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Hormones: Not Just for Teenagers-Dr Ann J Peters

When you think of hormones, the first thing that might come to mind is a pimply-faced kid with an oversized sex drive. If you are like many people, you might think that hormones did not affect you once you got through puberty. Your body uses hormones in a variety of ways throughout your entire life but, as you grow older, your body slows down its hormone production in a way that leaves you feeling sluggish. Many effective anti-aging treatments, like those prescribed by Dr. Ann J. Peters, include anti-aging hormone replacement therapy that can make you feel young again.

Your body contains about 50 hormones, produced and stored in more than a dozen endocrine glands and tissues in various locations around your body. Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers; they carry special instructions the muscles, tissues and organs should carry out. Each hormone has a different structure and action, and each elicits a different response. Hormones change the way cells behave.

Hormones travel in the bloodstream or in the fluid surrounding cells, looking for specific target cells to latch onto. Once they find one, the hormones attach to receptor proteins on the surface of the target cell or inside it.

The receptor protein interprets the hormone’s message then tells the cell to make those changes. The receptor does this either by influencing the genetic makeup of the cells or by changing the way protein behaves inside the cell. A hormone’s effect on target cells is a bit like a spaceship docking at the International Space Station to unload a fresh crew trained to perform a new mission; the spaceship’s cargo changes the way the International Space Station operates.

Hormones can bring about changes quickly or slowly. Hormonal changes happen quite slowly to cause puberty and menopause, although slight fluctuations in those same sex hormones cause profound symptoms during those phases – emotional outbursts, disruption in sleep patterns, altered libido, and changes in energy levels. Adolescence, menopause in women and andropause in men is just not fun.
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