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I get lots of questions on exactly what the endocrine system is and how it works, so let’s take a peek at this important body system.
The body has two main coordination systems. Coordination just means getting things aligned and working together. The first is the nervous system and the second is the endocrine system.
The nervous system carries information fast, at roughly 280 mph. Think of it as a network of telephone wires that enable a blanket of communications throughout a wide area.
The endocrine system isn’t as fast as the nervous system. Think of it as the postal system. It carries chemical messages, which have to be made and carried through the bloodstream. Even though this system is much slower, the information that it carries is very important.
The endocrine system’s main purpose is to maintain homeostasis, or internal stability. It maintains internal functions by increasing (stimulating) or decreasing (inhibiting) things like temperature, blood pressure, blood sugar, inflammation, growth, hair, cholesterol, wakefulness, and sleep.
A gland is something that secretes or releases a fluid, whether hormones, enzymes, or perspiration.
To be classified as a hormone, a chemical must be produced by a gland, be released (in small amounts) into the blood, and be transported by the blood to a distant organ to perform its specific function.
Glands have an internal built-in biocomputer-like mechanism, which has pre-programmed responses in the DNA for different situations. When you sit up suddenly, sensors within blood vessels and muscles tell a gland to stimulate the contraction of the heart and vessels. This increases pressure to drive blood into the brain and maintain normal amounts of oxygen. If this did not happen, you would become dizzy and pass out.
So the pre-programmed DNA is in communication with receptors or receivers. These specialized receptors are everywhere. You have them for blood pressure, taste, pain, temperature, blood sugar, nutrition—you name it. When the weather is cold and you go outside without a coat, you shiver to keep warm. If you forget to eat, you get hungry.
These connections between the gland and body tissue receptors are continuous circuits linked to the brain, much like a circuit in your house. This means they are also susceptible to interference and overload.
The endocrine system is highly sensitive to hormones from the environment. These include the hormones in your foods, and chemicals that mimic hormones (like pesticides and insecticides).
These environmental hormones build up in your body and alter your hormones or, shall I say, alter your communication systems.
There is much evidence that cruciferous vegetables help your liver detoxify such hormones. These vegetables need to be eaten raw.
So, eat your veggies, get healthy, lose weight, and feel great!
Understand your endocrine system and Learn more about Hormones from Dr. Berg Video Blog.