How it’s all connected! Yep it is all connected and we are all connected on so many levels
Our last post focused on how chronic stress can impact the body when the adrenal glands no longer make the connections that they need to for optimal health. We talked primarily about adrenal support, which by the way everyone needs right now.
Anyway it got me thinking that I should share a visual tool that I use to teach my patients and help them better understand how the Endocrine Organs and Hormones work as a team to create optimal health.
This chart was developed by Henry Harrower in the 1930’s. Dr. Henry R. Harrower was one of the early pioneering endocrinologists during the first half of the 20th century. His work is the foundation of many of today’s writings on endocrinology.
If you want a larger PDF version for yourself please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What the chart shows is the relationship between each of the endocrine organs and how they relate to and with each other.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The Body is Kinda like a thermostat. We call it homeostasis. The Hypothalamus which is located in the brain is constantly measuring our blood and monitoring optimal hormone levels. So when there is too much or too little of a hormone it sends out signal to either make a little more or make a little less and therefore keeping everything in balance or homeostasis.
The system works well until one of the organs in the group does not function as it should. Most of the time unless there is an autoimmune primary condition the system malfunctions due to chronic stress.
Or you could say in a science kinda way that it is the physioloical expression of the non adapted stress response.
I also like to say that you can think of the endocrine system as if it worked like spokes in a wheel. If one of the spokes in the circle or wheel was over or under burdened then the wheel would not work well… and eventually you get a flat tire. It is all connected.
THE IMPACT OF CHRONIC STRESS OVERTIME TURNS OFF OR INHIBITS:
- The parathyroid gland which is responsible for the balance of Calcium in the body. Think Osteoporosis and issues with teeth and bones
- Digestion: You do not need to digest when you are trying to survive: Think: Ulcers, Acid Reflux, Food Intolerances, Leaky Gut, SIBO, Constipation and Mood.
- The Regulation of Blood Sugar and causes imbalances: Hypo and Hyper Glycemia, Insulin Resistance and Fatigue, before or after eating
- Reproduction: Infertility, PMS challenges, PCOS, heavy bleeding, low sex drive, fibroids, etc etc and tough peri-menopausal symptoms like hot flashes
- The Pineal gland is also inhibited. It’s function is to keep the balance of melatonin optimal so that we have a good restful night’s sleep.
- The Liver is our main organ of detoxification. When the Liver is impaired and not working well it leads to a build up of toxicity in the body and the brain. There is a lot to say here so I will try to keep it simple 😀). Symptoms of Liver problems are things like Aches and Pains, Arthritis, Depression, Itchy Skin, Fatigue, Bloating and a yellow cast to the skin etc. The Liver is also responsible for clearing excess hormones like estrogen from the body.
- The Thyroid. You will notice the thyroid is right in the middle of the chart. So it is both inhibited and stimulated. AH HAH! That it is why it is so tough for those with thyroid issues to get the balance right so they feel well.
- Last but not least chronic stress inhibits the Thymus gland. The thymus gland is part of our immune system and it is instrumental in the production and maturation of T-lymphocytes or T cells, a specific type of white blood cell that protects the body from certain threats, including viruses and infections.
CHROINC STRESS STIMULATES
The Mammary Gland. This looks and feels like: Sore breasts, difficulty with breast feeding, lumpy and dense breasts and finally Breast Cancer for both men and women.
The Thyroid gland as we talked about above is both stimulated and inhibited. This cycle can lead to autoimmune thyroid conditions like Hashimoto’s, Graves Disease and Cancer.
The Pituitary gland is considered the master gland of the Endocrine system. The Hypothalamus in the brain measure the blood for hormones and then signals the PG as to release hormones if needed to the various glands in the endocrine system. An over-active Pituitary gland has physical signs and symptoms as well as disease symptoms. The most notable are abnormal growth issues.
WRAPPING IT ALL UP
I wanted to share this tool and this information to help you better understand the consequences and disease states that can show up if we are under chronic stress, whether real or perceived for any length of time. We don’t always think about how our bodies are connected in this way. It’s all connected and we are all connected.
When we have an issue we often want to treat or google that issue and treat it. That’s not a bad thing in an alarm state but you also need to dig a little to get to the Root Cause to correct the underlying problem.
I know we only talked about chronic stress today … but I want you to think about your Endocrine System as a whole system. I might do a whole series? Let me know if you would like that.
We could apply the reasoning we used today and apply it to any of the organs in the system. For Example we could start with an over burdened Liver and see how it could have the systemic impacts. Let me know via email if you would like a PDF of this chart. email@example.com.
Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend