How Do Hormones Work?

How Do Hormones Work?

Hormones are very important because they regulate all processes in the human body, keep them alive. You can’t live without some, you can’t live without health. Growth or maturation may also be affected. When a young person develops properly, it is only because growth hormone works and it activates insulin-like growth factors. However, it is such a complex process that the adrenal and thyroid hormones also cooperate with it. In turn, if we talk about creating physical features typical of sex, it happens as a result of the action of sex hormones.

The functioning of the endocrine glands can be compared to the behavior of a driver who, while driving around the city, to maintain a relatively constant speed, must alternately brake and accelerate. It is similar to glands that either slow down the work of organs or stimulate them to act.

The functioning of the endocrine glands can be compared to the behavior of a driver who, while driving around the city, to maintain a relatively constant speed, must alternately brake and accelerate. It is similar to glands that either slow down the work of organs or stimulate them to act.

1. Transformation hormones

Changes in the body in subsequent developmental stages occur mainly under the influence of hormones secreted by 3 endocrine glands: the pituitary gland, testes, or ovaries. The pituitary gland produces growth hormone, which accelerates the breakdown of stored fats and glycogen, increases the absorption of calcium and phosphates necessary for bone formation, and stimulates cells to multiply. 

Its action makes the children’s silhouette slender and the body lengthens. Too low growth hormone levels in childhood, caused by hypopituitarism, lead to dwarfism. An untreated child will reach no more than 140-150 cm in adulthood. The disease can be prevented by giving the patient a growth hormone. Too high a level of growth hormone, associated with an overactive pituitary gland, is the cause of gigantism. Children with this defect grow faster than their peers and often reach an adult height of over 250 cm in adulthood.

Growth hormone along with sex hormones produced by gonads – testosterone (produced primarily by the testes) and estrogens (produced mainly in the ovaries) contribute to the body’s development during puberty. Gonads remain dormant until puberty when their secretory activity increases. The increased concentration of sex hormones causes the development of genital organs and characteristics for a given shape of the body silhouette.

2. Hormones controlling metabolism

Thyroxine secreted by the thyroid gland has an indirect effect on the growth and development of the body. Accelerates metabolism, increases fat burning in tissues, raises blood sugar levels, and body temperature. Deficiency of thyroxine leads to inhibition of growth and mental development, reduction of metabolic rate, while its too high concentration to the weakness of the body, arrhythmias, nervousness, increased appetite, hot flashes.

Insulin and glucagon, opposing hormones secreted by the endocrine cells of the pancreas, are responsible for sugar metabolism in the body. They maintain normal blood glucose, which is fasting 70-110 mg in 100 ml of blood. Insulin lowers blood sugar and glucagon raises it. 

Insulin levels depend on glucose levels – the higher it is, the more insulin is secreted. Insulin deficiency leads to diabetes. This disease can impair kidney and cardiovascular function and even cause vision loss. Diabetes treatment is based on eating a diet consisting of regular food intake, reducing the consumption of sweets, and the use of insulin and other blood-sugar-lowering drugs.

3. Fight and escape hormone

Adrenalin is one of the hormones secreted by the adrenal glands. Usually, it is produced in minimal quantities. Its concentration increases very quickly under the influence of stress and factors disrupting the body’s balance. For example, in a life-threatening situation, this hormone triggers several processes to mobilize the body’s forces and to enable fight or flight. 

Under the influence of adrenaline, the blood supply to the heart, muscles, brain, and skin increases. At the same time, the blood vessels of the abdominal cavity constrict, e.g. vessels surrounding the intestine, which limits digestion. As a result of the action of adrenaline increases the frequency and strength of heart contraction and blood pressure. 

Under her influence, breaths become faster and blood glucose increases. Muscle cells receive a lot of fuel and oxygen, thanks to which they are capable of great effort,

4. Impact of drugs and hormonal agents on the human body

Reduced levels of hormones in the blood can cause various ailments. Medication and hormonal agents are used to alleviate the effects of hormone deficiency or to mobilize the gland to work. For example, to restore disturbed body balance associated with ovarian exclusion and estrogen deficiency during menopause in women, hormone replacement therapy is used. It involves giving physiological doses of estrogens to make up for their deficiencies.

Some of the hormones have strong anti-inflammatory and stimulating properties. Cortisol is given for acute allergic and inflammatory reactions and adrenaline for heart problems. Hormonal agents used to treat musculoskeletal disorders include anabolic steroids, e.g. testosterone used as a muscle development aid. Taking hormonal drugs is associated with serious side effects, which is why it should be done under strict medical supervision.


  • The proper growth and development of the body depend on the hormonal economy.
  • Adrenaline is responsible for starting processes to mobilize the body’s forces, allowing fight or flight.
  • Insulin and glucagon act antagonistically, regulating blood sugar levels.
How Do Hormones Work

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