Hormones are chemical substances which is there in all the living organisms i.e. both humans and animals. Hormones are called chemical messengers, as they are responsible to stimulate specific tissues and carry information, interact and take instructions from a group of cells to another.
Hormones are the most important part of body’s every cell, organ and function.
They promote the following:–
- sexual desires
- conversion of energy
Hormones are sent out by endocrine glands to direct each part of your body like brain, skin, kidneys, heart and muscles to do their work and how to carry on their function and for how long. Hormones are essential for your body to function without interruptions and your endocrine system makes sure to constantly keep sending hormones to control your bodily functions.
Here are some of the important hormones that keep your health in check
- Estrogen – estrogen is associated with of a group of chemically similar hormones, it is produced in both men and women. Most of the time it is related exclusively to female hormones, estrogen produced by the ovaries helps prevent bone loss , circulates in the bloodstream and binds to estrogen receptors on cells which influences particular tissues that brings about changes not only in breasts and uterus but also the liver, bone ,heart and brain. It plays a crucial role in the development of female secondary sex characteristics, such as breasts, wider hips, pubic hair and armpit hair. However, the role estrogen in men is not entirely clear. Disturbance of estrogen levels during menopausal stage of woman can cause physical and emotional changes called perimenopause. The fluctuations in the estrogen levels during this period results in range of symptoms such as irregular menstrual cycles, tenderness in breast, mood swings, mental illnesses (anxiety, depression, stress), migraines and most importantly hot flashes.
- Testosterone – testosterone is a male hormone, which is produced by testes which plays an important role in the development of reproductive tissues and development of male secondary sexual characteristics (increased muscle and bone mass, facial hair).Testosterone plays a vital role in maintaining men’s health, even women have testosterone hormone but in limited levels than men.
- Thyroid hormones – thyroid gland is an essential gland which is under the control of pituitary gland (a small gland located at the base of the brain).Pituitary gland stimulates thyroid glands to produce thyroid stimulating hormones (TSH) thyroxin (T4) and triiodothyronoine (T3) that control the metabolism (conversion of oxygen and calories to energy), growth and development, temperature of the body and the use of energy by the body. Thyroid hormone is very important and plays a major role in brain development during infancy and childhood. The major role of thyroid glands is to collect iodine from the diet we consume and convert it into thyroid hormones. Thyroid cells are very important for the body to function properly because they are the only cells which has the ability to absorb iodine and combine it with compounds like amino acids and make the hormones T3 and T4.
- Growth hormone (GH) –is a growth stimulating hormone in all living beings. It is made of 191 amino acids; single chain polypeptide growth hormone is secreted by anterior lobe of pituitary gland. Growth hormone is a small protein hormone released by pituitary gland, into the blood that travels and triggers the liver to produce insulin like growth factor (IGF), that promotes growth in children by multiplying long bones, and increase the length of the bones, thereby increasing the height of the child. Apart from increasing height in children and adolescents, growth hormone brings about many changes in the body.
- Dopamine – This hormone is produced in the brain and it is also known as feel good hormone related to making you feel happy, lifts your mood and makes you feel involved in pleasurable activities.
- Corticosol – this hormones is released when your are stressed which also shrinks your brain .But corticosol is essential hormone as it increases you hart rate ,respiration, muscles tension and blood pressure when you face threat or you are in danger. However if your corticosol levels increase in high amounts it can cause health problems, so be careful to not take extreme stress and make sure to go out in the fresh air to reduce your tension.
- Oxytocin – this hormone is also called bonding hormone as this hormone is the reason for you to feel extremely close to your loved one and you end up hugging, cuddling and get intimate ,you feel more loved and connected to your partner and your loved ones.
- Leptin – fat cells produce leptin also called satiety hormone, which is responsible to coordinate with your brain to stop you from overeating by making you realize that you have eaten enough. It is also responsible to control your sugar cravings and this in turn helps you to maintain weight.
- Ghrelin – ghrelin is a hunger stimulating hormone that sends message to your brain that it’s time to eat to satisfy your taste buds. But it is very important to maintain correct level of ghrelin to prevent obesity.
- Serotonin- is also called feel good hormone which is responsible for boosting your mood and keep you happy. Low levels of serotonin can cause depression. This hormone also takes care of your learning, memory, digestion and sleep.
- Insulin- insulin is a hormone produced by pancreas that controls the glucose in the blood. It allows cells to use glucose to produce energy. Some cells can take glucose from the blood without insulin, but most cells do require insulin to be present. The role of the insulin is to maintain the release of glucose from the liver. Glucose levels in the blood rise, after we eat food and trigger the pancreas to make insulin and release into blood. Without the production of insulin glucose cannot reach the cells and it remains in the blood stream.
Conclusion – Hormones as we have seen has a major role in maintaining your health and keep all the bodily functions going smooth without interruption. But any imbalance in these hormones can lead to health issues, so it is always better to maintain the right levels of hormones by means of proper diet, exercise and by leading a healthy lifestyle. Also keep visiting your doctor for regular checkups.