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Pituitary Gland

The pituitary gland is a pea-sized endocrine gland that is also sometimes referred to as the hypophysis. Some people refer to it as the master gland, since it is the controller of all the other endocrine glands.

The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain and is connected to the hypothalamus. It is made up of three sections, or lobes, that produce certain hormones.

The anterior lobe has the most functions - producing growth hormone and endorphins, stimulating the adrenal and thyroid glands, as well as stimulating the ovaries, testes and milk production after birth. The intermediate lobe controls skin pigmentation and the posterior lobe helps to increase water absorption into the kidneys and blood, as well as contracting the uterus during childbirth.

The pituitary gland also controls metabolism and blood pressure.

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