All parts of our body have a specific role and function. This does not depend on their size as well as their location. Some parts may carry a bigger responsibility compared to the others, but they all work for the same purpose, which is for our body or system to survive. Most of us already know that the brain is considered as the control center of our entire body. However, our brain is still further subdivided into smaller parts. These smaller components also work hand in hand in order to deliver good responses from our brain towards the different parts of our body. And one of the most integral branch of the brain is none other than the pituitary gland. What is the pituitary gland and what does the pituitary gland do?
Most of us might have already heard of the pituitary gland, but unfortunately, only a few of us do have the grasp as to what the gland does to our body. So let us try to define and discuss the important details and function of the pituitary gland. The Pituitary gland is an endocrine gland that can be located inferior or below the hypothalamus, which is at the base portion of the brain. The pituitary gland is one of the smallest, yet most important gland or part of the body. Its size and shape is similar to a pea, and it approximately weighs only half a gram or 0.02 ounces. The main purpose or responsibility of the pituitary gland is to secrete hormones that are important for the function of the other organs and glands of the body. It is because of this huge role that the pituitary gland has earned its title as the “master gland” of our body.
Furthermore, the pituitary gland is divided into two lobes namely the anterior pituitary or adenohypophysis and the posterior pituitary or the neurohypophysis. The pituitary gland is also connected to the hypothalamus, which is also considered very powerful in controlling the different parts of the body. The hypothalamus is actually the one who sends signals to the pituitary gland as when the hormones are to be secreted. This is also the reason why both of the lobes are considered under the influence of the hypothalamus.
The anterior pituitary gland or adenohypophysis does several roles for the body. First, it is the one that releases the following hormones; adrenocorticotropic hormone or ACTH, Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone or TSH, Human Growth Hormone or HGH, Prolactin or PRL, Lutenizing hormone or LH, Follicle Stimulating Hormone or FSH and the Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone or MSH. On the other hand, the Posterior Pituitary gland or the Neurohypophysis does its role by storing and releasing Oxytocin, and the Antidiuretic Hormone or ADH.
In summary, the pituitary gland is the one who controls the different processes in our body, which include our growth, blood pressure, pregnancy-related factors such as uterine contractions, breast milk production, male and female sex organ functions, thyroid gland functions, metabolism, water balance in the body and even temperature regulation.