One of the most important chemicals for the proper functioning of the body system is hormones. They are present in all living beings, also in human beings they are secreted in almost all organs. The most important hormones are those that originate from the endocrine glands.

Hormones are largely dependent on their relationship to the brain organ and the central nervous system. The first is in charge of directing and maintaining a stable control regarding their segregation and behavior. On the other hand, the nervous system is in charge of receiving the stimuli projected by the hormones, this information is subsequently interpreted to take it to the gland or a corresponding organ.

What are hormones?

A hormone is defined as a type of molecule produced in the secretory or endocrine glands. They fulfill multiple functions that are essential for the proper functioning of the brain and the body. Mainly they help the nervous system to carry out each of its mechanisms, among them the ability to feel, move and think.

Considering that there is a wide diversity of them , each one fulfills a particular function and therefore together they work with each other; to keep the system in balance.

Hormones are released into the bloodstream through the vessels and the interstitial space. They can be circulating free in a bioavailable state, or instead they can associate with certain proteins ; to finally reach certain organs and soft tissues.

They can also be defined as chemical messengers, they are due to the fact that they fulfill functions that are associated with those carried out by neurons. Neurotransmitters in the human body, such as dopamine and serotonin, can carry out their functions when they do so in conjunction with hormones.

Types of hormones

There is a wide diversity of hormones which have been classified by different criteria . Below we explain which are the most important, what are their functions and characteristics. They are as follows:

  • The hormones according to their proximity in relation to the site of synthesis and the site of action. Hormones can have a different effect on cells that they synthesized or on cells that are contiguous. Autocrine hormones are responsible for acting on the same cells that have already been synthesized. Paracrine hormones act near or close to those synthesized cells, their effects also affect the neighboring emitting cell.
  • Hormones according to their chemical composition are classified into three categories: peptide hormones, derived from amino acids and lipid hormones. Peptide hormones are made up of chains of amino acids or polypeptides and oligopeptides. Due to the fact that a common plasma in cells cannot pass the limb, they tend to be located on the cell surface. Examples of this type are insulin and growth hormone.

Hormones derived from amino acids can be made up of tryptophan or tyrosine like adrenaline. Lipid hormones can cross the plasma membrane and are steroids or eicosanoids. Examples of this type are cortisol and testosterone.

  • Hormones according to their nature are those that occur naturally. Steroid hormones originate from cholesterol, are produced mainly in the testes and ovaries; but also in the placenta and in the adrenal cortex. Examples of this type are testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen.

Protein hormones are made up of amino acids and peptides. Finally, phenolic-derived hormones a have a low molecular weight such as adrenaline. It can not even intervene in any process that takes place in order to guarantee the energy reserve, which is important for the muscles.

  • Hormones according to their solubility in an aqueous medium are water soluble and lipophilic Hydrophilic Hormones are soluble and are usually found in membranes and tissues with lipid characteristics. They cannot cross cell membranes and are responsible for binding to receptors found on the outside. Examples of this type are insulin and adrenaline.

Lipophilic Hormones are not soluble in water but they are soluble in lipids. They are capable of crossing the cell membrane, are receptors, and can bind to intracellular receptors. Examples of this type are steroid hormones.

What are the characteristics of hormones?

The main characteristic of hormones lies in their ability to carry out multiple functions. Now, considering that some of them may come from plants and others from vertebrate or invertebrate animals ; In all these cases it is observed that the hormones will fulfill similar but also different functions.

For example, in the case of human beings they are essential to achieve adequate growth in each of the stages of development. These come from the pituitary gland, specifically they are known as growth hormones and they begin to secrete during childhood through adolescence. In the case of invertebrate animals such as insects, this hormone ensures that the renewal of the integuments is carried out successfully. In plants they help the roots, leaves and flowers to grow properly.

They also intervene in the dynamic process that occurs between each of the bodily organs. This means that they are part of the fabric and in turn ensure that their functions are carried out. They also activate and inhibit enzymes , they are even part of the process of storing and using energy.

Hormones are partly responsible for the correct amount of both salts and sugar in the blood and other body fluids. Finally, they have a leading role in reproduction and sexuality because they are responsible for initiating these processes such as libido.

Hormones coordinate with the brain to both activate and deactivate functions and parts of the body. As can be seen, they intervene in multiple biological processes, for example they are the ones that start the constant electrical firing that is generated between neurons. Then, they will be in charge of activating certain regions of the body by emitting signals through the blood until they reach their destination.

The effects of hormones have an average duration of several minutes, the central nervous system depends entirely on their participation. They are the ones who have made sure that the body can adapt to different circumstances.

Because hormones intervene in metabolism , when there is a problem in the general balance of the amount of hormones found in the body, medical help should be sought as soon as possible. In addition, they are responsible for regulating the functioning of various organs and tissues of the body.

Its effects are directly proportional to their quantity or concentration. This means that when there is a deficiency of a specific hormone, there is a risk that some function will be interrupted abruptly or instead face serious difficulties to continue. On the other hand, it not only depends on the concentration but also on an adequate functionality of the receptor so that it can have the desired effect.

What is its importance? 

Because they intervene in processes such as respiration, digestion and growth; it is very important to have an adequate control in the balance of the hormonal quantity available in the body. They are responsible for establishing communication and trigger important effects in every cell and tissue. They are irresponsible messenger chemicals that every mechanism in the system is successful.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing is its responsibility in the immune system and in the process of obtaining energy. Likewise, they are participants in growth and reproduction because they are capable of making changes in behavior. They trigger multiple biochemical reactions in cells, they respond in the same way as said stimulations.

Hormones are not only essential substances for humans, they are also found in multicellular organisms such as plants. They function as chemical messengers that share some functions and similarities with neurotransmitters in the body.

There is a wide typology of hormones and each of them are important. Their participation is essential in most of the functions most essential for their own existence. That is, without them it would be difficult for an organism to live. Therefore, when any type of problem occurs in relation to their segregation, medical help should be sought.

Hormonal disorders are studied and treated by endocrinologists, sometimes it is likely that the intake of an artificial hormone must be administered to normalize its secretion.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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