Stressor Spotlight: Hormonal/Endocrine System

 

When we hear the word “hormones,” we tend to think about things like going through puberty, dealing with low testosterone, or other issues related to our sexual health. But the reality is that hormones encompass far more than our sexual health alone. Hormones, in fact, not only control the reproductive system, but are necessary for numerous other physical, mental, and emotional functions.

 

Structure and Function

 

Hormones are chemical messengers produced by the endocrine glands. These glands create several different types of hormones. You’re likely familiar with the well-known testosterone and estrogen, but there’s also dopamine, serotonin, ghrelin, cortisol, and dozens of others—all carrying out their specific functions within the body.

 

Collectively, a number of glands and organs in the body make up the endocrine system. Let’s take a brief look at each of these starting with the brain.

 

“Control center” & pineal glands

The pituitary gland is often referred to as the master endocrine gland because it regulates the functions of other endocrine glands. The hypothalamus, however, is what signals the pituitary to produce or stop producing hormones. So together, these two glands of the brain are known as the control centers of the endocrine system.1

 

Also located in the brain, the pineal gland produces and releases only one hormone: melatonin. This hormone is responsible for maintaining our body’s circadian rhythm. Additionally, melatonin also helps regulate reproductive hormones.

 

Thyroid & parathyroid

Moving down to the neck, we find the thyroid and parathyroid glands. The thyroid plays a key role in regulating metabolism. The main purposes of metabolism are to convert food to energy and building blocks for proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids, as well as the elimination of excess nitrogen.2

 

The parathyroid glands, on the other hand, have the very specific job of regulating the calcium levels in our body. About the size of a grain of rice, these 4 glands also increase active vitamin D formation and phosphorus absorption as a byproduct of calcium regulation.3

 

Female and Male endocrine system. Human comparative anatomy. Human silhouette with detailed internal organs. Vector illustration isolated on a dark grey background.

 

Thymus & adrenals

Situated between the lungs, the thymus helps your body fight diseases and infections by producing T cells. Interestingly, this organ is larger in children but then slowly shrinks over time, eventually becoming replaced by fat.4

 

Next, we have the two adrenal glands. Located on the top of the kidneys, these glands produce cortisol, which helps regulate the body’s stress response. In addition to cortisol, the adrenals also produce hormones that help regulate blood pressure and provide adrenaline to help your body spring into action when stressed.

 

Pancreas & kidneys

Unlike other glands, the pancreas secretes both hormones and digestive enzymes. Thus, it’s part of both the endocrine and digestive systems. The key hormone produced by the pancreas is insulin, which helps maintain the body’s balance of blood glucose and salt.

 

Also heavily involved in the endocrine system, the kidneys produce a number of important hormones. Together, these hormones help to regulate blood pressure, red cell production, calcium, sodium and water excretion, and immune system function.5

 

Reproductive glands

Lastly, we come to the ovaries and testes. These organs maintain the health of the female and male reproductive systems respectively. They also, however, have other non-reproductive functions. Testosterone, for example, promotes healthy bones and muscle mass.

 

In addition to the testes, males also have a prostate gland. This gland produces an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT, which is critical for sexual drive and function.

 

Energetic relationships

 

chart of endocrine system energetic relationships

 

Collectively, the organs and glands of the detoxification system are energetically connected to most of the vertebrae and teeth. In addition, they are also most closely connected with the following TCM meridians:

 

  • Urinary Bladder
  • Triple Warmer
  • Stomach
  • Kidney
  • Spleen
  • Liver

Notably, several endocrine glands are energetically connected to the Triple Warmer meridian. This meridian plays a key role in circulating protective energy throughout the body. It also controls the intake, transformation, and elimination of various substances.6

 

The kidney meridian also plays a major role in the health of the endocrine system. Known as the “root of life,” this meridian as the source of energy for the entire body.7

 

Hormonal imbalances

 

A hormonal imbalance occurs when there is either too much or not enough production of a hormone. Imbalances are common during puberty, pregnancy, and menstruation. Other hormone imbalances, however, have become more common in recent years. Common causes of these imbalances include:

 

  • Hypo- or hyper-thyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Eating disorders
  • Injury or trauma

In addition to these common causes, endocrine disruptors can also cause hormone imbalances. These disruptors which mimic hormones in the body are commonly found in foods, prescription drugs, pesticides, plastics, and soil.

 

Balancing hormones

 

Hormone balance is synonymous with balancing yin and yang in the body. A hormone level that is lower than normal can be thought of as a yin deficiency, while a balance that is higher than normal is a yang deficiency. Thus, balancing yin and yang energy in the body is the key to balancing our hormones.8

 

So how do we balance yin and yang?

 

When it comes to your lifestyle, there are several things you can do to help restore this delicate balance. Being connected with nature is important, so try to get outside and take a walk or do another outdoor activity. Meditation can also help with balancing hormones. If you need some pointers, read about meditation techniques here.

 

Exercise is also critical for balancing yin and yang. While it’s beneficial to exercise every day, make sure you don’t overdo it. Practices such as qigong and yoga incorporate meditation and breathing, so you can get your daily exercise and meditation in one session. Getting enough sleep is important to keeping your hormone levels in check as well. You can learn more about these and other ways to balance hormones naturally here.

 

healthy fats - avocado, nuts, seeds, oil, and salmon

 

Of course, we can’t forget about diet when it comes to balancing the forces of yin and yang. You can support hormone regulation by eating specific foods and avoiding foods that contain endocrine disruptors and other ingredients that are damaging to hormone production. Additionally, incorporate the following foods in your diet:

 

  • Healthy fats (avocados, cheese, wild-caught salmon)
  • High-fiber foods (beans, nuts, cruciferous vegetables)
  • Probiotics (fermented yogurt, kimchi)
  • Protein (eggs, chicken, fish)
  • Green tea

Lastly, many people are turning to hormone replacement therapy to balance their hormones—especially women going through menopause and men with low testosterone. This therapy can effectively help you balance your hormone levels, but you should also be aware that these methods come with certain side effects. If you are bothered by hormone imbalance and can’t find relief from natural methods, you may want to consult your doctor about this type of treatment.

 

Hormonal/Endocrine System stressor Virtual Item

 

The Hormonal/Endocrine category is available to scan in the ZYTO Select and Elite software, and is automatically scanned in the Balance biosurvey. Digital signatures you can scan for within this category include:

 

  • Diet & Nutrition
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
  • Hypothalamus
  • Ovaries
  • Parathyroid Gland
  • Pituitary Gland
  • Sleep
  • Testes
  • Thyroid

In the ZYTO Balance software, hormonal/endocrine system Virtual Items are scanned along with 3 other core body systems: the immune system, gastrointestinal system, and detoxification system. These 4 core body systems are crucial for maintaining overall health and wellness.9

 

Available as an add-on in the Select and Elite software, the Lifestyle Biosurvey allows you to scan for additional items related to the hormonal/endocrine system, which we call secondary stressor Virtual Items. Some of these items are:

 

  • Corticosterone
  • Cortisol
  • Glucagon
  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Insulin
  • Melatonin
  • T3 & T4

Like all physical areas of the body, there is also an emotional component of hormonal/endocrine system health. The kidney meridian, for example, which plays a large role in the hormonal/endocrine system, is connected to the emotions of fear and paranoia. Fear specifically relates to Zone 8 in the ZYTO EVOX perception reframing software: Fearful and Overwhelmed vs. Accountability.

 

Hormonal/Endocrine System balancer Virtual Items

 

essential oils, herbs, supplements, and flowers on top of drawing of chemical structure

 

After scanning Hormonal/Endocrine system items and other stressor Virtual Items, digital signatures of balancers are typically scanned. These balancing Virtual Items may include essential oils, supplements, foods, and wellness services. Within the Balance software, the supplements and/or essential oils scanned are specific to one product company. The Select and Elite, on the other hand, allows you to scan products from multiple product companies.

 

Healthy foods can also help you balance hormones in the body. You can scan for more than 400 balancing food Virtual Items in the Foods for Wellness Scan, which is included in the Select and Elite software. Some of these foods that may help you balance hormone levels and support endocrine system health include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and flax seed.

 

As mentioned, the Lifestyle Biosurvey allows you to scan for additional items related to the hormonal/endocrine system. This includes Virtual Items that are considered balancing to this system. And since emotions play a large role in hormone production, EVOX perception reframing software can be an invaluable tool in supporting a healthy balance in the hormonal/endocrine system.

 

 

Sources:

1. “Hormones: the body’s chemical messengers.” QA International. Ikonet.com.

2. “Metabolism.” Wikipedia. En.wikipedia.org.

3. Sargis, Robert M. “An Overview of the Parathyroid.” Vertical Health LLC. Endocrineweb.com.

4. Bagala, Nicola. “Understanding Why the Thymus Shrinks With Age.” Life Extension Advocacy Foundation. Leafscience.org.

5. Henderson, J. & I.W. Henderson. “The endocrine functions of the kidney.” Journal of Biological Education 28, no. 4 (2010): 245-254.

6. “The Triple Warmer Meridian.” Natural-health-zone.com. Natural-health-zone.com.

7. Re’Shel, Azriel & TanjaTaljaard. “How to Tune Your Endocrine System.” Uplift. Upliftconnect.com.

8. Buonocore, Gianna. “The Yin and Yang of Hormonal Balance: A Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective.” Integrated Medicine Institute. Imi.com.hk.

9. “Core System of Function.” CoreOne. Coreonehealth.com.