Body processes

Hormone balance – function, task and diseases

Hormone balance

The hormone balance refers to the interaction of all hormones in the body. It is controlled by the endocrine system. Hormone imbalances can lead to serious illnesses.

What is the hormonal balance?

The hormonal balance of the body is controlled by regulatory mechanisms within the endocrine system. It is characterized by the interaction of all hormones. However, there are always normal fluctuations in the hormone levels of individual hormones depending on the bodily functions.

Hormones are endogenous messenger substances that regulate important bodily functions. Their formation is controlled and regulated within the endocrine system by a regulatory mechanism. Certain hormones are responsible for energy metabolism . Others regulate the primary and secondary sex characteristics .

For example, the blood sugar level is controlled by the hormone insulin . Growth is also subject to hormonal influences caused by the growth hormone . Likewise, the water and mineral balance of the body cannot be regulated without hormones. Even emotions and behavior are influenced by hormonal processes.

The production of hormones that control bodily processes is in turn regulated by other hormones within the endocrine system. In order to coordinate the physical processes with each other, there are constant changes in the hormone levels of individual hormones. The hormone values ​​fluctuate within certain limits. If the limits are exceeded, the entire hormonal balance is disturbed.

Function & task

The hormonal balance of the body is regulated by the endocrine system. Every day, all hormones in the body are subject to fluctuations in concentration, which in turn depend on physical processes. For all hormones, however, there are mean values ​​around which the concentrations fluctuate.

The hormones are produced in the body’s endocrine glands or scattered endocrine cells . The endocrine organs include the Langerhans cells in the pancreas , the thyroid , the parathyroid , the pineal , the adrenal glands , the Leydig cells in the testes , the ovarian follicles in the ovary and most importantly the pituitary gland .

The pituitary gland, also called the pituitary gland, is the superior organ of the endocrine system. It produces many different hormones with different chemistry and different functions. Your hormones, like growth hormone, have a direct effect on the organs or regulate the production of other hormones in the subordinate endocrine glands.

The adrenal glands produce adrenaline , noradrenaline , and the steroid hormones cortisol or aldosterone . Adrenaline and noradrenaline are short-acting stress hormones that quickly release energy from glucose . Cortisol is a stress hormone with a long-term effect, which produces glucose through the breakdown of protein in the body and thus causes the blood sugar level to rise. The increase in the blood sugar level in turn causes an increased formation of insulin in the pancreas . Insulin causes blood sugar to move into the cells.

The thyroid produces the thyroid hormones that stimulate metabolism. Without thyroid hormones, metabolic processes would no longer be able to take place. The parathyroid gland produces the parathyroid hormone . The parathyroid hormone is responsible for calcium metabolism . It ensures the absorption of calcium from food.

Furthermore, the sex hormone testosterone is produced in the Leydig cells of the testicles and estrogens in the ovarian follicles of the ovaries .

As part of the normal hormonal balance, hormone concentrations are subject to constant fluctuations within certain limits. With physical changes due to growth, puberty or menopause , the hormone balance also changes drastically. These phases represent normal transition phases, which each lead to different hormonal balances.

During these changes, there can be such strong fluctuations in the hormonal balance that even physical complaints occur. As a rule, however, these symptoms do not require treatment, as they occur as part of a normal process of changing the hormone balance.

Diseases & Ailments

However, changes in the hormonal balance can also indicate serious illnesses. For example, overfunctioning or underfunctioning of some endocrine organs can occur. An example is the overactive adrenal gland with an increased production of cortisol. This hyperfunction is often caused by an adenoma or tumor .

The adrenal glands produce cortisol autonomously, without being influenced by a superior endocrine organ such as the pituitary gland. The result is the so-called Cushing’s syndrome with obesity, full moon face , hyperglycemia and weakening of the immune system .

Hyperglycemia, in turn, causes increased production of insulin to lower blood sugar levels again. In Cushing’s syndrome, for example, the cortisol level and the insulin level are constantly elevated. Cortisol causes the body’s own proteins to be permanently broken down into glucose, which is transported by insulin into the fat cells for fat synthesis.

Diseases of the pituitary gland can disrupt the entire regulatory mechanism of the endocrine system. If the pituitary gland fails, many hormones are no longer produced or are no longer produced in sufficient quantities. An example is the so-called Sheehan syndrome , which is caused by necrosis of the pituitary gland as part of a pregnancy complication. A lack of many hormones occurs, which leads to a serious illness with many different symptoms.

Another example of a hormone deficiency disease is Addison’s disease . This is the failure of the adrenal glands. This results in a deficiency of the hormones cortisol and aldosterone. The result is a disruption in mineral metabolism and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) with a feeling of weakness , nausea and vomiting , and weight loss. A life-threatening Addisonian crisis can occur as part of this disease, which requires rapid treatment. Treatment consists of lifelong substitution of cortisol and aldosterone.

If the hormonal balance of the sex hormones is too low, the gonads (testes or ovaries) become underactive, leading to sexual dysfunction or infertility .

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.