Not all illness comes from injury or invasion by microbes. Some illness is caused by an imbalance of hormones. Hormones affect more than your sexual characteristics and drive, they play an important role in overall health. They affect your weight, all bodily functions and even how much energy you have. Hormones influence not only how much fat you store but where you store it. A healthy brain depends on the right balance of hormones.
Hormones are messengers.
Hormones are part of the endocrine system and act as catalysts to stimulate chemical reactions in the body. They can make you hungry or affect your mood. The hypothalamus creates hormones that affect the body temperature, cause other glands to secrete hormones and control sleep and sex drive among other functions. Hormones from other glands, like the thymus, parathyroid, pancreas and thyroid control the immune system, the amount of calcium in the body, calorie burning, heart rate, blood sugar levels, sleep and many other functions. If there’s an imbalance of hormones, it can cause a domino effect in the system that means other functions will be compromised.
Insulin is an important hormone.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or stay healthy, insulin affects your body. It plays a role in metabolism and signals the cells to prepare to take in glucose. That helps keep blood glucose levels normal. Consistently over consuming sugar has the effect of high insulin levels being released. That can cause insulin resistance over time. That means the cell receptors don’t intake the sugar and more insulin is produced. It leads to type 2 diabetes, causes weight gain and can create many other physical problems including affecting eyesight and circulation.
Too much stress causes stress hormones to build.
Stress hormones play an important role in survival. They prepare the body to run or fight, in the event of danger. Unfortunately, the stresses of today aren’t solved by running or fighting, so those hormones are not burned off and can cause unhealthy changes in the body. One of the changes is the accumulation of visceral fat—the most unhealthy type of fat that accumulates around the middle. One option to getting hormone levels back to normal is to workout and burn off the hormones. Another is through meditation, which helps prevent the reaction to stress.
- Some hormones keep you more youthful. HGH—human growth hormone—helps build muscle tissue, but its production slows as you age. It also helps with a multitude of other functions, including weight control. Exercise increases it naturally, so can a healthy diet.
- Serotonin affects your sleep cycle, memory, weight gain, mood and muscle functions. A low level of serotonin causes insomnia, depression and weight gain.
- You might consider testosterone as strictly a male sex hormone, but women have it too. It helps boost the creation of muscle tissue and increases the metabolism.
- An imbalance of estrogen or low production of hormones from the thyroid can cause weight gain. Exercise and diet can help regulate those hormones.