The pituitary gland is often referred to as the “Master Gland.” This pea sized gland directs other organs and endocrine glands, such as the reproductive organs and adrenals, to suppress or release hormones to maintain balance. The pituitary gland is governed by the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain that plays a decisive role in endocrine and nervous system function. These systems then signal the pituitary to secrete more hormones into the blood stream if hormone levels get too low.
The pituitary gland is involved in the production of growth hormone (GH), anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), among others. The anti-aging hormone GH stimulates growth, cell reproduction and regeneration, raises glucose and free fatty acids, increases calcium retention and the mineralization of bone, strengthens bones, promotes muscle mass and fat loss, and stimulates the immune system. ADH signals the kidneys to retain or release water by balancing electrolytes like sodium and potassium, keeping blood pressure in check, and allowing blood pH levels to remain in a safe range. TSH stimulates the thyroid gland to produce T4 and T3, assisting the metabolism of almost every cell.
When the body’s acidity levels are elevated the pituitary gland and its many functions are hampered. Acidic, inflamed conditions decrease growth hormone levels for starters. This translates into premature aging, heart rate and sleep disruptions, low blood sugar, bone loss, and elevated blood lipid count (cholesterol). Energy levels, muscle mass, and sexual desire are also decreased. OUCH!
Additionally, irregular pH levels can disrupt ADH, impairing the body’s ability to excrete or retain water. As a result, the kidney’s production of urine is compromised, allowing too much water to be passed from the body, potentially causing diabetes insipidus. TSH is also affected by too much acid, obstructing the critical production of T3 and T4 from the thyroid gland. So, when the pituitary is not functioning at optimal levels, health can deteriorate rapidly, as this gland is responsible for so many hormonal reactions in the body.
Numerous studies have shown the detrimental effect of excessive acidity on the functioning of the pituitary gland. In a 2004 study, researchers observed the reactions of patients on dialysis and concluded that chronic acidosis stunts growth hormone levels, and that correcting it may lower mortality rates on patients. (1)
In 1993 and 1997 studies published in Kidney International, participants were induced with metabolic acidosis. It was discovered that growth hormone secretions were reduced, as well as growth hormone receptor expression. Researchers concluded that acidosis significantly decreases circulating growth hormone levels. (2)
As you see, a balanced pH is essential for the normal operation of the hormonal system that’s powered by the highly influential master gland, the pituitary!
1- Wiederkehr, M. R., Kalogiros, J., & Krapf, R. (2004). Correction of metabolic acidosis improves thyroid and growth hormone axes in haemodialysis patients. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, 19(5), 1190-1197.
2- Brüngger, M., Hulter, H. N., & Krapf, R. (1997). Effect of chronic metabolic acidosis on the growth hormone/IGF-1 endocrine axis: new cause of growth hormone insensitivity in humans. Kidney international, 51(1), 216-221.
2- Challa A, Chan W, Krieg RJ, Thabet MA, Liu F, Hintz RL, Chan JCM. Effect of metabolic acidosis on the expression of insulin-like growth factor and growth hormone receptor. Kidney
2- Kuemmerle, N., Krieg Jr, R. J., Latta, K., Challa, A., Hanna, J. D., & Chan, J. C. (1997). Growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor in non-uremic acidosis and uremic acidosis. Kidney international. Supplement, 58, S102.