Your exocrine system includes a series of glands all over your body. These glands secrete substances that help your organs function, including sweat, breast milk, mucus and oil. Your exocrine system is different from your endocrine system, in that it secretes these substances through ducts. Conditions that affect your exocrine system include cancer, inflammation and hair loss.
Your exocrine system consists of glands all over your body that carry out many functions. It’s part of your autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary actions supporting your well-being.
Glands are tiny organs that secrete substances that trigger certain biologic processes. For example, your salivary glands produce saliva to keep your mouth moist.
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Exocrine glands control specific functions in your:
Exocrine system glands take on a variety of functions.
Exocrine system glands serve many essential functions based on their location:
Your pancreas functions as both an exocrine and endocrine gland.
The anatomy of exocrine system glands includes:
Exocrine system diseases and disorders include:
Taking good care of yourself is one of the best ways to keep your exocrine system healthy.
You can do this by:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Your exocrine system includes glands all over your body. They secrete oil, mucus, saliva and milk that aid in organ function. Various conditions can affect your exocrine system, including tumors, inflammation and blockages. Taking good care of yourself can lower the risk of experiencing these issues.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/06/2022.
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