Anatomy of the Endocrine System (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
The thyroid gland is located in the lower front part of the neck. It produces thyroid hormones that regulate the body's metabolism. It also plays a role in bone growth and development of the brain and nervous system in children. The pituitary gland controls the release of thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones also help maintain normal blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, muscle tone, and reproductive functions.
The parathyroid glands are two pairs of small glands embedded in the surface of the thyroid gland, one pair on each side. They release parathyroid hormone, which plays a role in regulating calcium levels in the blood and bone metabolism.
The two adrenal glands are triangular-shaped glands located on top of each kidney. The adrenal glands are made up of two parts. The outer part is called the adrenal cortex, and the inner part is called the adrenal medulla. The outer part produces hormones called corticosteroids, which regulate the body's metabolism, the balance of salt and water in the body, the immune system, and sexual function. The inner part, or adrenal medulla, produces hormones called catecholamines (for example, adrenaline). These hormones help the body cope with physical and emotional stress by increasing the heart rate and blood pressure.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/1/2016
Stephen Kemp, MD, PhD
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