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Importance of the Function Hypothalamus and the Hormones Produced

The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that releases chemicals in the form of hormones that the body needs to help control organs and cells. The main function of the hypothalamus is homeostasis, which is to ensure and maintain all body systems running stably.

The hypothalamus produces hormones that control the production of hormones in the pituitary gland. The hormones produced have important benefits and maintain various aspects of human health. If the hypothalamus function is disrupted, then the overall hormonal balance in the body will be affected.

The hypothalamus is located at the base of the brain, below the thalamus and near the pituitary gland. All vertebrate brains have hypothalamus. In humans, it is almost the same size as almonds.

Various Functions of the Hypothalamus

Although small in size, the function of the hypothalamus is very important in controlling bodily functions, such as controlling body temperature, hunger, and thirst. The function of the hypothalamus also plays a role in many processes in the body, including conscious or unconscious behavior, as well as endocrine functions, such as metabolic processes and growth and development.

The function of the hypothalamus is also related to the body's ability to control several other things, including:

  • Body temperature
  • Thirst and hunger
  • Emotions
  • Sleep cycle
  • Sex drive
  • Labor
  • Blood pressure and heart rate
  • Gastric acid production
  • Sleep quality and quantity
  • The release of hormones from many glands, including the pituitary gland.

These things are inseparable from the function of the hypothalamus in collaboration with the pituitary gland, by producing hormones that are important for the body.

The hormone produced by the hypothalamus

Important hormones secreted by the hypothalamus include:

  • Antidiuretic hormone

This hormone functions to regulate the balance of water levels in the body, including blood volume, which in turn affects blood pressure.

  • Oxytocin

The hormone oxytocin affects the reproductive system such as labor, breastfeeding, and ejaculation. This hormone also controls various human behaviors such as sexual arousal, anxiety, and building emotional bonds between mother and baby in the process of breastfeeding.

  • Somatostatin

It is a hormone that works in the central nervous system, functions to inhibit and limit the production and work of other hormones, especially growth hormone (GH) and TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone).

  • Growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH)

This hormone plays a role in growth, including physical development in children and metabolism in adults, by stimulating the release of growth hormone.

  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GRH)

Work to stimulate the release of hormones associated with reproductive function, puberty, and maturation of the sexual organs.

  • Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH)

Control the body's response to physical and emotional stress, and is responsible for suppressing appetite and also triggering anxiety.

  • Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH)

This hormone will stimulate the production of thyroid hormones, to control the body's metabolism, cardiovascular system, brain development, control muscles, and digestive and bone health.

Causes and Symptoms of Impaired Hypothalamic Function

The function of the hypothalamus for the body can be hampered due to the disruption of hypothalamic function which is also known as hypothalamic dysfunction. This condition has various causes. But the most common causes of hypothalamic dysfunction are complications from brain surgery, severe head injuries, brain tumors, and radiation.

Other causes of hypothalamic dysfunction are:

  • Infection and inflammation
  • Nutritional health disorders, for example, due to eating disorders such as anorexia, or extreme weight loss.
  • Genetic disorders, such as Prader-Willi syndrome, Kallmann's syndrome, to diabetes insipidus.
  • Blood vessel disorders in the brain, such as aneurysms and subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Symptoms of hypothalamic dysfunction usually occur due to abnormal hormonal performance or interference with brain cell communication. In children, there will generally be problems with growth, early puberty or even late. If there is a tumor, the symptoms that can be felt are headaches or vision problems.

It is important to maintain the function of the hypothalamus so that all body systems run normally. You should immediately see a doctor if you experience symptoms of metabolic disorders, including growth and weight problems, to get appropriate treatment and no further complications occur.



  1. Hormone Health Network. Brainy Hormones.
  2. Martin, L. (2017). Medline Plus. National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Hypothalamus.

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