I was looking at endocrine glands and found it interesting that a few of them have some very understandable feelings/mentalities associated with them. In particular:

  • Gonads: arousal/romance
  • Pancreas: hunger (glucose)
  • Adrenal glands: fight or flight
  • Pineal gland: sleepiness (melatonin)

Of course, there is a lot more complexity to how these glands work and what they do, but I find the notion of being able to empathize with a part of the body interesting.

As a counter-example, if something is wrong with my spleen, there may be feelings associated with that (ie pain), but they aren't so profound as things like hunger, fear, and arousal.

Anyways, my curiosity here is: do all endocrine glands have a feeling associated with them?

Here's the list of all glands:

  • Pituitary gland
  • Thyroid gland
  • Parathyroid glands
  • Adrenal glands
  • Pancreas
  • Gonads
  • Pineal gland

Also, I know this is a silly question, but please bear with me here. It's piqued my interest, and I just want to fulfil some curiosity.


1 Answer 1


You may not be able to feel or be aware of the actions of all endocrine glands at the time they occur.

The parathyroid gland secretes parathormone, which affects calcium absorption in the intestine, kidneys and bones, phosphate excretion in the kidneys and vitamin D production in the kidneys. I'm not sure if one can feel these actions or its consequences.

The adrenal cortex secretes aldosterone, which maintains sodium and potassium blood levels, which is related to blood pressure and urine excretion. It also secretes cortisol, which affects glucose utilization, fat breakdown and inflammation and affects the actions of some other hormones, but within normal physiological range, you don't feel these effects. Cortisol is also known as a stress hormone, but its actions are much more subtle (on the level of metabolism) than those of adrenaline (heart rate, excitement). Saying that, cortisol secretion can be related to sleep and appetite. There is a lot of speculation how it might affect mood or "energy levels" (adrenal fatigue).

There are many gastrointestinal hormones (gastrin, secretin, cholecystokinin, ghrelin), some of which affect digestion, some peristalsis and some appetite and you may not be consciously aware of all of that.

Some pituitary gland hormones (ACTH, TSH, FSH, LH) stimulate the secretion of hormones from other glands (adrenal, thyroid, gonades) and some (growth hormone, ADH, oxytocin) act directly on organs - I don't think you can say that you can feel these effects.

Some hormones have effects on other hormones (cortisol > adrenaline ; thyroxine > growth hormone, etc.), so it may not always be possible to pinpoint which feeling is directly related to which hormone.

Common human feelings related to hormone secretion:

  • Excitement or stress response, including fast heart rate and breathing and anxiety: short term response: adrenaline; long-term response: cortisol
  • Appetite: ghrelin, leptin, adiponectin, cholecystokinin, insulin, glucagon-like peptide, gastrointestinal peptide...
  • Sexual drive: sex hormones, mainly testosterone and estradiol
  • Sleepiness: melatonin, cortisol
  • Depression: cortisol, sex hormones (mainly in women)

The point of this answer is to show that some of your feelings can be simply affected by hormones, which are note some ultimate forces, and that being aware of that can help you to control them to some extent.


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