About Hormones

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What are Hormones?

While everybody has word the term hormone, not everyone knows what they do or their importance. To put it simply, hormones are why we develop, and any imbalance can easily throw your system off-kilter. Consider seeking treatment if you suspect a hormone deficiency.

Hormones 101

Hormones are signaling molecules that issue commands throughout your body. These are directly responsible for mental and physical development, fertility, metabolism, and many other bodily functions we take for granted in our youth.

Several glands produce hormones. Each gland produces particular hormones which have specific functions and duties. These are the glands that share the responsibility of producing hormones:

  • Pituitary gland
  • Pineal gland
  • Thymus
  • Thyroid
  • Adrenal glands
  • Pancreas

Estrogen

Estrogen wears several hats as it regulates the cardiovascular system, promotes cognitive health and bone development. Further benefits of estrogen include:

  • Stimulates the growth of egg follicles
  • Promotes lubrication
  • Protects the vaginal wall
  • Forms breast tissue
  • Regulates milk production

There are numerous ways in which estrogen levels can fluctuate throughout life. Pregnancy and nursing, puberty and menopause, medication, and training can all affect estrogen levels.

Women with an imbalance may experience irregular menstruation, mood swings, fatigue, dry skin, and weight fluctuations.

While known as a female hormone, men require a certain amount of estrogen to function properly. Too much of the hormone in men can lead to infertility, erectile dysfunction, depression, and other adverse health problems.

Progesterone

Sometimes referred to as the pregnancy hormone, the ovaries produce it after ovulation. The purpose of progesterone is to prepare the uterus to accept and carry a fertilized egg. Throughout pregnancy, women will slowly gain more progesterone from the 9th to 32nd week.

Not many realize just how vital progesterone is for male health, namely reproductive health. Men produce this hormone in their adrenal glands and testes, which helps the production of testosterone. Higher levels of testosterone help produce sperm, raise libido, and elevate energy levels.

Testosterone

Testosterone is primarily a male sex hormone, but it does more than that. Proper levels of testosterone in men:

  • Develops sex organs
  • Deepens voice
  • Grows facial hair
  • Promotes bone growth and strength
  • Creates sperm
  • Builds muscle

As men age, testosterone levels slowly decrease. Low testosterone levels lead to lost muscle mass, greying hair, lower sperm counts, and less energy. More serious concerns may extend to depression, heart attacks, and osteoporosis.

Ovaries naturally produce testosterone which may surprise some people. While much lower than levels found in men, women benefit significantly from testosterone. Key benefits are:

  • Bone and breast health
  • Fertility
  • Higher sex drive
  • Menstrual health
  • Vaginal wellness

Follicle Stimulating Hormone

These hormones have a lot less to do with hairlines than they do with fertility. This hormone is an integral part of both males and females. Without proper levels, getting pregnant will be more of a challenge.

In women, follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) release estradiol and inhibin, which help follicle growth. As time goes on, estrogen levels increase until the egg releases from the mature follicle. If you’re experiencing fertility issues, it may result from having too much or too little FSH in your system.

In men, FSH levels are low until the boy reaches puberty. From there on, FSH in men helps stabilize testosterone levels and sperm production. Low levels may result in fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, and loss of weight.

Pituitary Gland

This gland produces eight different hormones, which are on a controlled release schedule. On a cycle of one to three hours, the pituitary gland releases alternated bursts of different hormones. Three of these hormones include:

  • Growth hormone: Builds bone and muscle mass to even distribute weight.
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone: Normalizes metabolism, energy, and the nervous system.
  • Luteinizing hormone: Activates ovulation in women and testosterone production in men.
  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH): Stimulates cortisol production.

Pineal Gland

Notorious as the source of melatonin, proper functionality of the pineal gland is critical for the day-to-day process. Melatonin is the body's fuel for your internal clock (circadian rhythm), regulating eat, sleep, and wake schedules. Without it, you'll suffer the many side effects of poor sleep.

Thymus Gland

Chiefly in charge of the production of T cells and thymosin, a hormone that stimulates the process. T cells are instrumental in fighting off infections while boosting our immune system in the process.

Thyroid Gland

The thyroid produces triiodothyronine and thyroxine, T3 and T4, respectively. These two hormones combine to do the following:

  • Regulates calories burning
  • Normalizes your heart rate
  • Stabilizes your temperature
  • Speed up your metabolism
  • It can affect the functionality of muscles
  • Controls how quickly replacement for dying cells occurs

Adrenal Gland

Each section of the adrenal cortex is responsible for producing certain hormones. One particular hormone this gland produces is cortisol which controls the use of fats, proteins, and carbs. Other hormones include:

  • Corticotropin-releasing hormones (CRH): Encourages the production of ACTH.
  • Aldosterone: Stabilizes electrolytes and steadies blood pressure.
  • Epinephrine and Norepinephrine: Regulates your metabolism.

Pancreas

The pancreas produces insulin and glucagon. Insulin is pivotal in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Glucagon ensures your body's blood glucose levels from decreasing to negligible levels. It does this by converting glycogen into glucose.

Looking for More Information on Hormones?

At ThinWorks, we have a deep understanding of the aging process and bodily needs. Our team has been helping patients correct hormonal imbalances and is eager to help you as well. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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