Hormones are like messengers which move all across the body to carry out various important tasks and processes. Hormones have an impact on more or less every aspect of our body; right from the growth and development of the brain to sexual function, hormones do all the work for us. The importance of the infinite tasks done by our hormones is always ignored until we become a victim of hormonal imbalance and fall prey to problems like acne, PCOD, weight gain, depression, fatigue, insomnia, etc.
The human body secretes around 50 hormones and while each and every one plays an imperative role in the functioning of our body, these 5 hormones have a significant effect on the way we function. Read on to find out all that you need to about these 5 important hormones that are working their magic on your body right now.
Testosterone: Testosterone is considered to be the main sex hormone in both males and females. Testosterone is produced in the testes in males and in the ovaries in females. Testosterone is essentially a male hormone but can be found in small quantities in females. Testosterone works as a natural steroid and helps build muscle mass and strength. Research suggests that testosterone also increases brain function. According to Dr. Spencer Nadolsky, Medical Director at Examine.com, “What we find is that unhealthier individuals have lower testosterone which can have ill effects as they age.”
How can you increase testosterone production?
- Lead a healthy lifestyle.
- Follow a healthy diet.
- Workout regularly.
- Sleep for at least 7 hours every night.
- Minimize sources of stress.
Cortisol: The hormone ‘cortisol’ is secreted when your body encounters a stressful situation. When encountered with a stressful situation, cortisol provides the body with glucose by breaking down protein and releasing it into the bloodstream. In situations like intense training, the body secretes minimal amounts of cortisol which is considered to be normal but when the cortisol levels in the body are always high, that's when the problem starts to take shape. High cortisol levels lead to the release of excess glucose in the blood which can lead to high blood sugar levels. According to Dr. Nadolsky, “Chronically-elevated levels of cortisol have been shown to cause cardiovascular issues and possible changes in your eating habits, too.”
How can you regulate cortisol levels in the body?
- Exercise to reduce stress levels.
- Sleep regularly for at least 7 hours.
- Indulge in recreational activities like meditation and yoga.
Melatonin: Melatonin is the hormone that regulates the circadian rhythms in the body i.e the internal body clock responsible for our sleeping patterns. According to scientists at the University of Colorado, camping out in nature with zero exposure to electronics and artificial light can help a person get over sleeping disorders as it synchronizes the melatonin in our body with sunrise and sunset which in turn helps our body regulate sleeping patterns. Low levels of melatonin in the body can result in irregular sleep patterns and increase physical and mental stress.
How can you increase the production of melatonin in the body?
- Cut down exposure to light two hours before bedtime
- Sleep in a room that is pitch dark.
- Have a fixed sleeping schedule.
- Do not sleep with tight clothes on.
Thyroid: The primary purpose of the thyroid gland is to act as the body’s internal thermostat. In addition to that, it manages your energy levels, regulates your rate of metabolism and allows optimum functioning of the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and skin. According to physician Rashel J. Tahzib, D.O., of Advance Health Integrative Medicine in Los Angeles, chronic stress, inflammation, improper nutrition can take a negative toll on the thyroid gland leading to short-term problems like fatigue, cold, constipation and chronic illnesses like hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
What can you do prevent thyroid problems?
- Stop smoking.
- Stay safe from harmful environmental toxins.
- Don’t exert your body during intense workout sessions.
- Keep checking with your doctor for thyroid problems.
- Avoid drinking from plastic cups.
Serotonin: Serotonin is also known as the ‘feel good’ chemical in the body. Serotonin is responsible for a healthy appetite, deep sleep, good mood and other bodily functions. Serotonin imbalance can be caused due to an underlying health condition or merely due to the inability of the brain to produce the hormone. Low levels of serotonin have been linked to mood swings, junk food cravings, migraines, weight gain and sleeping problems. In some cases, low serotonin levels have also been linked with depression.
How can you regulate serotonin levels?
- Sleep for at least 7-8 hours every night.
- Minimize sources of stress and negativity.
- Eat foods that are rich in tryptophan like avocado, yogurt, red meat, etc
Struggling with hormone-related problems? Talk to a Specialist Doctor in less than 30 minutes on DocsApp.
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