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    Endocrine glands

    Endocrine glands release (secrete)hormones into the bloodstream.

    The endocrine glands include:

    • Adrenal
    • Hypothalamus
    • Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas
    • Ovaries
    • Parathyroid
    • Pineal
    • Pituitary
    • Testes
    • Thyroid

    Hypersecretion is when too many hormones are secreted from a gland. Hyposecretion is when too few hormones are released.

    There are many types of disorders that can result when too much or too little of a hormone is released.

    Disorders that may result when a particular gland does not produce the right amount of hormones include:

    Adrenal:

    • Addison's disease
    • Adrenogenital syndrome
    • Cushing syndrome
    • Pheochromocytoma

    Pancreas:

    • Diabetes
    • Hypoglycemia

    Parathyroid:

    • Tetany
    • Renal calculi
    • Excessive loss of minerals from bone

    Pituitary:

    • Growth hormone deficiency
    • Acromegaly
    • Diabetes
    • Gigantism
    • Diabetes insipidus

    Testes and ovaries:

    • Lack of sex development (unclear genitalia)

    Thyroid:

    • Congenital hypothyroidism
    • Myxedema
    • Goiter
    • Thyrotoxicosis

    References

    Kronenberg HM, Melmed S, Larsen PR, Polonsky KS. Principles of endocrinology. In: Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, Kronenberg HM, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 1.

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              Review Date: 4/13/2013

              Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

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