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pituitary gland or hypophysis cerebri

approximately the size of a pea and located at the base of the brain; divided into two lobes; often referred to as the master gland because it produces hormones that stimulate the function of other endocrine glands

anterior lobe or adenohypophysis

produces and secretes growth, adrenocorticotropic, throid-stimulating, gonadotropic, follicle-stimulating, luteinizing, prolactin or lactogenic hormones

growth hromone (GH)

regulates the growth of the body; produced by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland

adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)

stimulates the adrenal cortex; produced by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland

thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)

stimulates the thyroid gland; produced by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland

gonadotropic hormones

affect the male and female reproductive systems; produced by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland

follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH)

regulate development, growth, and function of the ovaries and testes

prolactin or lactogenic hormone (PRL)

promotes development of glandular tissue during pregnancy and produces mild after birth of an infant; produced by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland

posterior lobe or neurohypophysis

stores and releases antidiuretic hormone and oxytocin

antidiuretic hormone (ADH)

stimulates the kidney to reabsorb water; released by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland


stimulates uterine contractions during labor and postpartum; released by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland


located near the pituitary gland in the brain; secretes "releasing" hormone that functions to stimulate or inhibit the release of pituitary gland hormones

thyroid gland

largest endocrine gland; located in the neck below the larynx and comprises bilateral lobes connected by an isthmus; secretes hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), which require iodine for their production

parathyroid glands

four small bodies lying directly behind the thyroid; parathormone (PTH), the hormone produced by the glands, helps maintain the level of calcium in the blood

islets of langerhans

clusters of endocrine tissue found throughout the pancreas, made up of different cell types that secrete various hormones, including insulin and glucogon

adrenal glands or suprarenals

paired glands, one of which is located above each kidney; the outer portion is called the adrenal cortex, and the inner portion is called the adrenal medulla


secreted by the adrenal cortex; it aids the body during stress by increasing glucose levels to provide energy; also called hydrocortisone


secreted by the adrenal cortex; electrolytes (mineral salts) that are necessary for the normal body function are regulated by this hormone

epinephrine (adrenaline), norepinephrine (noradrenaline)

secreted by the adrenal medulla; these hormones help the body to deal with stress by increasing the blood pressure, heartbeat, and respirations



adren/o, adrenal/o

adrenal glands


cortex (the outer layer of a body organ)




parathyroid glands


pituitary gland

thyroid/o, thyr/o

thyroid gland


extremities, height










run, running


enlargement of the extremities (and bones of the face, hands, and feet caused by excessive production of the growth hormone by the pituitary gland after puberty)


inflammation of a gland


enlargement of a gland


abnormal condition of a gland


inflammation of the adrenal glands


enlargement (of one or both) of the adrenal glands


excessive calcium in the blood


excessive sugar in the blood


excessive potassium in the blood


state of excessive pituitary gland activity (characterized by excessive secretion of pituitary hormones)


state of excessive thyroid gland activity (characterized by excessive secretion of thyroid hormones)


deficient calcium in the blood


deficient sugar in the blood


deficient potassium in the blood


deficient sodium in the blood


state of deficient pituitary gland activity (characterized by decreased secretion of one or more of the pituitary hormones, which can affect the function of the target endocrine gland


state of deficient thyroid gland activity (characterized by decreased secretion of thyroid hormones)


state of total deficient pituitary gland activity (characterized by decreased secretion of all the pituitary hormones; this is a more serious condition in that it affects the function of all the other endocrine glands


tumor of a parathyroid gland


inflammation of the thyroid gland


condition brought about by an abnormal accumulation of acid products of metabolism seen in uncontrolled diabetes mellitus

addison disease

chronic syndrome resulting from a deficiency in the hormonal secretion of the adrenal cortex; symptoms may include weakness, darkening of skin, loss of appetitie, depression, and other emotional problems


condition caused by congenital absence or atrophy (wasting away) of the thyroid gland, resulting in hypothyroidism; the disease is characterized by puffy features, mental deficiency, large tongue, and dwarfism

cushing syndrome

group of symptoms attributed to the excessive production of cortisol by the adrenal cortex; this syndrome may be a result of a pituitary tumor or a primary adrenal gland dysfunction; symptoms include abnormally pigmented skin, "moon face," pads of fat on the chest and abdomen, " buffalo hump" (fat on the upper back), and wasting away of muscle

diabetes insipidus (DI)

result of decreased secretion of antidiuretic hormone by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland; symptoms include excessive thirst (polydipisia) and large amounts of urine (polyuria) and sodium being excreted from the body

diabetes mellitus (DM)

chronic disease involving a disorder of carbohydrate metabolism caused by underactivity of the islets of langerhans and characterized by elevated blood sugar (hyperglycemia); can cause chronic renal disease, retinopathy, and neuropathy


condition brought about by the overproduction of growth hormone by the pituitary gland before puberty


enlargement of the thyroid gland

graves disease

a disorder of the thryroid gland characterized by the presence of hyperthyroidism, goiter, and exophthalmos


condition resulting from uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, in which the body has an abnormal concentration of ketone bodies resulting from excessive fat meabolism


condition resulting from a deficiency of the thyroid hormone thyroxine; a severe form of hypothyroidism in an adult; symptoms include puffiness of the face and hands, coarse and thickened skin, enlarged tongue, slow speech, and anemia


tumor of the adrenal medulla, which is usually benign and characterized by hypertension, headaches, palpitations, diaphoresis, chest pain, and abdominal pain; surgical removal of the tumor is the most common treatment; can be fatal if untreated


condition affecting nerves causing muscle spasms as a result of low amounts of calcium in the blood caused by a deficiency of the parathyroid hormone


a condition caused by excessive thyroid hormones


excision of a gland


excision of (one or both) adrenal glands


excision of (one or more) parathyroid glands


incision of the thyroid gland


excision of the thyroid and parathyroid glands

radioactive iodine uptake (RAIU)

a nuclear medicine scan that measures thyroid function; radioactive iodine is given to the patient orally, after which its uptake into the thyroid gland is measured

thyroid scan

a nuclear medicine test that shows the size, shape, and function, of the thryoid gland; the patient is given a radioactive substance to visualize the thyroid gland; and image is recorded as the scanner is passed over the neck area, used to detect tumors and nodules

fasting blood sugar (FBS)

a blood test performed after the patient has fated for 8 to 10 hours to determine the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood at the time of the test; elevation may indicate diabetes mellitus

glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C)

a blood test that measures the average blood sugar concentration over the live span of the red blood cell; results indicate the patient's average blood sugar level for the 6 to 8 weeks before the test, making it a useful took in monitoring diabetes treatment; also called hemoglobin A1C

thyroid-stimulating hormone level

a blood test that measures the amount of thyroid-stimulating hormone in the blood; used to diagnose hyperthryoidism and to monitor patients on thyroid replacement therapy

thyroxine level (T4)

a blood study that gives the direct measurement of the amount of thyroxine in the patient's blood; a greater-than-normal amount indicates hyperthyroidism; a less-than-normal amount indicates hypotheroidism


excessive development of the adrenal cortex


disease of the adrenal gland


pertaining to the cortex


resembling the cortex


a physician who studies and treats diseases of the endocrine system


the study of the endocrine system; a branch of medicine dealing with diseases of the endocrine system


any disease of the endocrine system


normal (level of) sugar in the blood (within normal range)


resembling a normal thyroid gland (normal thyroid function)


abnormal state of much thirst


(set of symptoms that) run (occur) together


abnormal protrusion of the eyeball


a chemical substance secreted by an endocrine gland that is carried in the blood to a target tissue


narrow strip of tissue connecting two large parts in the body, such as the isthmus that connects the two lobes of the thyroid gland


sum total of all the chemical processes that take place in a living organism


diabetes insipidus


diabetes mellitus


fasting blood sugar


glycosylated hemoglobin


radioactive iodine uptake


thyroxine level

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