When we hear the word “hormone,” we think of sex. But that’s not what the word means, nor how we use it medically; “sex hormones” are simply one type of hormone. A hormone is nothing more than a chemical messenger produced in one organ, but which travels to another organ where it has an effect. The study of hormones is Endocrinology; Endocrinologists are the physician specialists.
There are over 50 types of hormones. Some common ones include:
- Insulin, from the Pancreas
- Corticosteroids, from the Adrenal Glands
- Adrenalin (Epinephrine), from the Adrenal Glands
- Thyroxine, from the Thyroid Gland
- Testosterone, mainly from the Testicles
- Estrogen & Progesterone, from the Ovaries
- Melatonin, from the Pineal Gland
Then there’s the Pituitary Gland tucked in below the brain, which produces “stimulating hormones” to tell the organs above to start or stop producing. And before that, comes the Hypothalamus in the brain, with its “releasing hormones” which tell the Pituitary when to release more or less of its stimulating hormones. Pretty complex our bodies are.
Many hormones can be synthesized into drugs. As such, the term can also be used for hormones in the form of medication.
Still, we have our way of speaking, so if a friend or enemy says Billy’s hormones are revved up, they’re surely not referring to his melatonin.