Friday, October 24, 2014

Endocrine glands

Table of Contents

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

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:

  • Addison's disease
  • Adrenogenital syndrome
  • Cushing syndrome
  • Pheochromocytoma

Pancreas:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypoglycemia

Parathyroid:

  • Tetany
  • Renal calculi
  • Excessive loss of minerals from bone

Pituitary:

  • Growth hormone deficiency
  • Acromegaly
  • Diabetes
  • Gigantism
  • Diabetes insipidus

Testes and ovaries:

  • Lack of sex development (unclear genitalia)

Thyroid:

  • Congenital hypothyroidism
  • Myxedema
  • Goiter
  • Thyrotoxicosis


Review Date: 05/01/2011
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.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org)