Did you know that the pituitary gland is the most important hormone-secreting gland in the human body?
Did you know that the function of many glands and organs in the human body will depend on hormones that are secreted into the bloodstream from the pituitary gland and reach the target organ through the bloodstream?
What hormones does the pituitary gland secrete?
The hormones secreted by this very small gland, which is located inside the skull and behind the nose, regulate the secretion of other glands, and without the pituitary hormones, the regular function of many internal organs will be disrupted.
In this article, we will talk more about the hormones secreted by the pituitary gland.
Just as pituitary hormones control and coordinate the function of the thyroid and ovaries and… the pituitary gland itself regulates its function by the hypothalamus.
So, the health of the hypothalamus-hypophysis axis is vital for the function of many organs.
The pituitary gland also plays an important role in regulating growth and development.
The pituitary gland will act on the thyroid, ovaries, gland above the kidneys or adrenal glands with the hormones it secretes, for this reason, it is sometimes called the pituitary gland, the head of the glands.
The pituitary gland is a small, oval gland located inside the brain, back, and under the nose.
We have said that the hypothalamus controls the pituitary gland, so the two, the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, are connected by a stem-like pathway. The hypothalamus is also a small part of the brain tissue.
Now let’s see what hormones the pituitary gland secretes.
How many parts is the pituitary gland structurally divided into?
The hypophysis is structurally divided into two parts:
- Anterior pituitary or anterior lobe of the pituitary gland
- Posterior pituitary or posterior pituitary lobe
Each of these components has specific cells that will be responsible for secreting specific hormones.
Here are the types of these hormones:
anterior lobe of the pituitary gland
There are different types of cells secreting different and very important hormones in the anterior part of the hypophysis.
- Cells that produce growth hormone or GH and secrete it into the bloodstream:
Growth hormone is related to the regulation of a person’s physical growth, this hormone stimulates growth in all tissues of the body.
Growth hormone secretion has a specific circadian cycle and its peak will be from midnight to dawn.
Lowering blood sugar also stimulates the secretion of this hormone.
That is why it is said that children at an early age should sleep from 10 pm to 6 am and avoid giving sugary foods to children before going to bed.
The first place for the effect of growth hormone is bones and muscles.
- Cells that produce thyroid-stimulating hormone, or TSH, and secrete them into the bloodstream:
There must be order in the function of the thyroid cells to make thyroid hormones. If thyroid hormone is depleted in the bloodstream, by secreting TSH, the pituitary gland instructs the thyroid to increase the production of thyroid hormone. And when thyroid hormone levels rise in the blood, Pituitary gland with decreased secretion of thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH, makes thyroid hormone cells aware of the adequacy of thyroid hormone and their activity will decrease.
Thyroid hormone plays a very important role in metabolism.
- Follicle growth stimulating hormone or FSH
This hormone is very important in the beginning of the process of maturation and maturation of ovarian follicles and estrogen production. egg growth, oocyte maturation, estrogen production in women, and sperm production in men depend on the presence of pituitary FSH.
- Luteinizing hormone or LH:
The secretion of progesterone in the ovaries of women and the secretion of testosterone in men are dependent on the presence of LH.
- adrenocorticotropin (acth)
This pituitary hormone is required for the body to secrete endogenous corticosteroids, called cortisol, from the adrenal glands.
Layered secretions of the adrenal gland are related to the regulation of blood pressure and blood electrolytes.
Disorders in ACTH can be associated with important disorders such as: Cushing’s syndrome with increased ACTH and
Addison’s life-threatening syndrome is sometimes associated with decreased ACTH. Lethargy, hypotension and… occur in Addison’s disease.
- Prolactin hormone:
Prolactin is responsible for milk entering the pregnant mother’s breast ducts.
In addition, elevated prolactin in benign pituitary masses called pituitary adenoma or prolactinoma inhibits ovulation and interrupts a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Pituitary prolactinoma is one of the most common causes of interruption of the menstrual cycle in young women.
- The secretion of endogenous analgesic hormones in the body:
Endorphins and enkephalin
Both have effective roles in reducing pain, vitality and relief.
- Melanocyte-stimulating hormone
Stimulation of skin pigments against ultraviolet radiation and the formation of dark spots on the skin.
What are the secretions and functions of the posterior pituitary lobe?
Hormones that are secreted into the bloodstream from the posterior part of the human pituitary gland are made and produced in the hypothalamus, and through that stem-like communication pathway they reach the back of the pituitary gland.
- The oxytocin hormone:
The onset of labor is dependent on the secretion of oxytocin.
This hormone is said to stimulate uterine contractions during labor and promote labor.
In addition, the release of milk from the mother’s breast is also dependent on oxytocin.
- Vasopressin hormone or antidiuretic hormone:
As its name implies, it prevents excessive urination from the kidneys.
This hormone plays a very important role in regulating body fluids. Without this hormone, the volume of urine increases so much that the body suffers from dehydration and serious disorders of blood electrolytes.
If there is a disturbance in the production of this hormone in the hypothalamus or a disturbance in its secretion by the hypophysis, the person will have to excrete large volumes of urine during the day.
Disorders of pituitary hormone secretion
In summary, pituitary hormone secretion disorders are as follows:
- Growth hormone secretion disorders
- Central diabetes insipidus:
Following brain tumors, strokes, traumas, and brain trauma, the production or secretion of vasopressin is disrupted and the person suffers from excessive drinking and excretion of large volumes of urine.
Cushing’s syndrome occurs following an increase in ACTH and is accompanied with:
- Weight gain
- Buffalo Hump, Moon Face
- General weakness
Increased production and secretion of prolactin into the blood or hyperprolactinemia which is caused by prolactin-secreting pituitary adenoma or tumors leads to:
Interruption of the monthly cycle
Decreased sexual desire
Deficiency and disorder of production and secretion of FSH and LH is associated with decreased sexual desire, infertility and…
What symptoms should we see a doctor if we encounter?
If you experience the following symptoms, there may be a disturbance in the secretion of pituitary hormones:
- Abnormal hair loss
- Excessive fatigue
- lethargy and weakness
- sleep disorders
- Memory impairment and defects
- High blood pressure
- Unreasonable weight gain
- Severe mood swings
- Irregular monthly cycles
- Impotence, erection dysfunction
- Decreased sexual desire
- Milk coming out of the breast in a non-pregnant and non-lactating person
In the above cases, it is better to consult a doctor.