When I finally found the tumor on an MRI, I started rifling through my textbooks to find any information I could on how to help myself get out of this mess without using surgery or drugs. Cracking open Williams Textbook of Endocrinology, it became evident that my problem wasn’t only about the hypothalamus not being able to get the right input through my pituitary out to the body, but none of these other glands could send the right feedback back through the pituitary properly either!
I quickly realized that the endocrine system functions entirely on feedback loops; hormone signaling is cyclical, not linear. Nearly every medical illustration in the textbook has cyclical arrows drawn out, demonstrating these feedback loops between every major gland in the body, and the pituitary is right in the middle of it all.
[diagram of pituitary, hypothalamus, liver, thyroid, gonads, adrenals and feedback loops]
Before that point, I had very little understanding that the body was so systemically integrated. It’s just one big system, and all the glands inside of it communicate with one another. And they do so, with hormones. These hormone loops help the glands regulate one another, to stay in a state of balance.
All of my doctors were “specialists,” only viewing the body through one lens: their specialty. They seemed to all think of the body as a compartmentalized jigsaw puzzle, focusing on just one area without any sense of what the big picture really was.
It reminded me a lot of the ancient parable of the three blind men and the elephant, the Indian story about three blind men coming upon an elephant. They all touch different parts of the elephant and describe what it is to one another. Having different opinions that they’re convinced are the truth, they start to fight with one another over which one is telling the truth. None of them can see the big picture – the whole elephant.
Once I understood that the body is just one whole system, and that hormone feedback loops were the key to restoring my health naturally, everything changed. I felt empowered. I knew that, if I could just figure out how to signal enough of the right positive feedback from my body back into my brain, while eliminating things that caused negative feedback, that I might just be able to override that damned “rock” in my funnel to get things working properly again.
And it took a lot of effort, research, lifestyle changes, and consistency, but I did just that.
Once I realized that the body is really Just a whole system and that the hormone Feedback loops were the key to improving My health naturally everything changed I Felt completely empowered I knew that if I could just signal enough of the Positive feedback back into my brain While eliminating the negative feedback Sources that it would eventually Override that damn Rock in my funnel and I could actually make some progress it Took a lot of effort research lifestyle Changes and most of all consistency but I did just that the easiest way to think About hormones is to see them as Chemical Messengers think of a paper boy Riding around the neighborhood on his Bicycle bringing newspapers to Everyone's house endocrine hormones are Like the bicycle riding Paperboy riding Along the bloodstream to deliver the Message they were sent for by entering The front door of a receptor site on the Surface of a Target cell paracrine Hormones are similar but they stay Closer to home more like if you were Walking over to your next door Neighbor's house to give them a tray of Cookies as a Christmas gift