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What Is Hormone Metabolism?

The hormone insulin is responsible for regulating the metabolism of energy.
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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 13 August 2014
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Hormone metabolism is a series of chemical reactions within the cells of the human body. These chemical reactions involve converting the food we eat into energy, allowing the body to work at optimum performance. Hormones themselves are types of chemicals released by the individual cells. These chemicals carry messages from one cell to another. The human body contains various types of hormones, each having a specific role in the functioning of the body and affecting hormone metabolism differently.

Somatotropin, also known as growth hormone, plays a key role in hormone metabolism. Somatotropin is produced in a variety of bodily tissues, particularly the hypothalamus, a small structure found in the brain. This hormone helps to regulate both physical growth as well as hormone metabolism. Growth hormone is primarily released during sleep in children as well as in young adults.

The hormone known as estrogen is also key to proper hormone metabolism. Estrogens are naturally occurring steroids found within the human body. These hormones are dominant in women and play a key role in female reproductive health. Abnormal estrogen levels are believed to play a key role in cancers involving the female reproductive system, including the breasts. This hormone is widely used in prescription medications aimed at restoring hormone balance once this balance has been interrupted by disease or aging.

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Testosterone is a major hormone found primarily in men and plays an important role in overall hormone metabolism. This is the hormone responsible for masculine characteristics such as muscle strength, body hair, and penile development. Low testosterone levels in an adult male can lead to medical issues such as sexual dysfunction, infertility, and hair loss. Pharmaceutical companies have found ways to incorporate this hormone into medications designed to improve some of these symptoms and restore hormone balance.

Insulin is a hormone that plays a vital role in both males and females. Insulin is responsible for regulating the metabolism of energy as well as glucose. Abnormal insulin levels can lead to a disease known as diabetes mellitus, more commonly simply referred to as diabetes. This condition causes blood sugar levels to become too high. This can lead to a host of medical problems, including visual disturbances and even kidney failure. Medical advances have led to a variety of treatments for this disease, including dietary changes as well as medical intervention such as prescription dosages of insulin, available in both pill and injectible formulations.

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Saraq90
Post 8

@snickerish - I just learned about calcium metabolism and kidneys and get this it again goes back to your hormones. Your kidneys make hormones that play a role in calcium metabolism.

As far as keeping your estrogen levels balanced, you have to understand that estrogen levels are innately volatile and they go up and down naturally.

With that being said while that it is normal for estrogen to spike and lower, these estrogen cycles can get out of whack as well.

So to keep the cycles and levels at peak performance - I have heard that a healthy diet is part of the solution (nice to know it is not a drastic procedure huh!) Also, the other common culprit we hear about, stress can affect our hormone levels as well, so you have to address the stress!

Also I know that losing extreme amounts of weight in unhealthy ways such as @kylee07drg described her friend as doing, can lower your estrogen levels.

As far as its link to helping prevent cancer? I'm not that far along in my studying yet!

snickerish
Post 7

Metabolism continues to amaze me at how complex it is. I did not know that it was not just about working out to rev it but that it was also about hormones.

So if out of whack estrogen levels may be a part of cancer, is there any way to help your body maintain typical for the individual estrogen levels? And has that been shown to help at all?

I am scared of disrupting my hormones and having to take pills and hormones because of all the side effects that always seem to come with things like these.

Do your kidneys affect metabolism? I thought I had read that somewhere...

LisaLou
Post 6

Somewhere in my mid forties I became much more aware of hormone metabolism and how much it affected me than I ever had before.

Until then I was used to the monthly inconvenience, aches and pains. But when my body started changing, I felt like my hormones were all over the place.

My doctor started me on some hormones to help regulate my periods and some of the other symptoms I was experiencing that go along with this change of life.

I wasn't really excited about starting these, but felt like I needed to have some kind of quality of life back and my family was really happy because I was much easier to live with.

Getting my hormone metabolism balanced took some time, and it was not an overnight fix, but I feel much better than I did before.

Mykol
Post 5

As a woman when I think of hormones I usually think of estrogen, but forget that insulin is a glucose hormone and is just as important to keep regulated.

There are several members of my family who have diabetes, so this is something I am concerned with. I have tried to eliminate most of the junk food and maintain my weight hoping that I don't get high glucose levels.

I think it would be easier to prevent diabetes if possible, than to try to make all the changes if I was diagnosed with it and my body wasn't producing enough of its own insulin.

It seems like all the hormones in our body play such a big role in how we feel from day to day. If our hormones are balanced we feel so much better than when they get too high or too low from the normal range.

StarJo
Post 4

@kylee07drg - Five-hundred calories a day is ridiculous! Having the pregnancy hormone present in your system while you are not pregnant can’t be good for you, either.

I have always been a little bit overweight, so I understand your friend’s thrill at something that works. However, I would not mess with my hormone metabolism to achieve results. That’s just trading one bad thing for another.

I remember when my sister was pregnant. She was so emotional. I can’t imagine anyone going through those emotional extremes voluntarily.

I hope your friend wises up before something bad happens. Both of you have my sympathy.

kylee07drg
Post 3

Has anyone heard about the hormone diet? My friend is on it right now, and I’m trying to convince her that it is dangerous.

She receives a pregnancy hormone injection every day, and she has to stay on a 500-calorie diet. Considering that a 2,000-calorie diet is considered normal, this is bordering on an eating disorder. She has been losing at least half a pound a day, but who wouldn’t while eating that little?

This diet is supposed to help her get rid of thigh, belly, and arm fat, and since she has been troubled by all three for years, she hopped at the chance. I have read that she runs the risk of depression and even blood clots. I want to make her see the light before it’s too late, but she is determined to stick with it, because it works.

wavy58
Post 2

My friend had human growth hormone deficiency when we were kids. She was way smaller than everyone else in our class, and kids were starting to make fun of her.

Her mother had been hoping that a growth spurt would occur, but she could see that it wasn’t likely. Once my friend turned fourteen and still looked like a ten-year-old, her mother took her to a doctor.

The doctor told her that her body wasn’t producing enough of the growth hormone. He gave her injections of somatotropin to help her grow. It worked amazingly well, and she didn’t even have to take steroids, which is what she feared he would recommend.

orangey03
Post 1

I once stopped having my menstrual period for three months. I wasn’t pregnant, and nothing appeared to be wrong with me. I was loving not having to deal with cramps and bleeding, but I knew it just wasn’t natural to lose my period in my twenties.

I went to my doctor, who prescribed me an estrogen pill to get things back on track. She told me to take it for three days, and then my period should return.

I hated to see it come back, but it did. I never want to have children, so I could have done without it, but the body is so complex, and I know that not having my period probably would have upset something in my hormone metabolism.

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