The Glandular System
Master Gland - Nature's Sunshine's Key Product for the Glandular System
We talk about the glandular or the endocrine system, but in actual fact, the real glandular system is the whole body, because all organs secrete hormones which affect the others. Your heart secretes hormones which help to regulate blood pressure, and your kidneys play a role in regulating blood pressure and red blood cell production.
Your liver produces hormones to regulate cell growth, blood pressure and blood sugar. So you can see already that there’s much more to hormones and how they work than simply looking at the main organs in the glandular system. Those are complicated enough in themselves, but the key thing to remember is that each hormone influences what’s going on in the body as they have the role of chemical messengers, and each gland affects the others.
We’re going to look at the glandular system in a very straightforward way here, so you know enough to appreciate how Master Gland is of benefit.
The Glandular System
The main glandular system is made up from the adrenal glands, the pancreas, the thyroid and parathyroid, and the gonads, all of which are co-ordinated by the hypothalamus and pituitary, both of which are found in the brain, and easily influenced by mental or emotional stress.
The Adrenal Glands
You have two adrenal glands, one on top of each kidney. The adrenal glands make the stress hormones adrenaline, cortisol, and DHEA out of cholesterol. They also make a small amount of androgen, and some aldosterone, which helps your kidneys to regulate water and sodium.
The adrenal glands were designed to help us survive sudden stressful situations such as life-threatening attacks, and the hormones they pump out start a stress response, otherwise known as a ‘fight or flight’ response. This constricts the blood vessels to the digestive system in order to drive more blood towards the muscles, so that you can run faster or fight back. They speed up the heart and respiratory rates for the same reason – to get you out of danger.
Once you’re safe, the liver breaks down all the old stress hormones before they get a chance to have too much affect on the body.
In dealing with the modern day lifestyle and its everyday stresses, the adrenal glands may produce far more of these hormones than are necessary. And the adrenal glands get prone to exhaustion, particularly in people who can’t or won’t allow themselves to rest.
The building block for all the hormones is called Pregnenolone. Pregnenolone can be turned into either cortisol to help you deal with stress, progesterone which is needed in women to help drive the menstrual cycle, or DHEA. DHEA is used to make oestrogen and testosterone. Low levels of testosterone in men has been associated with infertility, enlarged prostate, sexual dysfunction and premature death from heart disease. In women, low oestrogen levels can contribute to fertility problems, and osteoporosis after menopause.
If your body makes too much cortisol in order to deal with a stressful lifestyle, it can deplete the Pregnenolone, which can result in a lack of other hormones.
Therefore, ideally, we would take good care of the adrenal glands by nourishing them properly, getting plenty of sleep, rest and relaxation, and by minimising the use of stimulants such as coffee.
Look after your Adrenal Glands
If your adrenal glands are exhausted, high or low blood pressure may occur. Sexual or reproductive dysfunction in both men and women are associated with weakened adrenal glands. Signs include craving salt or salty foods, waking up and feeling wide awake at about 2 in the morning. Getting a sharp pain between the shoulder blades, feeling constantly tired, and having a tendency towards depression.
There are a few things you can do to help take care of your adrenal glands, because it’s difficult to fix them once they’re completely burnt out.
Start by finding ways of managing stress that suit you, be that yoga, meditation, sports, art, or suchlike.
Take some adaptogenic herbs such as those in the Chinese Herb and Mineral Blend, especially if you’ve just suffered a trauma or you’re going though a stressful time.
Make sure you supplement your diet with plenty of vitamins B and C, and don’t forget you need good cholesterol levels to make all of your hormones. This is even more important after any shock or trauma, including surgery or stays in hospital.
And finally, make sure you get enough sleep. Having a physical outlet for stress really helps here also, because it has the effect of helping to clear stress hormones out of the blood stream much faster.
The Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland regulates your metabolism, that is, how efficiently your cells burn fuel to make energy. It resides at the front of your neck, and under instruction from the Pituitary gland creates a thyroid hormone called T4. The T4 is stored in the thyroid until it’s needed, and then converted into another form, T3 which goes to the cells. To make this conversion, the body needs zinc, selenium, iodine, manganese and B vitamins.
Due to modern day diets many individuals may be low in iodine. Kelp and Black Walnut are rich in iodine.
The Thyroid Gland – over/under active
The thyroid is very complicated so we can only scratch the surface of it here. It can be over or underactive in its function when it goes out of balance, or it can sometimes swing between the
two. It is more common to see an underactive than overactive thyroid.
Symptoms of an underactive thyroid include flaking nail, thinning hair, feeling tired and sluggish all the time, have fertility problems and trouble losing weight, with a tendency to feel
depressed. Despite having these symptoms, blood test results for the thyroid may sometimes come back as normal.
That can be because the blood test usually only measures levels of T4, the inactive version of the thyroid hormone, but if the conversion from T4 to T3 isn’t happening you will have all the
symptoms of an underactive thyroid despite the blood test saying otherwise!
There is a simple basal temperature test you can do at home by checking your temperature orally every morning as soon as you wake up, for at least a fortnight. Record the results, and if
the average temperature is below 36.8 degrees for more than 3 days in a row, it’s possible that the thyroid is in need of some extra care.
If your thyroid is overactive, you might have a fast pulse, feel stressed or jittery all the time, and have trouble relaxing and/or sleeping. You may notice a weight loss, and the appearance of the eyes may change giving a ‘staring’ or protruding effect. In this case it’s essential to seek advice from your GP in order to receive professional medical help.
How to Look After Your Thyroid
There are a few things you can do to help maintain the health of your thyroid. Use Sea salt at home as it is rich in iodine, or Himalayan pink salt, which is rich in iron, which gives it the pink colour.
If you think your thyroid may be on the low side, incorporate some sea weed or kelp into your diet, either as food or supplements, for the iodine. Alternately you can take Black Walnut extract as this is also rich in iodine. Supplement with B vitamins, zinc, manganese and selenium too – a good multivitamin like Super Supplemental will include many of these. Take Super Omega-3 essential fatty acids to keep your cell membranes in good condition, and drink plenty of water to keep well hydrated.
Always consult your GP or Health Professional before taking supplements if you are on any medication for your thyroid.
It’s worth giving the parathyroids a quick mention whilst we’re here as they quite often get forgotten. The parathyroid glands are 4 tiny glands attached to the back of the thyroid, and they were only found by accident when doctors realised that taking the thyroid out caused people to develop osteoporosis. They help keep calcium in your bones, and use Vitamin D and magnesium to help with the process
The Pancreas has two main functions - to help balance your blood sugar, and to help break down your food for absorption. Focusing on the Blood Sugar function, the first hormone it creates is called glucagon. When you’re low on energy, glucagon is sent to the liver where it turns stored sugar, glycogen, into glucose. This sugar then goes into the blood stream.
If levels of glucose in the blood are too high, however, it can be threatening to various organs, so when this happens (possibly because of a high carbohydrate diet, or stress), it will produce insulin, which works to clear glucose out of the blood and store it in the cells.
If we overwork the pancreas by eating too many sugars, stimulants, and carbohydrates, it eventually becomes exhausted, just like the adrenal glands. We call this metabolic syndrome, or syndrome X, and it can eventually turn into Type 2 diabetes.
When A Good Pancreas Turns Bad
In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas has stopped producing insulin, which then needs to be injected.
In Type 2 diabetes, which is much more common and increasing in incidence, the pancreas does produce insulin, but the cells have become resistant to its message, so blood sugar levels remain high and potentially cause damage to the body. So we have a situation where the blood is full of sugar but the cells are refusing to store any more glucose (glucose tends to be stored as fat in the cells). The pancreas tries to fix the problem by making more insulin, and so the pattern continues.
Insulin resistance has now been linked to polycystic ovarian syndrome as well as type 2 diabetes.
How to Look After Your Pancreas
Always start the day with a good breakfast that is not high in refined carbohydrates, and make sure you include some form of protein. Eat sensibly, limiting sugary or refined foods, and never skip meals so there is a steady supply of energy to your cells. Consume more low glycaemic foods, which are slower releasing carbohydrate foods. Eating fibre rich foods can also help to maintain a steady energy supply. Supplement your diet with nutrients and botanicals for the pancreas, which include chromium, zinc, magnesium, and licorice root.
If you have Type 2 diabetes or are insulin resistant, consult a health care professional. Consult your GP before taking supplements if you are currently taking prescription medication.
The main hormones that govern the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, labour, breastfeeding and menopause are oestrogen and progesterone. Levels are determined by other hormones sent out by the pituitary gland, which is situated in the brain.
You’ll remember that the adrenal glands use cholesterol to make Pregnenolone, which is then altered several times and used to make both progesterone and oestrogen in the ovaries. This can only happen efficiently if you have enough nutrients to carry out this process.
If your body is using most of your Pregnenolone to make cortisol to deal with stress, there may not be much left to make your reproductive hormones. Therefore it’s really important to make sure you’re getting enough nourishment for your whole glandular system.
Problems can also occur if levels of hormone are too high. If the liver is not working efficiently it can struggle to clear high hormone levels, which may lead to imbalances.
The male equivalent of the ovaries are the testes, and if they can make enough testosterone, they will make plenty of good, strong, healthy sperm. Just as women can suffer from low levels of oestrogen, men can also suffer from low levels of testosterone, because exactly the same applies where the adrenal hormones are concerned.
This can be due to stress, particularly in younger men, where the Pregnenolone is diverted away from making testosterone, or in older men, where the hormone levels fall due to age.
Low levels of testosterone have been linked to impotence, infertility, prostate enlargement and heart disease. Low levels of one of the precursors to testosterone, DHEA, have also been linked to premature death from heart disease.
Zinc is essential to maintain male sexual health, and vitamins A, B and C, and adaptogens like licorice are also needed to support the adrenal glands.
Licorice is what we term an adaptogen, that is, it helps the body to adapt to stress on all levels, and gets it to behave as if it were more relaxed. Adaptogens like Licorice and Siberian Ginseng are really important for keeping hormones in balance when under stress.
Dandelion root is used by Herbalists to help nourish the liver.
Master Gland is the key system product designed for the glandular system. It contains a full complement of nutrients that can be easily assimilated by the body, and provides targeted nutrients to nourish each gland in the body. Hormones that are produced by these glands influence the health of the entire body, and all the glands need to be healthy to ensure balance and harmony.
The results of a Lifestyle Analysis will often show that both the Glandular and Nervous systems need extra support, as the two are very closely linked. Master Gland contains nutrients and herbs specially chosen to nourish all the glands of the endocrine system
Take two capsules of Master Gland with breakfast and another two with lunch daily.
Allergy Information: contains Soya and Black Walnut Hulls Extract . Avoid use during pregnancy.