Endocrine System 101


Eating a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates cause blood sugar imbalances. These repetitive swings of high and low blood sugar place a heavy burden on your adrenal glands. Under normal circumstances, your adrenal glands are responsible for giving you the get-up and go that you need when faced with an emergency. They also tell your liver to release stored glucose (glycogen) when blood sugar is low. So, you can imagine when blood sugar is taking your body for a rollercoaster ride, your adrenals are getting taxed.

The pituitary gland is like the orchestra conductor. Think of all of the other endocrine glands and hormones as the orchestra. The pituitary gland is able to sense when you need more or less hormones depending on what your body is needing by secreting different types of stimulating hormones so all of these endocrine organs can do their job. The blood sugar rollercoaster literally derails this intricate system that when given the proper environment (diet, lifestyle, stress management etc. ) works amazingly to keep us healthy and feeling great!!

As the roller coaster ride continues, metabolic flexibility decreases, and the thyroid is greatly affected by this.

The reproductive hormones need all of the above to function correctly. For example, when cortisol (secreted by the adrenal glands under stress and blood sugar dysregulation) is high, progesterone goes low. Your body can actually rob from Progesterone (Peter) to make more Cortisol (to pay Paul). This is called the Pregnenolone steal. You don’t want this to happen. Now you’re dealing with reproductive hormone dysregulation issues ranging from painful cramps, infertility, and PCOS to Endometriosis and even certain types of cancers.

If you’ve been diagnosed with one of these conditions, take heart. There are things you can do. Yes, there are herbs that regulate hormones, bioidentical hormone replacement, and even procedures that sometimes (not always but that’s another conversation) have to happen but start with the diet:⠀

  1. Eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates.
  2. Balance macronutrients making sure you’re getting protein, fat, and good carbohydrates in each meal placing special importance on healthy fats.
  3. Don’t go too long without eating.
  4. Eat tons of cruciferous vegetables to help your body metabolize used hormones.
  5. Eat plenty of fiber.

Last, don’t fret over cholesterol. Cholesterol is the precursor to hormone production. It is needed for optimal endocrine health. Cholesterol is not the enemy. Especially if you’re dealing with an endocrine problem!

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