When you think about practical ways to keep yourself healthy, eating well and exercising regularly are probably at the top of your list. Drinking plenty of water and taking a quality multivitamin may come to mind as well, but one aspect of health that many individuals overlook is hormone regulation.
When your hormones are out of whack, your whole body suffers the consequences. So how do you make sure your hormones are happy, healthy and regulated? By taking care of one tiny thing - your pituitary gland.
What is the pituitary gland?
While being roughly the size of a pea, the pituitary gland is an integral part of your body's endocrine system, and it plays a key role in hormone regulation. Attached to the hypothalamus at the base of your brain, it is nicknamed the “master gland” because of its ability to control other endocrine glands such as the thyroid, mammary glands, adrenals and more.
What does the pituitary gland do?
Working hard within its pea-sized frame, the pituitary gland secretes various hormones that control and regulate many systems throughout the body. Its ultimate purpose is to create and maintain an optimal internal environment. It does this by first sensing the body's needs then releasing the appropriate hormone to meet that need. Once secreted into the bloodstream, these hormones act as the pituitary gland's messengers, helping it to regulate the activity of other hormone-producing glands. As a result, this “master gland” plays a key role in metabolism, reproduction, growth, blood pressure and several other physical processes.
What hormones is it responsible for?
The pituitary gland both produces and stores several different hormones:
- Prolactin – A crucial hormone in reproduction and postpartum health, prolactin affects fertility and sex hormone levels and stimulates milk production after a woman gives birth.
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone – As you may have guessed, this hormone stimulates the thyroid, which regulates your metabolism, growth, energy and nervous system.
- Adrenocorticotropin – This hormone stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Known as the “stress hormone,” cortisol helps regulate blood pressure and glucose levels.
- Growth hormone – As its name implies, this hormone is responsible for maintaining a healthy growth rate in children. In adults, it plays a key role in maintaining bone and muscle mass.
- Luteinizing hormone - These hormones trigger an egg release in women and testosterone production in men.
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) – Working alongside the Luteinizing hormone, FSH contributes to the overall function of the ovaries and testes.
How Can I Keep My Pituitary Gland Healthy?
After realizing the importance of the pituitary gland, you may be wondering how you can care for it and ensure its ability to function properly. Like many other systems in the body, this gland requires certain nutrients for optimal health.
These nutrients include an assortment of minerals like manganese, magnesium and vitamin E. Great sources of these minerals include nuts, wheat and leafy greens. The pituitary gland also thrives on iodine and iron, which can be found in kelp, seafood and iodized salt.
If you're concerned about not getting enough of these nutrients in your diet, consider a specialized supplement like the Organic Pituitary Blend, which has organic kelp, organic ginkgo leaf and other essential nutrients that the pituitary gland needs to thrive.
What are some ways that you take care of your pituitary gland? Let us know in the comments!