I’m sure you’ve heard the term “hormonal imbalance” or maybe you’ve heard women say, “I’m feeling hormonal.” So what the hell are hormones, and how many of them do women have in their bodies? Well, hormones are the body’s messengers, and they are produced by endocrine glands, which are located throughout the body. The body’s endocrine glands include the:
Pituitary gland, Pineal gland, Adrenal gland, Hypothalamus, Thymus gland, Thyroid gland, Parathyroid gland, Pancreas, Female Ovaries, Male Testes
Endocrine glands release hormones, which travel in the blood and arrive at their target cells. Once hormones bind to or lock with their target cells, that cell is either activated/turned on, deactivated/turned off, sped up or slowed down.
For example, estrogen is the sex hormone that’s responsible for secondary sex characteristics like, breast development, widening of the hips, pubic and underarm hair and egg release during ovulation. For these sex characteristics to be expressed, hormones target cells in the uterus, ovary, breast, buttocks, bone, brain, armpit, vagina, etc.
Another example is Adrenalin, the hormone made by the Adrenal gland. Adrenalin causes the “flight or fright” response in our bodies, causing our heart to accelerate and muscles to tighten during times of real or perceived danger. So if you’re running away from a tiger, your adrenalin production increases and it gives you the ability to take flight. Now whether you escape the danger or not it not the job of adrenalin. Adrenalin simply gives you a fighting chance.
Suffice it to say, maintaining healthy and balanced hormones all depend on what we eat and how we deal with stressors. Therefore, it’s imperative that we provide our bodies with sustenance that support optimal hormonal functioning.
It’s equally important to effectively manage external stressors, which can lead to physiological and psychological effects that can cause hormonal shifts to occur in our bodies. Here is a list of some of the hormones associated with different stages and organs in the female body.
Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, LSH (Leuthenizine hormone), FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone)
HCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin), relaxin
Oxytocin, Cortisol, Melatonin
TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone), Thyroxine (T4), Triiodothyronin (T3).
Stomach & Intestines
Leptin, Ghrelin, Seratonin, secretin, gastrin,
Insulin, secretin, glucagon, amylin, gastrin, cholecystokinin, motilin, pancreatic polypeptide, somatostatin
Dixie Lincoln- Nichols is a biological science educator, health and wellbeing consultant and Qigong instructor. Her work has been featured in media outlets like, Oprah Mag, SELF, Yahoo and more. She is the founder of Inside Outer Beauty Market, a multi-cultutal retailer curating and creating products to support the body inside and out. Visit the site at www.iobeautymarket.com