What Are Hormones and How They Impact Your Daily Life?
People tend to say you’re hormonal when you’re emotional or menstruating, and they have no idea how right they are, as your hormones play a role in almost everything you do. In essence, hormones are your body’s messengers, ordering your cells around like an irate housewife. These hormones are simply chemicals that are made by the glands and from there they are jetted into your bloodstream, just waiting to take on the role of manager for many of your body’s day to day functions. When the cell and hormone meet, they exchange instructions and keep a symbiotic balance of working functions in your body each and every day.
The Unavoidable Unbalance Of Life
The hormones in your body are crucial, and sometimes the unavoidable unbalance of life mirrors your body balance, and when hormones become unbalanced, they can wreak havoc. Remember that time when your mother or sister lost their temper and blamed it on their “time of the month”? This has much more merit and factuality then you may expect. Fortunately, understanding the role of hormones and what they do can help you to know when there’s a problem, and there are important amino acids available to help balance out your hormones as well.
Playing A Role Throughout Your Body
While it’s easy to just say that hormones play a role throughout the body, let’s go a little deeper. What exactly do the hormones manipulate and control in your body?
They have the capacity to:
- Make you start or stop growing;
- Start the cycle of puberty;
- Modulate your emotions;
- And even make you lose or gain weight depending on the rate of your metabolism;
These are just a few of the things controlled by the hormones, which we’ll address more in depth shortly, but you can just imagine the widespread issues that can be caused by an imbalance in your hormones.
Who Controls The Controlling Hormones
Here’s where we give credit to the hypothalamus, the regional manager to the district managers of the hormones. This pearl sized body part lies within the brain tissue, and it controls not only the hormones but other important functions in the body, such as the peripheral nervous system.
How does the hypothalamus control and move around hormones all the way up there in the brain? The answer lies within the blood vessels, the tiny river connections that let hypothalamic hormones to control the pituitary glands, while also using the limbic system to control emotional responses in your brain. So next time you hear “Use your head,” remember that you do just that when you’re reacting to the comment!
Feeding Your Hormones
Like all parts of your body – the master over your hormonal system, the hypothalamus, needs to be fed. While it may not be reaching for a cheeseburger, the hypothalamus needs an amino acid called phenylalanine to thrive and keep your hormones balanced. No, phenylalanine isn’t just a meaningless string of letters – it’s an important amino acid that’s required for your hormones to remain balanced for your optimum health.
One problem? This amino acid, as important as it is, is not innately produced in your body, and you must get it from outside sources, namely – your food. So if you look at these links in a bigger picture sense, your diet needs to reflect these needs in order to balance your hormones. If your diet isn’t allowing you to ingest these amino acids, they may expect the negative side effects of this deficiency.
So what foods do you need to eat in order to get your fair share of phenylalanine? Quite a bit, actually. Some foods that include this amino acid are pork, fish, cheese, soy, and poultry. If you’re a vegan then you may need to actually take a supplement in order to promote this balance without going against your dietary and moral codes.
Melatonin, Serotonin & Sleep Hormones
Now let’s look even closer at what these hormones can do, now that we understand the origins and backgrounds. Having trouble sleeping at night? Then hormones may be the cause of this sleep disruption. The hormones in your brain control your urge to sleep and actually fall asleep. Most people know that melatonin has the ability to induce sleep (which is decreased by blue light from computer screens!) and this is true. But did you know that it’s actually a hormone, and serotonin, another hormonal chemical in your brain, acts like a neurotransmitter that allows you to sleep properly?
Besides the impact hormones can have on your sleeping schedule, think about the impact that they can have on your weight, sex drive, and even your skin. These are all impacted by the delicate balance and process of hormones running through your body at all times.
The Right Nutrients And Supplements
Even knowing how important balancing your hormones is, it can still definitely be frustrating knowing that the havoc can be caused by an imbalance. And while it runs throughout your body, acknowledging that it starts in the brain with your hypothalamus is the first step. The second step is feeding your brain the right nutrients and supplements to balance your range of hormones for the best sense of vitality and healthy well-being. This can be particularly difficult for those with an active and busy lifestyle, so how do you do this quickly and easily? Taking a brain supplement can do wonders to balance out your hormones.
- Medlineplus.gov - "Hormones"
- Neave N (2008) - "Hormones and behaviour: a psychological approach." Published: Cambridge Univ. Press.
- Nussey S, Whitehead S (2001) - "Endocrinology: an integrated approach." Oxford: Bios Scientific Publ.
- Draxe.com - "9 Benefits of Human Growth Hormone, Including More Muscle & Less Fat."