There are sooooo many hormones in your body! Hormones in which you probably didn’t even know about! Our body creates over 100 hormones within the endocrine system, and have the job of transferring information and instructions from one set of cells to another. These hormones are all secreted from your glands, and can even be produced from some of your organs! The creation of hormones CANNOT take place without fat nutrients from your foods. Your body cannot make hormones on their own, they need fats. To better understand the types of fats that the body needs to be balanced, check out my post on The Best Types Of Fats And Why You Should Be Eating Them! Let’s jump right into learning all about your hormones and what causes hormonal imbalance!
Lipid Or Water Soluble
Hormones fall into two categories, lipid or water soluble. Lipid soluble hormones work by binding themselves into cells when transporting information. Water soluble hormones bind themselves themselves on the surface of any given target cell.
Lipid Soluble Hormones
There are two types of lipid solube hormones, steroids hormones and thyroid hormones. Steroids are created from cholesterol. Let me repeat that. Steroid hormones are made from cholesterol. Remember being told butter is bad? No friends, butter can steer you away from PMS each month. You’re welcome. Steroids create progesterone and estrogen hormones. When these are unbalanced they can create acne, cramping, heavy flow of a period, and mood swings. Not only do steroid hormones play a huge role in your female system but control metabolism, immune function, salt and water balance, create sexual characteristics, and control your pain levels. Some steroid hormones the body has are cortisol, aldosterone, cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
The second type of water soluble hormones we’re gonna chat about on our all about hormones knowledge blast today are thyroid hormones! The thyroid gland is one of the primary players in the regulation of metabolism. This gland produces your T4 and T3 hormones. The T4 hormone is released from the thyroid gland to your organs, while the T3 hormone affects virtually every other organ of your body by acting like a modulator of cell functions.
Water Soluble Hormones
There are three types of water soluble hormones; amines, peptides and proteins, and eicosanoids. Amine hormones are synthesized from the amino acids tryptophan or tyrosine. Some amine hormones in the body are melatonin, adrenaline, dopamine, histamine, and norepinephrine, just to name a few.
The second type of water soluble hormones are the peptides and proteins. These are hormones basically hormones that are created from fats and proteins. Some of these hormones are gastrin, insulin, glucagon, cholecystokinin, growth hormones, and oxytocin, again- just to name a few!
Eicosanoids are created from polyunsaturated fats. They play a ton of important roles in the body such as controlling inflammation and blood pressure, regulating cell growth, and controlling immune responses such as allergies and fevers. An important role that eicosanoids play not only in the whole body, but in the female system is that these hormones help to control blood flow. An imbalance of this hormone can lead to heavy flow each month and blood clots. There are three types of eicosanoids in the body, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and thromboxanes.
Hormones All Work Together
The endocrine system is quite complex. So many hormones working a ton of different jobs. A lot of people think of hormones in relation to just the male and female systems. This is only a very small percentage of where hormones are in the body. Hormones are located in your pituitary gland, lungs, stomach, liver, skin, heart, small intestine, and kidneys. They are all over the body and hormones all work together in a great system!
Hormones Gone Crazy
The endocrine system is a well oiled machine. It is meant to have balance and all work together. When the system is in balance, the body takes time each day to work on each part of the hormone system. When the body starts to spend more time on one part of the hormonal system, other parts are ignored, which causes a huge mess of hormones gone crazy!
All about your hormones and how they go out of balance. There is so much to know, that one single post cannot even begin to touch on the amount of things that can throw hormones out of whack. However, I can go over a few of the imbalances that are the most prominent in our culture.
Pituitary Gland Dysfunction
Your pituitary gland is the most important gland in the endocrine system. It lives at the base of your brain and it’s main job is to “conduct” all of the hormones like a beautifully working orchestra. A great working pituitary gland can only do it’s job when the hypothalamus in the brain tells the it what to do.
With that being said, hypothalamus dysfunction affects the pituitary gland greatly. Hypothalamus dysfunction can look like eating disorders, extreme weight loss, inflammation and certain immune system diseases.
When pituitary gland dysfunction starts, it can look like loss of memory, loss of sleep, mood swings, depression, headaches, and constant anger. When the body experiences any of these things, it blocks the pituitary gland to keep all of the other hormones from doing their job. The pituitary gland is just too overworked with it’s own dysfunction to do it’s job. Wanna learn more about the pituitary gland, check out this article, very informative!
According to thyroid.org, an estimated 20 million Americans suffer from thyroid dysfunction. I believe that it’s actually way more because you can suffer from thyroid dysfunction and not even know it! So many things attack the thyroid, it’s an easy target. Food allergies, heavy metals, toxicities. Anything that can potentially compromise the immune system can start to attack the thyroid.
Once the thyroid starts to be attacked, it cannot keep up with it’s jobs and things become off balance. The thyroid has many important jobs such as regulating metabolic rate, regulating the heart, and overseeing digestive function. It also aids in muscle control, brain development, and helps out with mood and bone maintenance.
America probably has one of the worst statistics for adrenal dysfunction. Our country is stressed, overworked and under-slept. The high demand to overachieve everything from their five year old being the best gymnast to the overworked mom who has to have her whole world clean as a whistle all while putting home made meals on the table 24/7. The constant stress forces the adrenals to be constantly releasing cortisol to try to calm the body down.
The adrenals are in charge of producing sex hormones. Repeat, they are in CHARGE of producing sex hormones. This means that if you are stressed out to the max, your adrenal glands do not have the time or energy to produce your sex hormones. Each year infertility, miscarriages, invitro, and even lowering sexual drive statistics grow. Why? This friends. This is why. The adrenals main job is to keep itself healthy so that it can do it’s job. So many adrenals out there too stressed to even care about making sex hormones, it’s terrible!
If you are going through a spurt of stress, check out my post on Building Better Mental Health During a Crisis. It will give you the tools you need to calm down and better handle stress, something which we can ALL benefit from!
Did you see this one coming? Digestive dysfunction is in every.single.one.of.us. And, there are indeed hormones that play crucial roles in our digestion.
Gastrin is a hormone that lives inside of the stomach and is released when you eat. It stimulates the release of gastric acid (which breaks down your food). Secretin lives in the small intestine and stimulates the pancrease to release it’s digestive juices that further help to break down your fats, proteins, and carbs. Cholecystokinin is another important digestive hormone. It’s very important job is to stimulate the gallbladder to release bile to break down your fats. Have you had your gallbladder removed? An interesting connection, isn’t it?
When the body is stressed, or the pituitary gland is compromised, or any other gland is too busy being sick that it can’t do it’s job, everything becomes out of whack. There is a huge connection between stress and digestion. Stress can really inhibit your digestive organs to do their jobs. Learn all about this connection over at The Stress and Digestion Connection. The worst thing about stress is that stress can lead to digestive issues, which then turns to sickness. Learn more about how Poorly Working Digestion Can Lead to Sickness here!
How To Know If Your Hormones Are Out Of Balance
Do you think you have hormonal imbalance? Check out some of the below symptoms to see if you do!
- Pituitary imbalance symptoms: blurred vision, headaches, facial pain or numbness, dizziness, anxiety, depression, feeling cold or tired, hypertension, nausea, menstrual changes, erectile dysfunction, decreased sex interest.
- Thyroid imbalance symptoms: feeling tired, gaining weight, feeling cold, weakness and aches in muscles and joints, hair loss, itchy and dry skin, trouble concentrating.
- Digestive imbalance symptoms: nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, constipation, diarrhea, gas, indigestion.