Hormones are chemical messengers that circulate in the bloodstream and control a number of bodily functions. Endocrine glands, specialized glands that secrete hormones into the blood, are responsible for their production. Numerous bodily processes, including development, metabolism, reproduction, mood, and stress response, are influenced by hormones.
Hormones’ primary purpose is to keep the body’s internal circumstances in balance, or at homeostasis. The body’s ability to maintain homeostasis and adapt to shifting environmental conditions is ensured. Hormones, for instance, can control blood pressure, body temperature, water balance, and blood sugar levels.
Target cells, or the cells that react to a particular hormone, contain specific receptors that hormones attach to in order to function. The cell’s activity, behavior, or gene expression may then change as a result of the hormone-receptor complex’s subsequent induction of a series of responses inside the cell. Depending on the type of receptor, the type of cell, and the hormone concentration, hormones can have various effects.
Based on their chemical makeup, hormones can be divided into three primary categories: steroids, peptides, and amines. Corticosteroids (like cortisol and aldosterone) and sex hormones (like estrogen and testosterone) are examples of steroids that are generated from cholesterol. Growth hormone, insulin, and glucagon are examples of peptide hormones, which are comprised of amino acids. Thyroid hormones, such as thyroxine and triiodothyronine, and catecholamines, such as adrenaline and noradrenaline, are examples of amino hormones that are generated from amino acids.
Hormones are essential for preserving health and happiness. But occasionally, hormones can become unbalanced or malfunction due to different things, such as aging, stress, illness, or medicine. Hormonal conditions including diabetes, thyroid issues, infertility, or mental disorders might result from this. Hormone levels in the blood or urine can be used to diagnose hormonal abnormalities. The missing or insufficient hormones can be replaced or supplemented using synthetic or natural hormones to treat hormonal problems.