The Hypothalamus: Our Unknown King


The hypothalamus, king of our body’s world, is kinda, sorta part of the brain. That is, while it’s attached to the base of the brain and referred to as part of the brain, the hypothalamus isn’t protected by the blood/brain barrier.

And it’s this combination of importance and vulnerability that puts us in a world of hurt. Unless we get educated, we will probably do bad things to our hypothalamus every day.

So what does the hypothalamus do? It keeps our bodies in balance (homeostasis in medical terms). It controls body temperature, hunger, thirst, fatigue, anger, sex, emotional attachment, our circadian clock–and on, and on.

How? First, it controls our nervous system through neurotransmitters and neuromodulators–which do exactly what their names sound like: Transmit signals through the nervous system and modulate those signals so they’re not too strong or too weak.

Second, the hypothalamus controls the pituitary gland, which, in turn, controls the entire endocrine system–thyroid, adrenals, pancreas, gonads, pineal, parathyroids, thymus, leptin, ghrelin, etc. And a fine kettle of fish they are!

And the hypothalamus links the nervous and the endocrine systems so they work together.

The connection between the hypothalamus and the pituitary is so tight that they have their own little circulatory system to pass their signals and hormones. And talk about constant contact! They talk back and forth every second of your life–balancing, balancing, balancing.

Now, chances are nobody ever mentioned the hypothalamus to you before. But here I am going on and on about it. Why? What’s the big deal?

We’re doing ourselves in. That’s the big deal.

For one thing, our nutrition-deficient food leaves us malnourished, no matter what the scale says. And malnutrition makes a shambles of what the hypothalamus needs to do.

Then we make things worse by eating something containing MSG, monosodium glutamate; MSG takes a big-time swipe at the hypothalamus. Then we eat or drink things containing aspartame, and aspartame dropkicks the hypothalamus. And then they shoot us up with vaccines, and the glutamate in vaccines whacks the hypothalamus another good one.

Put them all together, they spell damage. And a damaged hypothalamus announces its predicament in many, various, unhappy ways.

Fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue syndrome. Autism. Auto-immune diseases. Antisocial behaviors. Not to mention that throwing such a monkey-wrench into the endocrine system, via the pituitary connection, can create an absolute tsunami of symptoms. One endocrine gland in trouble brings all the others riding to the rescue, but more likely they all end up in the same ditch.

And you wonder why disease rates have skyrocketed in the last 40 years?

Both glutamate and aspartate are excitatory amino acids. They rev up the hypothalamus to toxic levels, beyond where it can safely go. MSG and aspartame are excitotoxins that damage the hypothalamus–which, in turn, creates chaos in the rest of our body parts and systems.

And if you take in both MSG and aspartame (a diet soda and chips containing MSG), you multiply the damage each causes. You’d think simple addition would be bad enough, but no, it has to go to extremes.

If you want to do your health a huge favor, ditch MSG and aspartame. Now, they’re not the only problems that whack our hypothalamus, but getting rid of them will bless your socks off. Especially since hypothalamus controls both our nervous system and our endocrine system; keep those systems in peak form, and deadly disease will think twice about coming to your house.

Doctors don’t have much to do with the hypothalamus. Probably because there is no prescription drug they can offer.

If you have health issues that aren’t getting resolved, an all-too-typical mess these days, you need to know that your hypothalamus is hurting and needs help.

God is good,
Bette Dowdell

About the author: Bette Dowdell defines determination. In a really deep health ditch, with doctors who didn’t help, she got her Oh-Yeah! attitude in gear and researched her way out. She never intended to be a health expert, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. You can subscribe to Bette’s free e-mails on how to solve health problems at

Bette Dowdell
A drunk driver pretty much destroyed my health a month before my first birthday. Doctors said I was fine--for years. Finally realizing my health was up to me, I started researching. I got out the health ditch I was in, and found my future: Giving people the information they need to understand how to take control of their own health. It's been an amazing journey, and I look forward to all that is yet to come.