How hormones affect the body

What are Hormones?

Hormones are the members of the class of signaling molecules that are produced by the glands. It sometimes includes chemicals produced by the cells that affect the same cell or cells nearby to it. Hormones are responsible for the functioning of many body systems.

1. Renin

Renin is one of the most important hormones that regulate blood pressure, fluid volume, sodium potassium balance and controls hemodynamic stability. It is primarily associated with kidneys but it also affects the brain, heart, blood vessel and adrenal glands. Renin is stored and secreted from the renal juxtaglomerular cells which are located in the wall of afferent arteriole. It is also known as angiotensinogen and it participates in the body’s renin angiotensin aldosterone system.  Restriction of salt intake, acute hemorrhage, administration of diuretics results in the increase in renin release. It is controlled by four independent factors renal baroreceptor, macula densa, renal sympathetic nerves and carious humoral factors. The renal baroreceptor is the most powerful regulator of renin release. Macula densa cells monitor the delivery of sodium chloride to the distal nephron and decreased concentration within the cells stimulate renin release. Sympathetic nerve cells intervene with juxtaglomerular and stimulates renin release.   

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2. Testosterone

Testosterone is one of the major hormone released by the body and it occurs in both males and females. In men, it is produced by the Leydig cells in the testes and in women, it is produced by the ovaries and placenta. It is the main sex hormone in males as it plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues. Testosterone also plays an important role in the development of muscle, bone mass, body hair in men. Normally, masculinization does not occur in women as the chemical reaction in women’s body converts testosterone into the female hormone. Also, deficiency of testosterone is highly associated with an increased fat mass, reduced insulin sensitivity, impaired glucose tolerance, low HDL cholesterol etc..  In women a high level of testosterone can lead to polycystic ovary syndrome. It is a condition in which women notice increase body and facial hair, irregular menstrual cycle, deepening voice etc..

3. Cortisol

Cortisol is a steroid hormone and it releases in response to stress and low blood glucose level. It is secreted by the adrenal cortex and plays an important role in the metabolism of proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. It is also a primary hormone that is involved in the functioning of the immunity system. Cortisol drops at night and at that time immune cells become more active and kills bacteria and viruses while you rest. When cortisol is out of balance the immune function is compromised. Cortisol is affected by the food we eat as adrenal gland maintains blood sugar level in the body by balancing the insulin and glucagon.

4. Oestrogen

Oestrogen is primarily a female sex organ which is responsible for the development of the female reproductive system and other sex characteristics such as the breast. It is also involved in aspects such as menstrual cycle. Though estrogen levels are lower in males by still it plays important psychological roles in males as well. Oestrogen also has actions in the central nervous system, reproductive system and are found in abundance in some regions of the brain.  It is also considered to play an important role in women’s mental health. It stimulates Luteinizing Hormone. In females, an acute rise of luteinizing hormone triggers ovulation and development of the corpus luteum.

5. Glucagon

Glucagon is a peptide hormone which is produced by alpha cells of the pancreas. It helps in increasing the concentration of glucose and fatty acid in the blood. It is said to be the main catabolic hormone of the body. It is secreted into the portal vein and shows its major action on the liver to break down glycogen. It plays an active role in regulating the utilization of glucose and fats.

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