Many people get introduced to the subject of hormones around when they hit puberty. With the changes happening in the body, questions arise like, “Why do I suddenly feel things in the presence of the opposite sex?”
Usually, the simple and accurate answer is that hormones are responsible for what’s happening to our bodies.
You grow up knowing hormones are important, but just how important are they?
If you never dug deeper, these interesting facts about your hormones will wow you:
You Can’t Live Without Hormones
If it has never hit you that you can’t live without hormones, well, it’s actually a fact that you can’t.
Once you understand what hormones are, you’ll see that, basically, everything happening in your body right now depends on them.
In simple terms, hormones are chemical signals that trigger responses around your body. They carry messages through the blood to your organs and tissues, telling your body what to do, down to automatic functions like digestion.
Without hormones to coordinate body functions, nothing would happen, and you’d die.
Their Origins isn’t Just the Endocrine System
We learn that hormones are made in the glands that make up the endocrine system. But while these glands produce lots of hormones, they are not the only source.
Hormones are made almost everywhere in the body. The fat cells in your skin make hormones known as leptin. The hormone Gastrin, produced by the intestines, is crucial to digestion.
Your liver, muscles, brain, and even bones produce hormones that are vital to your well-being.
Menses Don’t Mean Hormonal
It’s a common belief that women are pretty hormonal during their menstrual cycle. The things they do during that time of the month are often attributed to their hormones.
However, women are much less hormonal during their menses than at other times.
The hormones estradiol and progesterone only spike for a short while. When fertilization fails, both hormones plummet, triggering the menstrual cycle.
Cannabinoids Affect Hormones
Your body has a system responsible for metabolism called the Endocannabinoid System, which interacts with chemical compounds known as cannabinoids.
While the body makes certain cannabinoids, a wide variety of them are plant-based. You may have heard of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant and their health benefits.
These plant-based cannabinoids, such as CBD, interact with the ECS the same way the body’s natural cannabinoids do. As such, cannabinoids can affect your hormones in many ways, including regulating them in cases of hormonal imbalance.
Estrogen May Protect Against the Flu
Remember we mentioned that males and females both produce the same hormones?
Well, estrogen, the hormone usually associated with women, offers them a level of protection unavailable to men.
Researchers have discovered that estrogen reduces the replication of flu virus in infected cells derived from women but not men. That may explain why men appear more susceptible to the flu.
Some researchers also conclude that estrogen has antiviral properties that may fight other viruses like those that cause hepatitis.
Everyone Needs Estrogen and Testosterone
You’ve probably always known that male hormones are testosterone and female hormones are estrogen and progesterone.
Well, that’s not entirely true.
Both genders produce these hormones, but their quantities, how they are used, and where they are stored differ.
As you may have figured, estrogen and progesterone are attributed to females because these are their primary hormones. The same goes for testosterone in males.
But that we all equally need these hormones is a fact.
Progesterone is a Powerhouse
When it comes to female hormones, the spotlight is usually on estrogen, with progesterone coming in second as a helper during ovulation.
However, besides being a sex hormone, progesterone does a lot more in the female body. It plays a primary role in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy, but it also balances estrogen levels, a role that is crucial for your physical and psychological well-being.
Other important areas where progesterone plays a vital role are seizure prevention, bone formation, sleep, and libido. But that’s not all. Progesterone has plenty of functions that make it more powerful than you may realize.
When it comes to your health, your hormones are probably the last thing you think about. Most people don’t think much about them. But knowing just how vital your hormones are, you should pay more attention to them often.