Endocrine glands

Endocrine glands produce and secrete hormones into the blood or lymph systems. These glands include the thyroid, parathyroid, hypothalamus, pineal, pituitary, adrenal, islands of Langerhans in the pancreas, and the gonads (testes and ovaries). The effects of these hormones may affect one organ or tissue, or the entire body.

There are many disorders that can result when too few hormones are secreted (hyposecretion) or too many are secreted (hypersecretion). Here is a partial list of disorders that may result when a particular gland does not produce the right amount of hormones.


  • congenital hypothyroidism  
  • myxedema  
  • goiter  
  • thyrotoxicosis


  • tetany  
  • renal calculi  
  • excessive loss of minerals from bone


  • Addison’s disease  
  • adrenogenital syndrome  
  • Cushing’s syndrome  
  • pheochromocytoma


  • dwarfism  
  • acromegaly  
  • diabetes  
  • gigantism  
  • diabetes insipidus

Testes and ovaries:

  • lack of sex development (ambiguous genitalia)


  • diabetes  
  • hypoglycemia


Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 4, 2012
by Amalia K. Gagarina, M.S., R.D.

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