Neurotransmitter and Endocrine Testing
The Neuro-Endo-Immune (NEI) Brain-Body Connection
Neuroendoimmunology is an emerging field of science that seeks to understand the interconnections of the nervous, endocrine and immune systems. Progressive research in this field suggest each of these three systems function as a large whole, termed the "NEI SuperSystem" Within this super-system, the nervous system plays the integral role of modulating the function of the immune and endocrine systems via the hypothalamic-pituitary axis and innervation of the endocrine and immunological organs.
The nervous system, comprised of the brain, the spinal cord and the nerve tissues distributed throughout the body, is considered one of the most complex systems in existence. In higher functioning organisms, the nervous system performs complex processes including thought, memory and emotions. Serving primarily as a "master control center," the nervous system regulates the function of the all other bodily systems.
However, due to the interconnected nature of the larger system, the nervous system is also reciprocally influenced by the effects of the endocrine and the immune systems. Disruptions in the function of one system will ultimately have an impact on the function of all three systems.
Optimal health is only possible when the nervous, endocrine and the immune systems are all in balance. Imbalances in these systems occur as a result of exposure to psychological or physical challenges. Underlying stressors such as mental stress, poor diet, unhealthy lifestyles, infections, organ disease, environmental toxins and/or general immune system activation will alter this balance and lead to symptoms and various conditions.
Neurotransmitters are the primary messengers for the nervous system, which coordinates everything form the stress response to general organ function to emotion and cognitive function.
Non-hormonal approaches to "endocrine" symptoms
Due to the interactions between each system included in the NEI system, symptoms can sometimes appear as a hormone issue when in actuality, they can be attributed to a neurotransmitter imbalance. Common symptoms include mood changes, focus issues, insomnia, weight gain, fatigue, restless sleep, hot flashes/cold sweats, or anxiety.
After evaluating the neurotransmitter test and your overall symptoms, Dr. Verhunce can recommend treatment options to re-balance your neurotransmitters and this usually involves a personalized regimen of therapeutic supplements that can support the body's systems and specifically address the imbalances in your body. Most patients report significant relief from symptoms such as headaches, moodiness, fatigue and hot flashes after beginning the therapeutic process.
In addition to supplements and nutritional counseling, Dr. Verhunce may also recommend other treatments for your overall health and wellness. Chiropractic spinal adjustments, for example, can correct misalignments of the musculoskeletal system that may be pinching nerves and causing pain and other symptoms. Our overarching goal is to help your whole body and mind feel well, healthy and energized.
If you suffer from any of the symptoms described here, please call us at 206-824-5521 to talk with Dr. Bonnie and get tested so you can start feeling better!