What Are Hormones and Why Are They So Important?

What Are Hormones and Why Are They So Important?

Your body produces at least 50 different types of hormones that control everything from your appetite and sleep to your growth and energy production. It would be hard to overstate the importance of hormones for your overall health and wellness, as you simply can’t live without them.

At HealthFirst, Dr. Jonathan Singer believes that education is paramount when it comes to maintaining good health, which is why we’ve decided to focus on hormones here — as well as the problems that can arise when they’re out of balance.

Hormones 101

Hormones are part of your endocrine system. They’re tiny, chemical messengers that are produced by different glands found throughout your body. 

Hormones travel through your bloodstream and target specific organs and tissues. These organs contain cells that feature hormone receptors, so when the hormone reaches the right cell, like a key fitting into a lock, it connects to the cell. Once the hormone binds to the cell, it delivers instructions that regulate function. 

In fact, hormones regulate all of the biological processes in your body. Good examples of hormones at work include:

Thyroid hormones

These hormones are produced in the thyroid gland in your neck, and they’re responsible for how your cells use energy, or your metabolism.

Pancreatic hormones

Your pancreas produces two hormones — insulin and glucagon — that control how your body regulates blood sugar and converts food into energy.

Reproductive hormones

Hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone give you your sex characteristics and enable reproduction.

Brain hormones

In your brain, two master glands — your hypothalamus and your pituitary — produce hormones that regulate your entire endocrine system.

When your hormones are imbalanced

Fluctuations in your hormone levels can be natural, but there are conditions, medications, environmental forces, and more, that can affect your body’s production of hormones.

For example, when women pass through menopause, their reproductive hormones drop precipitously, which is a natural occurrence. If, however, you have a thyroid disease, your production of thyroid hormones can decrease or increase (hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, respectively) and create problems.

At our practice, we believe that hormone health is paramount to your overall wellness, and we pay close attention to this area. If we suspect hormone deficiencies or overproduction may be affecting your wellness, we perform an extensive evaluation and test for more than 30 hormones and metabolite markers.

Should we find an imbalance, we find ways to rebalance your hormones, such as through bioidentical hormone therapy. Bioidentical means that the replacement hormones are molecularly identical to your natural hormones.

If you’re not feeling like yourself or you’re experiencing changes in your health, we recommend hormone testing. To get started, contact one of our offices in Greenwood Village, Colorado, or Cheyenne, Wyoming, to set up an appointment.

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