There is a lot to learn when it comes to hormones, and it isn’t just about testosterone and estrogen, the main sex hormones in males and females. There are actually about 75 different hormones found in the body and they do all sorts of wild and wonderful things.
Just think of hormones as the little messengers of your body. This is basically how every cell of your body communicates with one another. They produce a little hormone messaging signal and that is transported through the blood or lymphatic system to whatever cell it is trying to communicate with. Once it is there is tells that cell to do something.
When most people think of hormones they think of puberty or menopause or anything dealing mostly with the sexual nature of humans, but hormones have a wide range of functions in the body.
Hormones are also responsible for the “flight or fight” response we get when faced with a challenge to our being. The most well known hormone that does induces this response is adrenaline.
Another hormone called serotonin controls your mood, appetite, and sleep patterns.
Another hormone called dopamine controls your heart rate and blood pressure.
Insulin helps to pump nutrients into your cells, cortisol helps to keep things out, and keep what is already in the cell still inside.
There is even a hormone called calcitonin that you can probably guess what it does. Uses calcium in your blood to construct bone.
You can also think of hormones as a lock and key system. Each different cell in your body has a lock on it. And only hormones have the key.
You see we want our cells to be as permanent and non changing as possible. If your cells didn’t have a lock on them, if they don’t have integrity then they fall apart or do other unwanted things and we would probably instantly melt.
And like all things I have been saying, hormones also have an effect on whether you develop heart disease, cancer, or any other type of disease. It all fits together in a very synergistic way.
And like all things I have been saying, the modern lifestyle makes these hormones go a little haywire.
One of the issues we have is that we are putting synthetic chemicals into our system that sometimes act like hormones.
Think of it this way. It is a like someone came and picked the lock to your house and rearranged all the furniture. The cells start doing things that naturally produced hormones never told them to do. The brain hears about it and starts telling the body to do all kinds of things to fix the mess, some of which are good and some bad. While you may not think having someone rearrange your furniture is a bad thing, when this happens to your cells doctors like to call the result cancer.
What to do about all this?
If you want to stay healthy it is the same old song and dance. Only eat the the best whole foods. Drink clean filtered water. Get a moderate amount of exercise. Take supplements as needed. Limit stress. Avoid environmental pollutants and toxins. Enjoy life!
With that being said, we will get into a more thorough discussion on specific hormones in upcoming posts.
This is our 17th challenge in The Personal Health Challenge Series…