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What is the hypothalamus?

The hypothalamus is an area of the brain's limbic system. It handles bodily functions such as breathing, emotional responses, feelings of hunger and sexual satisfaction. The hypothalamus keeps tabs on the central nervous system and communicates responses, for instance, deciding to release hormones when puberty should begin, cueing hunger pangs when you need to eat and triggering endorphins after different stimuli.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.