Hypothalamus

Diagram of the Human Endocrine Glands
Location of the Human Endocrine Glands

The hypothalamus gland is also known as the hypophysis and is an important endocrine gland in the human body.
Endocrine glands differ from "exocrine" glands in that exocrine glands have ducts (so may be referred to as "ducted") whereas endocrine glands do not have ducts (and so may be referred to as "ductless").

The hypothalamus gland is the region of the forebrain below the thalamus and above the pituitary gland - as illustrated below.

The location of the Hypothalamus
The location of the Hypothalamus

The hypothalamus gland is an important part of the brain that directs many functions and processes, such as:

  • hunger,
  • thirst,
  • body temperature,
  • water balance, and
  • sexual functions.

Cerebral endocrine activity is controlled by the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the pineal gland. These three glands are known collectively as the "encephalon" and form the connection between the nervous system and the endocrine system.

For a diagram indicating the locations within the body of each of the endocrine glands, see Endocrine Glands of the Human Body.

This may be of interest to students of courses in massage, reflexology, beauty therapies, and other first-level therapy or other health-related courses.

More about the Endocrine System

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