Hormones 101 – Your Internal Engine

When you think about hormones, you’re probably picturing a face full of pimples or why intimacy with your partner feels just so exhausting. But hormones are so much more. They are literally switching on and off genes as you are reading this.

If being ‘tired and wired’ describes you, keep reading...

Your hormone system is the engine that keeps your body running smoothly.

It fuels a wide range of functions – think metabolism, skin health, sleep cycles, or even emotional wellbeing. Its design is intricate & complex. Let’s dive straight into the mechanics:

Hormones are chemical messengers, secreted by various glands (formally known as endocrine glands), which serve to keep all organs in-sync with one another.

Let’s break down the various ‘parts’ of your engine for you:

  1. Thyroid gland
    Essential for regulation of your metabolism, growth, maturation and nervous system activity
  2. Adrenal Glands
    Helps the body respond to stress, maintains blood pressure, increases heart rate, oxygen intake and blood flow.
  3. Pancreas
    Keeps blood glucose (sugar) levels in check.
  4. Pituitary Gland
    Officially dubbed the ‘master gland’ because as it controls other parts of the endocrine system –  namely the thyroid, kidneys, adrenals, ovaries and testes.
  5. Pineal Gland
    Nicknamed the ‘third eye’ as its situated deep in the centre of the brain. It releases melatonin which helps regulate your sleep cycles and certain reproductive hormones.
  6. Ovaries & Uterus (exclusive to a lady’s machinery)
    Maintains the health of a women’s reproductive system, as well as protects bone health.
  7. Testes (exclusive to a man’s machinery)
    Key to production of sperm and the male sex hormone testosterone.
  8. Parathyroid Glands
    The 4 parathyroid glands, each about the size of a grain of rice, helps the muscular and nervous systems to function properly.
  9. Hypothalamus
    Maintains your body’s internal balance by controlling workings of other endocrine glands, in addition to being ‘control-centre’ for body temperature, hunger, thirst and sleep.

How do I know if my hormones are unbalanced?

Any interference with the mechanics of your engine – be it as a result of lack of sleep, exposure to environmental toxins, poor nutrition or stress – will cause a disruption in the harmonious communication between glands. The ‘warning lights’ (signs & symptoms) of a malfunctioning motor will vary depending on the ‘part’ (gland) that needs repair.

Modern life can cause an ongoing, excessive release of the “fight or flight” stress hormone – cortisol – resulting in adrenal dysfunction. Adrenal dysfunction can be equated to an overheated engine, causing:

As with a car, an ‘overheated’ engine will eventually break down on its way. Heightened cortisol production draws heavily on the ‘engine’s reserves’, which will cause imbalances in sex, thyroid and insulin levels too. It is a vicious domino effect: excess cortisol steals sex hormones causing them to DROP. Your thyroid hormones takes a KNOCK and the insulin may go UP leading to a ripple effect.

Here, at TASH 360, you can receive your full hormone ‘maintenance’ plan:

  • A comprehensive evaluation of your hormone levels
  • The ‘re-fuel’ (medical intervention) required for addressing your unique hormonal imbalances
  • The ongoing support of our integrative team

Remember, you’re the driver. Respond to your warning lights ASAP.  

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