When you think of hormones, you normally think about female and male hormones like estrogen and testosterone, but there are other hormones that aren’t linked to sexuality. When your hormones are functioning correctly, it benefits your health. That’s because hormones are chemicals that send messages to all parts of the body to function normally. They control major things like your heart rate and body temperature and even control your mood.

Can’t sleep? Maybe it’s hormonal.

The endocrine system contains the glands where the hormones are created. The hypothalamus is one major gland that releases hormones that control thirst, sleep, body temperature and more. Probably one of the best known hormone problems is Type 1 diabetes. Although type 1 diabetes is considered an autoimmune disease, it occurs because the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin. Your master gland is the pituitary gland, since it controls other glands. Your thalamus, also called the pineal gland, creates serotonin that affects how much you sleep. Of course, the ovaries and testes are responsible for sex hormones.

There’s also those pesky stress hormones that affect your health.

You probably associate cortisol with stress. In fact, it’s sometimes called the stress hormone. That’s because it’s part of the flight or fight response created by stress. Almost all cells have receptors for it. It does more than just prepare your body in times of stress, it also helps regulate your metabolism, improve memory, control blood sugar levels and help maintain blood pressure. There are health issues that can cause high amounts of cortisol, but stress can also do it. It causes increased heart rate, plus affect all parts of the body and boost the potential for obesity and heart disease. It’s now believed too much cortisol can cause abdominal fat to occur.

An imbalance of female sex hormones can create a lot of health issues.

Whether the imbalance came from too much stress, inadequate nutrition or toxins, it can cause real health issues for women. For women with too much estrogen and too little progesterone, the symptoms might include a low sex drive, fibroid tumors, weight gain on the hips, thighs and abdomen, mood swings, gall bladder disease, heavy bleeding and painful periods and gallbladder disease.

  • Regular exercise is one way to help regulate hormones, especially burning off hormones of stress and regulating excess estrogen.
  • Keep your endocrine system functioning at peak performance by eating healthier to help prevent obesity. Foods high in fructose or other sugars can play havoc with insulin levels. Eating whole foods has the potential to correct insulin resistance, the cause of type 2 diabetes.
  • Keep stress at bay. That’s not always easy to do, but there are ways to help. Learn how to meditate when you need a cool down or simply get some exercise, like running up and down a staircase to relieve the stress.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Include fatty fish like salmon and even some green tea. Both have proven to be helpful for maintaining hormone health.