Hormones 101: More than the 3 Sex Hormones
More than the 3 Sex Hormones
When we think of hormones, we think of the three sex hormones – testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. We forget or may be unaware of the other 47 hormones found in the human body. They vary in their structure, action, and response. They control a variety of biological processes including muscle growth, heart rate, menstrual cycles, and hunger.
What is a Hormone?
Hormones are chemical messengers that are secreted directly into the blood, which carries them to organs and tissues of the body to exert their functions. There are many types of hormones that act on different aspects of bodily functions and processes.
Some of these include:
- Development and growth
- Metabolism of food items
- Sexual function and reproductive growth and health
- Cognitive function and mood
- Maintenance of body temperature and thirst
Why are Hormones Important?
Our bodies rely on hormones to function properly. They regulate and balance our health and well-being.
A Few of the Major Hormones
Adrenaline is responsible for the “flight or fight” response to stress. When a stressful situation occurs and your heart begins to race, your hands begin to sweat, and you start looking for an escape, you have experienced a textbook case of the fight-or-flight response. This response stems from the hormone adrenaline. Also called epinephrine, this hormone is a crucial part of the body’s fight-or-flight response, but overexposure can be damaging to health. Because of this, adrenaline is a hormone worth understanding.
Most have never heard of this hormone, yet it is very important for cardiovascular health. Aldosterone affects the body’s ability to regulate blood pressure. It sends the signal to organs, like the kidney and colon, that can increase the amount of sodium the body sends into the bloodstream or the amount of potassium released into the urine.
The thyroid gland has a huge role to play in hormone health. It produces and controls numerous hormones that affect many aspects of daily life. Calcitonin is one of those critical hormones. It works to control calcium and potassium levels. It does this by inhibiting the activity of the osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone.
Cortisol is one of the steroid hormones and is made in the adrenal glands. It is often called the “stress hormone” because of its connection to the stress response, however, cortisol is much more than just a hormone released during stress. Understanding cortisol and its effect on the body will help you balance your hormones and achieve good health.
Hormone balance is essential to your health and well-being.
When they are in proper balance, hormones help the body thrive, but small problems with hormones can cause serious and life-altering symptoms.
Reference: Hormone Health Network