Have you ever wondered if there is a link between the nervous system and the endocrine system? In short, there is, and not surprisingly, it has to do with the hypothalamus.
Your hypothalamus is made of neurons and endocrine tissue that produces hormones. The nervous system includes the central nervous system in your brain, and your peripheral nervous system includes your autonomic nervous system. Your autonomic nervous system controls all of your primary functions, such as heart rate and respiration.
Your endocrine system is made up of seven glands that produce hormones.
Pineal, pituitary, thyroid, thymus, adrenals, pancreas, and gonads (ovaries or testes) – and they’re all controlled by your hypothalamus. Your autonomic nervous system, which includes your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, is controlled by your hypothalamus. Your hypothalamus is the gateway to the amino acids that become the brain’s neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are mini hormones that affect cognition, memory, and moods.
Think of the hormones of your endocrine system and your neurotransmitters as messengers. Suppose your hypothalamus is the operating system of your entire human-computer. In that case, your brain is the RAM or your giant memory, and your hormones and neurotransmitters are the software programs.
Your hypothalamus is vital, and links the endocrine and nervous systems. It orchestrates both complex systems’ proper functioning.
One of the classic connections is your stress response. So, if you’re under a lot of stress over a long period, your hypothalamus is adversely affected. Chronic stress affects the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, or the HPA axis. HPA dysfunction will cause changes in the function of the nervous system. This includes depression, anxiety, memory loss, irritability, trouble focusing, and concentration. It also affects the function of all your endocrine glands.
If you have any questions about how the hypothalamus links the nervous and endocrine systems, please join me in our Hormone Support Group, which you can access through my free Hormone Reboot Training.