Difference between Adrenal Gland and Thyroid Gland

Adrenal Gland

Adrenal is an endocrine gland that produces hormones like aldosterone, adrenaline and cortisol. These glands are located above the kidney. The gland is divided into an outer cortex region and an inner medulla. The cortex produces steroidal hormones like androgens, mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids. The medulla produces catecholamines like adrenaline and noradrenaline. The human adrenal gland is a pyramid-shaped structure. They are yellowish coloured and approximately weigh 7 to 10 grams. Any disorder in the gland can be due to infections or dysregulation in hormones. Hyperaldosteronism, adrenal cancer, cushing’s syndrome are some disorders.

Adrenal Gland

Thyroid Gland

Thyroid is an endocrine gland found in the front of the neck region. They are two lobes that are connected and resemble a butterfly. The functional structure in the lobes is the thyroid follicles. It is lined with thyrocytes or follicular cells. The gland secretes thyroid hormones (T3, T4) and a peptide hormone.

The thyroid has a left and a right lobe that is connected by a tissue called the thyroid isthmus. In adults, it weighs approximately 25 grams. The thyroid hormones have a number of developmental, metabolic and cardiovascular functions.

Thyroid Gland

Difference between Adrenal Gland and Thyroid Gland

Adrenal Gland

Thyroid Gland

Location

It is found above the kidney.

It is found in the neck region below the Adam’s apple.

Description

It is a pyramid-shaped gland. It weighs approximately 7 to 10 grams.

It is a butterfly-shaped gland. It weighs approximately 25 grams in adults.

Hormones

Androgens, mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids, adrenaline and noradrenaline.

T3 (triiodothyronine), T4 (thyroxine), and calcitonin (peptide hormone).

Functions

Aldosterone regulates mineral metabolism and blood pressure. The noradrenaline and adrenaline are responsible for fight or flight response.

Thyroid hormone has developmental, metabolic and cardiovascular functions. The calcitonin counteracts the effects of parathyroid hormones.

Disorders

Hyperaldosteronism, adrenal cancer, cushing’s syndrome.

Hyperthyroidism, Goiter, thyroid cancer, etc.

Explore: TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)

Frequently Asked Questions

What are endocrine glands?

They include ductless glands that secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream. The thyroid, adrenal, pituitary, pineal are some endocrine glands.

What are corticosteroids?

Corticosteroids are hormones that are involved in a wide range of biological functions like immune response, stress response, carbohydrate metabolism, protein catabolism, etc. Examples – Aldosterone and Cortisol.

Also Read: Endocrine Glands and Hormones

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