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Endocrine glands

Definition

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
Endocrine glands

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Endocrine glands

Information

Hypersecretion is when too many hormones are secreted from a gland. Hyposecretion is when too few hormones are released.

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

Disorders that may result when a particular gland does not produce the right amount of hormones include:

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: Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, Kronenberg HM, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 1.


Review Date: 4/13/2013
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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