The hypothalamus is part of the forebrain, the same part of the brain from which the cerebral hemispheres develop. The hypothalamus provides a connecting link between the cerebral cortex and the pituitary gland. Though the pituitary gland is considered the master gland, nevertheless, there are stimulatory and inhibitory agents originating in the hypothalamus, which regulate pituitary functions. This ancient area in our brain is also intimately concerned with the regulation of energy balance through the control of appetite, sleep, body temperature, the regulation of sexual function and control of water balance.
Disturbances in the hypothalamus may cause such endocrine disorders as sexual precocity, absence of appetite with extreme loss of weight, diabetes insipidus and disorganization of the sleep pattern.
Indeed, the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland are both functionally and anatomically related. Our thoughts, our hopes and joys, our worries and our sorrows, our very nervous constitution all profoundly influence the hypothalamus-pituitary complex. In the Taoist Esoteric System, the energy center of Tien-Ting (in the mid-point of the forehead) corresponds to the hypothalamus.
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