Endocrine glands

Endocrine glands release (secrete) hormones into the bloodstream.

The endocrine glands include:

  • Adrenal
  • Hypothalamus
  • Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas
  • Ovaries
  • Parathyroid
  • Pineal
  • Pituitary
  • Testes
  • Thyroid

Hypersecretion is when an excess of one or more hormone is secreted from a gland. Hyposecretion is when the amount of hormones are released is too low.

There are many types of disorders that can result when too much or too little of a hormone is released.

Disorders that may be associated with abnormal hormone product from a particular gland include:

Adrenal:

Pancreas:

Parathyroid:

  • Tetany
  • Renal calculi
  • Excessive loss of minerals from bone (osteoporosis)

Pituitary:

Testes and ovaries:

  • Lack of sex development (unclear genitalia)

Thyroid:

Endocrine glands

Endocrine glands release hormones (chemical messengers) into the bloodstream to be transported to various organs and tissues throughout the body. For instance, the pancreas secretes insulin, which allows the body to regulate levels of sugar in the blood. The thyroid gets instructions from the pituitary to secrete hormones which determine the rate of metabolism in the body (the more hormone in the bloodstream, the faster the chemical activity; the less hormone, the slower the activity).

Brain-thyroid link

Although the thyroid gland releases the hormones which govern growth and metabolism, the brain (the pituitary and the hypothalamus) manages the release and the balance of the amount of hormones circulated.

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