The pituitary gland also known as the master endocrine gland secretes hormone that control the activity of the other endocrine glands. It lies at the bony hollow base of the skull and is controlled by the hypothalamus (groups of special cells lying at the base of the brain) where it is connected by the pituitary stalk which is separated into two lobes namely the anterior and the posterior. Action of the hypothalamus depends on the environmental stimuli (5 senses) which then release neurotransmitters in the brain and it then acts on the endocrine systems. The growth hormone produced by the pituitary gland can result in the followings:
a) Excess production of the growth hormone can result in gigantism in young people and acromegaly in adult or older people.
b) Inadequate production of growth hormone can cause short stature while in extreme cases it leads to drawfism.
c) Besides production of growth hormone, these hormone is also necessary for normal functioning of the testicles in the male and ovaries in the female. This term is known as gonadotrophins.
d) The hormone produced by the pituitary gland also stimulate and maintain continuous production of milk after delivery of baby.
f) The excess production of hormone can lead to irregular menstruation in the female and while the male will experience testicular failure.
g) The production of hormone also affects ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone) which stimulates the adrenal cortex to produce cortisol which is essential in maintaining electrolyte balance and metabolic rate.
h) It also produces the Thyrotrophin-releasing hormone (TRH) which regulates the production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland and any deficiency will result in the lack of thyroxine.
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