BLOG 152 HORMONES
Our bodies are fascinating functioning entities that are designed to endure and last. Machines don’t always function properly and fine tuning may be needed. If our heart is acting strange, we see a cardiologist. If we are having issues with our feet, we go see a podiatrist. But sometimes the answers aren’t so obvious when we know something just isn’t right. Endocrinology, the study of hormones is only 100 years old so it’s in its state of infancy. Hence, why there isn’t always a direct response from a doctor when it comes to a woman’s inquiry about her sudden weight gain or lack of energy, or a male feeling depressed or sluggish.
Hormones can rule our lives. They turn children into adults, affect or appetites, and affect our passions. We may not think of them in our daily thoughts, but they are part of our daily lives for sure. The earliest example of hormone study was with the famous opera singer of the 1700s named, Ferinelli. He was castrated to keep his opera voice high. As a result, he had many female features. Later, cattle and roosters were the lab rats to be tested on.
In the 1800s, when women were having issues the answer was to remove their ovaries. 150,000 women in Europe were treated this way to address their unsolved womanly ailments. Yet, that just caused early menopause.
Hormones are chemical messengers that communicate much differently than our nervous system. The word “hormone” came from the ever-famous Greek poet, Homer. Cortisol is the stress hormone. Adrenaline is the flight or fight hormone and there are many more. The pituitary gland is the major house of these hormonal operations. It regulates our levels like a thermostat.
Studies of obesity led to the discovery of insulin and leptin. Without insulin, one will develop diabetes and long ago diabetes was a death sentence. Hence, the name “Die” abetes. Sugar passes straight to urine when insulin is not properly functioning. Leptin is the fat hormone and provides feedback to brain about our appetite. More fat leads to more leptin and studies show this is caused by genetics in addition to self-control.
The movie, “The Fantastical World of Hormones”, by Andrew Smith, was very helpful in my research. This is just a synopsis because we know that hormones are not a straightforward answer. On our fitness journeys there may be speed bumps, but the road to your goals will lead you to better health and a better YOU!!!!