"Are your glands swollen?"
"She has a gland problem."
When people talk about glands (say:
), what do they mean? The answer is many different things. Glands
are important organs, you have a variety of them all over your
body, and though many of them are small, each produces something
Some glands make something that is released from the body - like
saliva, sweat, or tears. And if you're a girl, the mammary
glands in your breasts could someday make breast milk to feed a
Other glands release hormones (say:
-mones), which are substances inside your body that tell it how to
work and how to grow. Glands that do this are part of the endocrine
-doh-krin) system. Puberty - body changes that turn a kid into an
adult - depend on the endocrine system.
Still other things that we call "glands" are part of
your immune (say: ih-
) system. They release substances that help you fight off illnesses
and, if you are sick, help you get better. When you have a bad cold
and your neck glands are swollen, that is your immune system in
Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: November 2006
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice,
diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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