and related nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDS ), such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, inhibit a key enzyme in prostaglandin synthesis and are used to treat a wide variety of inflammatory disorders.
    • Growth Factors-- Growth factors are hormones that stimulate cell growth and division. Examples include epidermal growth factor (EGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), nerve growth factor (NGF), tumor angiogenesis factors (TAFs), insulinlike growth factor (IFG), and cytokines.
  • 47. Stress Response
    • Homeostatic mechanisms attempt to counteract the everyday stresses of living. If successful, the internal environment maintains normal physiological limits of chemistry, temperature, and pressure. If a stress is extreme, unusual, or long-lasting, however, the normal mechanisms may not be sufficient, triggering a wide-ranging set of bodily changes called the stress response or general adaptation syndrome ( GAS ).
    • Unlike the homeostatic mechanisms, this syndrome does not maintain a constant internal environment. It does just the opposite to prepare the body to meet an emergency.
    • Productive stress is termed eustress ; whereas, harmful stress is termed distress .
    • The stimuli that produce the general adaptation syndrome are called stressors .
    • Stressors include almost any disturbance: heat or cold, surgical operations, poisons, infections, fever, and strong emotional responses.
  • 48. Stress Response
    • Fight or Flight Response
    • The alarm reaction is initiated by nerve impulses from the hypothalamus to the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system and adrenal medulla.
    • Responses are the immediate and brief flight-or-flight reactions that increase circulation, promote catabolism for energy production, and decrease nonessential activities.
    • The Resistance Reaction--The resistance reaction is initiated by regulating hormones secreted by the hypothalamus.
    • The regulating hormones are CRH (corticotropin releasing hormone), GHRH (growth hormone releasing hormone), and TRH (thyrotropin releasing hormone).
    • CRH stimulates the adenohypophysis (anterior pituitary) to increase its secretion of ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), which in turn stimulates the adrenal cortex to secrete hormones.
  • 49. Stress Response
    • Resistance reactions are long-term and accelerate catabolism to provide energy to counteract stress.
    • Glucocorticoids are produced in high concentrations during stress. They create many distinct physiological effects.
    • Exhaustion--The stage of exhaustion results from dramatic changes during alarm and resistance reactions.
    • Exhaustion is caused mainly by loss of potassium, depletion of adrenal glucocorticoids, and weakened organs. If stress is too great, it may lead to death.
  • 50. Stress, Disease & The Endocrine System
    • Stress and Disease
    • It appears that stress can lead to certain diseases.
    • Among stress-related conditions are gastritis, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers, hypertension, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches, anxiety, and depression.
    • It has also been shown that people under stress are at a greater risk of developing chronic disease or of dying prematurely.
    • A very important link between stress and immunity is interleukin-1 (IL-1) produced by macrophages; it stimulates secretion of ACTH.
    • Post-traumatic Stress Disease may be related to the stress reaction and its effects on the endocrine system
  • 51. Aging & The Endocrine System
    • Pituitary gland production of hGH decreases with age, but production of gonadotropins and of TSH increases with age. ACTH levels are unchanged with age.
    • The thyroid gland decreases its output of thyroxin with age.
    • The thymus gland begins to atrophy at puberty. Adrenal glands produce less cortisol and aldosterone with age.
    • The pancreas releases insulin more slowly with age, and receptor sensitivity to glucose declines.
    • Ovaries reduce in size and no longer respond to gonadotropins. Testosterone production decreases with age but does not present a serious problem.
  • 52. Disorders of the Endocrine System
    • Pituitary Gland Disorders
    • Pituitary Dwarfism, Giantism, and Acromegaly
    • Hyposecretion of hGH results in pituitary dwarfism.
    • Hypersecretion of hGH during childhood results in giantism and during adulthood results in acromegaly.
    • A disorder associated with dysfunction of the posterior pituitary is diabetes insipidus. Hyposecretion of ADH causes excretion of large amounts of dilute urine and subsequent dehydration and thirst.
  • 53. Disorders of the Endocrine System
    • Thyroid Gland Disorders
    • Hyposecretion of thyroid hormones during fetal life or infancy results in cretinism.
    • Hypothyroidism during adult years produces myxedema.
    • The most common form of hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disease.
    • A goiter is an enlarged thyroid gland.
    • Parathyroid Gland Disorders
    • Hypoparathyroidism results in muscle tetany.
    • Hyperparathyroidism produces osteitis fibrosa cystica.
  • 54. Disorders of the Endocrine System
    • Adrenal Gland Disorders
    • Cushing’s syndrome results from a hypersecretion of cortisol by the adrenal cortex.
    • Hyposecretion of glucocorticoids and aldosterone results in Addison’s disease.
    • Pheochromocytomas, benign tumors of the adrenal medulla, cause hypersecretion of medullary hormones and a prolonged fight-or-flight response.
  • 55. Disorders of the Endocrine System
    • Pancreatic Disorders
    • Diabetes Mellitus
    • This is a group of disorders caused by an inability to produce or use insulin.
    • Type I diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus is caused by an absolute deficiency of insulin.
    • Type II diabetes or insulin-independent diabetes is caused by a down-regulation of insulin receptors.
    • Hyperinsulinism results when too much insulin is present and causes hypoglycemia and possibly insulin shock.