The pituitary gland, a gland located in the brain just behind the bridge of the nose, is responsible for the production of numerous different hormones. A structure in the brain referred to as the hypothalamus sits just above the pituitary gland and controls it by sending messages using certain hormones. Once the pituitary gland receives these messages from the hypothalamus, it produces or secretes more hormones to tell the other glands throughout the body what they should be doing. The pituitary gland contains an anterior or front lobe as well as a posterior or back lobe, which are responsible for the secretion of hormones. The front lobe of the pituitary gland produces the hormones prolactin, growth hormone, adrenocorticotropin, thyroid-stimulating hormones, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone. The back lobe of the pituitary gland stores antidiuretic hormone and oxytocin until secretion is needed.
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Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that controls thyroid hormone production by the thyroid gland. This hormone works by binding to certain receptors on the cells that make up the thyroid gland. Thyroid-stimulating hormone levels will increase in the blood when the thyroid gland isn't producing enough thyroxine and triiodothyronine. When thyroxine and triiodothyronine levels increase in an individual's blood, they signal the hypothalamus to stop producing the thyrotropin-releasing hormone, which then stops stimulating the pituitary gland to produce TSH. The hormones produced by the thyroid gland are important because they dictate the way an individual's body breaks down the food they consume into energy for the cells. This process is referred to as metabolism. The thyroid hormones thyroid-stimulating hormone is in charge of are also responsible for influencing how fast the heart beats, how fast an individual breathes, and the rate at which calories are burned.
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