Your hypothalamus orchestrates all hormonal-type messengers including neurotransmitters. Your nerves produce neurotransmitters to communicate with each other. There are more than 100 neurotransmitters made by your nervous system; some of the most important are acetylcholine, norepinephrine, dopamine, GABA), glutamate, serotonin, and histamine.
Neurotransmitters are produced by your brain, your heart, and your gut.
If I had to put them in order by importance for your survival – your heart would be number one, your gut number two, and your brain number three.
If there are only so many amino acids to make neurotransmitters like serotonin or dopamine, they’re going to go to the heart first, then the gut, and then the brain so you can survive.
So in order to survive at the biochemical level, you may feel depressed or anxious.
Your hypothalamus controls your:
Autonomic nervous system
Your autonomic nervous system has two branches – the sympathetic and the parasympathetic. The sympathetic nervous system produces excitatory neurotransmitters. The parasympathetic nervous system produces calming neurotransmitters.
Through the autonomic nervous system, your hypothalamus stimulates smooth muscle which lines your blood vessels, stomach, and intestines and receives sensory information from these areas. That’s how your hypothalamus controls your heart rate and blood pressure, the passage of food through your intestinal tract, your bladder contractions as well as other visceral organs.
Your hypothalamus lies at the center of the emotional part of your brain called the limbic system. Your hypothalamus is the brain’s intermediary for translating emotion into physical response. Physical signs of fear or excitement, like a racing heart, shallow breathing, and even a clenching gut feeling all originate in your hypothalamus.
Your hypothalamus controls rewarding behavior. That’s because your hypothalamus is the main producer of dopamine – the reward neurotransmitter.
Your hypothalamus influences your motivation to eat, to have sex, and to act.
Formation of memory
Your hypothalamus directly stimulates memory updates as well as secondary behaviors through motivational dopamine pathways and arousal autonomic nervous system pathways to initiate and reinforce learning. Your hypothalamus receives input from your brain’s memory processing center helping you associate memory with emotion. That’s why highly emotional events are more memorable.
Supporting your hypothalamus is key to a healthy nervous system. If you want to learn more, please join us in our Hormone Reboot Training.