Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

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neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support StrategiesNeuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Your neuroendocrine system is a system made up of neuroendocrine cells. Your neuroendocrine cells are similar to neurons. However, they are also able to make hormones just like your endocrine cells. When your neuroendocrine cells receive information from your nervous system, they respond by creating and releasing certain hormones that affect a number of important bodily functions. 

Neuroendocrine inflammation means that there is a chronic inflammation that’s affecting your neuroendocrine function, causing all kinds of symptoms and health problems. Symptoms of neuroendocrine inflammations can including sweet and salty cravings, fatigue between meals, poor memory, cold hands and feet, waking up in the middle of the night, headaches, dizziness, intense PMS, menstrual, or menopausal symptoms in women, and loss of libido or erection-difficulties in men. The good news is that you can support your neuroendocrine health with dietary and lifestyle strategies.

In this article, you will learn what the neuroendocrine system is. You will understand how the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis, hypothalamic-pituitary-pancreas axis, and hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian/testicular axis works. You will learn about the symptoms of neuroendocrine inflammation.

I will go over the main root causes of neuroendocrine inflammation. I will recommend some key functional labs to help diagnosis, understand the risks and root causes of neuroendocrine inflammation, and support treatment. I will recommend a list of natural support strategies for neuroendocrine inflammation to improve your health and well-being.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support StrategiesWhat Is the Neuroendocrine System 

Your neuroendocrine system is a system made up of neuroendocrine cells. Your neuroendocrine cells are special cells found throughout your body. They are similar to neurons, which are your nerve cells. However, unlike neurons, neuroendocrine cells also make hormones similar to the endocrine cells of your endocrine system. Neuroendocrine cells are able to receive information from your nervous system. They respond by creating and releasing certain hormones that affect a number of important bodily functions.

While your neuroendocrine cells are located all over your body, in almost every organ, most of them are found in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract or gut, including your esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, and rectum, as well as the islet cells of your pancreas, your gallbladder, and your thyroid.

They are also found in your lungs, bronchi (airways), and respiratory tract. They are also found in your pituitary gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal gland, kidneys, liver, prostate, thymus, testicles, ovaries, cervix, and skin. They truly are scattered around your body and affect your overall health.

The job of your neuroendocrine cells is to create and then release hormones and peptides as a response to both neurological and chemical messages. After being released, these hormones enter your bloodstream and travel to the target cells that need them. They can attach to the receptors of specific target cells and then influence your body. 

Through these hormones, your neuroendocrine cells are able to help release digestive enzymes to break down food, move food through your gut, support air and blood flow, affect your blood pressure and heart rate, support muscle and bone growth, and influence your blood sugar levels. For example, epinephrine or adrenaline is released by the neuroendocrine cells of your adrenal gland in times of stress. It helps to increase your heart rate and blood pressure in response to stress (1).

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is often referred to as the HPA axis. It refers to the interaction between your hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands. Your hypothalamus and pituitary gland are part of your brain and are located above your brainstem. Your adrenal glands are located on the top of your kidneys.

According to a 2016 study published in Comprehensive Physiology, your HPA axis is basically your body’s stress management system (2). Your body’s initial response to stress is mediated by your sympathetic nervous system. Epinephrine and norepinephrine get released to increase your heart rate, cause sweating, and other bodily reactions to stress. 

Soon after this, your HPA axis gets stimulated and releases corticotropin-releasing hormones (CRH or CRF) as a response to increased norepinephrine levels. CRH alerts your pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which travels down to your adrenal glands. Once it arrives, it triggers your adrenal glands to secrete cortisol and other glucocorticoids.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Cortisol helps your body to deal with stress. It increases your blood pressure and increases blood sugar circulation to provide the body with extra energy. It also decreases activities that are less important during times of danger and stress, such as your reproductive activity. 

The HPA axis has a very important job. It helps your body to deal with stress. In healthy circumstances, stress or danger only comes once in a whole. We were not chased by a bear back in the cavemen days, after all. However, in our modern-day life, stressors are everywhere. Because of chronic stress, the HPA axis is stimulated too much. This can become a serious problem and lead to physical and mental health issues. 

A 2014 study published in Frontiers in Immunology has found that elevated cortisol levels can lower immune health (3). A 2009 review published in National Reviews in Endocrinology has linked continuous HPA axis activation to metabolic, cardiovascular, digestive, and immune system problems (4).

A 1999 study published in Archives in General Psychiatry has found that increased stress and elevated cortisol can lead to compromised memory (5). A 2013 review published in Molecular Psychiatry has found that high cortisol may also result in depression (6).

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Thyroid Axis

The hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis is also known as the HPT axis. It also refers to thyroid homeostasis or the thyrotropic feedback control. The HPT axis is an important part of your neuroendocrine system. It refers to the interaction between your hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and thyroid gland. Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ sitting at the base of your neck.

According to a 2016 review published in Comprehensive Physiology, the HPT determines the set point of the thyroid hormone (7). If your hypothalamus notices low levels of T3 and T4 thyroid hormones, it will release thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) to produce thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from the pituitary gland. TSH will then stimulate thyroid hormone production making sure that your hormone levels return to normal.

The HPT ensures normal thyroid function and thyroid health. However, if there is a problem in this system, it may lead to hypothyroidism (low thyroid function), hyperthyroidism (excess thyroid function), thyrotoxicosis (over-supply of thyroid hormones), resistance to thyroid hormones, or other thyroid issues.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis

The hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis refers to the relationship between your hypothalamus, pituitary glands, and ovaries or testes. It is also often referred to as the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis or HPG axis referring to the reproductive axis. The gonad is a reproductive gland, including the ovary in women and the testes in men, that produce gametes, or reproductive cells. According to a 2016 paper published in the Journal of Endocrinology, the HPG was first introduced in 1955 by Geoffrey Harris and has been studied since (9).

According to the book, Cancer Medicine, the regulation of the HPG axis starts in your hypothalamus (10). The hypothalamus releases gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH). As a response, the anterior pituitary glands will send follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (NH), which are both important for reproductive function. In men, FSH stimulates the ovarian follicles and LH causes ovulation and the formation of the corpus luteum. In men, along with testosterone, FSH stimulates sperm production, and LH supports androgen synthesis by the testicular cells called Leydig cells.

Problems in the HPG axis can lead to increased LH in both men and women, which can affect estrogen feedback in women and estrogen and androgen feedback in men. Gonadal damage can also lead to elevated FSH levels that may lead to reproductive issues and reproductive failure.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

HPA Axis and Blood Sugar Stability

The HPA Axis also communicates with your liver and pancreas to help keep your blood sugar stable.  When the HPA axis is activated it releases cortisol which is a glucocorticoid that increases blood sugar levels.  Where does it get the blood sugar, from stored glycogen in the liver.  

Normally, the elevated blood sugar would be used quickly for energy if we are in a fight or flight state.  However, if we aren’t moving our muscles at a high level, the sugar stays elevated which triggers our pancreas to produce insulin from the islet cells to bring the sugar levels down.

Your pancreas is also in communication with your hypothalamus and pituitary gland. According to a 2011 study published by the National Academy of Sciences, hormones released by the hypothalamus can affect the pancreatic islet-stress axis (8). CRH and growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) are neuroregulators of the HPA axis that also influence your pancreas.

CRH-receptor type 1 (CRHR1) and GHRH-receptor activation can result in increased cell proliferation and decreased cell apoptosis. CRH stimulates islet cells to release insulin, while glucocorticoids promote glucose production. It may also support beta-cell viability and reduce programmed cell death. Researchers suggest that using agonists of CRHR1 may have therapeutic benefits in patients with type 2 diabetes.

People with neuroendocrine inflammation will have exaggerated blood sugar swings and experience both very high and very low blood sugar levels.  This results in brain fog, dizziness, cravings, poor sleep, racing heart, anxiety, mood swings, fatigue and exhaustion.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Symptoms of Neuroendocrine Inflammation

Symptoms of neuroendocrine inflammation may include:

  • Cravings sweets or salty foods throughout the day
  • Feeling fatigued between meals and meals energizing you
  • Poor memory and forgetfulness
  • Relying on caffeine for energy in the morning or throughout the day
  • Feeling lightheaded or irritable when missing a meal
  • Low blood pressure
  • Cold hands or feet
  • Waking up in the middle of the night and trouble going back to sleep
  • Experiencing dizziness when standing up
  • Experiencing headaches with exertion or stress
  • Hair thinning or thinning eyebrows on the outer third
  • Intense PMS symptoms, intense pain, cramping, or excessive bleeding in menstruating females
  • Hot flashes, loss of libido, or other intense menopausal symptoms in menopausal females
  • Loss of libido or trouble getting or maintaining an erection in males

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support StrategiesRoot Causes of Neuroendocrine Inflammation

Everything is interconnected in your body. Nothing happens in isolation or by accident. In functional medicine, we are always looking to find the root cause of your symptoms and health issues to create an appropriate treatment protocol. Let’s look at the most common root causes of neuroendocrine inflammation.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance means that your body cannot respond to insulin well and is unable to use blood glucose for energy. Insulin resistance is often the underlying cause of any chronic inflammation and chronic inflammation can further trigger insulin resistance creating a vicious cycle.

For example, a 2007 study published in FEBS Letters has found an interconnection between obesity-induced chronic inflammation and insulin resistance (11). It’s not surprising that there is a connection between insulin resistance and neuroinflammation.

A 2015 study published in Psychiatry Research has found a connection between insulin resistance and HPA dysregulation in elderly patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), all of which are common in older people (12). A 2016 review published in the Journal of Endocrinology has found that diabetes causes metabolic stress which can lead to chronically increased HPA axis activity further contributing to insulin resistance (13).

Researchers found that obesity, food intake, stress and stress response, glycemic metabolism, and adipose tissue biology may all play a role in this connection between insulin resistance, diabetes, and HPA axis dysfunction.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Chronic Stress

Chronic stress is a silent killer in our modern world. Stress itself is actually a good thing. When you are in a dangerous situation, your body generates an acute stress response to allow you to escape or fight back. It saved us back in the cavemen days when the bear was chasing us and comes useful if you have a car accident or get mugged, for example. 

Most of the time, however, we are not in true danger. Yet with modern-day life stressors from work, finances, relationships, and politics, our body thinks we are always in danger and develops a chronic stress response. Chronic stress response causes low-grade chronic inflammation and related symptoms and health problems. Chronic stress is one of the top underlying causes of neuroendocrine inflammation as well.

A 2017 study published in Neuropsychopharmacology has found that stress can lead to neuroendocrine and immune dysfunction which can make people more vulnerable to major depressive disorder (14). A 2019 study published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society has found that psychological stress can affect the neuroendocrine regulation of brain cytokines, which may contribute to psychopathologies (15)

A 2011 study published in the Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America has found that chronic stress may have harmful effects on neuroendocrine and immune function (16). By stress impaction the neuroendocrine regulation of inflammation, it increases the risk of chronic inflammatory conditions. According to a 2014 review published in Physical Therapy, chronic stress can drive HPA axis and cortisol dysfunction which can result in chronic, widespread inflammation and pain (17).

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Circadian Rhythm Disruption

Your circadian rhythm is also referred to as your circadian cycle. It is your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle that repeats about every 24 hours. It is a natural and internal process. Under natural circumstances, your body will naturally know when to start to feel tired and then finally go to sleep at night, when to wake up, and how to feel energized throughout the day.

Unfortunately, modern-day living affects our circadian rhythm as well. We may have to set our alarm unnaturally early during the week or sleep in on the weekend. We may go to sleep later than we should reduce our sleep time to as little as 4 or 5 hours (or less) instead of the recommended 7 to 9 hours. We stimulate our bodies with sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and electronics, compromising our day-time energy and quality night-time sleep. 

Circadian rhythm disruption is, unfortunately, incredibly common in our society. The problem is that it can lead to insomnia, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, brain fog, depression, anxiety, stress, relationship troubles, poor work or school performance, weight gain, lack of motivation, chronic inflammation, and chronic health issues. A 2013 review published in Alcohol Research has found that circadian rhythm disruption can lead to chronic inflammation, metabolic dysfunction, and immune system problems (18)

Circadian rhythm disruption may also result in neuroendocrine inflammation. A 2014 study published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences has found that the circadian rhythm helps to create an internal balance or homeostasis. When it’s interrupted it can create a stress response and activate the HPA axis (19). Researchers found that the disruption of the circadian rhythms can lead to HPA axis dysregulation and overactivation, which can lead to metabolic, mood, autoimmune, and other chronic disorders.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Mold Exposure

Mold is a fungus that can grow on just about anything. It has the ability to thrive in many conditions, especially in warm temperatures and high moisture environments.

Mold can grow in both indoor and outdoor environments. It can hide in your home in your bathroom, moist basement, under the carpet, or anywhere else. Mold also has the ability to spread far and wide, as tiny microscopic spores are released from the source, making air, especially indoor air is a major source of mold toxicity.  Mold releases mycotoxins that are a form of chemical warfare against other mold forms and these mycotoxins can be highly destructive to human health.  

When you are exposed to mold chronically, you can develop mold toxicity symptoms. Mold toxicity is a major problem in the US. Some people are more sensitive than others, but anyone can develop a chronic inflammatory immune response to mold.

When toxins from mold start to accumulate inside your body, symptoms will increase. Symptoms of mold toxicity may include respiratory problems, skin issues, mucus membrane irritation, fatigue, brain fog, mental impairment, nausea, and more.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Mold exposure can also result in neuroendocrine inflammation. According to a 2020 study published in Safety and Health at Work, mycotoxins from mold are neurotoxins that can affect neurological health (20). They can also cause chronic inflammation which can cause cytokines to bind with cell receptors and increase the risk of blood clots and arterial blockage.

This may affect the function of the hypothalamus, which of course affects the other parts of the neuroendocrine system, including the pituitary gland, adrenal, thyroid, pancreas, testes, and ovaries. Furthermore, according to a 2014 study published in Neuroendocrinology, chronic inflammation and cytokines from mold can also cause gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (21).

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Chronic Infections 

Chronic infections, including chronic gut infections, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Lyme disease, and oral health issues can contribute to neuroendocrine inflammation. As a 2019 review published in the European Journal of Immunology has explained, the immune and endocrine systems closely interact, for example, when it comes to glucose metabolism (22).

When your body encounters any pathogens, cytokines in your body trigger endocrine signals that result in altered insulin and other hormonal levels to fight infection. The immune system basically modifies endocrine regulation of system metabolism to protect you from infections. 

Similarly, infections affect your neuroendocrine system and cause neuroendocrine inflammation to fight infections. Ongoing, chronic infections can lead to chronic neuroendocrine inflammation. A 2009 review published in Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology has found that the central nervous system (CNS) and immune system form the neuro-immune network to support immunity and protect you from pathogens (23).

The reviews explain that infections can lead to prolonged HPA axis activation, increased growth hormone, insulin, and inflammatory cytokines, insulin resistance, and neuroendocrine inflammation. According to a 2003 study published in Viral Immunology, the HPA axis plays an immunomodulatory role when it comes to viral infections (24). However, ongoing infections can cause prolonged HPA activation and related neuroendocrine inflammation.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Heavy Toxic Load 

Unfortunately, toxins are all around us, in our water, in our air, in the products we use, the food we eat, and the clothes we wear. Unfortunately, a heavy toxic load can lead to all kinds of health issues, including neuroendocrine inflammation. 

Certain chemicals found in plastic bottles and containers, metal food cans, cosmetics, detergents, pesticides, flame retardants, and so on are endocrine disruptors. They include bisphenol A (BPA) (in polycarbonate plastics), dioxins (byproducts of herbicide production and paper bleaching), perchlorate (a byproduct of weapon, aerospace, and pharmaceutical industries), phthalates (in flexible plastics), perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) (in non-stick pan, paper, textile coatings, and other industrial applications), sphytoestrogens (in soy products), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) (in flame retardants), triclosan (in anti-microbial and personal care products), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) (in electrical equipment) (25).

Heavy metals, including mercury in dental fillings or lead in paint or water, fluoride in municipal water and dental products can also cause chronic inflammation and serious health issues. For example, a 2014 study published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health has found that environmental mercury has toxic effects, and it can cause inflammation and disrupt your health (26).

As endocrine disruptors and highly inflammatory toxins, it’s not surprising that they can also lead to neuroendocrine inflammation. According to a 1999 publication by the National Academies Press, toxins can cause chronic inflammation, affect the HPA axis, interfere with pituitary-thyroid hormone regulation, and lead to neuroendocrine problems (27).

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Heavy EMF Exposure

Electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) are invisible areas of energy also referred to as radiation. They are related to the use of electrical power, as well as various forms of lighting, including man-made and natural lighting. EMFs can be grouped into two main categories based on their frequency: non-ionizing and ionizing radiation. 

Non-ionizing radiation is a low-level radiation that includes appliances and tools, including cell phones, computers, tablets, wireless (WiFi) routers, Bluetooth devices, microwave ovens, power lines, house energy meters, and MRI. On the other hand, ionizing radiation is a high-level radiation that may be much more harmful to your body, including ultraviolet light and x-rays. 

While ionizing radiation is much more dangerous, chronic high exposure to low-level non-ionizing radiation can also affect your health. Heavy EMF exposure can lead to fatigue, insomnia, sleep disturbances, headaches, depression, anxiety, irritability, dizziness, lack of concentration, memory troubles, itching, tingling, tinnitus, nausea, blood sugar issues, hormonal imbalances, and infertility, among other health issues.

A 2017 study published in the Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure has found that EMFs have chemical effects that can cause an imbalance in the body (28). They found that among many health issues, this can cause neuroendocrine changes leading to hormonal problems. A 2018 review published in Environmental Research has found that WiFi, a specific source of EMFs, can cause neuroendocrine tissues and increased cell death in multiple tissues, neuroendocrine problems, testis and sperm dysfunction, hormonal issues, oxidative stress (29).

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Nutrient Deficiencies 

Nutrient deficiencies, magnesium, vitamin B, vitamin D, and zinc deficiencies in particular, can often lead to neuroendocrine inflammation.

Magnesium 

Magnesium is a key mineral that helps to support muscle and nerve function and help proper energy production. Magnesium is found in greens, nuts, and seeds. Magnesium deficiency is incredibly common and can result in a number of health issues, including neuroendocrine inflammation. 

A 2018 review published in the Journal of Inflammation Research has found that magnesium deficiency can lead to an inflammatory response, chronic inflammation, and oxidative stress (30). This chronic inflammation may also result in neuroendocrine inflammation. A 2020 review published in Nutrients has found that magnesium deficiency may increase your body’s susceptibility to stress (31). Increased chronic stress due to magnesium deficiency can also increase the risk of neuroendocrine inflammation.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

B Vitamins 

B vitamins are found in meat, eggs, dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and legumes. B vitamins help your body’s cells to function properly. They are important for your metabolism, energy production, blood cell creation, your brain health, mental health, skin health, and other areas of your health. Vitamin B6 is critical for your central nervous system. Folate or vitamin B9 is important for cell growth and blood cell formation. Vitamin B12 is essential for your blood and nerve cells. 

B vitamin deficiencies, particularly deficiencies in B6, folate, and B12 can cause neuroendocrine inflammation. Vitamin B12 deficiencies are particularly common in vegans and vegetarians without supplementation, however, they often occur in those who consume animal products as well. According to a 2016 review published in Nutrients, vitamin B6, folate, and B12 are critical for neurological function and deficiencies can lead to brain health problems (32).

According to a 2015 study published in Stress, B vitamins are particularly important for hypothalamic health and HPA axis function, and deficiencies can result in HPA axis dysfunction and emotional problems (33).

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Vitamin D 

We get vitamin D from the sun and also from certain foods, including fatty fish, beef liver, and egg yolks. Vitamin D is important for bone, muscle, gut, brain, and immune health. Deficiencies in vitamin D can result in neuroendocrine inflammation along with all kinds of other chronic health issues.

A 2016 study published in Diabetes has found that hypothalamic vitamin D can help to improve glucose homeostasis and support weight loss (34). A 2018 review published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has found that vitamin D can affect the hypothalamus and improve glucose control and insulin function in diabetes (35).

Another 2018 review published in Cureus has found that vitamin D deficiency may be linked to the development of type 2 diabetes, decreased neuronal development, inflammation, and depression (36).

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Zinc

Zinc can be found in shellfish, meat, nuts, seeds, dairy, eggs, and legumes. It’s essential for immune health and metabolic function. Zinc deficiencies can result in neuroendocrine inflammation among other health issues.

A 2019 review published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology has found that zinc deficiencies can result in depression and immune health issues, and though more research is needed, may play a role in neuroendocrine neoplasms (37). A 2006 review published in Ageing Research and Reviews has found that zinc may play a role in the plasticity of neuroendocrine-thymus interaction related to aging (38).

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Iodine 

Iodine is critical for thyroid function and preventing hypothyroidism. It is found in seaweed, shrimp, fish, other seafood, eggs, and iodized salt. Iodine deficiency can play a role in neuroendocrine inflammation, especially related to HPT and thyroid health.

A 2007 review published in the Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal has explained that iodine deficiency can lead to low thyroid function, mental developmental problems in children, and brain health issues (39). A 2015 study published in The Lancet has also found that iodine deficiency can cause hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, nodular goiter, and thyroid cancer, and iodine supplementation can help to prevent or improve these thyroid issues (40).

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Key Functional Labs

Lab testing is the best way to understand what’s going on in your body. We can determine your risk factors for neuroendocrine inflammation, and understand the underlying causes of your symptoms with the help of some key lab functional tests.

Your result can help with diagnosis and allow us to create a personalized treatment protocol to regain your health and well-being. Here are the key functional labs I recommend for neuroendocrine inflammation:

Inflammation: Hs-CRP, ESR, Homocysteine, LDH, & Serum Ferritin

To check for inflammation, I recommend looking at Hs-CRP, ESR, homocysteine, LDH, and serum ferritin levels.  You can find out more about these labs and other lab markers for inflammation in this article.

The C-Reactive Protein or CRP test is a key test I recommend. It measures a protein (CRP) produced in your liver that indicates inflammation levels in your body. The clinical range is between 0 and 3 mg/L while the optimal range is 0 to 1 mg/L.  When I see levels over 1 mg/L, I know the individual is having an inflammatory response that could be due to acute trauma or chronic conditions.

The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is a common hematology test to look for inflammation It refers to the rate at which your red blood cells in anticoagulated whole blood go down in a standardized tube over a period of one hour. Optimal ESR rates for women under 50 are between 0 and 20 mm/hr, men under 50 are between 0 and 15 mm/hr, women over 50 are between 0 and 30 mm/hr, men over 50 are between 0 and 20 mm/hr, and children between 0 and 10 mm/hr.

Homocysteine is a common amino acid in your blood that you mostly get from eating meat. Homocysteine is particularly a good marker for cardiovascular issues. The optimal range for homocysteine is between 6 and 9.

Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) is an enzyme found in all living cells. Elevated levels may indicate inflammation. Optimal levels are between 140-180. Levels over 180 indicate inflammation. Low LDH levels, under 140, are signs of hypoglycemia, which is a neuroendocrine problem as well.

Serum ferritin measures the level of ferritin in your body to detect iron deficiency anemia and other health issues. Elevated serum ferritin levels may indicate inflammation, liver disease, autoimmune disease, or even cancer. The clinical range is 30 to 400 and the optimal range is 25 to 100 for females and 50 to 150 for males.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Insulin Resistance: Fasting Insulin, HbA1C, Lipid Profile 

To check for insulin resistance, I recommend looking at your fasting insulin, HbA1C levels, and lipid profile.

Testing your fasting insulin levels can recognize elevated blood sugar levels and can detect inflammation, insulin resistance, blood sugar issues, and diabetes. The clinical range for fasting insulin is 2.6  – 24.9 uIU/ml and the optimal range is 1.0 – 5.0 uIU/ml. 

In addition to your fasting insulin, I recommend checking your hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) levels. Your HbA1C levels measure your average blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) gives the average amount of glucose in your blood or blood sugar over the past 3 months making it one of the top tests for inflammation and diabetes. The clinical range is between 4.8 and 5.6 while the optimal range is 4.5 – 5.2.

Your lipid panel may be another indication of inflammation and related issues, such as clogged arteries and cardiovascular issues. Having a balanced ratio of LDL to HDL and triglycerides to HDL is essential for your health. Ideally, we are looking for an LDL: HDL ratio: 3:1 or less, 2:1 being optimal. For triglycerides, we are looking for an HDL ratio: 2:1 or less, 1:1 being optimal. Higher rates may indicate insulin resistance and inflammation. Low HLD or high triglycerides may indicate insulin resistance as well. Optimal levels:

  • VLDL cholesterol: The ideal range is 5 to 30 mg/dl.
  • HDL cholesterol: The idea range is 55 to 80. Levels above 100 can indicate chronic inflammation or active infection in the body.
  • Triglycerides: The ideal range is 40 to 80.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Vitamin D, Plasma Zinc: Serum Copper Ratio 

To check for nutrient deficiencies, I recommend a vitamin D test and looking at your plasma zinc: serum copper ratio. 

Vitamin D3 is an important vitamin that most of our population is deficient in. Poor levels may indicate inflammation.  You want your levels over 50 ng/mL and ideally in the 60-100 ng/mL range.

Checking your plasma zinc levels is the best way to determine zinc levels in your body. Ideal plasma zinc levels are between 90–135 ug/dL and for serum copper it should be 70–110 ug/dL. Zinc and copper compete against each other as antagonists to regulate physiological pathways. A proper balance between the two is essential for maintaining good health. I recommend checking your plasma zinc and serum copper levels and their balance. The proper zinc:copper ratio should be between 1–1.2.

To check for these health markers, I recommend a Comprehensive Blood Analysis (CBA). This is the most detailed blood test that looks at all of these markers of inflammation. This test is more sophisticated than most conventional doctors are able to order.

It examines all parameters for inflammation, blood sugar levels, thyroid function, zinc and copper ratio, vitamin A and D levels, a complete metabolic panel, complete blood count, liver function, nutrient deficiencies, and more. I recommend getting the Comprehensive Blood Analysis done regularly both as a preventative measure and to monitor your inflammation levels and progress.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

DUTCH Test 

I also recommend the DUTCH Test™ — Dried Urine Test Comprehensive Hormones to check for cortisol metabolism markers, estrogen and progesterone levels, estrogen/progesterone balance, and testosterone levels. This test offers a complete hormonal panel. Beyond cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, it also looks at your DHEA, melatonin levels, neurotransmitter metabolites, and markers of oxidative stress.

The DUTCH Test™ is well-recognized for its ease-of-collection, coupled with comprehensive reporting that is not available from other laboratories. The DUTCH Adrenal provides free cortisol patterns that parallel saliva with the addition of metabolite measurements for an improved marker for total cortisol production.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Natural Support Strategies

The good news is that you can improve neuroendocrine function with the help of some natural support strategies. Here are the natural support strategies I recommend for neuroendocrine inflammation.

Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition Plan

Neuroendocrine inflammation is, as its name indicates, characterized by chronic inflammation. An anti-inflammatory nutrition plan may help to reduce this chronic inflammation, neuroendocrine dysfunction, and your symptoms.

According to a 2019 review published in Neuroendocrinology, malnutrition, nutrient deficiencies, and poor dietary choices can cause complications in gastropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (41). The Neuroendocrine Research Foundation states that 58 percent of neuroendocrine tumor (NET) patients feel better when making proper dietary changes (42)

I recommend that you remove any inflammatory foods from your diet, including refined sugar, refined oils, artificial ingredients, additives, deep-fried foods, junk food, and highly processed foods. Choose anti-inflammatory foods instead with lots of healthy nutrients. I recommend eating lots of greens, vegetables, herbs, low-glycemic index fruits, fermented foods, grass-fed beef, pasture-raised poultry and eggs, wild-caught fish, and wild game. 

Eat plenty of healthy fats, including avocados, olives, olive oil, coconut oil, pasture-raised butter and ghee, wild-caught fatty fish, nuts, and seeds. You may benefit from anti-inflammatory herbs and foods, including turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, garlic, rosemary, and green tea. Consume foods rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3s, such as algae, wild-caught fish, seafood, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. 

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Remove Food Sensitivities and Intolerances

Beyond poor nutrition, food sensitivities and food intolerance can also contribute to neuroendocrine inflammation. According to a 2019 review published in Nutrients, food sensitivities and food intolerances may affect about 20 percent of the population (42). That is one in every five people. Yet, food sensitivities and intolerances often go unnoticed contributing to low-grade chronic inflammation and all kinds of related health symptoms, including fatigue, brain fog, headaches, digestive troubles, skin issues, anxiety, and so on.

Common food sensitivities include gluten, dairy, soy, corn, shellfish, fish, wheat, tree nuts, and sugar. However, you can be sensitive to any food, including those that may be healthy for most people. I recommend figuring out your food intolerances. Blood tests can be a good place to start, however, they cannot test for all foods and false results are common.

Muscle response and pulse testing can help you find some further answers by tapping into your body’s wisdom. An elimination diet is possibly the best method to find all your sensitivities and triggers. You can find information on all these methods by searching my website. 

Once you find your food sensitivities and intolerances, I recommend that you remove these foods from your diet. Since food sensitivities can change over time, I recommend performing these tests every year or if new symptoms or health issues occur. You may learn more about food sensitivity testing here. You can learn more about how to reduce food sensitivities from this article.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Optimize Sleep Habits 

The disruption of your circadian rhythms and consequently, poor sleep, are some of the main underlying root causes of neuroendocrine inflammation  (18, 19). To support your circadian rhythms, I recommend that you go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day. Support your daytime energy with a healthy diet and lifestyle practices. Avoid any sugar, caffeine, and heavy meals after dinner. Ideally, you want to stop eating at least three hours before bedtime. 

To help your body wind down, avoid any electronics and stressful activities in the evening. Choose relaxing activities instead, including calm conversation, time with family, board games, crossword puzzles, coloring, journaling, reading, taking a healing bath, meditation, and contemplation time. Try some herbal tea or calming essential oils, such as lavender or chamomile.

Develop a gratitude practice before bed. Support your sleep with a supportive and comfortable bed, mattress, bedding, and pillow. Try some blackout curtains and/or eye pillows to help to fall and stay asleep. Tracking your sleep may also help you to identify and correct issues and optimize your sleep. I recommend reading this article on how to measure and improve deep sleep.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Get Sunlight During the Day

A 2020 cross-sectional study published in Science Reports has found that reduced sun exposure during the day and vitamin D deficiency can affect sleep duration and sleep quality (60). Reduced sunlight during the day can also interfere with your circadian rhythms and sleep cycle.

I recommend that you get some sunlight during the day. Open up the curtains and let the sunshine in. Take a walk outside and exercise outdoors. Sit out during the day to enjoy a cup of tea, eat lunch, or read a book. Even during the colder months, it’s important that you get some sunshine as long as it’s out and get as much sunlight as possible.

During the colder and darker months, when you may not be getting enough sunlight, you may want to try a light therapy lamp to avoid seasonal depression (SAD) and support your sleep. To optimize your vitamin D levels, I recommend going beyond just daily sunshine and supplementing with vitamin D3 as well.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Reduce Stress & Practice Stress-Reducing Activities

Chronic stress is one of the top root causes of neuroendocrine inflammation and frankly, most chronic health issues (14, 15, 16, 17). Reducing stress and practicing stress-reducing activities are critical.

Lower stress in your day-to-day life. Aim to limit stressful activities during the day. Unfollow social media accounts, blogs, and other sources that increase your stress and don’t add anything to your life. Avoid high traffic hours for driving, if possible. Reduce time with people that bring you down and choose to surround yourself with supportive and uplifting people.

Meditation, breathwork, guided relaxation, visualization, gratitude, mindfulness, prayer, and spiritual practices are great tools to center yourself, relax your body, and calm your mind. Journaling can help to release any frustration on paper, spot any cognitive patterns you may want to change and reflect.

Working with a therapist, life coach, or spiritual counselor can also help you to break away from these patterns and develop a positive mindset shift instead. You may also try coloring, crocheting, arts, and crafts that can help to relax and calm your mind.  I also recommend considering using technologies that enhance brainwave patterns such as the BrainTap device

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Use Deep Breathing Exercises

Chronic stress is one of the top root causes of neuroendocrine inflammation (14, 15, 16, 17). Deep breathing exercises are some of the best ways to reduce chronic stress and calm your body and mind down in times of stress or anxiety.

I recommend developing a diaphragm breathing routine. This particular breathing exercise is simple as well. Most people have experienced a form of “belly breathing” where you fill your lungs to the point that they push the diaphragm down.  If you have experience doing music lessons, you have probably encountered the concept of diaphragm breathing to alter and improve vocal quality.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Deep Breathing Exercises: 

Here is what you need to do: 

  1. There are various positions you can try in executing this exercise. The first one is by lying on your back while bending your knees. The second one is sitting up straight in a chair.
  2. Use one of your hands and place it flat on your chest. Meanwhile, the remaining hand should be put on your stomach.
  3. Next, breathe slowly and deeply through your nose. Do not remove your hands on their placements. While doing this, you will feel the rising and falling of the hand that you placed on your stomach.
  4. After that, you should start breathing in your lips. Make sure that it is pursed.
  5. Your long-term goal here is for you to breathe properly without any movements in your chest. It is a type of control that can help you feel relaxed and comfortable, especially before bedtime.

Another great breathing exercise is that the 4-7-8 exercise is the easiest among the most straightforward breathing techniques out there. The latter is said to be an old yogic art that helps the body heal by replenishing its oxygen content.

  1. Start by parting your lips gradually.
  2. Next, exhale fully, ensuring that you can release all the air in your lungs. Exhale with force and imagine that you are releasing all the tension in your body.
  3. After that, press your lips together. While doing so, inhale silently by your nose. Inhale for a good four seconds.
  4. Don’t exhale yet. Try to hold the breath that you have gathered for a count of seven seconds.
  5. Now, you can release the air by exhaling for a count of eight seconds. If you can hear a “whooshing” effect when you are exhaling, you are doing the task correctly.
  6. For beginners, this exercise can be repeated four times. Once you can get used to it, you can escalate the repetition to eight times. By then, you will be able to experience improvement in your sleep and overall health in general.

In this article, I outlined 8 breathing exercises, including these two, that can help to reduce stress and support sleep.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Reduce Exposure to Mold or High EMF Environments

Chronic mold and high EMF exposure can increase your risk and symptoms of neuroendocrine inflammation (20, 21, 28, 29). Reducing your exposure to mold and high EMF environments is critical for improving your neuroendocrine health.

To reduce mold exposure, I recommend the following:

  • Check your home for mold. If there is mold in your home, get it professionally removed with a mold remediation specialist or move if possible.
  • Use a high-quality air filtration system that captures and removes mold spores from your air. Use the same high-quality air filtration system at work if possible as well.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms of mold toxicity, I recommend that you get tested for mold illness and detoxify your body from mold. You can learn more about mold and what to do about mold illness by reading this article.

To reduce your exposure to high EMF environments, I recommend the following:

  • Keep your phone, other devices, and appliances off or on airplane mode as much as you are able to.
  • Use hard-wire internet connections instead of WiFi and hard-wire computer peripherals instead of wireless or Bluetooth whenever it’s possible.
  • Use regular earphones instead of Bluetooth or putting your cell phone close to your head.
  • Limit your WiFi use to the necessary minimum and turn off your WiFi router at night and whenever you are not using it.
  • Keep your electronic devices, such as your cell phones, computers, and tablets as far from your body as possible. 
  • Turn off your cell phone and other devices at night and keep your cell phone and other devices out of your bedroom.
  • Sleep away from any circuit breakers or large appliances that may be running overnight.
  • Use dirty electricity filters to filter out dirty electricity.
  • Choose landlines or face-to-face contact whenever possible. Choose texting over phone calls whenever possible.
  • Make sure that the electrical wiring of your home is done properly.
  • Minimalize your use of cell phones, computers, and other digital devices. Take regular digital detoxes. For example, taking Sundays offline may be a great idea.
  • Try the Harmoni Pendant for EMF protection.
  • Choose the stove top or oven over your microwave.
  • Avoid x-rays and CT scans unless it’s necessary.
  • Check out this article for further information on the dangers of EMF and how to reduce EMF exposure.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Reduce Exposure to Heavy Metals and Environmental Toxins

Since heavy metals and environmental toxins can result in neuroendocrine inflammation, reducing your exposure is important (25, 26, 27). Avoid using plastics as much as possible. I recommend glassware, wood, bamboo, ceramics, and cloth instead, depending on the product. Choose natural, organic, and homemade cleaning, body, and beauty products instead of toxin- and chemical-filled conventional options. 

Avoid smoking, second-hand smoke, and air pollution as much as possible. Choose to spend plenty of time in nature. I recommend using a high-quality air filtration system at home. Drink clean, purified, filtered water instead of tap water.

Make sure that you drink clean water by investing in a good filtration and purification system, and using glass or stainless steel bottles instead of plastic. (Avoid bottled water or unfiltered tap water.) I recommend systems like Aquatrue or the Berkey system for low cost filtration.  The best water is the Synergy Science hydrogen water which is what I use at home as it is powered by molecular hydrogen which reduces oxidative stress in the body and improves immune function.

Avoid amalgam fillings and root canals. If you have amalgam mercury fillings, visit a biological dentist to remove them safely. 

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Improve Oral Health 

Infections are a major driving cause behind neuroendocrine inflammation (22, 23, 24). Oral infections and dental health issues are not an exception. I oil pulling with coconut oil. Oil pulling helps to reduce bad microbes, inflammation, and the risk of infections and helps to ‘pull’ out toxins from your oral cavity.

I recommend that you practice oil pulling every morning. Squish a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes. Spit it out and brush your teeth carefully. Use a different toothbrush after oil pulling than other times of the day as you are brushing away toxins. 

Brush your teeth with natural toothpaste that’s free from fluoride or other chemicals. I also recommend that you choose natural floss and mouthwash without fluoride and chemicals. Toothpaste and dental products made with certain essential oils, including peppermint, cinnamon, tea tree, clove, and anise can be particularly beneficial.

If you have any amalgam fillings, visit a biological dentist to remove them safely. For any dental health issues and cleanings, I recommend working with a biological dentist who offers a holistic mindset and a more natural and healthier approach to dentistry. To learn more about holistic dental care, I recommend reading this article.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Improve Gut Health

Neuroendocrine inflammation is a way chronic inflammation may present itself in your body. Countless studies, including a 2011 211 review published in Nutrients and a 2020 review published in Frontiers in Microbiology have shown how your gut microbiome can affect your inflammation levels and poor gut health can result in chronic inflammation (43, 44). Moreover, chronic infections, including gut infections can lead to neuroendocrine inflammation (22, 23, 24). Hence, improving your gut health is clearly important for your neuroendocrine health.

Beyond eating a gut-healthy, anti-inflammatory diet, there is a lot you can do to support your gut health. To support your gut microbiome health,  I recommend that you eat probiotic-rich fermented foods, including sauerkraut, fermented vegetables, kimchi, pickles, coconut kefir, and kombucha. Even more importantly, I recommend that you take a high-quality daily probiotic supplement

I recommend Gut Repair for gastrointestinal support to improve leaky gut, gut microbiome imbalance, and any gut health symptoms. I also recommend taking digestive enzymes, such as Super D-Zyme, with every meal to support digestion and absorption. If you are dealing with constipation, I recommend Intestinal Mover or another herbal elimination support supplement.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Open Up Detoxification Pathways

Since heavy metals and environmental toxins can increase your risk or cause neuroendocrine inflammation, I recommend opening up your detoxification pathways (25, 26, 27). Eat a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet to reduce toxic load and support daily detoxification and cleansing.

Drink plenty of purified water throughout the day to support detoxification through urine and sweating and help to move bowel movements as well. I recommend starting your day with 16 to 32 ounces of water then drinking a glass every day. To improve detoxification through the skin, I recommend plenty of sweating by exercising and using an infrared sauna regularly. 

Support your lymphatic flow through dry brushing and rebounding. Try Activated Coconut Charcoal and BioActive Carbons to pull out toxins from your intestines. Try oil pulling with coconut oil every morning to pull toxins from your oral cavity. If you have trouble with elimination, I recommend  Intestinal Mover to support your bowel movements.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Optimize Vitamin D Levels

Vitamin D deficiency may result in neuroendocrine inflammation  (34, 35, 36). Yet, most people are not getting enough sunshine or consuming enough vitamin D from food. You are likely one of them. I recommend that you optimize your vitamin D levels by airing vitamin D3 with vitamin K2 helps improve calcium absorption and inflammation control. I recommend taking a vitamin D3 supplement with at least 3,000-5,000 IU’s of vitamin D3 and at least 90 mcg of vitamin K2. I recommend Vitamin D/K2 Liquid or Vitamin D3/K2 Power.

Typically, taking 1,000 IU per 25 lbs. of body weight will help you get your levels into a healthy range. You want to test your vitamin D levels at least 1-2 times each year and get your levels between 50-100 ng/ml. It has been hypothesized that a therapeutic level for major health conditions is going to be between 70-100 ng/ml.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Take Magnesium & B Vitamins

Magnesium and B vitamin deficiencies are another common underlying cause of neuroendocrine inflammation (30, 31, 32, 33). I recommend optimizing your magnesium and B vitamin levels for neuroendocrine function. I recommend eating magnesium-rich foods, such as greens, nuts, and seeds, and B vitamin-rich foods, including meat, eggs, dark leafy greens, nuts, and seeds. 

The more stress you are under the more magnesium and B vitamins your body needs.  I find that people with neuroendocrine inflammation need quite a bit of magnesium and notice a huge difference when getting the proper magnesium supplementation and in some cases extra B vitamins as well.

I recommend Brain Calm Magnesium for neuroendocrine, nerve, brain, bone, and muscle health, and energy.  This product has magnesium L-threonate which is the best form for brain health and stress resilience.  I recommend a preactivated, methylated  form of B vitamins as those are the most effective.  The product I recommend for this is B Strong, which has been clinically tested to work.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Consider Taking Zinc & Iodine 

Zinc and iodine deficiencies can also increase the risk of neuroendocrine inflammation and optimizing your zinc and iodine levels is critical (37,38, 39, 40). I recommend consuming zinc-rich foods, such as shellfish, meat, nuts, seeds, dairy, eggs, and iodine-rich foods, including seaweed, shrimp, fish, other seafood, and eggs. Additionally, I recommend daily supplementation with a high-quality zinc supplement, such as Zinc Charge

Beyond zinc, you may also benefit from optimizing your selenium levels. A 2019 review published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology has found that selenium may help patients with neuroendocrine neoplasms (37). It’s incredibly simple: all you need to do is to eat wild-caught fish, grass-fed meats and a few Brazil nuts a day to meet all your selenium needs.  However, some people do struggle with digestion and absorbing the zinc, iodine and selenium from their food effectively.  

If you are dealing with an iodine deficiency and looking to improve your iodine levels through supplementation, I recommend either our Thyroid Strong which has a combination of iodine, selenium and herbs and specific glandulars to support thyroid health.   I recommend that you read this article about iodine deficiency, testing, diet, and supplementation.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Use Adaptogenic Herbs 

Chronic stress is one of the top root causes of neuroendocrine inflammation and frankly, most chronic health issues (14, 15, 16, 17). The disruption of your circadian rhythms and poor sleep are also some of the main underlying root causes of neuroendocrine inflammation and chronic inflammation (18, 19). Fatigue and low cognitive energy are also common symptoms of neuroendocrine inflammation.

Adaptogens are herbal substances that help to reduce stress, improve energy, and support well-being. Therefore, using adaptogenic herbs may help to reduce stress-related neuroendocrine inflammation. There are two types of adaptogenic herbs that you may benefit from: relaxing adaptogens and energizing adaptogens.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Relaxing Adaptogens 

I recommend the following relaxing adaptogens: 

  • Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb often used in Ayurvedic and natural medicine for its adaptogenic properties. A  2019 randomized, controlled trial published in Medicine (Baltimore) has found that ashwagandha helps to reduce cortisol, relieve stress, and improve well-being (45).
  • Passion flower: Passion flower is a flowering plant with benefits for stress, anxiety, pain, heart problems, and menopause. A 2017 study published in Complementary Medical Research has found that passion flower dry extract may help to improve stress resilience and reduce nervous restlessness, sleep disturbance, fear, anxiety, and other symptoms of stress (46).
  • Lemon Balm: Lemon balm is a medicinal herb with a mild lemon aroma and benefits for stress, insomnia, anxiety, and indigestion. A 2014 study published in Nutrients has found that lemon balm-containing foods can help to reduce stress and improve mood and cognition (47).
  • Valerian: Valerian is a medicinal herb often used for sleep and anxiety. A 2020 systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine have found that valerian root can improve sleep quality (48).
  • Reishi: Reishi mushroom is a medicinal mushroom with benefits for stress, sleep, fatigue, and immune function. A 2013 study published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine has found that reishi mushrooms have antidepressant-like effects and can help with stress-induced anxiety (49).
  • Lavender: Lavender is a relaxing herb commonly used as aromatherapy for stress, sleep, and anxiety. A 2016 study published in the Iranian Journal Of Nursing and Midwifery Research has found that lavender aromatherapy can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression (50).

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Energizing Adaptogens 

I recommend the following energizing adaptogens:

  • Ginseng: Ginseng is a medicinal herb used for energy, cognitive function, immune system, and inflammation. A 2016 meta-analysis published in the Journal of Korean Medical Science has found that ginseng supplementation can effectively fight fatigue and better physical performance (51).
  • Rhodiola: Rhodiola is a perennial flowering plant with benefits for stress, physical and mental performance, depression, and anxiety. A 2012 systematic review published in the BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies has found that rhodiola can improve both physical and mental fatigue (52).
  • Schisandra: Schisandra is an adaptogenic herb often used to improve stress and fatigue. A 2016 study published in Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine has found that schisandra and rhodiola can both improve HPA axis function and reduce stress (53).
  • Cordyceps: Cordyceps is a medicinal mushroom used for inflammation, exercise performance, anti-aging, blood sugar levels, and heart health. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements has found that cordyceps can improve energy and exercise tolerance (54).
  • Eleuthero: Eleuthero is a medicinal herb with therapeutic benefits for energy, cognitive function, nerve damage, exercise, blood pressure, and lymphatic function. A 2010 review published in Pharmaceuticals (Basel) has found that eleuthero, rhodiola, and schisandra can support the central nervous system and protect from stress (55).

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Use Key Mitochondrial Support Nutrients

The neuroendocrine system is dependent on healthy mitochondrial function.  Each cell in the hypothalamus and pituitary gland have over 10,000 mitochondria per cell.  Neural inflammation results in mitochondrial dysfunction and a breakdown in the function of the neuroendocrine system.

One of the best ways to ensure mitochondrial health is to use key beneficial mitochondrial support nutrients such as CoQ10, L-carnitine, B vitamins, magnesium, ALA, creatine, resveratrol, curcumin, and D-Ribose. You can find all of these nutrients in Mito Support™, a supplement designed to support efficient mitochondrial metabolism and ATP energy production.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Consider Using Omega 3’s and Phosphatidylserine 

Neuroendocrine inflammation is an inflammatory issue, therefore lowering your inflammation levels is critical. Omega-3s may help. According to a 2002 study, omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation (56). A 2010 study published in Prostaglandins Leukot Essential Fatty Acids has found that DHA from omega-3s can offer neuroprotective benefits (57).

I recommend consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as algae, wild-caught fish, and seafood. Additionally, I recommend taking a high-quality omega-3 fish oil supplement with long-chain omega-3s such as EPA and DHA, such as Omega-Pro CRP, daily.

Phosphatidylserine is a fatty substance that may improve your attention, cognition, language skills, and memory. A 1990 study published in neuroendocrinology has found that phosphatidylserine may help to improve the neuroendocrine response to physical stress (58). A 2014 clinical trial published in Lipids in Health and Disease has found that phosphatidylserine may help to improve the HPA axis and stress reactivity (59). I recommend using Brain Super Charge to experience the benefits of phosphatidylserine.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

Final Thoughts

Your neuroendocrine system is a system made up of neuroendocrine cells. These neuroendocrine cells are similar to neurons but can make hormones just like your endocrine cells. They respond to messages from your nervous system by creating and releasing certain hormones that affect a number of important bodily functions.

Neuroendocrine inflammation means that there is a chronic inflammation that’s affecting your neuroendocrine function causing all kinds of problems from fatigue, cravings, and poor memory to menstrual problems. To support your neuroendocrine health, I recommend that you follow my natural support strategies for neuroendocrine inflammation to improve your health and well-being.

If you want to work with a functional health coach, I recommend this article with tips on how to find a great coach.  We do offer long-distance functional health coaching programs. For further support with your health goals, just reach out and our fantastic coaches are here to support your journey.

neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

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neuroendocrine, Neuroendocrine Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies

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