When it comes to our bodies, everything affects everything because everything’s connected.

And our endocrine system sits smack dab in the middle of all this connecting that’s going on.

Here’s a quick look at the parts of the endocrine system and what they do (24/7, I might add):

• The hypothalamus, which connects and controls our nervous system and endocrine system.
• The pituitary, which controls the flow of the other endocrine hormones.
• The thyroid, which controls metabolism.
• The adrenals, which crank things up to handle energy and stress.
• The pineal, which controls our 24-hour clock.
• The thymus, leader of our immune system.
• The parathyroids, which balance our calcium.
• The pancreas, which works on keeping blood sugar where it belongs.
• The gonads, ovaries and testes, that provide sex hormones.
• Our body fat, which controls hunger.
• Our bones, which work with the thyroid.

As you probably noticed, that covers a whole bunch of what happens inside us. Almost all of what happens, in fact.

And our busy, busy, busy endocrine glands don’t sit in a corner like good little boys and girls. Oh, no! Besides getting into each other’s business like crazy, they reach out and touch everything else they can get their hands on.

Let’s look at just a few examples.

The pituitary, surprisingly, impacts your coordination. Plus, a non-functioning pituitary means  your other glands aren’t getting the stop/go signals they need to work. So there’s both direct and indirect business going on.

And then there are the gonads. All of us have estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, courtesy of our gonads. Testosterone and progesterone are good, kind and gentle–but kinda wimpy. Estrogen, on the other hand, is a bossy, conniving menace to boys, girls, men and women. Once estrogen gets out of control, it creates all sorts of chaos, up to and including cancer. And it gets out of control a lot.

But the reach-out-and-touch-someone champ is the thyroid.

• If your thyroid’s coasting along in low, your heart attack risk doubles.

• And low thyroid means high cholesterol. But taking statin drugs makes everything worse.

• Low thyroid makes iron tests come out low, too, but taking iron is a huge mistake. It’s about pumping up the thyroid–which the unreliable tests may say is okay.

• Plus, low thyroid can mean low stomach acid–much more of a problem than high stomach acid, and more common. Well, there goes your digestion.

• A thyroid in trouble whacks your liver, too. If you don’t take care of business, you’re going down. But not before your limping liver creates cellulite, one of the less attractive ways in which your body yells at you as it tries to get help.

• Whenever your thyroid can’t cut the mustard (as they used to say), it puts every other endocrine gland at risk, including, of course, the thymus--creating a tsunami of health issues.

• And if a whacked pituitary is unable tell the thyroid to get into action, the thyroid snoozes on. So you have little-to-no thyroid function, but the TSH test says your thyroid’s too active! You may be comatose on the floor, but the doc will probably suggest slowing things down.

Well, I could go on, but one important thing to understand is most doctors don’t know any of this. And even if they did, they could risk their medical license by acting on it.

Medical schools teach that the endocrine glands do, in fact, sit in a corner like good little boys and girls, so they needn’t be considered in making a diagnosis.

Even in, say, diabetes–which is an endocrine disease! Diabetes means your pancreas isn’t functioning as it should. And if your pancreas isn’t working, every other endocrine gland is bailing like crazy to help the cause–and getting out of balance as a result. Not to mention other body parts struggling in the mess.

This is not good. And also not well known.

While one gland or another–thyroid, pancreas, adrenals, etc.–may be the lead culprit in our mess, no gland ever suffers alone. And it doesn’t get healthy alone, either.

Our bodies are beehives of connectivity, and getting healthy requires that somebody consider the connections. And since medicine doesn’t think in those terms, that somebody appears to be you.

My Moving to Health program talks about the connections. If you make the effort to apply its information to your unique and wonderful self, you’ll get results. Fortunately, it’s not rocket science, just a lot of possibilities to consider.

God is good,
Bette Dowdell

Author's Bio: 

Bette Dowdell defines determination. In a really deep health ditch, with doctors who didn’t help, she got her Oh-Yeah! attitude in gear and researched her way out. She never intended to become a health expert, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Bette’s still researching, and you can get her free e-mails by signing up at