The Endocrine system plays a huge role in our over all health and yet typically the only organ in this system that most folks recognize is the “thyroid”, I am going to write a series of posts focusing on each gland in the endocrine system, giving a description of what it’s role and contribution is when it comes to our health.
The Hypothalamus gland’s general function… IS IT ALL IN MY HEAD? Well, it kinda is especially when it comes to one’s thirst and appetite…
The hypothalamus gland is a main link between the endocrine system and the nervous system. It is located in the lower central part of the brain with a specialized collection of cells.
The nerve cells of the hypothalamus control the pituitary gland by stimulating or suppressing the hormone secretions.
The hypothalamus gland, since it is responsible for controlling hunger and thirst.
Paul Pitchford expressed in Healing with Whole Foods,
“The way you eat is an expression of who you are, regardless of the quality of the food. The enjoyment of good food and company creates such an inner joy that it’s possible to taste the sweetest of nectar in even the simplest of food. Without this joy, and with no blessing offered, the most wholesome, delicious food can seem tasteless and leave the soul hungry. People who eat only for the taste or according to a diet or nutritional value often develop cravings for something they aren’t getting. They bring turmoil into their lives and homes in their constant search, and they eat to satisfy a misplaced hunger.
Overeating, a popular pastime in the wealthy nations, is thought to be the major cause of premature aging. Fifty years of research have shown that when a nourishing diet is eaten sparingly, aging is retarded; the maximum life span and immunity are extended in all animal species so far tested, from protozoa to worms, insects, fish and rodents as well as humans. In fact, consumption of too much rich and denatured food is responsible for most of our civilized diseases, such as obesity, cancer and diabetes.
Overeating by vegetarians also occurs regularly, and while it may not always result in weight gain, it invariably causes weakness, digestive upset and accelerated aging.
On an emotional level, overeating results from excessive and undifferentiated desire, which also leads one to choose an unnecessarily great variety of foods. Each food has a unique flavor which the appetite control center of the “hypothalamus” recognizes. Before it feels satisfied, the “hypothalamus” seeks a certain amount of every flavor it has sampled. Thus it is very difficult not to overeat a meal of many ingredients.” (Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods, Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition Third Edition)
“Refined foods may also contribute to overeating, according to a scientific study reported by the U.S. Agricultural Research Service (March 1, 1990). An explanation is that one is biologically conditioned over millions of years of human evolution to consume whole foods; excessive eating may represent an instinctive craving to obtain nutrients that are lost during refining.
Common foods depleted in nutrients include “white” refined: sugar, pasta, bread, pastries, and rice; refined oils, and reduced-fat dairy.” (Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods, Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition Third Edition)
“Habitual over-eating, especially of meat and strong flavors, inflames the lining of the stomach. ( So tell me does this NOT sound like a common issue for the average person? Acid reflux, indigestion, Ulcers are some of the top health issues that bring someone through the door of their Physician’s office!)
According to Chinese medicine, excess heat in the stomach is itself a cause of overeating, but even when this heat-overeating cycle is broken, one still must change underlying habits, which may have become imbedded in the body’s cells and organs over many years.” (Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods, Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition Third Edition)
DOES OUR LIFESTYLE HAVE ANY AFFECT ON THE FUNCTION OF THE GLANDS IN OUR ENDOCRINE SYSTEM?
The human body could not function were it not for the Endocrine Gland system. The glands in our body are the activating mechanisms responsible for, and involved in, every function and procedure taking place within our system. There are glands of internal secretion and glands of external secretion. These glands all manufacture in micro-microscopic quantities a substance known as hormones.
Hormones are a product generated and elaborated in the glands and discharged into the blood or lymph, in most cases, while in some instances their action is somewhat like making an electrical contact in one place to start, stop or to modify an action in a separate and perhaps remote place.
ENDOCRINE means that the manufacture of hormones takes place within the gland, with no duct for its discharge from it. The discharge takes place by osmotic transmission from within the gland through its covering, and is collected by the blood or lymph from outside the gland.
The volume of hormones secreted at any one time is so infinitesimal, so infinitely small, that in order to obtain one-quarter of an ounce of the Pineal Gland Hormone extract, for example, it would be necessary to collect hormones from more than 20,000,000 glands! (D.Sc.n.d.)
That being said, like every other part of the human body, glands must have constant nourishment in order to be able to operate efficiently. Such nourishment should be of the very finest quality, because of the important, intricate, and delicate work which the glands are called upon to perform. (D.Sc.n.d.)
I’d like to encourage you to stay tuned, because tomorrow I will post about the Pineal Gland and I will be making my way through the entire endocrine system, one post at a time. It may sound like information that is boring or to some useless to know, however, the more you know about how your own machine works, the better equipped you will be to notice when it’s time to service your own engine. Sad truth is most folks know more about maintaining their cars then they do their own bodies. Same thing rings true with our vehicles as it doe’s with our bodies. Preventative maintenance is not only smarter, but more cost effective, then waiting for either of them to “break-down”, before assessing any issues.
Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods, Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition Third Edition
Dr. Norman W. Walker D. Sc. (Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices)
(Sat Dharam Kaur, Complete Natural Medicine Guide to Women’s Health n.d.)
Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.
Harvested Health LLC