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Tags: hormones | aging | insulin | adrenalin

The Importance of Hormones

Erika Schwartz, M.D By Friday, 02 January 2015 04:20 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

When I utter the word hormones in front of my family and friends, a sudden smile crosses their faces. Before I say another word, they often respond, “Yeah, it’s all about hormones!”
They know me and they know what I do for a living. They know the deep significance of the understanding that our state of health is indelibly and permanently tied to hormone balance.
I don’t take that lightly. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I know for a fact that our hormones determine if we are healthy or sick, happy or sad, young or old looking, loving or cold, attached or isolated from others.
From the more than 20,000 patients I have cared for and treated with hormones, I can tell you this is simple fact.
Let me explain: When you are young and full of vigor, you can spend years without sleeping a full night. You can take care of your kids, work long hours, and go out at night. Still, you don’t have wrinkles, and you don’t look old. I’m sure you agree. It’s just the way life is.
Young people are full of hormones, which are their protectors, providing the reserve to keep them looking and feeling young. Their thyroid is in balance, their estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone keep them fertile and strong.
These hormones, in turn, affect levels of feel-good hormones in the brain like serotonin and dopamine.
Another hugely important hormone, insulin, stabilizes our blood sugar and helps us optimize our weight when we stop eating junk.
There are so many more hormones in this dance of health and well-being. Thyroid, the hormone that determines how fast our metabolism functions, is crucial. The more fine-tuned its balance, the easier it is to keep weight down. The thyroid also regulates our perception of temperature so we aren’t too cold when everyone else is sweating.
And let’s not forget the adrenals. They are little glands that sit on top of our kidneys and make lots of different kinds of very important hormones. They protect us from getting sick by keeping inflammation to a minimum.
When we are young, they produce just the right amount of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenalin when we are scared or under stress to provide the proper support for our reactions.
It is under chronic conditions as we age that things start going downhill regarding hormones. Chronic stress, lots of work, too much travel, internal strife, inability to communicate how we truly feel, unwillingness to share our lives honestly, having our priorities mixed up — that’s when our bodies keep releasing cortisol.
The result is increasing levels of inflammation making us sick and bathing our erstwhile healthy organs in a constant soup of bad hormones that lower immune function, making us old before our time.
Not very strangely, this is the time when women go into menopause and men enter andropause. This is the time when our sex hormones just plain leave us. Production of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, insulin, serotonin, dopamine, and others decreases.
As they decrease and eventually leave our bodies, we start suffering the effects of aging. We end up with all those horrific things that happen to older people: arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, cancer.
Our terribly flawed medical system thrives on finding these diseases and scaring us into losing our pride, quality of life, and ourselves.
But guess what? I am here to tell you with 100 percent certainty you can use the time when your hormones start to wane by improving your life and taking control of your health.
All you have to do is change your diet, increase your exercise, take the right supplements, get serious about getting eight hours of sleep a night, and start saying “no” to anyone who is toxic and just plain bad for your health.

© 2023 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

When I utter the word hormones in front of my family and friends, a sudden smile crosses their faces. Before I say another word, they often respond, “Yeah, it’s all about hormones!”
hormones, aging, insulin, adrenalin
Friday, 02 January 2015 04:20 PM
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