Introduction to Glands
Health Investigators
January 14, 2024

      A gland is a structure in the body that creates and secretes substances.

      Exocrine glands release substances through ducts onto surfaces in or on the body. The substances secreted by exocrine glands are digestive juices, milk, mucus, saliva, sweat, and tears.

      The mammary gland produces milk. Muciparous glands, also called mucous glands, are exocrine glands that produce mucus. Salivary glands produce saliva. Sweat glands produce sweat. The lacrimal gland produces tears.

      The pancreas creates pancreatic enzymes to break down foods. These juices travel through your pancreas via ducts to the duodenum.

      Endocrine glands produce these hormones:

Cortisol from the adrenal glands
Thyroxine from the thyroid gland
Estrogen from women's ovaries
Growth hormone from the pituitary gland
Growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) from the hypothalamus
Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) from the hypothalamus Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) from the hypothalamus Somatostatin from the hypothalamus Dopamine from the hypothalamus Testosterone from men's testes
Progesterone from the adrenal cortex and the ovaries and the testes
Insulin from the pancreas
Prolactin from the anterior pituitary gland
Adrenocorticotropic hormone from the anterior pituitary gland
Melatonin from the pineal gland
Adrenaline from the adrenal glands
Aldosterone from the adrenal glands
Androgens from the ovaries and the testes
Oxytocin from the posterior pituitary gland
Parathyroid hormone (PTH) from the parathyroid glands

      Rather than secreting onto surfaces, the glands that release hormones, secrete them directly into the blood stream.


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