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“If you want to heal your endocrine system, begin with your Adrenal Glands.”
The endocrine system is comprised of glands which secrete hormones that influence almost every cell, organ and function in the body. Hormones are potent compounds, released in miniscule amounts, which function as biological regulators. The endocrine system plays an active part in regulating our moods, growth, development, metabolism, sexual function and reproduction, as well as the aging process. Hormones act as chemical messengers, which deliver information to specific cells that are genetically programmed to accept and respond to the instructions. Stress, infection and inflammation, sleep, exercise and diet, especially minerals and fluid balance have an impact on hormone levels.
The endocrine glands are located throughout the body and include the two adrenal glands, the pituitary, parathyroid and thyroid glands, pancreas and ovaries. They are designed to work together like a beautifully orchestrated symphony. When they are in harmony, all is well and we feel fantastic! When they are out of tune, over-producing or under-producing, or worse, not functioning at all, physiological upsets, symptoms, illnesses and diseases occur. The rate that hormones are produced is not continuous. It occurs in short bursts, released from the glands into the bloodstream, targeted for specific cellular instruction. Ideally, hormone levels are carefully regulated through delicate feedback systems, via the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, both located in the brain. The hypothalamus is the “control center” and the pituitary is known as the “master gland”.
Hormone levels produced by the endocrine system depend on the amount the body is making and the ability of your body to detoxify and/or remove the excess. When hormone production levels are too low or too high they become an internal toxin. If the liver is congested or does not have adequate nutritional support it does not have the ability to detoxify hormones properly which results in a build-up of hormone levels. Chemical taste enhancers found in processed foods destroy brain cells located in the hypothalamus. This is devastating to the body, as feedback loops are destroyed and the body is unable to monitor itself properly. It’s like an airplane that has been cut off from the instrument panel and the control tower. It’s still flying, but without proper instruction and direction.
Two adrenal glands each shaped like miniature pyramids sit on top of the kidneys. They work in conjunction with your thyroid gland as your energy producing system. The exterior layer of the adrenal glands, called the adrenal cortex, produces the hormone cortisol, which assists your body with acute stress situations. The internal layer, called the adrenal medulla, produces adrenaline when you are in a “fight or flight” situation and you need to act quickly, generate a tremendous amount of energy and defend your life. Adrenaline increases your heart rate and blood flow to your muscles, mobilizes sugar to burn and raises blood pressure. These two stress hormones, along with others, help control your body fluid balance, blood sugar level and other metabolic functions. The body is not designed to be driven in high gear, pedal to the metal stress mode. If you subject yourself to high levels of either physical or emotional stress on an on-going basis, your adrenal glands will become tired and overworked, leading to adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is also known as “burn out”. Stress depletes vital nutrients from the body faster than they can be replenished. Emotional upsets, negative attitudes, family and job-related stress all impact the behavior and function of the body. Once the body’s nutrient levels become depleted the thyroid and adrenal glands are not able to remain in balance and distressing symptoms appear. A diet rich in alkalizing nutrients and enzymes, stress management, deep sleep, rest, joyful thoughts, balanced exercise, fresh air from nature, love for oneself and others are all essential for both repairing and maintaining adrenal health. Avoiding all processed anti-foods, drugs, coffee, cigarettes, continuous emotional upsets and prolonged stress, excessive amounts of alcohol and staying up late at night are all setting you up for fatigue, accelerated aging and general “Burn-Out”. This is very important information for women. The adrenal glands are capable of producing essential amounts of estrogen through the transition to menopause. This will only happen if your adrenal glands are healthy and capable of proper function.
It is the liver’s job to processes all of the adrenal hormones including cortisol and adrenalin, from a stress response. An excessive amount of any hormone contributes to emotional imbalances. Anger and depression may be a sign of poor liver function and detoxification from lack of nutritional support and chemical toxicity.