Our hormones are incredibly powerful forces within our biology. They will affect and impact our mood, appetite, fertility, sex drive, metabolism and energy levels. They form a communication network which is giving and receiving constant feedback which helps maintain our optimal bodily function and homeostasis.
Hormones are chemical messengers and these powerful chemical messengers are responsible for essentially every function in our bodies. Hormones are chemicals secreted by our glands in order to send “messages” through the bloodstream. Those messages then tell our organs what to do to keep us alive and healthy.
When we think “hormone,” we usually think about the sex hormones testosterone or estrogen, but there are more than 50 different hormones circulating inside your body right now.
Hormones are essential for every bodily process, including:
They may be small, but they’re mighty. A slight excess or deficiency of a particular hormone can lead to health issues. When your hormones are balanced and working in sync, you won’t notice them, of course, and that’s a good thing. It’s when they’re imbalanced that you could start seeing cascading health issues take over. Hormonal imbalance stems from your body making too little or too much of a hormone or a series of hormones. There are many hormones, such as insulin or adrenaline, that everyone shares, but specific hormones can affect men and women in different ways. For example, women may see an imbalance in estrogen and progesterone levels, while men may experience an imbalance in testosterone.
You have or will likely experience a hormonal imbalance at some point in your life, especially if you have an endocrine disorder. Age and lifestyle are factors, too. The symptoms of hormonal imbalance can vary widely, as each hormone is uniquely responsible for its role.
Symptoms of hormonal imbalance
Which of our core hormones can be responsible for hormonal imbalances?
Cortisol is a hormone produced in your adrenal gland that helps regulate your blood sugar, metabolism, inflammation and memory formation. Most commonly referred to as the ‘stress hormone,’ cortisol is released during times of stress or crisis and, as a result, temporarily shuts down your digestion and reproduction systems.
Estrogen is one of the main sex hormones in women. While men have estrogen too, they secrete smaller amounts and do not experience the same effects from estrogen that women do. In women, estrogen is responsible for the physical changes during puberty, regulating your menstrual cycle and supporting your bones, heart and mood during pregnancy. In both men and women, estrogen helps to regulate cholesterol and bone health.
The hormone insulin is produced by the pancreas and allows your muscles, fat and liver to absorb glucose, also referred to as blood sugar, and breakdown fat and protein in order to regulate your metabolic process.
The progesterone hormone is generally thought to be only present in women, but men have progesterone as well. For women, progesterone is crucial in menstruation and supporting the early stages of pregnancy. For men, progesterone helps support fertility and balances the effects of estrogen on the body.
Testosterone is the main sex hormone in men. While women also have testosterone, they have smaller amounts and do not experience the same effects from testosterone that men do. For men, testosterone supports the physical changes during puberty, such as deepening of the voice and growth of the genitals, hair and muscles. In women, testosterone supports bone health and reproductive tissue.
To learn more about PMT and hormonal imbalance join LabFemme at www.labaroma-education.com. Empowerment begins when we understand the challenging but beautiful world of hormones while also embracing and embodiment our formidable femme energy.