(Health Secrets) Hormones are of supreme importance to your health and well being. No matter how many organic fruits and vegetables you eat, how many supplements you take, and how many hours you spend at the gym, you will never achieve the vibrant health you want until all your hormones are at optimal levels. Why are hormones so important? Hormones are the great communicators of the body. They are chemical messengers that transfer signals and instructions from one set of cells to another. When all hormones are present at optimal levels, the body is able to function at its finest. When hormones are no longer at optimal levels, degenerative disease is the inevitable result.
In fact, hormones are so important that they have a branch of biological science devoted to them. Endocrinology studies the actions of hormones and the organs in which hormones are made. Even traditional medical science recognizes the tremendous importance of hormones, and labels doctors who specialize in knowledge of them as endocrinologists.
Hormones influence and regulate almost every cell, tissue, organ, and function of the human body, including growth, development, metabolism, and sexual and reproductive function. Hormones orchestrate the maintenance and balance of our internal environment through a process known as homeostasis. When all aspects of the endocrine system are fully functional and at optimal levels, it is easy for the body to maintain the stable equilibrium that is homeostasis. A body in homeostasis is a healthy body and one that can resist disease.
Hormones are secreted by the glands of the endocrine system and travel through the body in the blood stream. The glands that make up the endocrine system include the hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, pineal, and ovaries and testes. Each of these glands produces specialized hormones.
Close to 60 different hormones in the bodies of humans have been isolated and studied, and more are still being discovered.
How do hormones work?
Since hormones spend most of their time circulating in the blood stream, they come in contact with cells throughout the body. But each hormone is able to affect only a limited number of cells, the cells that have specialized receptor proteins for receiving that particular hormone.
When a hormone is secreted into the blood and binds to a receptor site, biological effects from that binding produce a specific physical change.
There are substances in our environment that mimic hormones and gain admittance to hormone receptors. When they do, they block the receptor so the hormone that needs to bind there cannot complete that action. An example of this is xenoestrogens, which are molecules that come from car exhaust, pesticides and plastics. Xenoestrogens are enough like true human estrogen molecules that they can dock in estrogen receptors.
Foreign hormones have a tremendously negative effect on the body. This is the reason that the environment plays such an important role in our health or lack of it. When foreign hormones bind to the body’s hormone receptors, the body is unable to achieve and perpetuate homeostasis, resulting in a cascade of events leading to disease.
When the body is producing optimal levels of all its hormones, receptors for those hormones are occupied as they should be, and there are no available receptors in which foreign hormones can dock. When levels of hormones fall, receptors for them go unoccupied and are wide open to be occupied by foreign hormones.
The endocrine system is one of the most subtle and sophisticated systems in the body. Hormones are regulated by a delicate set of feedback mechanisms, known as feedback loops. Most but not all hormone secretion is governed by negative feedback loops, in which the amount of hormone in the system is regulated by its own concentration. When concentration of a hormone rises to excessive levels, a series of steps occur within the system to reduce that concentration. And steps are taken to increase concentration when the level becomes too low.
In order for the body to be able to maintain homeostasis, it needs healthy endocrine glands that work properly, a functioning blood supply for moving hormones through the body to their target cells, receptors on the target cells to receive hormones and allow them to do their work, and a feedback system for controlling how and when hormones are produced and used. A disruption along any part of this system can knock the body out of homeostasis and begin the cascade into disease.
Symptoms that signal hormones are no longer at optimal levels
Because hormones are in charge of the body’s communication, they play a big part in every bodily function. This means the list of symptoms that describe hormone loss or imbalance is indeed long. Here are just a few:
Rapid heart beat
Feelings of dread or doom
Itchy, crawly skin
Sore or aching joints, muscles or tendons
Headaches and migraines
Indigestion, flatulence, nausea
Weight gain, bloating
Thinning hair on head and pubic area, increase in facial hair
Dizziness, loss of balance
Diabetes, glucose intolerance, sugar craving
Feeling cold all the time
Autoimmune disorders, multiple sclerosis
Heart attack, arterial plaque, cardiovascular problems
Stroke, blood clots
Gall bladder disease
Skin problems, rosacea, rashes, dermatitis
Do you want to live until you die?
Having optimal hormone levels is the greatest protection against aging and disease that anyone can have. This is nature’s grand design. Our hormones are at optimal levels during our prime reproductive years, and remain so as long as our children are completely dependent upon us. But then it is also nature’s design that once our children are somewhat self-sufficient, we fade away and allow them to take assume center stage in life. This process is orchestrated by the loss of optimal hormone levels. When our hormones no longer are at optimal levels, the aging process begins.
Most people think that hormone loss or imbalance is just a natural part of aging, but the reverse is actually true. We age because we no longer have optimal hormone levels. It is not until we lose optimal hormones that we begin to drift away from homeostasis and into the slow degeneration into death.
But this process can be circumvented by addressing our hormonal needs and making sure that hormones are at optimal levels and homeostasis is regained. We can turn back the clock by making a commitment to being the best selves we can be while we are on this earth, and by not settling for degeneration, decrepitude, and a life that centers around doctor visits and trips to the pharmacy.
If you have decided you want to live until you die and not just minimally exist, you can begin now to address your hormonal issues. This is the first of a series of weekly articles that will explain hormones in a way you have probably never heard them explained before. You will find out how each of the primary hormones works, hear from cutting edge physicians who practice hormone balancing, replacement, and anti-aging medicine, and discover why hormones are so downplayed in our society. Please join us.
Published with permission from AlignLife. Original article link is here.