The journey from childhood to puberty, troubled teens, and awkward changes in the body, the rebellious streak, and ultimately the journey towards the evening of life – Most of us don’t attribute this to the endocrine system and hormonal changes, but the reality of aging and having a healthy life lies mostly in the balance of hormones. Unbalanced hormones are trouble. They are known to cause a variety of health issues.
What are hormones?
The endocrine system is a complex network that works by sending chemical messengers that consist of hormones. Endocrine system consists of various glands that produce hormones to be released into the circulatory system. Release of these hormones in the endocrine system is determined by the nervous system.
The endocrine system regulates:
- Sexual development
- Sensory perception
- Sleeping patterns
- Mood pattern and many more…
The endocrine system does many more functions like regulating the body temperature, heart function, kidney function, and blood circulation among others by secreting hormones.
Hormones are chemical messengers that initiate and control body functions. They travel through the bloodstream to the organs. They play a vital role in transmitting messages through the cells and organs. Hormones are secreted by various endocrine glands like the hypothalamus, pineal gland, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, thymus, pancreas, adrenal glands, and the testes and ovaries.
Every hormone secreted in the endocrine system has specific functions. While the growth hormone secreted in the pituitary gland stimulates growth of cells, the pineal gland releases melatonin that is required to regulate sleep cycles. Thyroxine secreted in the thyroid glands regulates the metabolic rate, and cortisol secreted in the adrenal glands assists in anti-inflammatory responses.
What is hormone imbalance (hormone disorder)?
A complex system like the endocrine system that releases various hormones is subject to imbalances. When the secretion of hormones becomes too less or more, it results in hormonal imbalances. Hormonal imbalances or disorders arise due to endocrine disorders, stress, or as a part of natural aging.
Hormonal disorders also arise due to endocrine disease conditions where there are lesions or cysts on concerned glands. They are even known to occur if there are infections, injuries, tumors, and genetic disorders.
Signs and symptoms of hormonal disorders depend upon the gland in question and their functions. Signs and symptoms of hormonal disorders in men and women include:
- Weight gain.
- Brain fog.
- Infertility/decreased sexual abilities.
- Psychological problems like mood swings and depression.
- Stress, fatigue, and anxiety.
- Irregular menstrual cycles.
- Tenderness of breasts.
- Breast enlargement in men.
- Reduction of muscle mass.
- Loss of hair.
- Chronic acne.
- Digestive and gastrointestinal problems.
Coming up: Various hormonal disorders, treatments, and how to attain hormonal balance naturally.