In the endocrine system there are many glands that need to work together signaling on another in order for the endocrine system to work. One gland that I believe may just be the most important gland, buy gets very little attention from most endocrinologists, is the pituitary gland. The Pituitary gland is also referred to as the master gland, or the third eye. It’s a tiny pea-sized gland that sits in the sella turcica bone in the frontal area of the skull which is located underneath the brain and behind the bridge of the nose. The pituitary gland actually has two parts, the anterior pituitary gland and the posterior pituitary gland. The anterior part of the pituitary gland consists of gland cells which are connected to the brain by very short blood vessels where the posterior part is actually part of the frontal lobe of the brain. The posterior pituitary secretes hormones directly into the bloodstream under the command of the brain.
The pituitary gland gets its nickname as the ‘master gland’ because the hormones it produces control so many different processes in the body. It gets a signal, kind of like a radio wave, when the body needs it to release hormones to different organs and glands throughout the body to regulate their function and maintain an appropriate environment. It secretes a variety of hormones into the bloodstream which act as messengers to transmit information to the entire endocrine system. The pituitary gland also secretes hormones that act on the adrenal glands, thyroid gland, ovaries and testes. This in turn produces other hormones that signal the rest of the endocrine system. The pituitary gland controls metabolism, growth, sexual maturation, reproduction, blood pressure and many other vital physical functions and processes.
As you can see, the pituitary gland is one of the most important glands in the body and the hormones it produces carry out the tasks that regulate the function of many other organs. This means that the symptoms experienced when the pituitary gland stops working correctly can be varied depending on which hormone is affected. Often times thyroid imbalances, adrenal fatigue, progesterone and estrogen imbalances can actually start with the pituitary gland. Sometimes in endocrinology the gland not working is often the gland looked at, but in fact it may be a problem with the signaling gland – the pituitary. When we find this to be true, we use acupuncture, glandular extracts, herbal support and nutrients to help the pituitary gland get back into and stay in balance.