Hormones are produced by several glands that are part of the endocrine or hormone system. Many hormones have a role in human growth.
- Pituitary Gland
The most important gland for a child's growth is the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain. One of the hormones produced by the pituitary gland is somatotropin which comes from the anterior section. Somatotropin is the Growth Hormone responsible for skeletal growth. Recombinant DNA technologies (rDNA) are used to create this hormone for Human Growth Hormone treatment.
Somatotropin has an anti-insulin effect. While Human Growth Hormone treatment does not cause diabetes by itself, it can trigger diabetes if the child is predisposed to this disease. The pituitary gland also produces hormones that trigger puberty and the body changes associated with it.
For more information see Web MD: Pituitary Gland
- Hypothalamus Gland
The hypothalamus gland is also located at the base of the brain and is attached to the pituitary gland. It produces peptides that help regulate the production of somatotropin. One of these peptides, called somatostatin, can inhibit production of growth hormone.
For more information see WebMD: Hypothalamus Gland
- Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland, located in the front of the neck. It produces a wide variety of hormones that effect growth and the use of energy. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland functions at a low level. The body can experience a number of neurological abnormalities including, slow growth. While often caught at birth, low thyroid production can begin later in life. It is easily treatable once diagnosed.
For more information see WebMD: Thyroid Gland
- Adrenal Gland
The adrenal glands are located on top of the kidneys and are well known for producing adrenaline to create sudden bursts of energy. They also produce cortisol. Too much cortisol results in a condition called Cushing's Syndrome. Children who have this condition tend to add weight instead of height.
For more information see WebMD: Adrenal Gland