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Endocrine glands

Definition

Endocrine glands release hormones into the bloodstream.

Endocrine glands include the:

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

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Endocrine glands

Information

When a gland releases a substance, it is called secretion. Hypersecretion is when too many hormones are released. Hyposecretion is when too few hormones are released.

Many different disorders can result when too few hormones or too many hormones are released.

Here is a partial list of disorders that may result when a particular gland does not produce the right amount of hormones.

Adrenal:

Pancreas:

Parathyroid:

Pituitary:

Pituitary gland

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Pituitary gland

Testes and ovaries:

  • Lack of sex development (unclear genitalia)

Thyroid:

References

Kronenberg HM, Melmed S, Larsen PR, Polonsky KS. Principles of endocrinology. In: Kronenberg HM, Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 1.


Review Date: 5/1/2011
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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