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Hormones are substances produced and secreted by endocrine glands and other organs. They act as chemical messengers within the body. They travel through the bloodstream, controlling and regulating the proper functioning of our internal organs.

The amount of hormones that are released is perfectly balanced because if there were to be a lack or excess of any of them, disorders could take place within the body.

Hormones of the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus

The pituitary gland, also known as the master gland of the endocrine system, releases hormones that affect other glands and make them create specific hormones.
These hormones are then stored in the two main lobes of the pituitary gland. In the anterior lobe or adenohypophysis, hormones are produced that stimulate activity in other endocrine glands.

– Thyrotropin releasing or thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH): it activates the release of thyroid hormones.

Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH): it is responsible for the development or maturation of female ova and male spermatozoa.

Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH): it stimulates the cortex of the suprarenal glands in order for them to secrete aldosterone and cortisol.

Luteinizing hormone (LH): it induces ovulation in women and the production of testosterone in men.

Prolactin (PRL): it stimulates the production of milk in the mammary glands while breastfeeding.

Somatotrophin or growth hormone (GH): it stimulates growth of an individual’s body.

Melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH): it activates the development of the skin’s pigmentation through melamine, a substance that determines skin color.

Posterior lobe or neurohypophysis: hormones secreted in the hypothalamus, like oxytocin and antidiuretic hormone (ADH) or vasopressin, are stored here. Oxytocin stimulates muscle contractions, like the ones that take place in the uterus, as well as the creation and release of breast milk in the mammary glands. Antidiuretic hormone controls the amount of water released by the kidneys and also increases blood pressure.

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