How well do you know your hormones?
Our hormones effect how our entire body functions, and it’s easy for them to be thrown off balance, which in turn, makes you feel a little, or maybe a lot, crazy!
When your hormones are “off” your skin quality changes, your mood, your appetite, your energy, your metabolism, your waist line, your temperature, your mental clarity, your blood pressure changes… and this is just the beginning. I will be writing more blogs on hormones because it’s such a big, important topic. People write entire books on the subject. But a blog is not a book, so I will keep each post short and sweet. So be looking for more blog posts on this important topic!
First let me explain what the major different hormones are in your body. How many of these hormones did you already know?
Reproductive / Sex Hormones:
- Estradiol: The chief estrogen, females produce more than males, develops and maintains female secondary sex characteristics, important roles in menstruation and pregnancy.
- Testosterone: The male sex hormone produced by the testes which promotes the maturation of the reproductive system, development of the male secondary sex characteristics, and is responsible for sexual drive (libido).
- Progesterone: One of the hormones produced by the ovaries. It works with estrogen to control the menstrual cycle. Also secreted to prepare and sustain the endometrium of the uterus for pregnancy.
Thyroid / Pituitary / Metabolism Hormones:
- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone: Causes thyroid gland cells to secrete T3 and T4; stimulates thyroid growth.
- Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone: Signals the pituitary gland to release TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone).
- Thyroxine: Hormone produced by the thyroid glands to regulate metabolism by controlling the rate of oxidation in cells.
- Calcitonin: Produced by the thyroid gland and decreases the blood calcium levels by stimulating calcium deposit in the bones (calcitonin keeps the bone in). The antagonist of the parathyroid hormone.
- Parathyroid: Increases blood levels of calcium (stimulates breakdown of bone and rate at which calcium is removed from urine and absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract).
- Antidiuretic Hormone: promotes water retention, in high concentrations is also a vasoconstrictor. Effects raise the blood pressure.
- Growth Hormone: Affects size of an individual by promoting cell division, protein synthesis, and bone growth.
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone: Women: initiates growth of ovarian follicles each month and stimulates ovulation; Men: stimulates sperm production.
- Leptin: Satiety (full / satisfied) hormone
- Ghrelin: Hunger hormone
- Insulin: Hormone produced by the pancreas that is released when stimulated by elevated glucose levels. This hormone decreases blood sugar levels by accelerating the transport of glucose into the body cells where it is oxidized for energy or converted to glycogen or fat for storage.
- Glucagon: The antagonist (opposite)of insulin. Its release is stimulated by low blood glucose levels. It stimulates the liver, its primary target organ, to break down its glycogen stores to glucose and subsequently to release glucose to the blood.
Pineal Glands / Endocrine / Brain Hormones
- Melatonin: Targets the brain to control circadian rhythms and circannual rhythms, and may be involved in maturation of sex organs.
Nervous System Hormones / Adrenal Glands:
- Cortisol: Secreted from the adrenal cortex, aids the body during stress by increasing glucose levels and suppressing immune system function.
- Epinephrine: Adrenaline; activates a sympathetic nervous system by making the heart beat faster, stopping digestion, enlarging pupils, sending sugar into the bloodstream, preparing a blood clot faster.
- Norepinephrine: Noradrenaline; chemical which is excitatory, similar to adrenaline, and affects arousal and memory; raises blood pressure by causing blood vessels to become constricted.
There is so much more to say about hormones, this is just the tip of the ice-berg! However to start, I hope this post helps educate and serve as a resource for you.