Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
   
   
   
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
Walking?
Which of the following in NOT a direct benefit of a regular walking regimen?
Reduce Stress
Improved immune function
Achieving ideal weight.
Improved sugar metabolism

 
 
 Naturopathic Medicine: Get To Know Your Endocrine System  
 
Lauri Aesoph M. ND ©
The endocrine system is like a symphony with several glands working both alone and together to orchestrate bodily functions. Each endocrine gland--thyroid, pancreas, pineal, thymus, ovaries, testes, adrenals, parathyroid--produces and secretes hormones. These chemical messengers are like music to your body, exciting or inhibiting various tissues regarding metabolism, growth and reproduction.

The conductor of the endocrine system is the anterior pituitary gland, nestled at the base of the brain. The hypothalamus sends special hormones called releasing factors to the pituitary instructing it how to manage the other endocrine glands. Then with its own set of directive hormones, the anterior pituitary guides your body's glands. The anterior pituitary also releases prolactin, a breast feeding hormone, and growth hormone.

The posterior pituitary, a neighbor but unrelated to the anterior pituitary, is responsible for two hormones: antidiuretic hormone and oxytocin. ADH helps you maintain arterial blood pressure during, for example, blood loss by resorbing water from your kidneys. Oxytocin contracts the uterus during childbirth and causes milk letdown during breast feeding.

Each endocrine gland plays a distinct role in your body, but these actions overlap and therefore affect one another too. When one gland is overly or under-active, other glands feel the effect. The same goes for you. When part of your endocrine system is sick, you most likely are too. Fatigue is one symptom that many endocrine disorders have in common. If you feel very tired or can't seem to shake your fatigue, see your doctor. Once you've discovered the source of your fatigue--whether it's endocrine related or not--there are many natural remedies you can try under the guidance of a professional.


Pineal Gland

Function
Although part of the endocrine system, the pineal gland isn't a gland per se. This neuroendocrine body translates nerve messages into hormonal output--namely melatonin. This pineal hormone peaks in your body around midnight. Babies are born with scarce amounts of melatonin, perhaps accounting for their erratic sleeping habits. Levels, however, rise with age, top out in childhood and then slowly decline with years.

The pineal gland and melatonin are thought to keep your biological clock ticking. External cues like temperature and light, as well as endogenous messages such as emotions guide the pineal gland. In this way sleep, mood, immunity, seasonal rhythms, menstruation and even aging are regulated.

Melatonin
Synthetic versions of melatonin have recently been touted as nature's new wonder cure for fatigue, insomnia, depression, jet lag, cancer and old age. During her lecture on melatonin at a recent naturopathic medical convention in Aspen, Colorado, Anna MacIntosh, PhD, ND agrees this hormone appears to be a cure-all. That's also what frightens her.

Although supplemental melatonin doesn't seem to have toxic effects, it shouldn't be used indiscriminately. There's too much we don't know about this hormone yet, says MacIntosh. We don't know its long-term repercussions and whether it exerts subtle, and as yet, unmeasured effects. Because melatonin governs biological rhythms, will overuse or ill-directed use adversely affect you?

Melatonin is probably safe for insomnia and jet lag. If you decide to take melatonin, don't take it during the day--this will only aggravate your fatigue and sleeping problems. Instead take melatonin one hour before sleep. Better yet, preserve your own melatonin reserves by sleeping in a dark room, not turning lights on if you get up in the middle of the night and don't take ibuprofen late at night.


CONTINUED    1  2  3  4  5  Next   
 Comments Add your comment 

 
 From Our Friends
 
 
 
Popular & Related Products
 
Popular & Featured Events
Integrative Healthcare Symposium 2015
     February 19-21, 2015
     New York, NY USA
 
Wellness Inventory Certification Training (Level I)
     February 24-May 26, 2015
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Stevia Products & Info
 
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Self Responsibility, Love, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar