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The Endocrine System and Glandular Support

When considering natural health and wellness, it's easy to forget about the role of glands; most are internal and less obviously active in our day-to-day lives than other organs and bodily features, such as skin or the stomach. However, as control centres responsible for producing hormones that stimulate and direct other bodily functions as necessary, the glands, though physically unobtrusive, do indeed play a large role in your health. The hypothalamus and pituitary glands control a variety of other glandular operations in the endocrine system. The pineal gland is responsible for regulating sleep cycles, and the adrenal glands are responsible for regulating energy-related hormones. The pancreas helps control blood sugar, and the thyroid controls metabolism and a variety of other bodily functions. Thyroid problems can occur for those not getting sufficient amounts of iodine in their diets, and these can lead to symptoms often difficult to diagnose, such as excessive exhaustion and tiredness.

Some of the most common problems people face with regard to endocrine function and glandular health are adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism. Responsible for producing the hormones that help the body deal with stress, the adrenal glands are often overburdened given the pace and excessive stress of modern life; thus, supplements that support your adrenal function may be able to help restore energy in your life; common ingredients in natural adrenal support products include magnesium, vitamin B, and vitamin C, as well as a variety of adaptogens, including rhodiola, ashwagandha, and ginseng.

Hypothyroidism slows down your metabolism and similarly affects energy levels, as well as attempts at weight loss. Iodine deficiency is one of the primary causes of thyroid problems, so iodine supplementation in such cases can be particularly effective. Other supplements that may be beneficial for thyroid health include Irish moss, guggul, L- tyrosine, and selenium; for further information on thyroid health, see Aviva's featured article on the subject.

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