Hypothalamus Receives Signals From the Nervous System

The HP Axis is considered an abbreviation for the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Axis.  Doing a search will yield a multitude of pages focused on the Adrenals. However, the adrenals are only one pair of endocrine glands whose hormones are sampled in the blood by the Hypothalamus. Every hormone produced by other endocrine gland in the body are also sampled by the Hypothalamus. The following description is quite common throughout healthcare.

The hypothalamus is highly involved in pituitary gland function. When it receives a signal from the nervous system, the hypothalamus secretes substances known as neurohormones that start and stop the secretion of pituitary hormones. 

This statement is usually accompanied by a graphic with arrows depicting the Hypothalamic – Pituitary Axis being described. 

Arrows are always considered to be nerves, based on the statement, “receives a signal from the nervous system.” This can be interpreted in a multitude of ways, for example; as a signal from the brain, if one is focused on the brain. If the focus is the vagus. Then the “signal” would be from the vagus. Very few would ever question those interpretations. 

However, those interpretation are very inaccurate. When in fact the arrows are blood vessels through which the hormones travel.  When questioned, some healthcare providers would profess to knowing the arrows represented blood vessels. I have one question for them. If you knew the arrows represented blood vessels through which the hormones travel. Why does your website, podcast, and social media posts, all reflect the arrows as being nerves?

Many parts of the cerebral cortex can excite or inhibit the hypothalamus. This is used to validate the meme that the arrows represent nerves. However, when considering the popular Hypothalamic – Pituitary Axis diagrams are depicting endocrine hormones that only travel through the blood. The meme that the arrows represent nerves is inaccurate.

Endocrine Glands

Your endocrine system includes eight major glands throughout your body. These glands make hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers. They travel through your bloodstream to tissues or organs. Hormones work slowly and affect body processes from head to toe. These include

      • Growth and development
      • Metabolism – digestion, elimination, breathing, blood circulation and maintaining body temperature
      • Sexual function
      • Reproduction
      • Mood

When the fact that hormones and neuroendocrine transmitters are transported through the blood are brought into the conversation. This becomes important in understanding the Hypothalamic – Pituitary – Axes. For most in healthcare, blood is always flowing, except for when there is a clot. Then there is a problem. But not until then. There is a lack of understanding of Poiseuille’s Law as it relates to blood flow in the body. This has a direct affect on hormones making it to the hypothalamus for sampling. 

Blood Flow in the Body

The task of maintaining an adequate interstitial homeostasis (the proper nutritional environment surrounding all cells in your body), (the proper hormonal, neuroendocrine transmitter, neuropeptide and immune responses), requires that blood flows almost continuously through each of the millions of capillaries in the body.

When the circulatory system is out of balance, it is like living in a house where if someone flushes the toilet or starts the washing machine while you are showering you get scalded or frozen. The water does not shut off. But the temperature and pressure change. 

The vast majority of the Healthcare community would say there is still blood flowing past the hypothalamus. So there is no problem. Everything works the same. The same could be said for standing in the shower. Why are you jumping out of the way, cursing at who ever flushed or started the washing machine.

One could ask what is the problem? The traffic (blood flow) is still moving? Yes, it is. Then traffic during rush hours does not affect deliveries either. A traffic jam is one part of the city should not affect deliveries in the remainder of the city either then. However, anyone that lives in the big cities knows that traffic jams in one area also affect deliveries in other parts of the city. Especially when Amazon or UPS shipping hubs are located areas where the jams are.

In addition to that, there is no tracking number. There is no tracking number or guaranteed delivery of hormones to the hypothalamus from the endocrine glands in the abdomen or neck. Although enhanced sympathetic tone is a well recognized component of the autonomic control of the vasomotor system, the contribution of parasympathetic withdrawal to this autonomic imbalance is relatively unknown and undescribed.

Hepatic portal hypertension increases splanchnic blood flow. This increase is caused by increased perfusion of all organs drained by the portal vein, and by increased hepatic arterial blood flow.

Does your Functional Doctor look at MRI or CT images? Do they look for vasodilation of the Hepatic Portal Vein? The answer would be only if you were diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the Liver. Just to get scenario straight. Your Functional Doctor practices “Functional” medicine for all the popular diagnosis du jours using the narrowed standards. But will wait for the diagnosis of Cirrhosis of the Liver before considering vasodilation of the Hepatic Portal Vein to be a contributor to your health condition. My Functional Chiropractic colleagues will scroll past the Hepatic Portal Vein vasodilation so they can look at the spine. Granted they are doing what they are trained to do. But why claimed they are “Functional” practitioners, if they are not going to consider the entire body.

Ironically, the Vasomotor dysfunction of the blood supply to the organs is directly correlated to vertebral disc degeneration and spinal stenosis. You would be find it nearly impossible to view a Chiropractic website, podcast or social media post that show any blood supply to the brain, vertebrae or spinal column. 

All the cells of the body must receive oxygen, glucose and nutrients from the blood as well as removal of carbon dioxide, lactic acid and cellular waste or toxins. Yes, even bone requires blood for healthy bone. Calcium does not magically appear in the bone like food does in a Harry Potter movie. All nerves depend wholly upon the arterial system for their nutrition and the quality of their function, such as sensation, signal transmission and motion, even though by the law of reciprocity they furnish force for vasomotor control to the artery itself. Nerves control the diameter of the blood and lymph vessels but they do not control what is flowing in the vessels.

No guaranteed delivery of oxygen by Red Blood Cells (RBCs). Simply jumping is a Hyperbaric Oxygen Tent does not guarantee that RBCs are going to pick up oxygen and deliver it to the brain. The same lack of guaranteed delivery occurs with hormones, neuroendocrine transmitters and neuropeptides.

Using Thermography to Identify Thyroid Dysfunction

Over the years at our clinic, we have seen images of women with thyroid or Hashimoto’s using infrared thermography for breast health, in lieu of mammograms.

In almost all of the cases cases, we have clearly seen cases of inflammation in the dental area using this heat sensing technology. In all of those cases, a heat signature can be seen running from the area of oral infection down to the thyroid area.

Many of these cases are caused by a low-grade infection and inflammation and have, through further testing, been attributed to dental or oral issues, such as issues related to root-canal treated teeth. Invariably, some cases are very subtle, even asymptomatic for many years, but these cases slowly and continuously affect peoples’ health.

And she is mad at me because she spent $14,000 getting her amalgams removed.

With thermographic imaging, we can identify areas of suspected inflammation and infection because they present with heat. Once an area of concern is identified, it needs further investigation and resolution. People living with a chronic source of infection and inflammation will eventually find that their immunity is affected. This is because once the oral bacteria leave the mouth, they become invasive species and keystone pathogens.

In some cases, this chronic inflammation and invasive infection will actually promote the dysfunction of other organs in the body. Numerous studies have linked vaginosis (chronic yeast infections), miscarriages, pre-term birth, and gastrointestinal symptoms are linked to invasive oral bacteria.

The natural defense mechanism to fight development of organ dysfunction is impaired since their immune system is busy dealing with inflammation that has no chance of resolving on its own. In addition to this, the symptoms are far away from the mouth and people are using supplements or treatment for where the symptoms are occurring. The only way this problem can be resolved is by identifying and removing the cause. The infected area has to be properly dealt with before the body can be restored to health.


The IR imaging procedure provided enormous information about the physiological processes through examining the temperature of the body that can be related to the internal process of inflammation or irritation. The early signs provided by the IR imaging can be used as a prognostic indicator in detecting inflammation and subclinical pathology. The merits of a non-invasive IR imaging modality are important in identifying early stages of inflammation not visible by other imaging modalities. There is a high confirmation rate of ninety (90%) percent indicating strong correlation between thermographic and dental exams.

Iodine and the Thyroid: Part 2 Iodine vs. Antibody Testing

In the post: Iodine and the Thyroid: Part 1, I stated that the proponents of iodine will quote studies supporting iodine use but start stammering and yammering like they have a swollen tongue (probably due to their iodine deficiency) when asked about the studies reporting autoimmune thyroid caused by iodine.

This post attracted responses by iodine proponents validating the point of my blog. Iodine proponents never mention any link between iodine and autoimmune thyroid or do any lab testing looking for autoimmune thyroid induced by iodine supplementation.

Concerned about your Health?
Iodine toxicity questions- Call today! 530-615-4083

Ironically the source of this response, a Laboratory Associate from a well-known lab could not have known that a patient brought in Iodine level reports from this lab last week. The lab results provided by this lab are good. I use them every time a patient brings them but I will not use their treatment recommendations for reasons you will see below.

“Hello Dr Peterson, 

I just finished reading your blog post about iodine and I have a couple of questions. 

First, my iodine related background. 

  • Developed an iodine test in dried urine that is now in production and used to detect dietary iodine deficiency.
  • Read through over 600 complete publications on iodine, the thyroid, and halides
  • Aware of both sides of the iodine supplementation argument (high and low dose)
  • Constantly following iodine blogs, forums, twitter etc.
  • Talked with many doctors, over the phone and at conferences, about their experience with iodine supplementation
  • Recently published a paper on Japanese iodine intake and the health of the Japanese people 
  • Completed a study on the iodine-loading test to determine why so many individuals fail and how a 50mg dose is excreted
  • Investigated whether iodine or other halides cause the side effects seen in those who take large amounts of iodine 

As I read through your blog post, I picked up that you were against high dosing of iodine, yet you mention supplementing with proper amounts when needed. 

For both an “iodine sufficient” (in this case, at least 150ug/day) and an “iodine deficient” individual, what dosing do you recommend? Do you see any benefits from supplementation with iodine or iodide outside of thyroid hormone production?”

I have to admit in Iodine and the Thyroid, I omitted their fall back excuse for recommending iodine – “Ya-but Japanese people eat kelp and kelp has iodine.” As you can read in the proponents email, there is no mention of autoimmunity. But admits to being aware of both sides of iodine supplementation – “high and low dose”. I didn’t see any mention of iodine dosage causing autoimmune thyroid. How do you read “over 600” complete publications and not find any mention of autoimmunity?

I will use the recommendations from this particular lab to answer this question. As you can see below, starting in July 2011 this patient was taking 50 mg of oral iodine/iodide for her “iodine deficiency”. She felt better for the first 30 days but soon after that began experiencing a severe decline in her health. Clumps of hair were falling out; fatigue, depression and when she reported this to her doctor ordered an iodine test. Her levels of iodine were 61,132. The normal range for iodine is 100-1,100 with the optimal being 150-300. If my math is correct that is 203 times the optimal level. When she questioned her iodine levels the doctor refused to take her call.

In addition to the iodine test, a blood test was done which included thyroid antibodies using the AtheNA methodology with ranges different from the microsomal antibody test. The older microsomal antibody test ranges for thyroid peroxidase antibodies are 0 – 34. The AtheNA ranges are a new methodology for measuring Thyroid Antibodies. These include thyroglobulin antibody and thyroid peroxidase antibody, which is a more specific test measuring the active antigen in the older microsomal antibody test.

As you can see this patient with 203 times the recommended levels using the “low dose” iodine supplementation has Thyroglobulin antibody levels of 192. This would be considered positive for Autoimmune Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, based on the strongly positive Thyroglobulin antibodies. This lab assistant and doctor fell into the Green Allopathy mind trap of “If I recommend it – it can do no harm.”

Thyroglobulin and thyroid peroxidase antibodies are most typically associated with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Graves’ disease, but can also be found in myxedema, granulomatous thyroiditis, nontoxic nodular goiter, thyroid carcinoma, and rarely in some other conditions.

Since her doctor wouldn’t answer her questions she sought out a different opinion and found my office. Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident. Women and men come into my office with similar stories every week. They feel better initially and then fall apart. Some continue taking iodine because their doctor says it is good for them. While others stop it as this woman did when she could not get the answers she sought.

She started feeling better stopping the iodine but after an autoimmune response is stimulated it can continue for six months or more. The autoimmune attack doesn’t stop but continues with the signs and symptoms less noticeable. Damage to your body is still occurring.

After triaging her case, a protocol was designed to re-regulate her immune system to reduce the autoimmune attack on her body and support restoration of the metabolic processes contributing to her condition.

Autoimmune disease is a serious health condition that should not be taken lightly. I don’t remember being told of the link between iodine and autoimmune thyroid while in school. But once I was told of the link I immediately stopped recommending iodine inappropriately. If your healthcare provider isn’t aware of the connection, you should inform them. If they ignore the connection you have to ask yourself what you want to do. Are you willing to risk your health because they dismiss the connection between iodine supplements and autoimmune thyroid?

If you decide to continue taking iodine, I wish you the best. For those that want to take iodine and work with our office, you will be dismissed as our patient. If you are confused in need of help, we can help answer your questions and develop a program to get you feeling better.

Concerned about your Health?
Iodine toxicity questions- Call today! 530-615-4083

Melatonin Enhances the Immune Response

Short, winter-like photoperiods enhance immune function relative to those exposed to long, summer-like days. The seasonal changes in immune function is due to changes in the melatonin levels.


The physiological properties of melatonin are not limited to its neuroendocrine role in controlling circadian rhythms; several other actions have been discovered. Melatonin has been shown to increase innate and acquired immunity, to activate the bone marrow and lymph nodes, to enhance NK cell activity and antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity, to increase T cell proliferation and to activate monocytes and neutrophils. Melatonin can stimulate innate immune cells, primarily leukocytes, which represent an important anti-bacterial mechanism.

Th17 (harm) and Treg cells (protection) are both involved in the harm/protection balance of immune conditions such as autoimmunity or acute transplant rejection (miscarriage). The differentiation of Th17 using melatonin supplementation or melatonin inducing Blue Blocker Glasses aggravates autoimmune diseases and/or can induce serious complications in pregnancy.

Melatonin enhances the immune response. A large body of evidence supports the immunoenhancing role of melatonin. Exposure to short days (<12 h light/day) or daily melatonin supplements or melatonin increasing Blue Blocker Glasses may increase the size of the spleen. Melatonin enhances both cell-mediated and humoral immune function.

Melatonin supplementation or melatonin increasing Blue Blocker Glasses of both normal and immunocompromised individuals increases antibody responses and T helper cell activity. Melatonin administration appears to stimulate humoral immunity during early B cell development in the bone marrow.

Melatonin supplements and/or treatment for extended duration (e.g., Blue Blocker Glasses) induces physiological adaptations associated with winter, including reproductive regression and enhancement of certain aspects of immune function. In healthy individuals, melatonin has anti-inflammatory effects, while in those with Autoimmune conditions, melatonin is pro-inflammatory.