In this day and age of hustle culture, many people believe that they’re completely in control of all of their physical and mental states. However, our moods and bodies are largely dependent on chemical fluctuations. It only takes a small bit of a hormone to have an impact on our bodies.

If you’re someone who cares about your personal health, you should be aware of the different types of hormones flowing through you. When you become aware of these different kinds of hormones, you can better understand why you might be feeling the way you feel. You can make use of changes in diet and treatments to regulate your hormones, and improve your quality of life.

This article will walk you through seven important kinds of hormones to understand, some signs of hormone issues, and what you can do to improve your hormonal health.

1. Testosterone

Testosterone is perhaps the most notorious type of hormone out there. It’s primarily produced in the testicles and gives the males of the species their distinct characteristics. Women also produce testosterone at lower levels.

Testosterone is responsible for taking care of the body’s sex drive, bone mass, fat distribution, and production of blood cells. Low testosterone in a man might result in a low sex drive, reduced sperm count, erectile dysfunction, loss of muscle mass, and swelling of the breast tissue.

Too little testosterone can also cause men to feel insecure about their masculinity. Many of the traits listed above are important to many men’s identity as men. This is why you see many tips and tricks to improve your testosterone on the internet.

Too much testosterone in a man might result in irritability, a high level of aggression, and acne. In women, too much testosterone can cause a thinning of the hair, irregular periods, low libido, and a reduction in breast size.

Issues with testosterone can happen as a result of sickness or simply come as one of the effects of aging. That’s why it’s important to make sure your doctor understands issues of men’s health and can deal with them accordingly. A good doctor in this field will help you work on exercise, diet, and medication, to help you optimize your hormone production.

2. Estrogen

Estrogen is the female counterpart to testosterone. Where many of the distinct characteristics of men come from testosterone, the distinct characteristics of women come from estrogen.

Estrogen is mainly produced in the ovaries, and it regulates menstruation, menopause, reproduction, and sex drive. In young women going through puberty, it’s responsible for the widening of hips, the development of breasts, and the growing of pubic hair.

Women with low levels of estrogen might experience low levels of energy, depression, and hair loss. Menopause is caused in part by the lowering of estrogen levels, so women going through hot flashes, sleep issues, and a decreased sex drive might be suffering from a lack of estrogen. Too much estrogen can cause issues of general moodiness as well.

A good women’s health doctor will be able to locate the causes of your lack of estrogen and help you better understand what’s causing it. From there, you can work with them on any number of treatments to restore your body to a healthy level of estrogen.

3. Cortisol

Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone. Your body pumps it out when your brain recognizes that you’re undergoing distress. Fittingly enough, it’s pumped out by your adrenal glands and often works in tandem with adrenaline to help you get out of difficult situations.

It’s a very important hormone since it helps you get out of dangerous situations; however, if it sticks around too long, it can cause problems.

High levels of cortisol over long periods of time can result in weight problems, difficulty sleeping, migraines, heart problems, anxiety, and irritability. It will generally make a person feel stressed out as well. This is one of the reasons why people say that stress kills, and why people with heart issues are asked to not put themselves in any stressful situations.

It’s important to make sure you keep your cortisol under control because almost every single part of your body has cortisol receptors. This is why people who are undergoing periods of stress might experience full-body pains.

To combat high levels of cortisol, make sure you regulate your stress and take time off when you need it.

4. Insulin

You might have heard of insulin as it relates to diabetes. Indeed, insulin is a chief concern in the life of diabetics — it concerns them way more than it concerns anyone else. However, everyone could benefit to understand the effects of insulin.

Insulin is produced by the pancreas and converts glucose in the foods we consume into a form our body can use for energy. Diabetics run into problems because their bodies can’t properly regulate their intake of insulin, and so their bodies can’t always convert food into energy. This can have dangerous and sometimes fatal results.

Many people forget that different hormones can affect each other. The release of cortisol triggers a bodily release of insulin as well. This is why it’s important to find a doctor who will treat your whole body holistically.

The release of extra insulin can cause your blood sugar to drop. This, combined with the extra levels of stress and cortisol in your body, can be dangerous. Over time, the overproduction of insulin in tandem with cortisol can cause excessive weight gain.

Make sure that you understand insulin levels, so you can battle diabetes if you happen to be diagnosed with it.

5. Human Growth Hormone

Human growth hormone — or HGH — is produced by the pituitary gland. It’s responsible for stimulating growth, as well as cell reproduction and generation.

People with problems with their pituitary gland can develop gigantism, which can lead to acromegaly. Pro wrestler Andre the Giant is an example of a person to whom this happened.

It’s most important for children to have high levels of Human Growth Hormone so that they can grow up. Sometimes children might not produce enough human growth hormone, and therefore have to receive injections. This can prevent children from developing frames that are too small.

Certain adults seek to develop their production of human growth hormone too since it can increase your metabolism and muscle tone.

6. Seratonin

Seratonin is a chemical produced by your nerve cells that has a wide variety of functions. It’s considered a natural mood stabilizer, and it helps out with human learning, regulation, muscle functions, and digestion. People with low levels of serotonin are very susceptible to bouts of depression.

SSRIs, a common form of anti-depressants, work by regulating your body’s natural form of serotonin. Your serotonin levels rise and fall — SSRIs seek to reduce the falling state of serotonin, so your mood can stay stable.

But that’s not all that serotonin does. Low levels of serotonin increase levels of libido. This is why sometimes people who are less mentally stable are more sexually active, and this is also why people on antidepressants might have a tough time achieving orgasm.

It should be noted that SSRIs aren’t the only option. Exposure to sunlight, exercise, and a healthy diet have all proven to increase levels of serotonin in the body.

7. Melatonin

Melatonin is a chemical produced by your body that’s largely responsible for helping you stay awake or get to sleep. As light levels are reduced, your body produces more and more melatonin, which should make it easier for you to get to sleep. People suffering from problems with melatonin production often have a tough time sleeping.

Our contemporary world is particularly problematic for melatonin production. Late-night exposure to blue-light screens (such as our phones, laptops, and tablets) has been proven to trick the brain into thinking that it’s the day and thereby produce less melatonin.

To combat this, one can limit their exposure to blue light screens, or take melatonin supplements by mouth. Melatonin supplements are non-addictive and can be found readily available at most pharmacies.

Understand These Types of Hormones

While it’s optimistic and very beneficial to believe that you’re in complete control of your body and mind, you have to remember the chemicals that affect every human. Understanding testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, insulin, human growth hormone, serotonin, and melatonin should be requirements for anyone who cares about their physical and emotional health.

Understand the different types of hormones and your physical health is far more likely to shine.

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