What Are the Different Glands of the Human Body?

Brandon May

There are many different types of glands of the human body, each relating to different functions such as metabolism, growth and homeostasis. The pituitary gland and the pineal gland are both glands in the brain associated with growth and regulating sleep cycles, as well as keeping homeostasis within the body. Without the hypothalamus, uncontrolled food intake can result, making it an important gland needed for controlling a healthy weight. Adrenal glands are also important glands of the human body, helping to cope with stress, and the thyroid gland is very useful for regulation of metabolism and metabolic rate in humans and animals.

The pituitary gland at the base of the brain secretes HGH.
The pituitary gland at the base of the brain secretes HGH.

The pineal gland is found in the brain, and serves a variety of purposes for regulating health of the human body. One of the most commonly used glands of the human body, the pineal gland helps produce serotonin and melatonin, which governs the sleep and wake cycles. Melatonin may also be responsible for governing sexual development and reproduction, with melatonin production being reduced dramatically after puberty. Metaphysical descriptions of the pineal gland have said it harbors psychic powers and insight.

The adrenal gland releases hormones that help the body cope with stress.
The adrenal gland releases hormones that help the body cope with stress.

In the brain lies another gland called the pituitary gland, and this gland is commonly associated with the production of human growth hormone. It is activated in response to deep sleep, intense exercise and even caloric restriction in some animals, releasing surges of growth hormone in the body. Of all the glands of the human body, the pituitary gland seems to harbor the most functions, mainly regarding homeostasis, such as keeping blood pressure and blood sugar in healthy levels. The pituitary gland also helps regulate turning food energy into usable energy for the body, something essential for maintaining a healthier weight.

The pituitary gland produces hunger signals.
The pituitary gland produces hunger signals.

Humans, and some animals, also have a hypothalamus, a gland in the body associated with the pituitary gland. This gland of the human body helps regulate food intake by regulating hunger signals and hormones, mainly ghrelin and leptin, the hunger-promoting and hunger-suppressing hormones. Adrenal glands are a type of endocrine gland found at the top of the kidneys that are mainly responsible for unleashing hormones to cope with stress such as epinephrine and cortisol. The thyroid gland is also one of the very active glands of the human body, helping to regulate metabolic rate and the production of proteins.

The pineal gland secretes melatonin, which promotes sleep.
The pineal gland secretes melatonin, which promotes sleep.
The thyroid gland is used for regulation of metabolism.
The thyroid gland is used for regulation of metabolism.
The hypothalamus controls food intake, making it an important gland needed for controlling a healthy weight.
The hypothalamus controls food intake, making it an important gland needed for controlling a healthy weight.

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