A hormone is a chemical substance secreted in the body by a gland to control the activity of other tissues at a distance. The hormone may act on the body generally, as thyroid hormone functions rather like the accelerator pedal on a car. Too much hormone, and the metabolism runs too fast: the heart races, the body temperature is elevated, the hands tremble. Too little hormone, and everything slows down: the voice deepens and coarsens, the body temperature drops, and activity and mental processes slow down. Or a hormone may act to control another gland, as thyroid releasing hormone from the pituitary gland near the brain controls the release of the thyroid hormone.

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