Glands are important organs located throughout the body. They produce and release substances that perform certain functions. Although you have many glands throughout your body, they fall into two types: endocrine and exocrine.
Endocrine and exocrine glands serve very different purposes in the body.
Endocrine glands are part of your endocrine system. They produce hormones and release them into the bloodstream. These hormones control several important functions in your body, such as:
- its growth and development
Your endocrine glands include:
- adrenal glands
- pituitary gland
- Pineal gland
There are also organs that contain endocrine tissue and act like glands. These include:
Your exocrine glands produce other substances – not hormones – that are released through ducts to the outside of your body, such as sweat, saliva and tears.
Substances released by your exocrine glands play important roles in your body. They do things like help regulate body temperature, protect the skin and eyes, and even help mothers feed babies by producing breast milk.
Your exocrine glands include:
Lymph nodes are often referred to as glands, but they are not true glands. They are part of yourimmune systemand help your body fight infections.
You have glands all over your body, all varying in size and function. Here are some examples of these glands and what they do.
Your thyroid gland is located at the front of your neck, just below your larynx. It measures approximately two centimeters and has a similar shape to a butterfly. It secretes hormones that affect virtually every tissue in the body. Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism, heart and digestive function. They also play a role in brain and nerve development, muscle control and mood.
Thyroid function is controlled by the pituitary gland, a small gland located at the base of the brain.
The pituitary gland is a pea-sized gland at the base of the brain, just behind the bridge of the nose. It is controlled by the hypothalamus, which sits just above it. The pituitary gland is often called the master gland because it controls several other hormone glands, including:
- adrenal gland
The hypothalamus functions as a communication center for the pituitary gland, sending signals and messages to the pituitary gland to produce and release hormones that trigger the production and release of other hormones.
Your hypothalamus influences many functions in your body, including:
- temperature regulation
- food intake
- am and eve
- emotional behavior
Your pineal gland is located right in the center of your brain. Its function is not completely understood, but we do know that it secretes and regulates certain hormones, includingmelatonin. Melatonin helps regulate your sleep patterns, also known as circadian rhythms.
The pineal gland also plays a role in regulating female hormones, which affect themenstrual cycleand fertility.
Your adrenal glands are located on top of each kidney. They produce several hormones, some of which include:
- a small amount of sex hormones called androgens
The hormones produced by the adrenal glands have several important functions. They help your body:
- control blood sugar
- burn fat and protein
- regulate blood pressure
- react to stressors
The pancreas - a long, flat organ located in the abdomen - is made up of two types of glands: exocrine and endocrine. The pancreas is surrounded bysmall intestine,stomach,liver,gallbladder, espleen.
The pancreas plays an important role in converting the food you eat into fuel for your body's cells. It does this through digestive production.enzymesthat are released into your small intestine to break down and digest food. It also produces hormones that control the blood.glucoselevels.
Your skin is covered with sweat glands, of which there are two types: eccrine and apocrine. Your eccrine glands open directly into your skin and regulate your body temperature by releasing water onto your skin's surface when your body temperature rises.
Apocrine glands open into the hair follicle and are found in hairy areas such as the skin, armpits, and groin. These glands secrete a milky fluid, usually in response to stress. Your body also contains modified apocrine glands:
- on the eyelids
- on the areola and nipples
- no nose
- in the ears
Sebaceous glands are located all over the skin, although there are few on the hands and feet and none on the palms and soles. They secrete an oily substance called sebum that lubricates the skin.
Most of these glands release into a hair follicle, although some open directly onto the surface of the skin, such as the meibomian glands in the eyelids, Fordyce's spots on the genitals and upper lip, and Tyson's glands in the foreskin.
These glands perform certain functions in your body, such as:
- regulate body temperature by working with the sweat glands
- helping your skin retain moisture
- helping to fight infections caused by bacteria and fungi
Your salivary glands are located in your mouth. You have hundreds of tiny glands located all over your:
You have three pairs of major salivary glands, including:
- parotid glands, located in front of and just below the ears
- sublingual glands, located just below the tongue
- submandibular glands, located under the jaw
The salivary glands produce saliva and flow into the mouth through ducts. Saliva serves a few important purposes, including moistening your food to help you chew, swallow, and digest it. Saliva also contains antibodies that kill germs to keep your mouth healthy.
The mammary glands, which are a type of sweat gland, are responsible for producing breast milk. Males also have glandular tissue in their breasts, but the estrogen produced duringpubertytriggers the growth of this tissue in females.
Hormonal changes duringpregnancysignal the ducts to produce milk in preparation for the baby.
There are several different problems that can affect the glands. Depending on which glands are affected, a person may experience symptoms that affect different parts of the body.
Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism arecommon thyroid disorders. Hypothyroidism occurs due to an underactive thyroid that does not produce enough thyroid hormones. Hyperthyroidism is the result of an overactive thyroid that produces too much thyroid hormone. Both conditions can cause enlarged thyroid gland or goiter.
Hypothyroidism can also causeunintentional weight gain, fatigue, and a slow heartbeat, while hyperthyroidism does the opposite, causing unintentional weight loss, nervousness, and a rapid heartbeat. Both conditions can usually be treated with medications to restore proper thyroid function.
A healthy pancreas releasesinsulinwhen blood sugar gets too high. Insulin causes your cells to convert sugar to use for energy or store it as fat. Indiabetes, your pancreas does not produce insulin or does not use it properly, leading to high blood sugar levels.
Diabetes can lead to a number of serious complications, including nerve damage,heart disease, eAVC. There are two different types of diabetes. Common symptoms include increased thirst, weight changes, and frequent or recurrent infections.
Treatment depends on the type of diabetes, but may consist of medications, insulin, and lifestyle changes.
Adrenal gland disorders
Adrenal gland disorders are caused by too much or too little of a certain hormone, such as cortisol.Cushing's Syndrome, an adrenal disorder caused bycortisol alto, causes weight gain, a fatty bulge between the shoulders, and high blood pressure. It is usually caused by prolonged use ofcorticosteroids.
Adrenal insufficiency, which occurs when the body produces too little cortisol and sometimes aldosterone, can cause decreased appetite, weight loss andmuscle weakness. Adrenal disorders can be treated with drugs, surgery and other therapies, or by stopping corticosteroids.
Disorders of the salivary glands
The formation of stones or tumors, infections and certain medical conditions, such asautoimmune disorderseHIV and AIDS, can prevent the salivary glands from working properly. When your salivary glands don't produce enough saliva, it can affect chewing, swallowing, and tasting. It can also increase the risk of oral infections, such ascavities.
Symptoms usually include pain or swelling in the face, neck or under the tongue and dry mouth. Treatment ofsalivary gland disordersit depends on the cause and may include medication or surgery.
Problems with your glands can cause vague symptoms. See your doctor if you notice any unusual swelling or changes in your appearance, such as unexplained weight changes. Also see your doctor if you develop changes in your heart rhythm orpalpitations.
Fatigue, weakness and changes in appetite lasting longer than two weeks should also prompt a visit to the doctor.
(Video) Overview and Anatomy & Physiology | Endocrine System (Part 1)
Your glands play a role in almost every bodily function. Endocrine glands secrete hormones into the bloodstream. Exocrine glands secrete other substances to the outside of your body.
A problem with one of your glands needs to be addressed to avoid serious complications. See your doctor if you suspect you have a gland disorder.
Glands produce and release different hormones that target specific things in the body. You have glands all over your body, including in your neck, brain and reproductive organs. Some glands are tiny, about the size of a grain of rice or a pea. The largest gland is the pancreas, which is about 6 inches long.What are glands in anatomy? ›
(gland) An organ that makes one or more substances, such as hormones, digestive juices, sweat, tears, saliva, or milk. Endocrine glands release the substances directly into the bloodstream.What are the 4 main glands? ›
The female ovaries, male testes, and pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands are major constituents of the endocrine system.What are glands anatomy and physiology? ›
A gland is a functional unit of cells that works together to create and release a product into a duct or directly to the bloodstream. Two principal types of glands exist: exocrine and endocrine.What are the 7 glands in the body? ›
Important endocrine glands include the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, thymus, and adrenal glands. There are other glands that contain endocrine tissue and secrete hormones, including the pancreas, ovaries, and testes. The endocrine and nervous systems work closely together.Where are glands in the body? ›
Many glands make up the endocrine system. The hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and pineal gland are in your brain. The thyroid and parathyroid glands are in your neck. The thymus is between your lungs, the adrenals are on top of your kidneys, and the pancreas is behind your stomach.What is a gland quizlet? ›
Gland. an organ of the body that secretes one or more hormones.How many glands are in our body? ›
The endocrine system is made up of the endocrine glands that secrete hormones. Although there are eight major endocrine glands scattered throughout the body, they are still considered to be one system because they have similar functions, similar mechanisms of influence, and many important interrelationships.What are the 6 glands in the body? ›
The hormones released by the endocrine system control many important functions in the body, including growth and development, metabolism, and reproduction. The endocrine system includes the hypothalamus, pineal gland, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, thymus, adrenal glands, and pancreas.What are glands examples? ›
A gland that makes substances such as sweat, tears, saliva, milk, and digestive juices, and releases them through a duct or opening to a body surface. Examples of exocrine glands include sweat glands, lacrimal glands, salivary glands, mammary glands, and digestive glands in the stomach, pancreas, and intestines.
- Holocrine Glands.
- Merocrine Glands.
- Apocrine Glands.
The liver is the largest gland in the human body. It is also the largest (internal)organ in our body and can weigh up to 1.5 kg for a human adult. That is, about 1/50th of the body weight is because of the liver.What are five glands and their functions? ›
- Pituitary gland which secretes growth hormone.
- Thyroid gland which secretes thyroxine hormone.
- Parathyroid gland which secretes parathormone.
- Pancreas which secretes insulin.
- Adrenal glands secrete adrenaline.
Exocrine glands secrete their substances through ducts onto your body's surfaces. On the other hand, endocrine glands secrete their substances directly into your bloodstream. They're called ductless glands. Endocrine glands are part of your endocrine system, and they secrete hormones.What are the 5 types of glands? ›
- Salivary glands - secrete saliva.
- Sweat glands- secrete sweat.
- Mammary glands- secrete milk.
- Endocrine glands - secrete hormones.
- pineal body.
- the ovaries.
- the testes.
Speak to your GP if you have swollen glands and:
they haven't gone down within a few weeks or are getting bigger. they feel hard or don't move when you press them. you also have a sore throat and find it difficult to swallow or breathe.
- The salivary glands provide saliva to the mouth to keep it moist. They're under the jaw and on the side of our face.
- The lymph glands, also known as lymph nodes, are mostly on the side of the neck.
In humans and other animals, glands are tissues or organs that produce substances that are necessary for the functioning of other tissues or organs. They remove specific substances from the blood, change or concentrate them, and then either release them for further use or eliminate them.What is a simple gland? ›
Simple glands – these have a single, unbranched duct. Examples include sebaceous glands, intestinal crypts and uterine glands. Compound glands – these have multiple, branched ducts. Examples include the salivary glands and the pancreas.
Anatomy of the pituitary gland
The pituitary gland is sometimes called the "master" gland of the endocrine system because it controls the functions of many of the other endocrine glands. The pituitary gland is no larger than a pea, and is located at the base of the brain.
Glands produce and release different hormones that target specific things in the body. You have glands all over your body, including in your neck, brain and reproductive organs. Some glands are tiny, about the size of a grain of rice or a pea.Do you have glands all over your body? ›
Lymph nodes are located throughout the body, including the neck, armpits, groin, around the gut, and between the lungs. Lymph nodes drain lymph fluid from nearby organs or areas of the body.Is stomach a gland? ›
The major type of gastric gland is the oxyntic gland that is present in 80 per cent of the stomach, and is often referred to simply as the gastric gland. The oxyntic gland is an exocrine gland and contains the parietal cells that produce hydrochloric acid, and intrinsic factor.Which glands are essential for life? ›
Adrenals: The adrenal glands (each of which weighs about 4 grams and is about the size of your thumb) are situated just above the kidneys and consist of two parts, the adrenal medulla and the adrenal cortex. These glands produce hormones which are essential for life and help us cope with stress.What is the difference between a gland and an organ? ›
Glands usually secrete substances. An organ is a group of differentiated tissues that perform a specific function. These structure do not secrete any substances.What are the glands found only in female? ›
Ovaries (females only): 2 glands found on each side of the uterus in the pelvis.Which gland affects how the kidneys operate? ›
The adrenal glands are 2 triangle-shaped endocrine glands. One sits on top of each kidney. They form part of the body's hormonal system.What is the most common of all endocrine disorders? ›
In the United States, the most common endocrine disease is diabetes. There are many others. They are usually treated by controlling how much hormone your body makes.When should a woman see an endocrinologist? ›
If your primary healthcare provider suspects your body may be having issues with certain hormones, they may have you see an endocrinologist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. An endocrinologist could also be part of a team of healthcare providers to treat certain conditions such as cancers and fertility issues.
Final answer: The tongue is not a gland.Is The skin A gland? ›
The human skin has several types of exocrine glands (Latin, glandulae cutis), which release their biochemical products onto the skin surface. All skin glands consist by a secretory compartment, the gland or coil (tubulus), and an excretory part, the duct (ductus).What are the 3 mixed glands in human body? ›
Pancreas, ovaries and testes are examples of mixed glands.What is the difference between a duct and a gland? ›
A gland is an organ which involves secretion of chemical substances. Whereas, a duct is a tube-like structure which helps in transfering the secretions/cells, etc. to various body parts.What is the smallest gland in the body? ›
The smallest gland found in the body of a human being is the pineal gland. It is situated at the dorsal side of the forebrain and originates from the embryo's ectoderm. The weight of a pineal gland is 150 milligrams. The prime role of the pineal gland is to balance the rhythm of the body and secrete melatonin hormone.Is the pancreas A gland? ›
The pancreas is made up of 2 types of glands: Exocrine. The exocrine gland secretes digestive enzymes. These enzymes are secreted into a network of ducts that join the main pancreatic duct.Which gland is known as Third Eye? ›
The pineal gland was commonly called the “third eye” for many reasons, including its location deep in the center of the brain and its connection to light via the circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion.Which gland is responsible for growth? ›
The pituitary gland is a structure in our brain that produces different types of specialised hormones, including growth hormone (also referred to as human growth hormone or HGH). The roles of growth hormone include influencing our height, and helping build our bones and muscles.What gland produces hormones? ›
Endocrine glands, which are special groups of cells, make hormones. The major endocrine glands are the pituitary, pineal, thymus, thyroid, adrenal glands, and pancreas. In addition, men produce hormones in their testes and women produce them in their ovaries.What is the most common disease treated by an endocrinologist? ›
Some of the most common conditions that endocrinologists treat include: Diabetes (types 1 and 2) Hypoglycemia. Adrenal disorders, including Conn's syndrome (primary hyperaldosteronism) and Cushing syndrome.
Epithelia are a group of tissues derived from all three embryonic germ layers, which are involved in absorption, secretion, selective diffusion and physical protection. Epithelia primarily involved in secretion are arranged into structures known as glands.What are the two most important glands in the body? ›
Thyroid and parathyroid.
The thyroid gland and parathyroid glands are located in front of the neck, below the larynx (voice box). The thyroid plays an important role in the body's metabolism. The parathyroid glands play an important role in the regulation of the body's calcium balance.
A pea-sized organ attached to the part of the brain called the hypothalamus. It lies at the base of the brain above the back of the nose.Are glands an organ? ›
An organ that makes one or more substances, such as hormones, digestive juices, sweat, tears, saliva, or milk.What are the 4 glands present in the body? ›
- Adipose tissue.
- Adrenal glands.
- Parathyroid glands.
- Pineal gland.
The major glands of the endocrine system include the pineal gland, pituitary gland, pancreas, ovaries, testes, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, hypothalamus and adrenal glands. The hypothalamus and pituitary gland are neuroendocrine organs.What are example glands? ›
A gland that makes substances such as sweat, tears, saliva, milk, and digestive juices, and releases them through a duct or opening to a body surface. Examples of exocrine glands include sweat glands, lacrimal glands, salivary glands, mammary glands, and digestive glands in the stomach, pancreas, and intestines.How many glands are in the body? ›
The endocrine system is made up of seven different glands that make chemicals called hormones. Hormones are substances that act as "messengers" to control many body functions.Which is the biggest gland in our body? ›
The liver is the largest gland in the human body. It is also the largest (internal)organ in our body and can weigh up to 1.5 kg for a human adult. That is, about 1/50th of the body weight is because of the liver.What is the importance of glands in the human body? ›
Your glands play a role in almost every bodily function. Endocrine glands secrete hormones to your bloodstream. Exocrine glands secrete other substances to your body's exterior. A problem with one of your glands needs to be treated to prevent serious complications.
The pituitary gland is sometimes called the "master" gland of the endocrine system because it controls the functions of many of the other endocrine glands. The pituitary gland is no larger than a pea, and is located at the base of the brain.What is also called the master gland? ›
The pituitary gland is sometimes called the master gland of the endocrine system. This is because it controls the functions of many of the other endocrine glands.What 3 glands are commonly found in the skin? ›
Skin Glands: Sebaceous, Eccrine, and Apocrine Glands | Fitzpatrick's Dermatology, 9e | AccessMedicine | McGraw Hill Medical.