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Hormonal “Balance” – are they balanced?

Looks like your hormones are messed up or have an imbalance. Want to know more … read on.

There are many hormones that are secreted by the vitals organs of the body. As you explore more of the body, you will be amazed by the way the body works to maintain a hormone level. We may have never paid attention to the biological classes during our primary education. Little did I know that I would be fascinated by the functions of the hormones when I started researching on Diabetes management.

There are quite a number of hormones in the body that come under endocriniology but for the purpose of focus, I looked up only the 4 hormones. The main hormones that I started reading up on are Insulin, Ghrelin, Leptin, Growth hormone, cortisol. So, what’s up with these hormones.

Insulin – mother of all hormones

Insulin has a number of functions and aids in Gluconeogenesis, Lipolysis. Basically, Insulin is an anabolic hormone and helps the body to store the excess carbs as fat. The fat is stored in adipocyctes or fat cells as visceral fat as energy for future use. The over filled adipocytes then spill over and are taken up and stored around the vital organs (liver, pancreas) for future use. Excess of insulin secreted by the pancreas causes insulin resistance that leads metabolic syndrome dysfunction as Diabetes, Hypertension, High cholesterol levels and host of other diseases.

Ghrelin and Leptin are the two hormones that work along side of insulin. Ghrelin hormone is responsible for triggering hunger (sign of body requiring more energy) and Leptin is responsible for storing of fat into the adipocytes. When insulin levels are elevated, ghrelin and leptin levels are also most likely elevated, which is a natural response to the body requiring energy.

When the body is stressed, another hormone by name cortisol is secreted as a body response. While stress is okay for the body, Chronic stress causes elevated levels of cortisol. Elevated levels of cortisol will cause the insulin levels to rise triggering the hormones of Ghrelin and Leptin to rise as well.

When you are depressed, cortisol levels may be high causing you to start over eating due to body’s response to store more energy for future use. Meals high in carbs will add to the complexity of raising insulin levels and compound insulin resistance.

What happens to sleep patterns?

With elevated levels of cortisol, the body will find it difficult to shut down causing you to find difficulty in falling asleep. The next hormone that gets affected is the growth hormone that is effectively used by every cell in the body for growth. The growth hormone is secreted during 11 pm to 4 am. Absence of deep sleep in REM state, will curtail the growth hormone level. The corresponding hormones serotonin,melatonin and oxytocin are not secreted or go out of control.

It is said 1-2 days of lack of sleep or disturbance in sleep cycle will cause Insulin resistance. Insulin resistance will cause a vicious cycle and corresponding hormone levels will be impacted.

No wonder it is said, ” A good night of sleep is equivalent to a Billion dollars”. Sleep deprived or insomniacs will vouch for this statement. Yes, there is a sleep pill for the same but that side effects are another set of problems that get added on.

In Summary, Balance your Hormones for longevity and disease free life style.


Published by Satish Ramasamy

Owner of website, Certified on Metabolism(KAIST), Nutrition(Stanford Univ) and Science of exercise(Colorado). IT professional with 2 decades of experience and now developing Health care solutions For Diabetics.

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