Excerpt from The Survival Guide for the Hormonally Challenged Woman
Just hang out with a woman about a couple of days before her menses and witness the power of hormones. As her sex steroids plummet so does her demeanor. Not all women suffer from PMS but most will admit to feeling different, less tolerant, more emotional than the rest of the month.
Not just female hormones, but male hormones affect the brain. Believe me, I see many middle-aged men prescribed antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs when in fact their moods are related to declining testosterone. Both the male and female brain is affected by hormones.
Estrogen helps stimulate serotonin production. Testosterone helps stimulate dopamine production. Progesterone induces GABA – the calming neurotransmitter. Hormones affect your mood and memory. Your hypothalamus- the maestro of your symphony of hormones – controls the neurotransmitters which affect your both mood and memory. But the affect is not limited to the brain in your head.
You actually have three brains.
Yes, three. One in your head, one in your chest, and one in your gut. The heart is really your number one brain. The aboriginals knew this truth and today, scientists are proving that the heart gets the nutritional resources for neurotransmitters first to survive, before the “brain” in your head.
Neurotransmitters are the hormones of the nervous system. And they’re produced by the gut as well as the heart. Ever been nervous before a big event? While your brain fusses over possible outcomes, your heart races, and your stomach rumbles. Neurotransmitters. In fact, conventional medicine often treats irritable bowel syndrome with antidepressants and everyone knows that you can die of a broken heart (really severe depression means very little serotonin for the heart to function.)
You can live without a functional brain (coma) but not without a functional heart. And if your digestive tract cannot absorb nutrients, you’ll starve to death without medical intervention.
Now let’s explore the immune system. When you’re under a lot of stress, you become sick. You catch a common cold virus or break out in cold sores (the herpes virus). Stress affects the adrenal glands which in turn affects the immune system.
In the heart chakra lies the thymus — an endocrine gland responsible for programming the white blood cells to know the difference between you and other. Other what? Germs: viruses, bacteria, fungi, even weird cells like cancer. White blood cells (WBC) attack other and spare you. They do so when you are asleep. Under the influence of melatonin produced by the pineal gland in the crown chakra the body shuts down normal daytime function and switches into nocturnal mode. The adrenals stop producing the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol and begin to produce metakephalins that stimulate the thymus to program WBCs. All hormones, all the time!
Think of the WBC as the pony express. The WBC can travel anywhere in the body, even pass the blood-brain barrier delivering messages called cytokines. Cytokines are the tiniest of the “hormones”. These minute messengers instigate the immune response like hives in response to an allergen. The amazing WBC carries on its cell membrane information about all the hormones, all the neurotransmitters, and all the cytokines in the body during its lifetime.
The neuro-immune-endocrine system is a massive communication network that makes the global internet look like child’s play.
So if the neuro-immune-endocrine system is the software for the human-computer, what’s the operating system?
In the center of the brain, the hypothalamus lies vastly unappreciated. Part neurological tissue and part endocrine tissue, the hypothalamus is largely ignored by neurologists as a primitive brain structure. Endocrinologists pay it little heed because they cannot measure its hormones without sacrificing the lab animal. But the hypothalamus is crucial to life.
The hypothalamus orchestrates the entire symphony of hormones.
If your hormones are harmonious, you are healthy, vital, youthful, vibrant.
If your hormones are out of harmony, you are sick, tired, aging, stressed, and eventually dis-eased!
So to help the Hormonally Challenged, I focus on the maestro—the hypothalamus.
The hypothalamus is the master controller of the hormones, the immune system, and brain chemistry. Everything essential to life is orchestrated by the hypothalamus. The hormones literally sing to the DNA, and the DNA dances accordingly.
Feed your hypothalamus and harmonize the symphony of hormones, then the dance of the DNA can express health and vitality.
Research Reference: The Interrelationship Between Serum Pituitary Hormones in Healthy Adults, Dietary sugars, not lipids, drive hypothalamic inflammation, Rare sex-specific neurons are present in the brains of male and female mice
*Statements not reviewed by the FDA.