Endocrine System – Body Connections
Quite a few of you responded to the 2014 “What Should Bette Write About” Contest saying you wanted me to continue to write about how the endocrine system works.
Well, murder mysteries never go out of style, and neither do the mysteries of the endocrine system. According to studies, 50% of us have endocrine problems of some sort-rarely diagnosed, even more rarely successfully treated, meaning we’re on our own. We can either stay in our misery or learn how to get out of the ditch.
So today’s epistle is about two little known connections amongst the endocrine glands. There are, of course, about a gazillion others, but I’ll talk about two.
We’re led to believe the endocrine system lives in a little box up in a corner somewhere and isn’t all that important. Not like, say, the heart, which is major.
The fact that heart disease risk skyrockets when the endocrine system stumbles seems not to be recognized among the white coats. Or maybe they can’t think outside the box. (☺)
Endocrine system controls all
Contrary to the glands-in-a-box theory, research shows that the endocrine system controls all of health. Symptoms of any sort mean you have endocrine problems. If you’re sick, you have endocrine problems. Health problems always mean endocrine problems.
Complicating everything, as if anybody thought that was necessary, is the all-for-one, one-for-all attitude of endocrine glands. If one gland, say the thyroid, falls on hard times, all the others jump in to help. They keep things afloat for a while, but eventually things crash and burn.
We may never know which gland starts our problems, but let’s look at some connections.
• Our pineal gland sits in its own little Bat Cave deep in our brains, controlling our internal clock and creating melatonin. The melatonin we create keeps us awake and content during the day, and it allows us to sleep restfully when it gets dark.
Besides tending its clock duties, the pineal shares its melatonin with the thymus gland, home of our immune system. There, melatonin allows the thymus to do all it needs to do.
Thymus – home of the immune system
Then the thymus passes along some of the melatonin to our adrenal glands, enabling them to provide our energy, fight-or-flight response to stress, etc.
So, three endocrine glands need melatonin to keep chugging along to the beat. When this trio stumbles, which is what happens when fluoride arrives on the scene, life gets really hard.
Fluoride has a fatal attraction for the pineal gland, rushing to the Bat Cave in a trice once it gets into your body. Bit by bit, fluoride turns the pineal into stone. Well, stones can’t create melatonin, and down the hill you go.
Eventually, your good cheer goes away. Sleep becomes restless. Energy fades to only a memory. And you have no defense system to protect against disease.
• Then there’s the connection between your thyroid gland and your bones. Surprise, surprise! Who knew?
Natural thyroid hormone has five parts, one of which is calcitonin. Calcitonin keeps busy, busy, busy in lots of ways. For one thing, it helps bones create new bone cells by combining with the osteocalcin produced by your bones.
When your thyroid drags along, it creates less thyroid hormone-and less calcitonin. The longer the thyroid stays in low gear, the greater your risk of osteoporosis because not enough new bones cells get created without calcitonin.
Want more bad news? If blood tests ever prove your thyroid needs help, doctors almost always prescribe Synthroid or one of its ugly generic look-alikes, but Synthroid lacks even a drop of calcitonin.
And Synthroid doesn’t do much to perk you up, either, so you remain kinda bald, brain befogged and tired. Some people get a little relief, but most still feel like death struck by a brick.
But since Synthroid makes blood tests look good, the doc will assure you things are swell. Maybe even too swell, at which point the doc will lower your dose, believing that high doses of Synthroid cause osteoporosis.
But Synthroid doesn’t cause it; the lack of calcitonin does. If your hypothyroidism goes untreated or gets treated with Synthroid (or a generic), you will get osteoporosis. (And don’t even think about taking a bone med; instead of fixing anything, they make bones brittle.)
This is not well known. A few years back, in trying to get a prescription for natural thyroid when the doctor wanted to prescribe Synthroid, I mentioned the osteoporosis problem, and the doctor fired me as a patient. I was as charming as I know how to be, but he banished me.
The endocrine system poses a mystery, even to medical poobahs.
But as misunderstood as the endocrine system is, I have good news. Your body is on your side. While symptoms may aggravate the tar out of you, once you learn what they mean, symptoms tell you what your body needs. Which is what I write about.
Knowledge is power.
God is good,
Copyright by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved
P.S. Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be She’s a patient who’s been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth 12-month subscription program, “Moving to Health” about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work-or don’t, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at Information is power.