In just the last twenty years, studies on hormones have been marked by groundbreaking discoveries on how these chemical messengers orchestrate vital functions in several different aspects of human health. In today's blog, we'll explain what hormones are, why they're important, and the top trends that have emerged in the history of hormone health research.
Why are hormones important?
Hormones are molecules produced and transmitted by your endocrine system that carry instructions from your body's cells to its organs. There are six glands in your endocrine system (pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, pancreas, ovaries, and testes). Each gland creates a different kind of hormone. From the endocrine system, hormones travel through your bloodstream to a specific organ to deliver its effects. Thus, you can see how your hormone health directly impacts various physiological functions like mood, metabolism, sleep, reproductivity, and immunity.
In short, hormones are responsible for growth, development, and keeping an internal balance within your body. When there is a disruption in your endocrine system your hormones become imbalanced, giving way to a myriad of potential health issues. We'll talk more about this later, but first, let's go over some of the most important developments scientists and researchers have made in hormone health.
Emerging trends in hormone health research
Over the past two decades, research on hormones and their influence on various physiological processes has evolved quite a bit. Here are right of the most notable developments.
As our knowledge about the endocrine system has expanded, the discovery of previously unknown hormones and the vital roles they play in the body have been identified.
Some examples of crucial hormones and their functions are:
- Insulin: Keeps your blood sugar levels regulated
- Thyroid: Influences your metabolism
- Estrogen and Testosterone: Essential for reproductive health and sexual development
- Cortisol: Contributes to stress response as well as metabolic function
- Adrenaline: Activates your "fight or flight" response
Advancements in precision medicine have allowed scientists and researchers to develop targeted treatments tailored for specific hormonal profiles. This customized approach is preferred because it increases the efficacy of each treatment and minimizes side effects.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that epigenetics is the study of how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work. Integrating this prominent concept into hormone health research has allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of gene expression regulation, hormone receptor sensitivity, fetal programming, stress response and cortisol regulation, how reproductive hormones work, how metabolic hormones pave the way for obesity, and hormone-related diseases.
The gut microbiome connection
On that note, we now know that hormone balance directly affects your gut microbiome. This area of hormone health research investigates how bacteria in the gut influences not only hormone production, but also metabolism. In a nutshell, the health of your hormones has a lot to do with your body's ability to gain and lose weight.
Hormones and aging
Here's one we all want to know about.
One of the most consistent trends in hormone health studies is interventions for age-related hormonal changes. Commonly experienced examples of age-related hormonal changes vary from mood swings to the decrease of collagen production to hot flashes. As such, some outcomes include lifestyle modifications, hormone replacement therapies, and pharmaceutical developments that aim to address age-related hormonal imbalances like PMS, perimenopause, and menopause.
The rise of digital health has allowed us to completely revolutionize the way we monitor and manage our hormone health. Today, there are a plethora of digital tools, apps you can access from your phone, and several types of wearable devices that enable us to track our hormone fluctuations in real-time.
New studies in neuroendocrinology have given way to a thorough understanding of how the brain communicates with endocrinatic functions. This research explores how brain health regulates hormone production, and, similarly, how hormones impact important cognitive functions. As a result of these findings, we continue to learn more about how hormones affect various aspects of mental health. Thus, opportunities to create new therapeutic treatments have become available.
New findings in hormone health research have also introduced the opportunity for multiple scientific disciplines to collaborate such as genetics, biology, endocrinology, and technology. Due to these interdisciplinary studies, we all benefit from a more holistic understanding of human health.
What can you do to improve your hormone health?
In summary, modern research on hormone health has constructed a remarkable evolution in healthcare overall. Key developments such as hormone discovery, precision medicine, epigenetics, digital health, and interdisciplinary studies collectively create a complex yet concise explanation of how hormones work and how new therapeutic interventions contribute to our well-being. If you're looking for a simple way to support your hormones, consider trying one, or both, of Ladykind's sublingual tinctures that support women's wellness and in turn, are an effective management strategy for better hormone health.