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Topic Index

Anatomy of the Endocrine System

Statistics

Hormones and the Endocrine System

Pituitary Gland: Location and Function

Pituitary Gland Disorders

Pancreas: Location and Function

Pancreas Disorders

Adrenal Glands: Location and Function

Adrenal Gland Disorders

Thyroid Gland: Location and Function

Thyroid Function Tests

Thyroid Disorders

Parathyroid Glands: Location and Function

Parathyroid Gland Disorders

Reproductive Glands

Type 1 Diabetes

Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)

Glossary

The endocrine system is a complex collection of hormone-producing glands that control basic body functions such as metabolism, growth and sexual development.

The amount of hormones produced by each gland is carefully balanced. Too much or too little of a certain hormone can have effects throughout the body and cause various endocrine disorders. Many of the hormones produced by the endocrine glands interact with each other to maintain this delicate balance.

The endocrine system consists of the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, pancreas, adrenal cortex, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, and gonads.

The endocrine glands secrete the hormones they produce directly into the bloodstream. On the other hand, the exocrine glands actually secrete their substances through ducts to particular areas of the body. Examples of exocrine glands include the salivary glands and the sweat glands. Most endocrine glands are controlled by trophic (stimulating) hormones secreted by the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland, in turn, is controlled by hormones secreted by the hypothalamus in the brain.


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