Anatomy of the Endocrine System in Children
The following are parts of the endocrine system:
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Hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is located in the brain, near the optic chiasm. It secretes hormones that stimulate or suppress the release of hormones in the pituitary gland. It also controls water balance, sleep, temperature, appetite, and blood pressure.
Pineal body. The pineal body is located below the corpus callosum, in the middle of the brain. It make the hormone melatonin, which regulates the sleep cycle.
Pituitary. The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain. Usually no larger than a pea, this gland controls many functions of the other endocrine glands.
Thyroid and parathyroids. The thyroid gland and parathyroid glands are located in front of the neck, below the larynx (voice box). The thyroid regulates the body’s metabolism. The parathyroid glands regulate the body’s calcium balance.
Thymus. The thymus is located in the upper part of the chest and makes white blood cells, called T-cells. These cells fight infections and destroy abnormal cells.
Adrenal gland. An adrenal gland is located on top of each kidney. They work with the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to make cortisol and other hormones important for normal metabolism.
Pancreas. The pancreas is located behind the stomach. It makes hormones for digestion and metabolism. These include hormones made by the pancreas called is insulin. Insulin regulates blood sugar levels.
Ovary. An ovary is located on each side of the female’s uterus, below the opening of the fallopian tubes. In addition to containing the egg cells for reproduction, the ovaries also make estrogen and progesterone.
Testis. Two testes are located in a pouch (the scrotum) that hangs suspended outside the male’s body. The testes make testosterone and sperm.
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