What are they?
Hormones are chemical messengers produced by a certain organ and released into the bloodstream in order to produce their effect on a distant target organ. There are numerous hormones in the human body, each with specific effects. Some of the main and best known are insulin, testosterone, oxytocin, estrogen, progesterone, glucagon, GH, cortisol, thyroid hormones, among many others.
What’s it for?
Each hormone has an organ-specific function, and its action occurs through receptors, that is, it will always act only in places where there are specific receptors for it. Its connection to the receiver will lead to changes within the specific cell, which will then have a response in the body. Hormones can regulate their own release by means of a feedback mechanism (feedback), naturally done by the body.
Major hormone changes
Several situations can alter the levels of hormones in the bloodstream, since their insufficient production, as in hypothyroidism, as well as an excess of production due to glandular hypertrophy, as in the case of hyperparathyroidism. There may also be disturbances in the receptors in the cell, such as resistance to insulin action, which leads to a lower response of this hormone internally. Variables such as age (the younger, higher GH production), sex (men have higher testosterone production than women, who produce more estrogen and progesterone) and the stage of life (pregnant women have increased hCG production) also modifcam the amount and type of hormone that is produced by the body.
When do you need to reset hormones?
Some specific diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, may require hormone replacement. In this case, an autoimmunity causes in the pancreas the destruction of beta cells, which produce insulin, therefore, to enable the life of these patients, it is made the replacement with insulin syringes. Otherwise, hormones can also be used as ergogenic resources, which is quite common with testosterone and analogues that are used as anabolic steroid. Its effect is to increase lean mass gain and optimize fat loss at the same time, a process that is relatively complicated without the use of these resources, but is much desired by athletes and the general population.
It is important to remember the health risks of anabolic steroids, which increase blood pressure, increase cardiovascular risk, can cause liver and pancreas tumors, lead to changes in blood clotting and cholesterol and can generate sexual impotence.
Anabolic steroids in sport and health
Book: MOLINA, Patricia E. Endocrine Physiology-5. McGraw Hill Brazil, 2021.