Kramer, E - Understanding The Endocrine System and Homeopathy
From a homeopathic perspective the ‘mind and body’ are seen as inseparable and so in order to be able to help their patients heal themselves the homeopath needs to understand underlying causes of dis-ease at different levels.
However before you can begin to treat patients with a variety of endocrine disorders (diabetes, hyper thyroid and adrenal problems) it is necessary to have a good understanding of the endocrine system and its effect on the body.
One of the key links between the mind and body is the relationship between the Nervous System and the Endocrine system.
The Nervous System – Dis-ease on a psychological level will be reflected in the physical body and visa versa. The nervous system (alongside the endocrine system) is a very complex communication system that can send and receive large amounts of information simultaneously, but it is however quite vulnerable to diseases and injuries.
The brain does not appear to know the difference between real or imaginary fears and tends to respond automatically through the hypothalamic feed back loop which is built into the endocrine system. For example if we are constantly fearful, the sympathetic nervous system will be ‘switched on’ as if for stressful situations, leading to high blood pressure which in turn will give rise to other long term problems. (A bit like driving a car on full throttle all the time).The fear and anxiety, whether real or imaginary, has an impact, not only on the nervous system but will also affect the Endocrine System through the hypothalamus and pituitary feedback loop.
The Endocrine System
The Endocrine System uses Hormones to control the function of entire organs, growth and development, reproduction, and sexual characteristics. They influence the storage of energy by the body, control fluid volume in the body, and salt and sugar balance in the blood stream. Some hormones can affect one or two organs (like thyroid stimulating hormones produced in the pituitary that only affect the thyroid gland) and others may affect the entire body (the thyroid hormone produced in the thyroid gland, which affects cells throughout the body).
Hormones from the same or different organs/glands may have effects that are opposite to each other. This all needs to be in balance for the body to function harmoniously. A healthy body is able to sense whether more or less of a given hormone is needed.
It is important to understand the workings of the endocrine system so that you understand the impact of imbalances on the rest of the body.
For example The hypothalamus monitors not only the levels of oestrogen and progesterone, but also the various body effects they are creating. It then releases hormones that influence the pituitary to maintain homeostasis.
In endocrine disturbances, there may be an over activity or an under activity of the organ/gland representing an extreme symptom picture. All the glands are interrelated. Over stimulation or the under functioning of a single endocrine gland will have an impact on the whole system.
In clinical practice the main endocrine disorders you will come across are diabetes, hyper or hypo thyroid problems, and female hormonal inbalances such as PMT, Poly cycstic ovary syndrome etc, but there are in fact many symptoms that patients will come and see you about such as thrush, rhinitis, auto-immune disorders like rhumatoid arthritis, and allergies that are the signs and symptoms of endocrine disturbances.
As modern homeopaths you will also come across patients who are suffering the side effects of synthetic hormones prescribed by allopaths to regulate under or over functioning endocrine glands or who are being poisoned by the synthetic hormones inadvertently.
Before you start looking at symptoms it is important to understand the cause of the the problem and the theraputic management of such endocrine disorders from allergies to thyroid disfunction.
As a homeopath the first thing I want to know is what caused the symptoms of endocrine disorder. If it is mental emotional and there are no obstacles to cure, then I find using simple methods (Classical or Totallity Prescribing) will work fine. However you will find that most modern patients now come with a long history of suppression of endocrine disorders and there will be obstacles to cure such as drug toxicity, dietary and nutritional deficiencies. In these cases I find any of the Part Patient methods (detox theraputics or organ supports etc) allied with nutritional guidelines and the use of herbal tinctures as supports)
If this article has stimulated your interest in endocrine disorders and alternative treatment and you would like to know more about homeopathic treatment of
Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
Adrenal Glands – Over activity (Cushing’s syndrome) and Under activity
Synthetic hormones and Natural hormones