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School of Medicine
The pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain and no larger than the size of a pea, is often called the “master” gland because it produces the hormones that control the functions of the other endocrine glands and organs. These hormones include:
- Growth hormone, which affects growth and metabolism
- Prolactin — to stimulate milk production after giving birth
- ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) — to stimulate the adrenal glands
- TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) — to stimulate the thyroid gland
- FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) — to stimulate the ovaries and testes
- LH (luteinizing hormone) — to stimulate the ovaries and testes
- Melanocyte-stimulating hormone — to control skin pigmentation
- ADH (antidiuretic hormone) — to increase absorption of water into the blood by the kidneys
- Oxytocin — to contract the uterus during childbirth and stimulate milk production
Because the pituitary gland is involved in the growth, development, maintenance and reproduction processes in the body, problems arising in the pituitary are very serious. An excess or deficiency of one of the hormones can seriously affect the functioning of the body. Pituitary disorders often require medical attention from a pituitary center specialist.
Learn more about the pituitary disorders we treat:
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