Back in November of last year, in the We’re Listening blog post, uwe asked you what you wanted to learn more about. Well, we did listen, and we’re going to make a series out of this particular topic because it’s just too much to stick into one blog.
What’s the first thing you think of when you hear “hormones”?
Is it over-the-top attitude from a moody teenager?
Is it over-the-top mood swings from a PMSing woman?
Or is it an over-the-top machismo from an overly aggressive man?
Hormones get a bad rap, but they shouldn’t. At least, not when they’re balanced, anyway.
It’s important to understand what hormones actually do. Hormones are chemical substances that affect the activity of all the other parts of the body. They act as messengers that control most major bodily functions, informing basic needs like hunger to affecting emotions and mood to the more complex systems like reproduction.
To sum it up, hormones are the communication piece of the endocrine system.
You remember the endocrine system from 10th-grade biology class, right?
According to hormone.org, the endocrine system is made up of
- Hypothalamus: responsible for body temperature, hunger, moods and the release of hormones from other glands; and also controls thirst, sleep, and sex drive.
- Parathyroid: controls the amount of calcium in the body.
- Thymus: plays a role in the function of the adaptive immune system and the maturity of the thymus, and produces T-cells.
- Pancreas: produces the insulin that helps control blood sugar levels.
- Thyroid: produces hormones associated with calorie burning and heart rate.
- Adrenal: produce the hormones that control sex drive and cortisol, the stress hormone.
- Pituitary: controls other glands and makes the hormones that trigger growth. It’s considered the “master control gland”.
- Pineal: or, the thalamus, it produces serotonin derivatives of melatonin, which affects sleep.
- Ovaries: Only in women, they secrete estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone, the female sex hormones.
- Testes: Only in men, they produce the male sex hormone, testosterone, and produce sperm.
When hormones are balanced and in check, functioning properly, you will usually find yourself a healthy, stable, peaceful person. But when they’re not? It seems as your entire body can become out of whack, in what may seem like, overnight.
It’s important to realize that everyone will have natural periods of time where the hormones ebb and flow into and out a natural “balance.” but if you’re wondering what a general, overview of what hormonal imbalance looks like, these are some of the symptoms:
- unexplained weight gain or loss
- unexplained or excessive sweating
- difficulty sleeping
- changes in sensitivity to temperature
- very dry skin or skin rashes
- changes in blood pressure and heart rate
- brittle or weak bones
- changes in blood sugar concentration
- irritability and anxiety
- unexplained and long-term fatigue
- increased thirst and changes in appetite
- changes in the frequency of bathroom visits
- bloating and/or “puffy” face
- reduced sex drive, infertility
- thinning, brittle hair
- blurred vision
- An unusual bulge in the neck
- breast tenderness
- deepening of the voice in females
That’s a lot! And it’s a very broad range. Obviously, many of those could be caused by any number of other conditions. Figuring out what is related to hormones can sometimes be a long process. This will be a series because there’s just simply too much information to load into one blog. The overwhelming thought is that hormone imbalances just affect women. That’s false. The truth is that since everyone has hormones, everyone has the potential to suffer from hormone imbalance — women, men, teens, aging adults, and even children. We will take a closer look at each group and dig into the specifics as we go.
If this information strikes a nerve or you just don’t want to wait, set a time to speak privately with Joyce Gibb (888-865-9595)!