Hormones Definition

Hormones are special chemicals released in the body that controls and regulate the activity of certain cells and organs. These hormones are secreted by special glands known as Endocrine glands.

Hormones activities

What are Hormones?

Hormones are chemical messengers of the body that are secreted by special glands known as the endocrine glands. These messengers control most of the body functions right from primary needs like hunger to complex systems and functions like reproduction and emotions.

Hormones are released from the glands in the bloodstream. They help in the regulation of physiological activities and in maintaining homeostasis in the body.

Also Read: Mechanism of Hormone Action

Types of Hormones

The body has different types of hormones. A few have a major role to play in the well-being and health of a human body. Hence it is important to understand the roles so as to protect and manage the health.

  1. Estrogen-This is the main sex hormone present in women which cause puberty, prepares the uterus and body for pregnancy and even regulates the menstrual cycle. Estrogen level changes during menopause because of which women experience many uncomfortable symptoms.
  2. Progesterone – This hormone is replicated to estrogen but is not taken as the main sex hormone. It helps in maintaining the menstrual cycle and also assist in pregnancy as estrogen does.
  3. Cortisol – It has been named as the “stress hormone” by the way it helps the body in responding to stress.
  4. Melatonin – The levels of this hormone change throughout the day and helps in controlling the natural cycle of sleeping hours.
  5. Testosterone –  This is the main sex hormone present in men which cause puberty, muscle mass growth, and strength, increases bone density and handles facial hair growth.

Hormones are released by the endocrine glands that are the ductless glands of the endocrine system.

Endocrine Glands and the Hormones Secreted

endocrine system

  • Hypothalamus: It regulates the body temperature, controls thirst, sleep, hunger, emotions, moods and allow the release of hormones.
  • Pineal: Pineal is also known as the thalamus, it develops serotonin derivatives of melatonin, which can affect sleep.
  • Parathyroid: This gland helps in controlling the amount of calcium present in the body.
  • Thymus: It helps in the functioning of the adaptive immune system, produces T-cells and maturity of the thymus.
  • Thyroid: It produces hormones that belong to calorie burning and heart rate.
  • Adrenal: This gland produces the hormones that control the sex drive, cortisol and stress hormone.
  • Pituitary: It is also termed as the “master control gland,”. This is because of the pituitary gland helps in controlling other glands and develops the hormones that trigger growth and development.
  • Pancreas: This gland forms the insulin that helps in maintaining the blood sugar levels.
  • Testes: In men, the testes develop the male sex hormone, testosterone, and produces sperm.
  • Ovaries: In women, the ovaries secrete estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and other female sex hormones.

All these glands work together to produce and manage the hormones of the body.

Also Read: Animal Hormones

Functions of Hormones

Following are some of the important functions of hormones:

  • Growth and development of promoting cell and tissue.
  • Food metabolism.
  • Initiating and maintaining sexual development and reproduction.
  • Maintaining body temperature.
  • Controlling thirst and hunger.
  • Regulating mood and cognitive functioning.

Also Read: Plant Growth Regulators

Hormonal Diseases

There are a number of hormonal diseases caused by the dysfunctioning of endocrine glands. These diseases affect both plants and animals.

Common hormonal issues are associated with hypothalamus, adrenal and pituitary glands. An increase or decrease in the secretion of these hormones can severely affect growth, metabolism and development.

Diseases such as hyperthyroidism, osteoporosis, and diabetes are caused due to hormonal imbalance. The factors responsible for hormonal diseases can be genetic, environmental, or related to diet.

Also Read: Feedback Mechanism of Hormones

To know more about what are hormones, different types of hormones, and their functions, keep visiting BYJU’S website or download BYJU’S app for further reference.

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