Discover the different roles of hormones in your body and how they can affect your health
Hormones play a very important role in your body and more often than not, their functions and roles tend to be underestimated.
Hormones are behind your mood, emotions and your overall health. When you’re feeling hungry, your hormones are responsible for that feeling. When you’re all excited and you’re suddenly experiencing an adrenaline rush, your hormones are behind that too.
Hormones are known as chemicals messengers in your body and are responsible for all major bodily functions. Read on to find out more about your amazing hormones.
It’s the chemicals
Hormones are produced by your body’s endocrine system and secreted into your blood stream. Hormones are sent to the various areas of your body such as your organs and tissues, via your blood, to perform specific duties.
The endocrine system is responsible for producing hormones. This system is made out of several glands that are located in various parts of your body. They each produce hormones that have different purposes and functions.
Understanding the role of hormones is also about understanding your endocrine system — the home of hormones.
The endocrine system
So, here are some of your body’s major endocrine glands:
This gland is located near your brain and functions as the ‘master control’ for the endocrine system. The pituitary gland controls the other glands in your body and produces the human growth hormone which helps you to grow. Besides that, hormones secreted from this gland also help to control your blood pressure and production of breast milk.
This gland is situated in your brain. The hypothalamus secretes hormones that are responsible for your body temperature, hunger, moods and even your sex drive. It also controls your sleep, memory and attention.
The pancreas is part of the endocrine system. It produces insulin which is a hormone that helps to regulate the level of sugar in your blood. The most common health condition associated with a problem in insulin production, is diabetes (high blood sugar levels).
The thyroid gland produces hormones that are associated with calorie burning and your heart rate. The hormone that is responsible for this is known as Thyroxine. Thyroxine also plays a crucial role in your heart and digestive health.
The adrenal glands are located above your kidneys. They are responsible for controlling your sex drive and also the stress hormone which is known as cortisol. The adrenal glands also produce adrenaline which is the hormone that tells your body how to respond during a stressful situation .
The parathyroid gland is located at your neck. There is a total of four tiny glands that make up the parathyroid gland. This gland controls the calcium level in both your blood and your bones.
Ovaries are female glands and secrete hormones such as estrogen and progesterone which are female sex hormones. The ovary is also a reproductive organ which produces ovum, which is the female reproductive cell.
The testes are part of the male reproductive system. The testes produce male sex hormones, namely androgens and testosterone. These glands also produce sperm cells for human reproduction.
The pineal gland is a small endocrine gland which is located in the brain. The pineal gland produces melatonin which is a hormone that modulates sleep patterns and your circadian rhythm. There are also studies that have shown that melatonin can protect your brain from neurodegeneration. Neurodegeneration is the progressive loss of function of neurons in your brain.
Your body naturally produces a healthy number of hormones. However, there are several factors that can affect hormone production and lead to onset of various diseases. For example, when insulin production is affected, it could cause uncontrolled levels of sugar in your blood. Turn to the next few pages to discover more details about hormones and how they can affect your health.