Hormones are chemicals that your glands (thyroid, ovary, pituitary to name a few) produce. They are taken to all parts of your body through your blood. Once a hormone reaches its target, it instructs the organ on how it should behave.
Here are some of the processes that hormones regulate in our bodies:
- General growth and development.
- Your mood and how prone you are to irritability and stress
- Sexual function and libido
- Menstrual cycle (your periods)
- How much you feel the heat and cold
- Your body temperature
- Metabolic rate and energy levels
- Appetite, hunger and bowel function
- Memory and recall
- heart rate
- how well you sleep (or not)
Men are affected mainly by imbalances in testosterone levels, while women will be affected most by changes in their levels of oestrogen and progesterone.
Hormone imbalances that affect both men and women involve insulin (diabetes), growth hormones, and thyroid hormones.