What Would Happen to Your Body If Your Endocrine System Stopped Functioning?
What is Your Endocrine System and How Does It Affect Your Health?
How reproductive, endocrine, and nervous systems work together and what happens if your endocrine system stops working
I think The best place to start to learn about the endocrine system, it’s function, and how it relates to other systems in the body would be to first think about what would happen if our endocrine system stopped working as it should.
We have all heard much about hormones. Well the endocrine system is the collection of glands and glandular organs that produce hormones to regulate metabolism, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, mood, the immune system and more.
Why We Need an Endocrine System
Why do we need an endocrine system?
The glands of the endocrine secrete hormones into the spaces surrounding the cells. The bloodstream then picks them up and moves them throughout the body.
Hormones (similar to the nervous system) tell the body what to do. To make it simple, the nervous system is in charge of short term responses and the endocrine system is responsible for the body’s longer term responses.
The major glands of the endocrine system are the hypothalamus, pituitary, and pineal (all located in the brain), the thyroid and parathyroid (located behind that), adrenal (on the top of the kidneys), as well as the pancreas, ovaries, and the testes.
The liver, stomach, small intestine, kidneys, and placenta are also part of this system.
The hypothalamus and pituitary are close buddies. They regulate everything to do with stress, rage, flight, body temperature, thirst, hunger, sexual activity, and survival.
How Does the Nervous System Work with the Endocrine System to Maintain Homeostasis?
The thyroid gland is located in the lower front of the neck. Its hormones are best known for regulating our metabolism, as well as assisting with breathing, heart rate, nervous system, muscle tone, menstrual cycles, body temperature, cholesterol levels, bone growth, and the brain. To be clear, if your thyroid is not operating at top performance, the entire rest of your body will be askew.
The pineal gland, about the size of a grain of rice, is our main source of melatonin production.
Is the Liver Part of the Endocrine System?
Yes, the liver is part of the endocrine system, as are the heart, stomach and kidneys.
Here are the endocrine functions of the liver, heart, stomach and kidneys:
- kidneys release two important hormones which produce red blood cells and regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate found in our blood.
- heart produces a peptide hormone that helps to regulate the blood pressure and volume in our blood vessels.
- stomach’s hormones secrete gastric acid which increases the acidity and decreases the PH, preparing the digestive system to absorb and assimilate nutrition.
- liver is involved in the production of platelets required for blood clotting as well as the processor of the toxins from our food and more.
What Are the Different Hormones Secreted by the Different Parts of the Endocrine System?
Hormones are chemical messengers created by the body to transfer information from one group of cells to another. Their mission: to regulate the functions of different parts of the body. There are many kinds of hormones and they all have their own jobs to do.
- TSH – this stimulates the thyroid gland to release thyroid hormones.
- Follicle stimulating hormone – stimulate the testicles and ovaries.
- Prolactin – stimulates milk production.
- ACTH – stimulates the release of adrenal cortical
- MSH – this hormone is an anti-inflammatory and is responsible for moles, freckles, and suntans. It protects our cells from DNA damage.
- Human Growth Hormone – stimulates growth of the body and regulates metabolic processes. You can thank this hormone when you feel young and your body is a fast healer.
- Oxytocin – during childbirth this hormone increases the strength of uterine contractions and stimulates the ejection of milk after delivery. It inhibits the brain’s fear center, makes it easy for us to lie and trust, increases pain threshold, relieves stress, helps us relax, alleviates depression, and increases generosity.
- ADH – responsible for water concentration and blood vessel constriction.
What Happens to You If Your Endocrine System Stops Working?
Not to put too fine a point on it, but when the endocrine system malfunctions it sets off a chain reaction, affecting all of the body’s hormone productions, in turn
affecting every gland, every organ, and every part of the entire body.
Ask yourself this question: Is my endocrine system healthy?
Symptoms of an unhealthy endocrine system include regular insomnia, dull skin, depression, low energy, alopecia, weight gain, low sex drive, puffy skin, excessive fear, anger and ADHD, among others.
When the body is overwhelmed with toxins, parts of the body will become dysfunctional. When this happens autoimmune disease is lurking nearby.
So let’s discuss how we can nurture our endocrine system and, when it gets sick, how we can heal it.
Firstly, a word of caution. When your hormones are acting up, be very careful and get professional advice before consuming pills and supplements containing human growth hormones. There are better, healthier answers. Amino acid based supplements that contain glutamine, tyrosine, Gaba, arginine and lysine are much healthier and more effective.
Best Supplements to Take for Your Endocrine System
Here is a list of other safe helpers:
- Vitamin D – it is actually a hormone in itself so taking it is pretty much a no brainer.
- B Vitamins – these work best if taken as a complex group.
- Magnesium – often needs topping up in the body and the results can be dramatic.
- Maca root – has a hormone balancing effect that helps alleviate fatigue, anxiety, stress, depression, and sleep issues.
- Chasteberry – relieves menstrual problems.
- Black Cohosh – treats symptoms of menopause, PMS, acne, osteoporosis, and more.
- Saw palmetto – For men it assists in prostate health and to balance their hormones. For women it is useful for hair loss, acne, and menopausal symptoms.
- Vitamin A – required for good vision, the immune system, hormone synthesis, and the production of T3.
- Bromelain – reduces inflammation.
- Ashwagandha – an adaptogenic herb which has countless benefits, but the main ones for our endocrine system are its ability to significantly improve liver function and stabilize cortisol levels.
- Fatty acids containing DHA and EPA – provide us with the right fats to create healthy cells.
- Licorice root – benefits the thyroid and adrenal glands.
- Reishi Mushrooms – “boost” the immune system.
- Ginseng – benefits the endocrine system in numerous ways.
- Hawthorn berries and horny goat weed are known to aid the body with healthy hormone levels.
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Lifestyle Actions to Improve the Health of the Endocrine System
Besides supplements there are ordinary everyday habits to get into to assure you of a healthy endocrine system.
- Working out/exercising can dramatically increase growth hormone levels by 100-800%, depending on the type of exercise.
- Get adequate sleep. When we are low on sleep we need to call on our adrenalin stores to get us through the days. This wears out the adrenal glands and disrupts our entire system.
- Handle your stress by breathing deeply, getting massages to detoxify the body, and spend time in nature.
- Find your optimum weight and stay there.
- If you have gut health issues address them immediately, as this can restore health to your entire endocrine system.
Aids to More Specific Areas of the Endocrine System:
If your pituitary is unable to produce enough protein hormones it will need manganese, vitamins E, A, D and B. As well, ashwagandha, eleuthero, holy basil, maca, Panax ginseng, Rhodiola rosea, and schisandra are often used to heal the pituitary gland.
High glycemic foods, and refined foods should be avoided as many diseases and conditions are caused if the pituitary produces too little or too many hormones.
Hypothalamus support when needed includes healthy fats, B and E vitamins and a balanced diet. When the brain becomes inflamed, hypothalamic cells are disrupted, leading to disease.
Calcification is the nemesis of the pineal gland and main cause is fluoride. It accumulates in the pineal gland and forms phosphate crystals.
Other culprits are chlorine, lead, pesticides, synthetic calcium, artificial sweeteners, synthetic fragrances, and mercury. Eat only organic produce and drink clean, filtered water. Antioxidants such as oregano oil and neem oil remove calcification. Spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, and blue-green algae also serve this purpose as does raw apple cider vinegar.
The thyroid gland is a very complicated subject with many nuances and “branches” for lack of a better word. It needs a lot of care or can result in either hypo or hyper thyroidism, among other maladies. However I think I have given you enough food for thought in this article. The thyroid should have an article all its own. Oh wait, it does:
Meanwhile get working on keeping that endocrine system healthy and doing its myriad of jobs. When balanced it can mean the difference between happiness and misery, sickness and health.