What are Hormones?
The simplest definition for hormones is that they are chemical substances.1 But where do hormones come from and what are they for?
Hormones are produced by various (ductless) endocrine glands found in different parts of the body and secreted directly into the blood stream. They are also produced by endocrine tissue that is present in other organs which are not actually endocrine glands. These include the heart, stomach, small intestines, liver and the kidneys.2 Collectively these glands and organs make up the body’s endocrine system (See Figure 1).
Why Should We Go for Hormone Testing?
Hormones act as chemical messengers that facilitate communication between the organs, telling one another what task to do and when to do them, effectively regulating many critical bodily functions including metabolism, growth and development, regulation of body temperature and sexual functions or reproduction.3 Any type of hormone imbalance can very well cause a breakdown of communications between these essential organs, wreaking havoc to our internal bodily processes. For these reasons, we should understand how important it is to maintain healthy hormone levels. And the only way to know for sure is to undergo hormone testing.
Photo Source: http://www.slideshare.net/FaisalShahid2/hormones-and-endocrine-system-59115788 (FIG. 1)
Who should go for hormone testing and when?
There are no hard and fast rules. The key here is to take charge of one’s health by paying attention to what our body is telling us. Parents or adults should of course be vigilant of their family’s general wellbeing, especially the younger children. There are clinical conditions that are the direct result of certain hormonal imbalances. These include type II diabetes, hypoglycemia and chronic fatigue syndrome. There are many more conditions that are actually early indications of hormonal imbalance but are often quickly blamed on something else and therefore overlooked. People who are approaching middle age are well-advised to go for hormone imbalance testing, as well as those who notice particular signs and symptoms of hormone imbalance.
Where to get hormone testing?
Convenience is the name of the game these days as far as hormone testing goes. You can always visit your doctor, have them order the tests for you and then you go to a nearby lab or hospital to have it done. Either that or you can complete an online assessment checklist and do your own at-home-hormone-test.
The following sections will provide a more in-depth discussion about hormones and their particular functions. Hormone imbalance in men and hormone imbalance in women will be discussed separately. Symptoms of hormone imbalance, hormone testing and hormone treatment will be covered as well. There will be sections dedicated to ZRT Lab, Labrix and their extensive portfolio of hormone testing products.
Remember, hormonal imbalances are treatable, but they are not to be taken lightly for they have the potential to cause serious health problems if left unchecked and unmanaged.