The HP Axis and its Involvement with Hormonal Difficulties Unlocking the Hormonal Mystery

By Dr. Mark Schopp, D.C.

The HP Axis is a major part of the neuroendocrine system that controls reactions to stress and regulates many body processes, including digestion the immune system, mood and emotions, sexuality, and energy storage and expenditure. In the treatment of any hormonal problem the Doctor must evaluate whether or not the HP axis is functioning properly and if it is effecting any other aspect of the endocrine system.

The HP Axis is composed of both the Hypothalamus and Pituitary. The hypothalamus secretes releasing hormones to the Pituitary gland. In turn the Pituitary secretes what are known as stop and go hormones to the Thyroid, Adrenal, Gonads, and Mammary glands. In addition this relationship between the glands includes a feedback mechanism. This allows each gland to deliver to the Hypothalamus and Pituitary information telling them to either increase or decrease the amount of hormone that it is releasing to keep the system at the proper levels.

Patients with a hormonal problem can experience a host of symptoms. Fatigue, Inflammation, digestive problems, reduced libido, blood pressure problems, hot flashes, depression, insomnia, hair loss, reduced mental clarity, mood changes, night sweats, irregular cycles, weight gain and many more. One can have only one of these symptoms or many. The problem is with treating the symptoms only. The goal of nutritional therapy is to utilize whole food products and herbs to give the body what it needs to heal itself not simply treat a symptom.

Stress can be a main contributor to disrupting the hormone system. In addition this system can also be compromised by products such as lotions, skin care products, cleaning products, fragrance products and pesticides. It is important with skin care products to make sure you use products not containing estrogen. Unfortunately this information is normally not available on the label of the product. In all cases I want patients on skin care that does not have estrogen in them as this can cause havoc to the endocrine system.

The problems we see today are that patients tend to treat themselves and head the wrong direction. This is mainly on the advice of well-meaning friends and family, discussion groups, what helped others (every person is different), and of course Facebook advice. The largest problem that I see is that they treat only the gland and not the HP axis where it all starts. The entire endocrine system works together and always has to be treated as a whole. Also affecting this system can be the Liver and digestive system. Another example that we must treat the body as a whole, not just a symptom.

Treatment of the delicate hormonal system should never be done without consideration of the all the systems of the body. What worked for one will not work for another in many cases. Treatment to just alleviate symptoms without correcting the problem will lead to additional problems down the road. If you have a health problem please call the office. Together we can work together so that you can reach your health goals.

Dr. Schopp is a Chiropractic Physician who specializes in Nutritional Therapy as well as Chiropractic and Acupuncture. He started practice in 1986. His book Pulling Yourself Out of the Pits of Life, includes the time that he was chronically ill and regained his health with Nutritional Therapy. This enabled him to go from barely being able to walk around the block to becoming an Ironman Triathlete in September of 2002. To schedule an appointment or speak with Dr. Schopp call the office at 314-843-WELL.