How hormones affect the body
Not only pregnant women or women during their period are heavily influenced by their hormones. There are a variety of endogenous substances that are responsible for the operation of each body. An overview.
Nothing works without hormones . Some are needed to survive at all, others give the body a beautiful shape, others influence how well someone can bond to other people. An overview.
Natural pain killers: endorphins
When a person hurts, the body does something pretty genius. He releases painkillers: endorphins. It is not about a mild drug as everyone in the medicine cabinet has. “Endorphins are endogenous opiates,” says Walschburger. The body keeps these substances in front, so that humans are still reactive even in an emergency. But they also work outside of acute emergencies, when someone is going through a stressful time, such as stress in the job or in the relationship has: “Endorphins ensure that we can endure.” Experienced runners can also create “Runner’s High” – a euphoric state, as in intoxication, which occurs at very high levels of stress.
Nothing but: adrenaline
Adrenaline is responsible for mobilizing additional powers so that humans can escape. The messenger substance is formed in the adrenal medulla and released from there into the bloodstream. Throughout the body, adrenaline activates receptors that narrow the small blood vessels to increase blood pressure. “This is the special thing about hormones: they are released in one place, but they can work elsewhere,” explains Prof. Matthias M. Weber, spokesman for the German Society for Endocrinology. Hormones have keys for specific cells, so they work exactly where they should work.
The “happiness cocktail”: serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine
Serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine are hormones and neurotransmitters that are responsible for transmitting the excitation from one nerve cell to another, explains Prof. Joachim Spranger, Director of the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Berlin Charité. Serotonin ensures that people feel alive during the day – so it is often referred to as the “happiness hormone”. Together with dopamine and norepinephrine it puts lovers the proverbial “pink glasses” on.
If someone leaves his beloved partner, the serotonin mirror rushes into the cellar. The result can be a condition that resembles that of a depressive person. The distribution of such messenger substances – unfortunately – can not be deliberately controlled. “On the other hand, we are not puppets of our hormones,” emphasizes Walschburger, but they still have their own will.
More than sex: estrogen and testosterone
Among other things, thanks to the two sex hormones, women look like women and men like men. They affect the pleasure and the ability to reproduce. But that’s not all: “Estrogen, for example, is also important for bone construction,” says Spranger. From the menopause, the body gradually stops producing estrogen – so women’s bone density often decreases. “Testosterone in turn is not synonymous with lust,” Walschburger clarifies. For example, there is also a connection between the hormone and the results of success. If, for example, the favorite team wins a football match, the testosterone level rises – “even if the fans just sat in the stadium and did not even play themselves.”
Energy at the right dose: thyroid hormones
Hormones produced in the cells of the thyroid such as triiodothyronine and thyroxine are among the messengers that work everywhere in the body. They are involved in the regulation of the cardiovascular system, stimulate the metabolism and thus ensure that the body always enough, but not too much energy is available. Accordingly, it is unpleasant if the thyroid is not working properly: signs of hypofunction include tiredness, depressive moods, an inexplicable weight gain or high cholesterol levels.
Power for the day: cortisol
Cortisol is produced in the adrenal cortex and is like adrenaline a stress hormone. But it is not just poured out when people feel stress. Without sufficient cortisol in the bloodstream, humans would not be viable. It would be hard to get up in the morning. Cortisol affects both the blood vessels and the metabolism. It is especially important for the blood salt balance.
The body’s own storage medium: insulin
Insulin enables the body to store energy. If a healthy person has eaten carbohydrates, the islet cells in the pancreas release insulin. The insulin then closes the cell walls so that the sugar can enter the cells and be stored there. Consequently, the level of blood in the blood drops: a vital mechanism. If he is disturbed – for example due to diabetes – the person has to help and, for example, inject insulin.
The “cuddle hormone”: oxytocin
While lovers have their heads twisted by a mix of serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine, when an affair becomes a love affair, the brain spills oxytocin. It also influences how well a person interacts with others outside of relationships with others. Bonding hormone might be the more appropriate term. Oxytocin is particularly important for the relationship between parents and their children. “When a mother is breastfeeding her baby, for example, the hormone builds a lasting bond between them,” Walschburger explains. This happens outside of the breastfeeding process. Even negative emotions between parents and children can trigger oxytocin secretions. The parent-child bond is therefore difficult to shake. Oxytocin does not only affect the psyche,
Growth hormone: somatropin
The growth hormone somatropin is responsible for growth in children – as the name implies. In adults, it is responsible, among other things, for the distribution of fat in the body. If you want to have an athletic body, you should stimulate the secretion of growth hormone. Unlike other hormones, humans can do this quite deliberately, explains Spranger: “For example, by getting enough sleep.”