The endocrine glands, including the pituitary gland, pineal gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands and pancreas are small glands located throughout the human body that have a huge effect on the human system. Because they affect and regulate a lot of the human body, it is important that you understand them and pay attention to them. Many endocrine glands are affected by emotional problems, nutrition, physical health and other underlying problems.
Pituitary Gland – The pituitary gland is the size of a pea, located deep in the hypothalamus in the brain, and is extremely important because it releases and synthesizes hormones. These affect human growth, blood pressure, childbirth, pregnancy, breast milk, sex organs, thyroid glands, metabolism, water regulation, temperature, pain and sleep.
Pineal Gland – René Descartes believed to be the center of the soul. The Pineal Gland has been considered extremely important. It stays in the vertebrate brain and secretes melatonin, which affects sleep patterns and circadian rhythms (day and night).
Thyroid gland – The thyroid gland is located in the throat and affects the body controlling metabolism, which affects how the body reacts to drugs and medicines, how fast the body uses energy (ie converts fat and carbohydrates into energy in instead of storing it in fat cells) and secrete proteins. The thyroid can be affected by a number of factors, causing weight gain, weight loss and autoimmune problems such as Graves’ disease. The causes are numerous, but iodine deficiency is a very common reason for problems.
Parathyroid Glands – Humans generally have four parathyroid glands, which are located in the neck, and work to maintain the body’s supply of calcium and phosphate, allowing the nervous and musculoskeletal systems to function properly. The glands also secrete the parathyroid hormone, which helps control calcium and phosphate, allowing the stomach, bones and kidneys to better absorb and break down calcium, phosphate and vitamin D.
Thymus Gland – In the middle of the chest, right behind the bone where we touch when we say “I”, is a small gland called thymus. Its Greek name, thýmos, means vital energy. Formerly, it was believed that the person’s soul was stored inside the thymus. The thymus was the last of the organs important for the body to have its functions unveiled. The thymus is a gland that participates in the regulation of the immune defense of the organism, acting together with the thyroid and the parathyroids. It is considered a primary lymphoid organ. The main function of the thymus is the maturation of the T lymphocytes.
Adrenal Glands – The adrenal glands play several roles, including the production of adrenaline, aldosterone, and cortisol. The adrenal glands are located above the kidneys and affect the metabolism, regulating fats, salts and sugars in the blood. They also help regulate blood flow, absorption of sodium in the bloodstream, absorption of amino acids from proteins, creation of free fatty acids to provide energy and affect the rhythm of circadian sleep. The adrenal glands affect blood pressure, colon, kidneys and liver.
Pancreas – The pancreas acts as an organ, but is also part of the endocrine system, because it secretes hormones that regulate glucose, insulin and a variety of other functions.