What are the endocrine glands?

John A. Chabot
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism

Endocrine glands secrete their products directly into the bloodstream rather than into ducts. Primary endocrine glands include the pancreas, testes, thyroid, adrenal, parathyroid, and pituitary glands.

Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics

The foundations of the endocrine system are hormones and glands. A gland is a group of cells that produces and secretes hormones. Hormones are the body's chemical messengers. They send and relay messages between different systems. Many different hormones move through the bloodstream. Most hormones are intuitively designed to affect only certain cells. 

The endocrine system is also unique in that it uses glands and cells within organs that are all closely related to other body systems. The pancreas is one example; it is part of the endocrine and digestive system. Some of the major glands of the endocrine system are the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and pancreas.

Continue Learning about Endocrine System

When Hormone Replacement Therapy May Be Good
When Hormone Replacement Therapy May Be Good
Fear-mongering about hormone replacement therapy isn’t good science. For the right woman with nasty menopausal symptoms and the right man with low tes...
Read More
Are endocrine system diseases serious?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Endocrine system diseases can interfere with your body's most important metabolic processes and have...
More Answers
How can I find a good endocrinologist?
Dr. Jack Merendino, MDDr. Jack Merendino, MD
We welcome you to review the profiles of endocrinologists on Sharecare to see if any of them give an...
More Answers
What Are Effective Treatments for an Underactive Thyroid?
What Are Effective Treatments for an Underactive Thyroid?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.