What's Up With Your Hormones?

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Hormones do a lot inside of our bodies. When there is balance and synchronicity with hormones, we feel happy, healthy, beautiful, strong, and sexy.   They also play many other roles from messengers of communication to regulators of metabolism. A balanced hormonal system allows smooth adaptation to the environment around you.

You may think hormones are limited to estrogen and testosterone but there is SO MUCH more. The hormonal system begins in the brain with structures called the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. These are master regulators of hormones with the power to stimulate hormonal release. They are responsible for responding when there is too much or too little of a specific hormone.

Enter the HPATG Axis. In addition to the Hypothalamus and Pituitary gland, we have the Thyroid gland, Adrenal gland, and Gonads (ovaries in female and testes in male). The HPATG axis makes up much of our hormonal system and when they are balanced with each other, there is balance in the body.

The HPATG axis can affect and be affected by pretty much ALL ASPECTS OF PHYSIOLOGY!  Below I attempt to illustrate just how important your hormones are:

HORMONES AND MOOD —

  • Depression is associated with dysfunctional thyroid, fluctuating estrogen, and low testosterone (1,2,3).

  • Meditation can dampen the effect of stress on hormones (4).

HORMONES AND IMMUNITY —

  • Chronic stress leads to excessive output of the hormone, cortisol, by the adrenal glands and suppresses immunity (5), increases disease risk, and slows wound healing (6).

HORMONES AND ENERGY —

  • Thyroid, stress, and sex hormones affect energy production in the cell (7).

  • Fatigue can be a consequence of hormonal imbalance.

HORMONES AND DETOXIFICATION —

  • Persistent organic pollutants are known as endocrine (hormonal) disruptors and can affect hormone production and receptor sensitivity (8).  They can be found readily in our environments: plastic water bottles, makeup, and chemical cleaners, just to name a few.

HORMONES AND STRUCTURE —

  • Having adequate testosterone levels translates into increased lean body mass and decreased fat mass (9).  

  • Women on hormonal replacement have reduced postmenopausal osteoporotic fractures (10.


Stay tuned for next week when I dive into WHAT you can do to support healthy hormonal balance. The choices we make through diet, lifestyle, and environmental factors, no doubt, can influence our hormonal milieus.

Resources:

  1. The role of thyroid hormone in depression

  2. Longitudinal pattern of depressive symptoms around natural menopause

  3. The effect of testosterone on mood in med: a review.

  4. Effects of the transcendental meditation program on adaptive mechanisms: changes in hormone levels and responses to stress after 4 months of practice.

  5. Psychological Stress and the Human Immune System: a Meta-Analytic study of 30 Years of Inquiry.

  6. Perceived stress and cortisol levels predict speed of would healing in healthy male.

  7. The mitochondrion as a primary site of action of regulatory agents involved in neuroimmunomodulation.

  8. Executive summary to EDC-2: The Endocrine Society’s Second Scientific Statement on Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals.

  9. Transdermal Testosterone Gel Improves Sexual Function, Mood, Muscle Strength, and Body Composition Parameters in Hypogonadal men.

  10. The 2012 Hormone Therapy Position Statement of the North American Menopause Society.