Endocrine Glands and Hormones

  •  Hypothalamus: The hypothalamus is located in the lower central part of the brain. This part of the brain is important in regulation of satiety, metabolism, and body temperature. In addition, it secretes hormones that stimulate or suppress the release of hormones in the pituitary gland.
  • Pituitary gland: The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain beneath the hypothalamus and is no larger than a pea. It is often considered the most important part of the endocrine system because it produces hormones that control many functions of other endocrine glands
  • Pineal gland: The pineal body, or pineal gland, is located in the middle of the brain. It secretes a hormone called melatonin, which may help regulate the wake-sleep cycle of the body
  • Thyroid gland: The thyroid gland is located in the lower front part of the neck. It produces thyroid hormones that regulate the body's metabolism. It also plays a role in bone growth and development of the brain and nervous system in children. The pituitary gland controls the release of thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones also help maintain normal blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, muscle tone, and reproductive function
  • Parathyroid: The parathyroid glands are two pairs of small glands embedded in the surface of the thyroid gland, one pair on each side. They release parathyroid hormone, which plays a role in regulating calcium levels in the blood and bone metabolism.
  • Thymus: Thymus gland makes white blood cells called T-lymphocytes that fight infection and are crucial as a child's immune system develops. The thymus starts to shrink after puberty.
  • Adrenal Glands: The two adrenal glands are triangular-shaped glands located on top of each kidney. The adrenal glands are made up of two parts. The outer part is called the adrenal cortex, and the inner part is called the adrenal medulla. The outer part produces hormones called corticosteroids, which regulate the body's metabolism, the balance of salt and water in the body, the immune system, and sexual function. The inner part, or adrenal medulla, produces hormones called catecholamines.
  • Pancreas: The pancreas is an elongated organ located toward the back of the abdomen behind the stomach. The pancreas has digestive and hormonal functions. One part of the pancreas, the exocrine pancreas, secretes digestive enzymes. The other part of the pancreas, the endocrine pancreas, secretes hormones called insulin and glucagon. These hormones regulate the level of glucose in the blood.
  • The reproductive glands: These glands are the main source of sex hormones. In males, the testes, located in the scrotum, secrete hormones called androgens; the most important of which is testosterone. These hormones affect many male characteristics like sexual development, growth of facial hair and pubic hair as well as sperm production. In females, the ovaries, located on both sides of the uterus, produce estrogen and progesterone as well as eggs. These hormones control the development of female characteristics such as breast growth, and they are also involved in reproductive function like menstruation, pregnanc

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