Did you know that a gland about the size of a pea, located at the bottom of your brain is the master gland of your entire endocrine system? It is known as the master gland of the endocrine system simply because it controls the functions of all other glands of the endocrine system. This gland also secretes hormones, which are blood stream traveling chemicals.
Now, this gland is actually attached to the part of your brain that ultimately affects it, known as the hypothalamus. The two are attached via nerve fibers. The pituitary “master” gland is made up of three sections, which are the anterior lobe, the intermediate lobe as well as the posterior lobe. Let’s break all three of these sections down and look at the functions of each as each of them produce different, but specific hormones and the pituitary gland overall.
The Anterior Lobe
The anterior lobe of the master gland produces several different types of hormones. The first of which is the growth hormone, which needs no introduction as it is self-explanatory. This part of the gland also produces prolactin, which is produced in order to help in the stimulation of the production of milk after childbirth. Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) stimulate adrenal glands and the thyroid gland respectively. The luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) both help to stimulate both the ovaries and/or testes.
The Intermediate Lobe
The intermediate lobe of the pituitary gland only produces a hormone known as a melanocyte-stimulating hormone. Its primary function is to control the body’s skin pigmentation.
The Posterior Lobe
This part of the gland produces only two hormones. The first of which is the antidiuretic hormone (ADH), which is known to increase water absorption into the blood by the body’s kidneys. The second of which is oxytocin, which also helps to stimulate the production of milk and to also help in the contraction of the uterus during childbirth.
With that said, the pituitary gland ultimately controls adrenal glands, the thyroid, ovaries and the testes – and much more. The pituitary gland, all three parts of it, is a huge part of our body, the way we function and the way we respond to our surrounding environment, whether we realize this or not.
No related posts.