What are hormones?
Hormones are complex chemicals secreted by our endocrine glands. They stimulate or inhibit the actions of cells everywhere in our body. They are vital for repairing and regulating our bodily functions. The endocrine system includes pituitary gland, which is the CEO of the endocrine system. It secretes growth hormone (HGH), and controls the hormones of other hormone secreting glands, such as TSH for thyroid hormone regulation, ACTH for adrenal hormones, and FSH/LH for ovaries and testicles. In addition, there are the thyroid gland, the adrenal glands, the ovaries in women and testicles in men.
What are sex hormones and their functions?
The sex hormones are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Both men and women have all three. Estrogen and progesterone are the dominant hormones in women and testosterone is the dominant hormone for men. The function of estrogen is to make everything grow. It makes the lining of uterus grow, makes breast tissue grow, and keeps the vagina moisturized.
Other estrogen functions are:
- Prevents bone destruction thus prevents osteoporosis.
- Protects the cardiovascular system reducing blood pressure by relaxing the lining of blood vessels, and preventing plaque build up.
- Reduces incidence of diabetes and protects insulin sensitivity through lower insulin levels.
Protects nerve cells and brain function thus helping our memory, improving learning abilities and providing a better quality of sleep.
Works as an antidepressant by increasing serotonin levels.
Progesterone is made in the ovaries after ovulation. Progesterone keeps the estrogen in check by preventing the overgrowth of endometrium, protects against fibrocystic disease.
Other functions of progesterone are: Serves as a natural antidepressant and helps to restore the normal sleep pattern.
Play several roles in cardiovascular protection.
- Prevents bone loss.
- Increases the body’s use of fat.
- Is a natural diuretic.