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Fitness, Mindset, Nutrition

How Hormones Affect Health And Behavior

At Revolution Training in Stamford, CT, most clients only worry about hormones concerning muscle gain or weight loss, but they impact health and behavior, too. Hormones are messengers. Some hormones tell your brain you’re full and others tell your brain you’re hungry. Stress hormones affect a wide variety of functions and if not addressed, can cause damage to the body. The endorphins released during physical exercise can make you feel happy and comfortable. Hormones do more than affect mood. Some are involved in mental health conditions.

Hormones aren’t good or bad. They’re just messengers.

The body has many hormones, which includes the sex hormones, stress hormones, and the infamous happy hormones you get from exercising. Each one performs a specific task. Some have an antagonistic hormone, one that does the opposite function. Insulin, for instance, reduces blood glucose levels, while glucagon increases blood sugar to prevent hypoglycemia. Since both control blood sugar for every cell, an imbalance affects the whole body. Hypoglycemia from too little glucagon can cause emotional changes and mood swings that range from anxiousness to unexplained outbursts of anger. If blood sugar levels are chronically low, it can lead to depression, memory loss, and a short attention span.

HGH—human growth hormone—is released in controlled pulses.

Sometimes hormones cause the release of hormones that control the body. Two antagonistic hormones are responsible for releasing HGH. The hypothalamus releases growth hormone-releasing hormone—GHRH to trigger the release of HGH and somatostatin to inhibit it. HGH affects children’s growth patterns. It impacts fat and sugar metabolism, affects body fluids, regulates body composition, bone growth, and heart function. Some people believe HGH is the fountain of youth. They may get injections of HGH. Abuse of HGH can lead to hallucinations, psychosis, paranoia, and physical harm.

Sex hormones perform other tasks that affect your behavior and health.

Testosterone is in both male and female bodies and performs tasks not related to sexuality. While the location of fat deposits, muscle size, and body hair growth are gender-related, women need testosterone for ovarian function, bone strength, and sexual drive. If your body is low in testosterone, depression, anxiety, and a low sex drive can occur. However, high testosterone levels in both men and women can lead to irritability, anxiety, and depression. Too much can cause acne, blood pressure changes, slurred speech, difficulty breathing, heart attack, sleep apnea, and other conditions.

  • Oxytocin is called the love hormone. Hugging increases oxytocin levels. Its primary purpose is stimulating uterine contractions. It may play a role in anxiety, anorexia, autism, depression, PTSD, and addiction.
  • Norepinephrine functions as a stress hormone and neurotransmitter. It constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure. Antagonistic hormones prostaglandins, acetylcholine, and histamine are vasodilators, making them wider and lowering blood pressure.
  • Motilin is a gastrointestinal hormone that helps move food from the small intestines to the large intestines. The body releases it during fasting periods. The levels depend on what you eat. A diet high in sugary foods or fat decreases it.
  • Melatonin can help you go to sleep. It works in total darkness and is an antioxidant. It helps counteract the effects of stress. Low levels are linked to obesity, cancer, and diabetes.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

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