What are Hormones and its impact on health?

Updated: Jul 30




We often undermine the value of our internal health/well-being. However, it is the elemental piece to living a healthier and longer life.


But, we can only undermine its value when we lack the understanding on how our body truly works.


In order to make better health decisions, honor our body and its true functions we must start by understanding the basics:


What are hormones?


Hormones are liquid chemicals created in the endocrine glands that carry messages within our body to our cells within our tissues and organs.

In short – they are the body’s chemical messengers.


Its impact on our health?


They are responsible for regulating a large number of the body’s functions and help maintain chemical levels in our bloodstream.

Interesting fact:


the word hormone is derived from the Greek word that means to spur on.

-- a definition suitable to describe its true function in our body – that is exactly what they do.


Hormones help stimulate/ support our metabolism, sexual and reproductive functions, emotions, growth and development to name a few. [1]


Every part of our body has a specific job. Our brain, heart, muscles etc. and our hormones take direction from the endocrine system to get this specific job done.[1]


So without a well balanced and functioning hormones the specific job it is designed to do for our body cannot be done.


The body does not work well under restriction or neglect. Therefore, when the hormones cannot complete their job due to a hormone imbalances, health issues arise:


- Diabetes

- Infertility

- Thyroid disorder

- Low libido

- Painful menstrual cycles

- No menstrual cycles – inconsistent menstrual cycles

- No muscle growth

- Insomnia

- Depression

- Painful sex due to lack of vaginal lubrication

- Weight gain

- Headaches

- Acne

… and the list goes on.


This is why hormones are vital to our health and well being.


If you are experiencing any of the above, it is important to seek a doctor or specialist in hormones, an endocrinologist.


Here are some things you can evaluate.


Habits to evaluate:


- Your nutrition, under-eating or over-eating

- Sleep

- Over exercising

- Not physically active

- Birth control usage

- Deficient in vitamins & minerals

- Harmful chemical products ( parabens, peg, sulfate, bpa, phthalates to name a few)

…and the list goes on.


Elemental peice

9 main hormone producing glands + the hypothalamus (which is not a gland, but a part of the brain that controls the endocrine system) and here is what they do for us.


· Hypothalamus: controls the nervous system and regulate hunger, thirst, sleep and body temperature.
· Parathyroid: controls the amount of calcium in the body.
· Thymus: produces T-cells.
· Pancreas: produces the insulin that helps control blood sugar levels.
· Thyroid: produces hormones associated with calorie burning and heart rate.
· Adrenal: produce the hormones that control sex drive and cortisol, the stress hormone.
· Pituitary: the "master control gland" -- controls other glands and makes the hormones that trigger growth.
· Pineal: known as the thalamus-- produces serotonin derivatives of melatonin, which affects sleep.
· Ovaries: secrete estrogen, testosterone and progesterone, the female sex hormones.
· Testes: produce the male sex hormone, testosterone, and produce sperm.[2]

References


Hiller-Sturmhöfel S, Bartke A. The endocrine system: an overview. Alcohol Health Res World. 1998;22(3):153-164.

https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/hormonal-and-metabolic-disorders/biology-of-the-endocrine-system/endocrine-function

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