Why Healing Diets Can Make You Feel Worse: The Hypothalamus-Pituitary Connection
There’s no denying that any healing protocol can make you feel worse if it’s not the right one for you, but there’s a major piece to the puzzle that can make you feel ill when you’re actually healing.
The Hypothalamus-Pituitary Connection
The hypothalamus is a small region of your brain that controls many aspects of homeostasis in the body. One of the major functions is to control the pituitary gland and serve as the primary connection between the nervous and endocrine (hormone) systems. The pituitary gland is considered the “master” hormone gland next to the hypothalamus.
The pituitary-hypothalamus connection is what regulates the messages between the brain and body. Often, when you have been chronically ill for some time, your brain either stops sending the messages that tell your body that it’s in trouble or gets drowned out by all the other competing ones.
These symptoms are often masked with conventional medications like painkillers and diuretics or just overlooked because we don’t understand what our bodies are saying.
What’s Really Happening
When you follow the steps to healing
- removing foods that cause digestive issues or an immune response
- increasing your intake of healing, nutrient-dense foods
- following alternative healing methods like acupuncture, chiropractic care, herbs, and other methods of detoxification support
your body awakens that connection and starts talking…and talking…and talking.
Inflammation can increase, aches and pains can intensify, fatigue can become overwhelming, and foods that were on the safe list before can quickly move over to the no-no list.
This is actually a good thing in some cases. It shows that your body is starting to work again, and you are now able to listen to its signals.
Inflammation is often a sign of a fatty acid deficiency (related to prostaglandin formation).
The aches and pains can give you clues about what is malfunctioning (chronic lower back pain is often adrenal related and swollen joints can be caused by food allergy reactions).
Fatigue tells you that your body needs some serious rest and a critical influx of nutrients.
When beginning a healing protocol or if you’re still working your way through one, keep this process in mind. A healing journey can often feel like 1 step forward and 5 steps back.
Learn more about what a healing crisis is and some differences between a reaction to a food or medicine or a healing reaction in 3 Signs You Are Healing (even though you feel lousy).
Introduction to the Human Body: The Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology by Tortora and Derrickson