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23/Jul/2020

Hormones are so much more interesting than what we’re taught in health class. So we’ve created a guide to aaaall of the hormones. Here’s everything you need to know about estrogenprogesteroneandrogensprogestinssynthetic estrogen, and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG).

Top things to know:

  • Hormones tell your body how to breathe, grow, drink, and eat

  • If you have a menstrual cycle, your reproductive hormones are constantly shifting throughout your cycle—unless you take certain types of hormonal birth control

  • Hormonal imbalance can be caused by conditions like diabetes, thyroid disorders, and PCOS

What are hormones?

Hormones are molecules produced by the endocrine system that send messages to various parts of the body. They help regulate your body’s processes, like hunger,  blood pressure, and sexual desire. While hormones are essential to reproduction, they are fundamental to all the systems of your body.

Hormones are released from glands in your endocrine system. They tell your body how to breathe and how to expend energy.

Hormones flow through the whole body, but only affect certain cells designed to receive their messages. Hormones and hormone receptor sites work together like a lock and a key (1).

What do hormones do in my body?

All bodies experience hormonal shifts constantly throughout the day.

When you eat a meal, the pancreas produces the hormone insulin to help regulate blood sugar. As you slam on the brakes to avoid a car collision, your adrenal glands pump out the hormone adrenaline (epinephrine) to help you act quickly. Your pineal gland works to produce the hormone melatonin to help you get restful sleep at night (1).

When hormones aren’t balanced correctly, an endocrine disorder can be to blame. Having too much of a hormone (also known as hyper-function) or not having enough of a hormone (known as hypo-function), can cause problems.

Hormonal imbalance

Hormonal imbalance can be caused by health conditions. Some of them include:

Tiny but mighty, our bodies depend on hormones to function. Some people are more sensitive to hormones than others. This might explain why some people suffer from premenstrual syndrome (4) or postpartum depression (5), while others aren’t bothered at all by the hormonal changes of menstruation and pregnancy.

Which hormones are responsible for what?

Each hormone-producing gland in the body makes a hormone with a very specialized purpose (6).

  • Hypothalamus: regulates body temperature, hunger, mood, thirst, sleep and libido

  • Pituitary: is the “Wizard of Oz” gland, controlling other glands behind the scenes.

  • Parathyroid: regulates calcium.

  • Pancreas: produces insulin to help use food as energy.

  • Thyroid: regulates heartbeat and how calories are used.

  • Adrenal glands: produce stress hormones.

  • Pineal gland: produces melatonin to regulate the body clock.

  • Ovaries: secrete sex hormones for use in the reproductive cycle.

  • Testes: produces testosterone and sperm (7).

How do hormones affect sex and reproduction?

Reproductive hormones are made by the ovaries and the testicles. The ovaries produce estrogenprogesterone, and androgens, while the testicles produce androgens like testosterone (9).

Puberty, development of breasts, ability to become pregnant or produce sperm, and body hair growth are all influenced by reproductive hormones. The levels of these hormones fluctuate throughout a person’s life, generally declining as a person ages (10).

For women and people with cycles, these hormones shift throughout the menstrual cycle during the reproductive years, unless you introduce hormones into the body with hormonal birth control.

Pregnancy is the time of the most dramatic hormone shift. The body even creates a new organ called the placenta that secretes progesterone (8).

What you need to know about reproductive hormones

The menstrual cycle is more than just your period – it’s a complex ebb and flow of hormones that make your reproductive system function. Without hormones, your reproductive organs would be stagnant. You wouldn’t be able to become pregnant and might not experience the desire to have sex.

While the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone are powerful, they need help from a protein called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) to function properly. SHBG is like a chaperone that grabs a specific sex hormone, removing it from direct circulation in the body and transporting it to the necessary tissue (11). (You can read more about SHBG and its effect on your body, in depth, in this article.)

The reproductive hormones include:

Androgens

Androgens are made from cholesterol and produced in the adrenal gland and the ovaries (9, 11). Women and people with cycles who have higher levels of androgens than normal can experience symptoms like excess hair growth, acne, irregular or absent periods and infertility (12,13).

Conditions that cause androgen excess include:

  • PCOS

  • Adrenal tumors

  • Ovarian tumors

  • High levels of prolactin

  • Cushing’s disease (12,14,15)).

(You can read more about androgens and their effect on your body, in depth, in this article.)

Progesterone

Progesterone is the major hormone that promotes pregnancy. It’s easy to remember if you think the word progesterone as “pro-gestation”(15).

During the menstrual cycle, progesterone is low until ovulation. Then, levels rise. Progesterone changes the structure of the endometrium so that a fertilized egg can implant (16).

During pregnancy, progesterone is the primary hormone of the first trimester (15). It also helps to develop breast tissue called mammary glands that are essential for lactation (17).

(You can read more about progesterone and its effect on your body, in depth, in this article.)

Estrogen

Estrogen is associated with menstruation, but it also impacts a number of bodily functions, including bone development and brain, cardiac, vascular and urinary tract health (18).

Perhaps more than any other hormone, estrogen impacts the way we look. It impacts body fat composition and even the health of skin and hair (19).

(You can read more about estrogen and its effect on your body, in depth, in this article.)


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23/Jul/2020

Did you know – fifteen in every 1000 women suffer from thyroid. Similarly, one in 1000 man has thyroid. While diet monitoring is very important for thyroid patients, they need more.

In thyroid, the thyroid gland is responsible for the metabolic function of the body. Therefore, when thyroid poses a problem, the entire body suffers. A thyroid patient may experience depression, weight gain, fatigue, low body temperature, hair fall, poor light sensitivity and lack of stamina. It is important to know how to approach the treatment of thyroid as well as the important dos and don’ts.

The Dos

  1. Check thyroid regularly

It is important to check thyroid levels regularly – whether you do it at home or via a lab test, it is up to you. At times, a doctor may completely depend upon the blood test for diagnosis and overlook thyroid dysfunction. This leaves many people undiagnosed. Therefore, it is important to have a frank discussion with your doctor and seek clarity.

If you want to test your thyroid levels at home, you will need a glass basal thermometer. You can check your temperature daily for 10 minutes. Take precautions as per your temperature.

  1. Drink a lot of water

Thyroid patients must always drink distilled water. This is because chlorine, fluoride, and bromine levels are very low, and it is iodine-free which helps the thyroid to function properly. Distilled water also ensures cleaning the liver and kidneys of toxins.

  1. Eat selenium, tyrosine, and antioxidants rich food

Thyroid patients must have foods with Vitamin B such as crab, shellfish, brazil nuts, kidney, and liver. These foods contain Selenium – an enzyme that converts T4 to T3. Tyrosine-based food includes almonds, sesame seeds, oats, etc. Antioxidants rich food includes all fresh vegetables and fruits. These kinds of food will reduce inflammation and helps build immunity.

Read More: 8 Best Foods for Thyroid Patients to Include in their Diet

The Don’ts

  1. Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol

Thyroid patients, if they smoke or drink alcohol, should put a stop to these immediately. This is because alcohol is a depressant and it suppresses the thyroid gland functions. Tobacco or smoking is equally harmful as it blocks the iodide ration and synthesis of hormones.

Read More: 7 Health Hazards of Smoking

  1. Say no to macronutrients

Fats, protein, and carbohydrates are the big macronutrients. They play a significant role in thyroid regulation in the body. However, following a low-carb diet can adversely affect the thyroid. Even diets that are non-fat or trans-fat pose problems for thyroid patients.

  1. Stay away from sugar and caffeine

Caffeine tends to stress the body and so does sugar. Consuming caffeine is smaller quantities is good as it helps to reduce inflammation as it helps open up the blood vessels. But consuming more than the recommended amount of caffeine can alter the TSH levels produced by the pituitary glands.

  1. No self-medication

Most often thyroid patients in their struggle to understand what’s happening to their body and therefore they turn to the internet for reference. The internet with its wide range of sources tells different stories and patients get carried away and start to relate everything happening in their body to be a thyroid problem.

It is recommended that one should be familiar with the symptoms and conditions that are thyroid-related but talk with a licensed doctor and get a proper prescription before you decide your own treatment.


diabetes.jpg
23/Jul/2020

Diabetes is a condition that impairs the body’s ability to process blood glucose, otherwise known as blood sugar.

In the United States, the estimated number of people over 18 years of age with diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes is 30.2 million. The figure represents between 27.9 and 32.7 percent of the population.

Without ongoing, careful management, diabetes can lead to a buildup of sugars in the blood, which can increase the risk of dangerous complications, including stroke and heart disease.

Different kinds of diabetes can occur, and managing the condition depends on the type. Not all forms of diabetes stem from a person being overweight or leading an inactive lifestyle. In fact, some are present from childhood.

Types
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There are several types of diabetes.

Three major diabetes types can develop: Type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.

Type I diabetes: Also known as juvenile diabetes, this type occurs when the body fails to produce insulin. People with type I diabetes are insulin-dependent, which means they must take artificial insulin daily to stay alive.

Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes affects the way the body uses insulin. While the body still makes insulin, unlike in type I, the cells in the body do not respond to it as effectively as they once did. This is the most common type of diabetes, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and it has strong links with obesity.

Gestational diabetes: This type occurs in women during pregnancy when the body can become less sensitive to insulin. Gestational diabetes does not occur in all women and usually resolves after giving birth.

Less common types of diabetes include monogenic diabetes and cystic fibrosis-related diabetes.

Click here to learn more about type I diabetes.

Prediabetes

Doctors refer to some people as having prediabetes or borderline diabetes when blood sugar is usually in the range of 100 to 125 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).

Normal blood sugar levels sit between 70 and 99 mg/dL, whereas a person with diabetes will have a fasting blood sugar higher than 126 mg/dL.

The prediabetes level means that blood glucose is higher than usual but not so high as to constitute diabetes.

People with prediabetes are, however, at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, although they do not usually experience the symptoms of full diabetes.

The risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are similar. They include:

  • being overweight
  • a family history of diabetes
  • having a high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level lower than 40 mg/dL or 50 mg/dL
  • a history of high blood pressure
  • having gestational diabetes or giving birth to a child with a birth weight of more than 9 pounds
  • a history of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • being of African-American, Native American, Latin American, or Asian-Pacific Islander descent
  • being more than 45 years of age
  • having a sedentary lifestyle

If a doctor identifies that a person has prediabetes, they will recommend that the individual makes healthful changes that can ideally stop the progression to type 2 diabetes. Losing weight and having a more healthful diet can often help prevent the disease.

How insulin problems develop:

Doctors do not know the exact causes of type I diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, also known as insulin resistance, has clearer causes.

Insulin allows the glucose from a person’s food to access the cells in their body to supply energy. Insulin resistance is usually a result of the following cycle:

  1. A person has genes or an environment that make it more likely that they are unable to make enough insulin to cover how much glucose they eat.
  2. The body tries to make extra insulin to process the excess blood glucose.
  3. The pancreas cannot keep up with the increased demands, and the excess blood sugar starts to circulate in the blood, causing damage.
  4. Over time, insulin becomes less effective at introducing glucose to cells, and blood sugar levels continue to rise.

In the case of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance takes place gradually. This is why doctors often recommend making lifestyle changes in an attempt to slow or reverse this cycle.

Learn more about the function of insulin by clicking here.




In short words


Dr Amit Goel has a decade of experience in the field of medicine with an experience as an Endocrinologist for over 4 years. Dr Amit’s published articles are one of the best in the world for research on prevention and early detection of diabetic neuropathy.




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