Just about every function in your body comes back to hormones, which basically act as the messengers in your system that signal the different parts of your body to behave in different ways. This means that feeling and performing your best on a regular basis might all come down to keeping your hormones in check. Here are some of the key areas of your life where hormones are in (almost) total control.
Impacted by: Melatonin
A key contributor to helping you wind down at the end of the day, melatonin is a hormone that is produced by your pineal gland, which is activated naturally by darkness. This means that when the sun goes down, your body automatically begins releasing higher levels of melatonin into the blood, causing you to feel less alert and more tired.
Impacted by: Leptin and ghrelin
Leptin and ghrelin, or the “hunger” hormones, are some of the biggest players when it comes to regulating your appetite. While leptin is an appetite suppressor that is made by your fat cells, ghrelin is the opposite: an appetite stimulator, and a determiner of how soon we feel hungry again after we eat. Of the two, though, leptin might be the stronger force, possibly serving as a regulator for ghrelin and signaling the brain about how much energy you have in your body.
Impacted by: Serotonin
Known for its role in stimulating happiness and feel-good vibes, serotonin is definitely a hormone that you’ll want to keep in abundant supply. And while high levels are going to boost your mood and help you conquer any stress that life throws your way, low levels of serotonin are bad news, contributing to depression, anxiety, and a number of other potential mental disorders.
Impacted by: Testosterone and estrogens
Testosterone and estrogen are best known as the dominant male and female sex hormones, respectively, but they play a pretty major role in keeping your skin looking its best, too. While low estrogen levels generally cause skin to lose its firmness and vibrancy, unhealthy testosterone levels inhibit the production of natural oils that are important in protecting the skin.
Impacted by: Pregnenolene
The amino acid GABA is a neurotransmitter that basically prevents the brain from overheating by inhibiting the firing of neurons in it. And while that’s definitely not a bad thing, too much GABA can cause your brain to perform slower than is ideal. That’s where pregnenolene comes in, since the hormone counteracts GABA to keep your mind sharp and active. Pregnenolene also assists in the reproduction of new brain cells, which further contributes to better recollection and brain function.
Impacted by: Oxytocin
Released most commonly during sex and childbirth, oxytocin has been colloquially dubbed the “love” and “cuddle” hormone. Healthy levels can play a major role in regulating your social behavior, including helping you build trust, feel optimistic, boosting your confidence, and contributing to greater feelings of intimacy, attraction, and attachment. And that doesn’t just mean romantically; the hormone is also a big factor in building bonds with friends and family, especially between new parents and their children.
Impacted by: Epinephrine
Epinephrine, better known as adrenaline, works alongside norepinephrine in your adrenal system to keep you feeling energetic and alert during the day. The secret is epinephrine’s role in freeing up energy that your major muscles than use to help your body respond to possible threats.
An easy way to get your hormones in check is through proper nutrition. While food sources are a great way to get nutrients, we often can’t get everything we need from food alone. Find out how WellPath can help fill your nutritional gaps and keep your hormones in check.