Marla Ahlgrimm | Hypothalamus Facts

Marla AhlgrimmLike Hermes, hormones are tiny messengers that help the body communicate and maintain healthy systems. Marla Ahlgrimm explains that the hypothalamus, a part of the brain, is directly responsible for the regulation of many hormones. Understanding how these “brainy hormones” work can help you make better decisions regarding your health.

Q: What does the hypothalamus control? 

Marla Ahlgrimm: The hypothalamus produces certain hormones that control and regulate the pituitary gland. Together, the hypothalamus and pituitary gland send directions to the endocrine system, triggering the production and release of other hormones. The hypothalamus is important to overall hormone health.

Q: What hormones does the hypothalamus secrete 

Marla Ahlgrimm: There are seven different hormones produced within the hypothalamus. These include antidiuretic hormone, oxytocin, corticotropin-releasing hormone, gonadotropin-releasing hormone, somatostatin, growth hormone, and thyrotropin.

Q: What are some symptoms associated with problems of the hypothalamus? 

Marla Ahlgrimm: There are actually many different symptoms when there is a deficit or overproduction of each of the hormones. For instance, too little of the antidiuretic hormone can lead to low blood pressure and dehydration. Overproduction of growth hormones can cause issues with menstruation, diabetes, and enlargement of the hands, feet, and skull. High oxytocin levels can cause an enlarged prostate in men; women may experience breast-feeding issues. Patients with higher than normal levels of thyrotropin-releasing hormone can experience hair loss, dry skin, unexplained weight gain, constipation, depression, and fatigue.

Q: What should I do if I believe I have a hypothalamus dysfunction disorder?i7o 

Marla Ahlgrimm: If you suspect a hormone-related issue, talk to your doctor. He or she may refer you to an endocrinologist, a doctor that specializes in treating hormone disorders. An endocrinologist can perform different test to get you back to normal and alleviate the problems caused by an inadequately functioning hypothalamus.

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