When in balance hormones help the body thrive, they carry messages between cells and organs making sure our bodies function as they should; from growth and sexual development, through to how well we sleep and deal with stress, even impacting how our body breaks down food.
Sometimes our hormone levels become too high or too low, this can be caused by natural fluctuations that may occur during puberty, menopause or as we age, or even by an unbalanced lifestyle. It is important to remember that hormone imbalances can occur at any time regardless of one’s age so it’s important to understand both the role they play and the impact they have on your body and wellbeing.
The body’s hormones are created by glads, which are a part of the endocrine system.
The main hormone producing glands include:
Hypothalamus – secretes hormones that act as triggers to the Pituitary gland, making the hypothalamus responsible for regulation of temperature, moods, hunger and the release of hormones from other glads around the body. This gland also controls your sex drive, thirst and sleep.
Thymus – plays a role in the function of the immune system and a key role in the development of T-cells, an important type of white blood cell.
Parathyroid – secretes the parathyroid hormone, which regulates calcium in a person’s body.
Thyroid – secretes hormones that regulate growth and development through the rate of metabolism. If you think your Thyroid may be over or under active our Complete Thyroid Screen may help.
Pancreas – secretes digestive enzymes into the duodenum, along with the hormones insulin and glucagon that help glycogen breakdown to glucose and control blood sugar levels.
Adrenal – these glands produce a variety of hormones including adrenaline and the steroids aldosterone and cortisol, which regulate many processes including metabolism and immune response. If you have poor energy and stamina, irregular sleeping patterns and are prone to stress then you may be experiencing Adrenal Fatigue.
Pituitary – this gland is also referred to as the ‘master gland’ because it controls several other hormone glands in your body, including the thyroid, adrenals, ovaries and testicles.
Pineal – secretes melatonin, a serotonin derived hormone which affects circadian and seasonal sleep cycles.
Ovaries – the most important organs of the female reproductive system, the ovaries produce and release sex hormones – progesterone, estrogen and testosterone. Progesterone and estrogen work together to promote the development of female sex organs during puberty and to ensure fertility.
Testes – produce testosterone, the main sex hormone in men, which causes puberty, triggers facial hair growth, increases bone density and causes muscle mass growth and strength. It also helps maintain sperm production and sex drive.
Hormones have many important effects on people’s health. Understanding the role of hormones is important for those looking to protect and maintain health and wellbeing. When hormones are in balance your body will thrive, however when they are off balance then problems can arise, which in turn can lead to serious symptoms.
If you have concerns about your hormones and their performance or levels then we have a range of related Hormonal Health screening tests that can help identify any issues. If concerns are confirmed then steps can be taken to correct any imbalance and determine treatment options, which may include management through hormone therapy.