Ever experienced a sudden mood swing? Or, have you been experiencing a lot of fatigue or sleepless nights? Your body experiences many changes from birth to adolescence to adulthood. Most of these changes, both physical and mental are regulated by the hormones present in our body.
Hormones are the chemical messengers of our body. They travel through our bloodstream and hold the key to optimum health. In essence, they affect metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, growth and development and even have an effect on our mood.
A better understanding of the hormones that influence our wellbeing and how to activate them will help us live better and healthier lives.
Let’s have a look!
1. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
We are quite familiar with this hormone nowadays! It is a pituitary hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroxine T4 and triiodothyronine T3 which stimulates the metabolism of almost every tissue in our body.
Abnormality in this hormone is seen by sudden weight gain, weight loss, dry skin, mood swings, severe sensitivity to cold or heat, depression with weak metabolism and even enlarged gland in the form of goiter.
The abnormalities in this hormone can be treated effectively with lifestyle modification, medicine, yoga, exercises and regular checkup of hormone. It has mainly two types: Hypo & Hyper. Normal range is:
- TSH: 0.5 – 4.15 mU/L
- T4: 6-12ug/dL
- T3: 240 -280 ug/dL
“Hey! I am on insulin!”
At some point, we have heard this from a diabetic person. Insulin is released by the pancreas, which is a leaf like gland situated in the abdominal cavity behind the stomach. It regulates the body’s glucose or sugar levels, which are derived from carbohydrates.
It also allows the body to store and utilize glucose for energy and when it is released into the bloodstream, it causes either hyper or hypo glycemia.
Abnormality in insulin levels can cause weight gain or weight loss, frequent urination, feeling hungry all the time, fatigue, wounds taking longer to heal, etc. These sudden changes in body are just because of insulin function, either it is not produced in enough quantity or unable to act currently.
Easy and most effective treatment is lifestyle modification, healthy eating habits, keeping the body active, managing stress and medication. Referred Range:
- Random blood glucose: 70-100mg/dl
- Fasting: 70 -110mg/dl
- After meals: <140mg/dl
3. Cortisol (Stress Hormone)
There’s a fair chance that every second person you meet might be stressed! The stress hormone called Cortisol is produced by the adrenal gland. It helps us stay healthy and energetic. Its main role is to control physical and psychological stress.
Excess secretion of cortisol causes a number of side effects such as increased heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, sweating, and shivering. At stressful times, the body secretes cortisol to cope up with the situation. High level of cortisol consistently, causes ulcers, high blood pressure, anxiety, high levels of cholesterol, etc.
Similarly, low levels of cortisol in the body causes weakness, fatigue and low blood pressure. This can be controlled by sharing feelings, meditation, doing what you like (some hobby), listening to music, spending time with family, going out for vacations, prayers and at last psychiatric treatment with medication.
4. Sex Hormones
This hormone is categorized into male and female hormones respectively:
- Testosterone: It is a male sex hormone. An anabolic steroid by nature, it helps in building body muscles. In males, it plays an important role in the development of male reproductive tissues; testes and prostate. It also promotes secondary sexual characteristics like increasing the mass of muscles and bones, growth of body hair etc. If testosterone secretion is insufficient in men, then it may lead to abnormalities, including frailty and bone loss. This can be treated with medication.
- Progesterone: This hormone is produced in the ovaries, the placenta and the adrenal glands when a woman gets pregnant. It stimulates and regulates various functions. Progesterone plays an important role in maintaining pregnancy as it helps the body prepare for conception, pregnancy and regulates the monthly cycle. When pregnancy doesn’t occur, progesterone levels drop, and menstrual cycle occurs. It also plays a role in sexual desire. Any abnormalities can be treated with home remedies and medication.
We all need this happy hormone during stressful days! It is associated with learning and memory, regulating sleep, digestion, regulates mood, some muscular functions, etc. Imbalance in this hormone may affect the brain’s function to control stress levels and mood well.
Low level of serotonin causes depression, migraine, weight gain, insomnia, craving of carbohydrates, etc. Excess levels of serotonin in the body causes agitation, stage of confusion, sedation, etc.
After knowing about the 5 hormones which are essential for good health, it is obvious that the key to keeping them in balance is healthy eating, an active lifestyle and good rest with meditation. Make sure that you check with your doctor for imbalances and irregularities of your hormones and take the necessary actions suggested by your doctor. You can also consult a GOQii Doctor via the GOQii App for consultation.
Do share your thoughts and queries in the comments below!
Be balanced! Be happy! #BeTheForce!