Hormones are chemicals in our body that are secreted in infinitesimal amounts in our bloodstream that are meant to regulate the functions of our body. Even though hormones are released in the bloodstream in small amounts, their secretion is crucial for a lot of functions in our body.
Even a small disruption in hormones can create havoc in your body’s systems. Hormones are secreted by several glands in the body that are situated in various parts. Different hormones have different effects on our bodies. Some have an immediate effect, whereas others have long term and slow effects.
Let us look at some common types of hormones and their functions:
- Triiodothyronine (T3) & Thyroxine (T4): These hormones are secreted by the thyroid gland situated in the front of our neck. These hormones are responsible for controlling the metabolism in our body. They are responsible for weight loss, energy levels, skin, hair, etc.
- Insulin: Insulin is secreted by the pancreas. It is located in the abdominal cavity behind our stomach. Insulin allows the body to use sugar from carbohydrates from our food. It is responsible for keeping the sugar level in check.
- Estrogen: It is the female sex hormone secreted by the ovaries. It is responsible for the menstrual cycle in our body. Excess of estrogen can cause breast cancer, moodiness, depression, etc. Whereas low estrogen levels can cause acne, skin lesions, hair loss, etc. The best hair loss treatment for females is to keep the estrogen in check.
- Progesterone: Progesterone is secreted by ovaries. Progesterone helps the body get prepared for pregnancy and childbirth. It also regulates the monthly menstrual cycle.
- Prolactin: Prolactin is secreted by the pituitary gland. It is secreted for breastfeeding women for lactating. It also plays an important role in fertility.
- Testosterone: It is the male sex hormone. It is also found in females but in very minute quantities. It is an anabolic steroid that helps in building body mass. It is important in the development of male reproductive tissues. It promotes sexual character development such as increasing muscle mass, bones, body hair, head hair, etc.
- Cortisol: Cortisol is produced by adrenal glands that are situated on top of the kidneys. Cortisol helps you stay energetic. It is stress controlling hormone. It is responsible for increased heart rate, anxiety, blood pressure, etc in the situation of danger.
- They help you cope with stress in the body. A constant high level of cortisol can cause high blood pressure, anxiety, high cholesterol levels, etc.
- Adrenaline: Adrenaline is secreted by the adrenal gland as well as some neurons in our body. It helps you to think and respond quickly in times of energy and stress. It increases the metabolic rate, dilation of blood vessels and it sends impulses to the organs to create a specific response in our body.
- Growth Hormone: Also known as somatotropin hormone, it is synthesized by somatroph cells in the pituitary gland. It stimulates growth, cell reproduction, cell regeneration, and boosting metabolism. It is important in human development and growth.
Now that you know the function and effects of each hormone, take a look at some effects on the body that are caused due to imbalance in these hormones.
- Hair Loss: As seen above, the skin and hair are dependent a lot on the hormonal cycle in the body. Hair loss may be caused due to high secretions of testosterone, low secretion of estrogen, or even high secretion of cortisol.
Hair loss treatment for females can be availed for keeping hair healthy in case of any disruptions in the hormonal levels.
- Acne: Severe Acne is caused due to imbalance of several hormones in the body. Even high levels of adrenaline can trigger acne. Even a drop in cortisol levels can make a person consume more carbs and oily food that too lead to acne. Body acne is also caused by the secretion of too much insulin.
- Weight Gain: Mostly caused due to imbalance in the Thyroid hormones that are mainly responsible for the metabolism, weight gain can also be caused due to high secretion of insulin in the body.
- Irregular Menstrual cycle: There are several factors that affect the menstrual cycle. The first is disturbed levels of progesterone. As the levels of progesterone in the body drop menstrual cycle is initiated. If these levels don’t drop, the menstrual cycle won’t be initiated. The next is prolactin. Prolactin is responsible for releasing the FSH LH, and GnRH which keep the menstrual cycle regular. If these are not released on time, the menstrual cycle gets heavily disturbed.
- High Sugar: Insulin is an important hormone in the body. It is meant to regulate the sugar in the body. Insulin is released when the carbohydrates are needed to be converted into sugar in the body. If there is a lack of insulin secretion it can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Thus we saw the functions of each hormone in the body and how it affects and alters common functions in the body. Thus, when people suffer from PCOD, Diabetes, Menopause, Pregnancy, etc the functions of the hormones are altered. And hence we see the above symptoms after we suffer from these metabolic diseases.
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