If you’re a woman, chances are you already know how powerful hormones can be. You might blame them for everything from acne to mood swings. You might also thank them for your strong nails or healthy breasts and ovaries for women’s health.
Hormones are a crucial aspect of our daily life and play an important role in everything from metabolism to mood regulation. Our bodies even produce their own hormones – such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone – to regulate our fertility cycles and sexual desires.
Hormones and your health
Hormones are responsible for the development of both male and female sex organs and also regulate sexual behavior. Hormones are produced in glands in our bodies which produce specific hormones as needed.
For example, testosterone is produced by the testicles and adrenal glands. Testosterone is responsible for masculine characteristics such as facial hair, deep voice, and body hair growth. On the other hand, estrogen is produced in the ovaries and androgen receptors are present in bodies of both men and women.
A hormone has a specific function in our body. It is made up of a protein which is secreted by the tissue in which it is produced. It travels through the body, binds to a hormone receptor, and affects the relevant organ or tissue in its target location. Hormones also affect other functions such as metabolism and memory.
Hormones and weight gain
How does your diet affect your hormones?
When a woman eats a diet high in fat she produces more estrogen and less testosterone. This is the reason why women tend to be heavier than men with the same diet.
Hormones control digestive function, body temperature, metabolism, and reproductive processes in both men and women. However, the levels of testosterone and other hormones are different in men and women.
Should you take hormones for weight loss?
Many people feel that taking hormones for weight loss is cheating. The truth is that most health care professionals don’t consider hormone replacement therapy to be a diet or exercise plan.
Instead, they suggest using hormones such as estrogen and progesterone to treat hormonal imbalances and help with weight loss.
Low estrogen levels can lead to symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. That’s why many doctors recommend hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women to help regulate estrogen levels.
However, you should also remember that there is a lower risk of breast cancer in older women because they already have higher levels of circulating estrogen than younger men. So, it’s important to consult your doctor before attempting hormone replacement therapy.