When people talk about glands, 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 important.
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 baby.
Other glands release hormones (say: HOR-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 (say: EN-doh-krin) system. Puberty
— body changes that turn a kid into an adult — depend on the endocrine
Still other things that we call "glands" are part of your immune (say: ih-MYOON)
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 action.