The pituitary gland?
The pituitary is seen as the most important gland in your body. It is known as the ‘master’ of all glands, simply for the reason that it controls many other hormone glands, such as thyroid, adrenals etc.
It is more or less of the size of a standard pea, consisting of two parts — one in the front and the other on its back. These frontal and posterior parts are also known as lobes. The medical practitioners often refer these parts as:
- Anterior pituitary
- Posterior Pituitary
The pituitary gland is found at the bottom of your brain, just beneath the hypothalamus and attached to it through nerve fibers. This is just at the back of the nose bridge close to your nerves.
A part of the endocrine system, the pituitary gland generates crucial hormones (chemical materials) that control many functions of the body.
It is generally considered the most significant component of the endocrine system as it generates hormones that manage many tasks of other endocrine glands.
The anterior pituitary produces many significant hormones, such as:
- Puberty hormones (or Gonadotropins like, FSH and LH)
- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) – (TSH stimulates the Thyroid gland to produce Thyroxine)
- Growth Hormone
- Adrenocorticotrophic Hormone (ACTH) – ACTH stimulates the Adrenal Stress Hormone, called Cortisol
The posterior pituitary produces:
- Fluid Balance Hormone, known as Anti-Diuretic Hormone (ADH).
Common disorders of the pituitary gland
It is very common with the pituitary gland to develop a benign growth, known as a tumor or adenoma. With this, the gland may either begin producing excessive amounts of hormones, or the hormone production gets blocked. Sometimes, the tumor does not interfere with the working of the gland. That means the hormonal production does not get affected at all.
The other rare reasons of developing disorders in the pituitary may include pituitary apoplexy, also known as pituitary infarction and traumatic brain injury.
The endocrine system
Consisting of various other glands located in different regions of your body is called the endocrine system. Each of the glands is meant to produce different hormones that help in regulating the activities of other organs and tissues in your body. The hormones produced by these glands are released straight into your blood stream by the related gland.