The human body contains a large number of glands that play a fundamental role in the normal functioning of all the metabolic processes in the body. There are two different types of glands in the human body since there are glands that have their ducts and the glands that secrete the hormones and chemicals straight into the blood. However, all the glands in the body are necessary and they are well coordinated. It happens that the disorder of one gland in the body leads to the occurrence of some disorder or disease of some other gland.
The pituitary gland
The pituitary gland is among the most vital glands in the human body since it produces the hormones that control the working of the rest of the endocrine glands, like thyroid and adrenal glands, as well as ovaries in the females and testes in the males. Since it regulates the normal functioning of other glands, the pituitary gland is frequently names as the master gland.
The pituitary gland is placed at the brain base and its work is regulated by hypothalamus. The pituitary gland is made of three sections and there are three lobes of the pituitary gland: anterior, posterior and intermediate.
Functions of pituitary gland
- The anterior section of the pituitary gland is also medically called adenohypophysis and it is a part of the gland that produces several vital hormones, such as growth hormone, prolactin and adrenocorticotropic hormone. Furthermore, this lobe of the pituitary gland manufactures the thyroid-stimulating hormone, which encourages the thyroid gland to manufacture its two important hormones. The anterior lobe of this gland also secretes the follicle-stimulating hormone and the luteinizing hormone, which are very important for the reproductive system.
- The intermediate lobe of this gland has the role to secrete melanocyte-stimulating hormone, which affects the cells of the skin that contain black pigment.
- Neurohypophysis is the medical term for the posterior lobe of this gland. This section of the pituitary gland is responsible for the proper functioning of the gland itself and it releases the hormone called oxytocin, which is necessary in women since it facilitates the birth of the child, as well as breastfeeding. Another hormone produced in this section of the pituitary gland is antidiuretic hormone, which regulates the water balance in the body.
As we can see, this gland secretes the most important hormones in the body and therefore, its health should always be maintained since the abnormal production of any of these hormones or their insufficiency may trigger many disorders in the body.