The Best Years in Life
Articles by natural health author Barbara Minton
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Understand the Great Importance of Hormones to Your Health
by Barbara Minton
(The Best Years in Life) Hormones are of supreme importance to your health and well being, because they are the master controllers of the entire body. Nothing can surpass them. No matter how many organic fruits and vegetables you eat, how many supplements you take, or how many hours you spend at the gym, you will not achieve the vibrant health you want unless all of your hormones are at optimal levels and in perfect balance. The silence of the medical establishment on the subject of hormones is a testament to their great importance. When all your hormones are at optimal levels and in perfect balance, there is no need to be a customer for what they are selling.
Remember the word homeostasis from high school? It refers to the stable equilibrium of physical processes in the body. It is the role of hormones to achieve and maintain homeostasis.
Hormones form the communication system of the body. They are chemical messengers that transfer signals and instructions from one set of cells to another, for the purpose of keeping you in homeostasis. When hormones are optimal, the body is able to function at its finest. But when hormones are no longer at optimal levels, degenerative disease is the almost inevitable result.
Hormones are so important that they have a branch of biological science devoted to them. Endocrinology studies the actions of hormones and the organs in which hormones are made.
Hormones influence and regulate almost every cell, tissue, organ, and function of the human body, including growth, development, cognition, metabolism, and reproductive functions. Hormones orchestrate the maintenance and balance of our internal environment. When all aspects of the endocrine system are fully functioning, it is easy for the body to maintain homeostasis. A body in homeostasis is one that can easily resist disease.
How do hormones work?
Hormones are secreted by the glands of the endocrine system and they travel through the body in the blood stream. The glands that make up the endocrine system include the hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, pineal, and ovaries and testes. Each of these glands produce specialized hormones.
Amazingly, close to 60 different hormones in the bodies of humans have been isolated and studied, and more are still being discovered.
While hormones are circulating in the blood stream they come in contact with cells throughout the body. But each hormone is able to affect only a limited number of cells, the cells that have specialized receptor proteins for receiving that particular hormone. Once a hormone makes its way to a targeted receptor, it binds to that site, and biological effects from that binding produce a specific physical event or change.
There are substances in our environment that mimic hormones and gain admittance to hormone receptors. When they do, they block the receptor so the hormone that needs to bind there cannot complete that action. An example of this is xenoestrogens (foreign estrogens), which are molecules that come from car exhaust, pesticides, plastics and chemicals. Xenoestrogens are enough like true human estrogen molecules that they can dock in estrogen receptors.
Xenoestrogens have very negative affects on the body, and this is the reason that the environment plays such an important role in our health or lack of it. When xenoestrogens bind to the body's hormone receptors, the body is unable to perpetuate homeostasis, resulting in a cascade of events that can lead to the initiation of disease.
When the body is producing optimal levels of all its hormones, receptors for those hormones are occupied as they should be, and there are no available receptors in which xenoestrogens can dock. When levels of hormones fall, receptors for them become unoccupied and are open to be occupied by foreign hormones.
The endocrine system is one of the most subtle and sophisticated systems in the body. Hormones are regulated by a delicate set of feedback loops. Most but not all hormone secretion is governed by negative feedback loops in which the amount of hormone in the system is regulated by its own concentration. When the concentration of a hormone rises to excessive levels, a series of steps occur within the system to reduce that concentration. And steps are taken to increase concentration when the level becomes too low.
For the body to be able to maintain homeostasis, it needs healthy endocrine glands what work properly, a functioning blood supply for moving hormones through the body to their target cells, receptors on the target cells to receive hormones and allow them to do their work, and a feedback system for controlling how and when hormones are produced and used. A disruption along any part of this system can knock the body out of homeostasis and set it on the road to disease.
Symptoms that signal hormones are no longer at optimal levels
Since hormones are in charge of the body's communication, they play a big part in every bodily function. This means the list of symptoms that describe hormone loss or imbalance is quit long. Here are just some of them::
Do you want to live until you die?
Having optimal hormone levels is the greatest protection against aging and disease that anyone can have. This is nature’s grand design. Our hormones are at optimal levels during our prime reproductive years, and remain so as long as our children are completely dependent upon us. But then it is also nature’s design that once our children are somewhat self-sufficient, we fade away and allow them to take center stage in life. This process is orchestrated by the loss of optimal hormone levels. When our hormones no longer are at optimal levels, the aging process begins.
Most people think that hormone loss or imbalance is just a natural part of aging, but the reverse is actually true. We age because we no longer have optimal balanced hormone levels. It is not until we lose hormones that we begin to drift away from homeostasis and begin the slow degeneration into death.
Whether you are female or male, this process can be circumvented by restoring optimal hormone levels with bioidentical hormones, and regaining homeostasis. We can turn back the clock by making a commitment to being the best selves we can be while we are on Earth, and by not settling for degeneration, decrepitude, and a life that centers around doctor visits and trips to the pharmacy
About the Author:
Barbara is a school psychologist and the author of Dividend Capture, a book on personal finance. She is a breast cancer survivor using bioidentical hormone therapy, and a passionate advocate of natural health with hundreds of articles on many aspects of health and wellness. She is the editor and publisher of AlignLife's Health Secrets Newsletter.
See other articles by the Barbara Minton here:
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