Hormones are produced through the human body and control many of the things that happen within it. They encourage loads of functions and play so many important roles. We can’t go through all of the hormones as there are simply too many. But, here are three major hormones everyone should be aware of:
Estrogen and testosterone are hormones that both do similar things, but each is more prevalent in one sex than the other. Both are the major sex hormones for men and women, with women having elevated estrogen levels, and men having more testosterone.
For women, estrogen is important as it controls the production of reproductive tissues. It also helps to control the menstrual cycle, is critical for childbearing, and can aid in general bone health. In men, smaller quantities are produced, which is why they don’t grow breasts or have typically curvy female figures. Instead, large quantities of testosterone are produced to help grow body hair, build muscle, increase libido, and produce sperm. Men with low testosterone levels tend to struggle to produce kids and may actually develop more breast tissue than is considered normal. This is why a lot of men in this position visit an online TRT clinic to elevate their T levels back to a normal state, reverting any problems they face.
It’s important to know about the roles of both estrogen and testosterone in your body, particularly as you get older or approach childbearing years. Low levels can make it hard for women to carry children, and it also leads to an increase in UTIs. If you’re trying for kids, you need to keep your estrogen levels in check. Also, as you grow old, you can notice signs of low estrogen levels – hot flushes, mood swings, fatigue – which may indicate you’re approaching menopause.
A hormone you may have heard of before, and it is one of your main sleep hormones. In essence, melatonin controls your circadian rhythm, which is a fancy term for your sleep cycle. When it is produced by your body, it gets secreted into the bloodstream, making you feel tired.
Interestingly, melatonin gets suppressed during the day by light. This is why we are full of energy throughout most of the day, then sleep at night. The human body is designed this way after years and years of evolution. When there’s an absence of light, melatonin increases and you start feeling sleepy.
It’s a key hormone to know about because you can do things that impact and stop melatonin production, making it harder to sleep at night. For example, keeping your bedroom light on until just before bed will impair melatonin production. Likewise, the blue light emitted by digital screens also suppresses this hormone. If you want to improve your sleep cycle, make sure you keep the light levels down low in the evening and wear blue-light-blocking glasses if you’re looking at screens. Ideally, you should also have a light with a timer that turns on in the morning, replicating the sunrise and stopping melatonin production. Some people sleep with their curtains open for a more natural sleep cycle, but modern street lights and light pollution can make this hard.
Cortisol is the main stress hormone within your body. Yep, when you feel stressed, there’s a reason behind it, and it’s a chemical one. Cortisol interacts with different parts of your brain, meaning it can impact things like your mood. It is made by your adrenal glands and has many functions throughout the body – such as the ability to manage how your body uses macronutrients, and controlling blood pressure.
When you are put in a stressful situation, your body produces adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline increases your heart rate, while cortisol increases sugar in the bloodstream and alters other parts of your body, stopping them from interrupting the fight or flight response. It’s like an alarm system for your body, getting you ready to deal with the stress that lies ahead. When the danger goes away, cortisol and adrenaline levels go back to normal.
However, your body can sometimes feel constantly under attack, meaning you increase your levels of cortisol in the body. This can lead to chronic stress, anxiety, depression, digestive issues, and a whole range of other health problems. Specifically, if you suffer from mental health problems, it could be down to an overproduction of cortisol. Finding ways to reduce this hormone can help you deal with these issues.
You need to know about these hormones as they have an impact on your daily life. By understanding if you have too high or too levels of each hormone, you can find the right solutions to get the hormonal balance required for a healthy body and mind.