Endocrine System - Your Connected Body
When it comes to our bodies, everything affects everything because everything's connected.
And our endocrine system sits smack dab in the middle of all this connecting that's going on.
Here's a quick look at the parts of the endocrine system and what they do (24/7, I might add).
• The hypothalamus, which connects and controls our nervous system and endocrine system.
• The pituitary, which controls the flow of the other endocrine hormones.
• The thyroid, which controls metabolism.
• The adrenals, which crank things up handle stress.
• The pineal, which controls our 24-hour clock.
• The thymus, our immune system.
• The parathyroids, which balance our calcium.
• The pancreas, which works on keeping blood sugar where it belongs.
• The gonads, ovaries and testes, that provide sex hormones.
• Our body fat, which controls hunger.
• Our bones, which work with the thyroid.
As you probably noticed, that covers a whole bunch of what happens inside us.
And our busy, busy, busy endocrine glands don't sit in a corner like good little boys and girls. Oh, no! Besides getting into each other's business like crazy, they reach out and touch everything else they can get their hands on.
Let's look at just a few examples.
The pituitary, surprisingly, impacts your coordination. Plus, a non-functioning pituitary means your other glands aren't getting the stop/go signals they need to work. So there's both direct and indirect business going on.
And then there are the gonads. All of us have estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, courtesy of our gonads. Testosterone and progesterone are good, kind and gentle-but kinda wimpy. Estrogen, on the other hand, is a bossy, conniving menace to boys, girls, men and women. Once estrogen gets out of control, it creates all sorts of chaos, up to and including cancer. And it gets out of control a lot.
But the reach-out-and-touch-someone champ is the thyroid.
• If your thyroid's coasting along in low, your heart attack risk doubles.
• And low thyroid means high cholesterol. But taking statin drugs makes everything worse.
• Low thyroid makes iron tests come out low, too, but taking iron is a huge mistake. It's about pumping up the thyroid-which the unreliable tests may say is okay.
• Plus, low thyroid can mean low stomach acid, and there goes your digestion.
• A thyroid in trouble whacks your liver, too, and your limping liver can create cellulite, one of the less desirable ways in which your body tells you there's trouble.
Well, I could go on, but one important thing to understand is most doctors don't know any of this. And even if they do, they could risk their medical license by acting on it.
Medical schools teaching
Medical schools teach that the endocrine glands do, in fact, sit in a corner like good little boys and girls, so they needn't be considered in making a diagnosis.
This is not good.
Whatever gland-thyroid, pancreas, adrenals, etc.-starts the mess, no gland ever suffers alone. And it doesn't get healthy alone, either.
And it's not only glands. No body part goes down or gets back up by itself. To paraphrase John Donne, "No body part is an island, entire of itself."
Our bodies are beehives of connectivity, and getting healthy requires that somebody consider the connections. And since medicine doesn't think in those terms, that somebody appears to be you.
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.