Hormones. We hear about them. We are strongly influenced by them. What are they and why do we need them? And how do they work exactly? The process of understanding how they function can take years. But having an idea of how they operate may help inspire your path to natural healing and optimal wellness. This is an essential guide for all genders, as all of us are influenced by hormones.
Hormones communicate with every function in our body in a continuous manner. They affect the brain, metabolism, immune system, gut microbiome, stress response, and reproduction. Hormones are either proteins or derivatives of cholesterol. They are manufactured in endocrine glands, including the thyroid, pancreas, testes, ovaries, and the adrenal, pituitary, and pineal glands.
Generally speaking, aging begins when your hormone levels begin to decline in the mid to late 30’s. The organs that manufacture hormones begin to slow their production. Also, hormone receptors become less receptive. These changes progress well into old age. Both of these conditions can be remedied with optimal hormone replacement therapy.
Victory Rejuvenation Center uses biologically identical (bioidentical) hormones for replacement or supplement therapy. This means that the hormones used for replacement therapy are chemically identical in structure to those that your body makes. VRC prefers to use the term “human identical hormones” but Bioidentical Hormones is the term most currently used.
Bioidentical hormones are either extracted from plants or chemically synthesized. Either way, the final product is chemically identical to what the body naturally makes. Bioidentical hormones are different than synthetic or non-human hormone alternatives. Synthetic and non-human hormones are not “natural” to the human body. When these kinds of hormones enter the system, they are metabolized into pieces that the body can perceive as “foreign”. This can lead to side effects, including increased risk for breast or uterine cancer, heart attacks and strokes, and weight gain. Biologically made hormones do not tend to have the same side effects and are minimal when managed properly.
The internal gonads (ovaries) make three hormones: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Estrogen is the hormone responsible for secondary female sex characteristics. Estrogen offers a whole host of benefits. In fact, estrogen is an important hormone for all genders.
Testosterone is the primary hormone for secondary male sex characteristics and is made by the external gonads (testes). Progesterone is a very important hormone in females. It balances estrogen among many other benefits.
The levels of all of these hormones fluctuate throughout a person’s life. These hormones are fundamental for fertility and sexuality. They are responsible for puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, sex drive, sperm production, and more. Learn more about each one below.