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From the pea-sized pituitary gland (which controls growth) to the adrenal glands (which respond to and regulate stress in the body), the endocrine system is part of the body's checks-and-balances system, regulating some of its most essential functions. When the body has trouble controlling hormone levels, an individual can suffer from thyroid disease, infertility, cholesterol disorders, glandular cancers, and diabetes, to name just a few diseases. Disorders of the endocrine system are as varied and complex as glands and hormones themselves.