Chemical messengers produced by your endocrine glands, hormones are deposited straight into the blood stream where they travel to a specific part of your body to pass on instructions. Hormones regulate the physiological activities in your body, including growth, reproduction and homeostasis (keeping your body systems stable).
The main hormones in your body are:
ACTH aka adrenocorticotrophic hormone
Produced by the pituitary gland, it helps your body to use glucose, create proteins, and move fatty acids around the body. It also inhibits allergic inflammation.
Produced by the women’s ovaries, estrogen is the female sex hormone. It affects the ovaries, vagina, fallopian tubes, uterus and mammary glands, and controls puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and labour. It also stimulates sexual desire in women, and causes a woman’s body shape and structure to develop differently to a man’s.
Produced in the male testes and adrenal glands, testosterone is the male sex hormone. It controls sperm production, and the development of the male reproductive organs and secondary male sexual characteristics: facial hair, a deeper voice and muscles. Testosterone is also produced by women’s ovaries and adrenal glands, and helps maintain muscle and bone strength, and influence libido. Men have about 20 times more testosterone in their bodies than women.
Produced by the thyroid gland, thyroxine increases cell metabolism and regulates growth.
Produced by the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, insulin regulates your metabolism, and lowers the level of glucose in the blood by converting it to glycogen.
Adrenaline aka epinephrine
Produced by the adrenal glands, adrenaline triggers the body’s ‘fight-or-flight’ mechanism in response to physical or mental stress, such as fear or injury. It increases heart rate, blood pressure, metabolic rate, and the amount of glucose in the blood, providing more energy to the body’s muscles.