So far science has identified over 50 hormones. Hormones are produced by many organs, including your gut, your fat cells, your kidneys, and your parathyroid. The most well-known hormones are produced by your endocrine system.
Different from exocrine glands like your salivary glands which produce enzymes that work locally on food in your mouth, endocrine glands produce hormones that work distantly in the body, traveling through the bloodstream to enter cells via receptor sites and do their work.
Your hypothalamus directs the production of all your hormones from every one of your endocrine glands including:
Ovaries produce estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Testes produce testosterone.
Your hypothalamus produces gonadotropin-releasing hormone that controls reproduction and sex hormone production.
Your pancreas lies to the left and under your stomach. Your pancreas is both an exocrine gland producing digestive enzymes, but also an endocrine gland producing insulin and glucagon.
Your hypothalamus controls glucose metabolism.
Your adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys and produce adrenaline, pregnenolone, DHEA, cortisol and aldosterone.
Your hypothalamus produces cortico-releasing hormone that directs adrenal function.
Your thymus lies just above your heart. Your thymus produces and releases several hormones all under the direction of your hypothalamus.
Your thyroid lies at the base of your throat and produces thyroxine (T4) which gets converted into its active form triiodothyronine (T3). Your hypothalamus directs the production of thyroid hormones. Behind your thyroid are the parathyroid glands which produce parathyroid hormone that regulates calcium.
Your pituitary gland lies beneath your hypothalamus. Under the direction of your hypothalamus, your pituitary gland acts as middle manager producing stimulating hormones to activate the lower endocrine glands – gonads, adrenals, thyroid. Your pituitary gland also produces growth hormone and stores and releases the hypothalamus hormones – prolactin and oxytocin.
Your pineal gland lies in the middle of your brain. Your pineal gland produces melatonin under the direction of your hypothalamus.