Out of site, out of mind, right? We rarely give our Endocrine System much thought. Did you know that the hormones our glands release impact almost every cell, organ and function of our bodies. The Endocrine System is responsible for regulating our mood, growth and development, tissue function and metabolism, also our sexual function and reproductive process.
To keep it simple, the Endocrine System is responsible for the things that happen slowly in our body, like cell growth. Whereas the faster processes like moving and breathing are controlled by our Nervous System. Both these systems work together however.
Our hormones and glands make up the foundation of the Endocrine System. Our hormone levels are greatly affected by stress, infection and changes in the minerals or fluid in the blood. The hormones have been genetically programmed to affect only the cells it was designed to affect. Glands on the other hand, are made up of cells that produce and secrete chemicals. A gland will select and remove material from the blood, process it and then secrete the chemical it produced to be used somewhere in the body.
Each gland has assigned functions that affects specific areas of the body. An example is exocrine glands, they produce sweat and salivary that is released in the skin or inside our mouths.
The major glands that make up the human endocrine system are:
- Pineal Body
- Reproductive Glands
It is important that our bodies are able to function optimally if we want to be healthy. When our systems are not operating as they should, if too much or too little hormones are produced, then the body will respond with a variety of health issues.
Some examples of this can be:
Adrenal Insufficiency: symptoms can include weakness, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, dehydration, and skin changes.
Type 1 diabetes: This occurs when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin. Symptoms can include excessive thirst, urination, hunger and/or weight loss.
Type 2 diabetes: This occurs when the body cannot respond adequately to the insulin that is being produced.
Growth Hormone Problems: when the body produces too much growth hormone it can cause excess growth resulting in giagantism. Although rare this is caused by a pituitary tumor. When the pituitary gland fails to produce enough growth hormone they child’s height is impaired.
Hyperthyroidism: levels of thyroid hormones are too high.
Hypothyroidism: levels of thyroid hormones are too low.
The Hypothalamus (located in the brain) acts like a radar that receives incoming messages from the Nervous System. It will take the messages and manufactured hormones to target specific parts of the body or it will target others glands in order to produce specific hormones. Our hormones carry information that enables our body’s cells and tissues to function.
Chiropractic Care and Our Nervous System
The purpose of chiropractic care is to keep the Nervous System functioning optimally. When the Nervous System functions at its best it maximizes Homeostasis and body’s inherent ability to heal itself.
As you can see the Endocrine System is very complicated. It is responsible for much of our health, working directly with our Nervous System. Chiropractic care is so valuable to ensure that our Nervous Systems our functioning at their very best. Reminding us that we need to start viewing chiropractic care as prevention and not pain management alone. The full benefits can be surprising to the patients who seek out a chiropractor as part of their health care options.