The endocrine system is made up of the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands, pancreas, ovaries (in females) and testicles (in males). The word endocrine derives from the Green words “endo,” meaning within, and “crinis,” meaning to secrete. A gland selects and removes materials from the blood, processes them and secretes the finished chemical product for use somewhere in the body. This system affects almost every organ and cell in the body. Each type of hormone circulates throughout the body and is targeted toward certain organs and tissues.
The thyroid secretes a range of hormones that impact heart rate, skin maintenance, growth, temperature regulation, fertility and digestion, making the thyroid the body’s master metabolic control center.
Diseases of the Endocrine System
Problems prevent themselves when hormone levels are too high or too low. If your body does not respond to hormones in the appropriate ways, diseases also occur. Stress, infection and changes in the blood’s fluid and electrolyte balance can influence hormone levels.
- Diabetes: a condition in which the body does not properly process glucose, a simple sugar. This is due to lack of insulin or, if the body is producing insulin, because the body is not working effectively. Diabetes can be linked to obesity, diet and family history. Infections and medications such as blood thinners can cause adrenal deficiencies.
Managing endocrine disorders typically involves stabilizing hormone levels which requires a personalized approach to be effective. Hormone imbalances can have a significant impact on the reproductive system, particularly in women.
- Hypothyroidism: a parathyroid disease; occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormone to meet the body’s needs. This can cause the body’s functions to slow down or shut down completely.
- Thyroid cancer: the cells in the thyroid begin to change, grow uncontrollably and eventually form a tumor. Tumors – both benign and cancerous – can disrupt the functions of the endocrine system.
- Hypoglycemia: also called low blood glucose or sugar; occurs when blood glucose drops below normal levels. This typically happens as a result of treatment for diabetes when too much insulin is taken.
Symptoms and their Emotions
- Adrenal problems: Defeatism. No longer caring for the self. Anxiety.
- Diabetes: Longing for what might have been. A great need to control. Deep sorrow. No sweetness left.
- Gland problems: Represent holding stations. Self-starting activity. Holding yourself back.
- Hypoglycemia: Overwhelmed by the burdens in life.
- Pancreas: Represents the sweetness of life.
- Pancreatitis: Rejection. Anger and frustration because life seems to have lost its sweetness.
- Pituitary gland: Represents the control center.
- Thyroid gland: Humiliation. I never get to do what I want to do. When is it going to be my turn. Hyperthyroid: Rage at being left out.
Holistic ways to Heal: