Hypothalamus And Homeostasis Essay

Hypothalamus And Homeostasis Essay

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The hypothalamus is a complex part of the brain that regulates and controls functions of the body from temperature and sleep to hunger and thirst. Before a person can begin to understand the hypothalamus, it's important to note the role it has in homeostasis.

Homeostasis is the way the body creates a stable environment for itself and all of the body's functions working together. Without homeostasis, blood pressure, hunger, heart rate, sleep cycles, and immune responses would be completely out of whack.

The brain uses neurotransmitters to regulate the functions of the body. The hormones created in the hypothalamus and pituitary gland are sent out into the body to regulate its functions. Neurotransmitters connect the entire nervous system to help with the regulation of all bodily functions. One of the biggest tasks of the hypothalamus is hunger and appetite control.

The Hypothalamus and Hunger

While leptin and ghrelin are hormones produced by the body to signal hunger as well as satiation, the hypothalamus has receptors for these hormones. There are three regions within the hypothalamus itself that are associated with hunger and satiety.

Lateral Hypothalamus – Known for hunger recognition
Ventromedial Hypothalamus – Recognizes the feeling of fullness
Paraventricular Hypothalamus – Regulates hunger

Motivation

Motivation to eat comes from hunger. The feeling of hunger comes from lack of food as well as other factors. Leptin levels drop as hours pass with no food being consumed. At a certain point, the dropping levels of leptin are what begin to release ghrelin. When ghrelin is activated within the body, the hypothalamus will provide a trigger to brain that the body needs fuel.

It's believed that these levels of ghrelin a...


... middle of paper ...


...s like chicken, fish, and eggs are thought to help, too. At the very least, they're foods that won't ruin any of your diet plans.

Foods that have nutrients that increase nervous system function or improve mood are thought to be good for resetting the hypothalamus. Essential fatty acids and omega-3s from fish and nuts are recommended in the diet.

When the chemicals, leptin and ghrelin, are regulated, the hypothalamus gland won't send emergency signals to the body that there's a problem. This regulation is essential for keeping the body from becoming so hungry that you ruin your diet by making bad choices out of extreme hunger.

Overall, all these chemicals in the body as well as hormones regulated by the hypothalamus work together to tell you when you're hungry or satiated. Eating the right foods won't leave you with a huge yo-yo of leptin and ghrelin production.

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