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What is the Hypothalamus Gland?

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Updated April 22, 2014

Definition: The hypothalamus is an endocrine system gland.

The hypothalamus is located in the limbic system of the brain, an area of the brain that controls emotions and behavior. So it makes sense that the hypothalamus gland controls our emotions and behaviors, including sexual behavior.

Another key activity of the hypothalamus is secreting hormones that support the normal function of the pituitary gland. Other fundamental tasks, performed by the hypothalamus, include regulating body temperature, appetite, digestion, circulation and sleep. Additionally, the hypothalamus gland controls critical metabolic activities, helping us maintain healthy fluid levels and properly metabolize fats and sugars.

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