The power of hormones can never be under estimated considering the endocrine system in humans. This is the collection of glands in charge of creating hormones that help regulate the metabolism, development and growth , tissue function, sleep, mood, reproduction and sexual function just to name a few. Basically, whatever mood you have ever experienced throughout your life, it’s the endocrine system that’s been pushing your buttons.
So if you ever studied of took sessions in CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or perhaps Hypnosis, what you are actually doing is re-wiring your brain to reduce or ignore the naturally occurring chemicals in your system that are telling how you should feel. Whether you see this as a hack or cheat, it’s really just a way of relieving unwanted stress and mitigate those triggers that cause distress. More about these fascinating subjects at a later time, for now let’s take a quick look at some hormones both genders share and by definition, similar experiences.
Human Growth Hormone
Important for human development The Human Growth Hormone is a protein made up of 190 amino acids created and secreted by cells known as somatotrophs from the pituitary grand. Its job is to stimulate cell growth and regeneration plus metabolism.
Hormones of Thyroid
This is another gland that gets involved in the controlling of the metabolism regulating weight, energy levels, internal body temperature, skin, hair etc…this is done by secreting two hormones called Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4)
Together with dopamine and norepinephrine, serotonin is released during physical exercise and is generally known as the happy hormone. It is a mood booster associated with a wide range of important functions such as memory, muscular functions, sleep regulation and digestion. It is so vital to the body that any imbalance can create mood swings and stress.
In cases of low level serotonin common symptoms are migraine, weigh gain, depression and in cases of excess levels agitation and confusion are common.
Produced by the adrenal gland working closely with its sibling hormone Adrenaline, Ortisol is there to help you stay healthy playing the main role in the control of physical and psychological stress. For example, in a stressful situation, just like Adrenaline, Ortisol increases heart rate, blood pressure and respiration in preparation.
At higher levels this hormone can cause unwanted conditions such as ulcer, high blood pressure, anxiety, heightened levels of cholesterol.
Secreted in the medulla in the adrenal gland Adrenaline is the Fight or Flight hormone initiating quick reaction in potentially dangerous situations giving the individual quickened responses.
This is done by increasing the metabolic rate, dilation of blood vessels running to the heart and the brain.
This hormone the one every knows as the diabetes hormone but often become confused about type I and type II .
Type I diabetes suffers don’t produce insulin.
Type II diabetes suffers don’t respond normally to insulin. Often brought on by obesity.
It is secreted by the pancreas located in the abdominal cavity behind the stomach allowing the body to use glucose or sugar from carbohydrates for energy, or to stored as glucose for future use.
It is a vital chemical for keeping blood sugar levels stable. High blood sugar causes the condition hyperglycemia and high blood sugar levels causes hypoglycemia.
Horses for Courses
So not all hormones are gender based, some of them being very important and shared between the sexes. These are hormones that although important, are not the ones we are the most interested in.
This is because it is the general rule that the gender based hormones are the ones that effect us more as we age. In short when a man’s testosterone level drop, and when a woman’s estrogen levels drop, they begin a decline into old age if nothing is done about it.
So what is the answer? If gender based hormones do cause the body to age can’t we just replace them?
Is Hormone Replacement Therapy Safe
When we talk about HRT it is a generally accepted fact that it is the replacement of female hormones in an attempt to improve menopausal and postmenopausal health.
HRT come in two flavors, the first being oestrogen that uses estradiol, estrone and estriol and secoundly, progestogen which is a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone, such as dydrogesterone, medroxyprogesterone, norethisterone and levonorgestrel.
The HRT process involves either just taking oestrogen (oestrogen-only HRT) or both of these hormones as a combined HRT treatment.
It is common for women to opt for the combined HRT because take the oestrogen-only treatment increased the chance of womb cancer. Indeed, the Oestrogen-only program is only usually recommended for women who have had a hysterectomy.
Are There Risks Involved in HRT?
Recent study highlights potential risks identified with HRT although the risk are seen to be outweighed by the benefits. However, the risks do remain however small and include Breast Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Womb Cancer, Blood Clots, Heart Disease and Strokes.
Of course anyone considering taking HRT will be taking advise from a health care professional so these risk would be something to discuss in depth at that point.
There are however alternatives to HRT, some of them being more obvious than others, for example, lifestyle measures such as regular exercise, balanced diet, cutting down on alcohol, reducing stress, STOPPING SMOKING, are nothing new to us.
Then we have complementary therapies like herbal remedies such as evening primrose oil, black cohosh, angelica, ginseng and St John’s wort, but these are still not mainstream as the supporting evidence doesn’t fulfill Big Phamar s’ criteria. Let’s just say this, if it works for the people who take it, then there must be something in it.
Are Supplements Safe
The million dollar question, is it safe to take supplements and do they work? The answer really depends on which reports you read which is common throughout the medical medication industry because it’s all about completion at the end of the day. You can find in intransigence on both sides of the argument as Big Pharma want to sell you expensive drugs to solve your problems and alternative therapist want to sell you a altruistic dream.
Perhaps the answers lie somewhere in between the two opposing forces where science and complimentary medicine converge to create new and exciting options.
It’s all down to research and taking the time to understand your subject matter. If you know that supplements work and want to start using them its only a matter of following the rules of the road as you would do anywhere.
Tips for taking supplements
*Always buy supplements from reputable suppliers – they should have been rigorously quality tested.
*Have been tested in clinical trials with a cohort of people that is similar to them (comparable age, sex).
*Look for warnings – for example, Is it safe for people with heart conditions or other underlying conditions.
*Be cautious about taking multiple supplements at the same time with advice.
*Follow recommended doses.
The Take Away
There’s a wealth of information out there and while it sometimes seems overwhelming there are places to find good information. Take your time to research your subject and read reviews about the product that interests you, and most importantly, ask questions. Whatever product you’re interested in trying, you should always be able to reach out to the supplier with question, and they should always be able and happy to answer those question.
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Thanks for visiting. See you next time.
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