Pituitary gland

Do you know about the master gland in your body? If you don’t know, it is the pituitary gland. It’s called the master gland because it controls the activity of other hormone-secreting glands.  

This gland is in your brain under the hypothalamus. Hypothalamus sends hormonal and electrical signals to the pituitary to release and/or secrete the hormone. It is a pea-sized gland found under the base of the skull underneath the brain and behind the bridge of the nose. 

 It is divided into two lobes- the anterior pituitary gland and the posterior pituitary gland. The anterior pituitary gland is connected to the brain by short blood vessels. The posterior pituitary gland works as storage which releases the hormone in the bloodstream that is secreted by the hypothalamus by the command of the brain.  

Both lobes perform divergent functions and release different hormones in the body.  

Functions of the pituitary gland  

The main function of the pituitary gland is to secrete hormones in the bloodstream to perform distinct functions, including:  

  • Help in the growth of your bones and muscles. 
  • Metabolism.  
  • Reproduction 
  • Response to stress or trauma. 
  • Helps to maintain water and sodium  
  • Helps with childbirth and breastfeeding.  

The Pituitary gland sends messages and signals to different organs and glands via its hormones to tell them what functions they need to execute and when. However, several factors can affect its functioning.  

Hormones secreted by the pituitary gland 

The main function of the pituitary gland is to release hormones in the bloodstream to perform different functions in the body. The pituitary gland releases different hormones from its lobes.  

  • Growth hormone: This hormone regulates growth and physical development in the body. It provides growth to all the tissues in the body. But the primary focus is on bones and muscles.  
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone: This hormone controls the thyroid to release thyroid hormones in the bloodstream to help in the metabolism process. 
  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone: This hormone controls the adrenal gland to produce cortisol and other hormones.  
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone: This hormone performs a different function in men and women. In women, it helps to secrete estrogen and the growth of egg cells. In men, it helps in sperm cell production. 
  • Luteinizing hormone: This hormone is involved in the production of estrogen in women and testosterone in men. 
  • Prolactin: This hormone helps women to produce milk. 
  • Endorphin: This hormone has pain-relieving properties, and it is connected to the pleasure centers of the brain. 
  • Enkephalin: This hormone is similar to endorphins. It has similar pain-relieving effects. 
  • Beta-melanocyte-stimulating hormone: This hormone helps to increase the pigmentation of your skin in response to exposure to ultraviolet radiation.  

The posterior lobe does not produce hormones but stores and releases them into the bloodstream. This includes: 

  • Vasopressin: This hormone is also known as antidiuretic hormone (ADH), which stores water in the kidneys and prevents dehydration. 
  • Oxytocin: This hormone stimulates the contractions of the uterus during labor and the release of breast milk after childbirth.  

The pituitary gland is important in the body that performs many functions. It stores or produces many hormones that send signals and messages to different glands to perform their assigned functions.  

Want to know about the conditions that affect your pituitary gland?  At Doral Health and Wellness, we have doctors that can help you manage your condition. For more information, you can visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11212, or call us on 1-347-384-5690. You can also visit our website at https://doralhw.org or contact us at info@doralhw.org if you have any queries.