Healthy hormonal balance

Healthy hormonal balance

Hormones are vital to your health and well-being. Sometimes they get out of balance, which can lead to problems like diabetes, weight gain or loss, infertility, weak bones and disease. Certain life stages and different health conditions can affect your body’s ability to make or use the hormones you need.

The human body secretes and circulates some 50 different hormones and they are the body’s chemical messengers. A wide variety of these chemical substances are produced by endocrine cells, most of which are in glands. These then enter the blood system to circulate throughout the body and activate target cells. They are produced by endocrine glands, such as the thyroid, pancreas, and ovaries.

Each part of your body – from your brain to your skin, your heart, your kidneys, and your muscles – has a specific job. They take direction from your endocrine system to get the work done. The glands of the endocrine system send out hormones that tell each part of your body what work to do, when to do it, and for how long.

The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland are like orchestral conductors.  Their job is to tell other endocrine glands throughout the body to make the hormones that affect and protect every aspect of your health.

The adrenal glands, located at the top of each kidney, produce hormones that help the body control blood sugar, burn protein and fat, react to stressors like a major illness or injury, and regulate blood pressure.

Two of the most important adrenal hormones are cortisol and aldosterone. The adrenal glands also produce adrenaline and small amounts of sex hormones called androgens, among other hormones. Too much or too little of these can cause diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and lead to heart attacks strokes or kidney failure so it is vital that the control is kept on hormone production.

Hormones have many important effects on women’s health. The female sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone, are most well known because their influence on a woman’s reproductive health, from menstruation to pregnancy to menopause and more. But your body also makes and uses many other kinds of hormones that affect other aspects of your health—from your energy level, weight, mood and much more.

They also play a big role in men’s health, affecting energy level, weight, mood, interest in sex, fertility and much more.


As we grow older, changes naturally occur in the way body systems are controlled. Some target tissues become less sensitive to their controlling hormone. The amount of hormones produced may also change.

Blood levels of some hormones increase, some decrease, and some remain unchanged. They can also be broken down (metabolised) more slowly.

Many of the organs that produce hormones are controlled by others. Ageing also changes this process over time.

So when someone blames their actions or moods on hormones they are probably quite right.