What You Need To Know About testosterone, estrogen & cortisol

In this article, I would like to go over our body’s hormonal system, also known as the endocrine system. The hormones created and released by the glands in your body’s endocrine system control nearly all the processes in your body. These chemicals help coordinate your body’s functions, from metabolism to growth and development, emotions, mood, sexual function and even sleep.

The endocrine system is a collection of glands throughout the body that produces and regulates your body’s unique and important hormonal balance. It includes the pituitary gland in the brain, the thyroid gland in the neck, the adrenal gland in the abdomen, the pancreas, and the ovaries in women or the testes in males among many others the hormones secreted by this highly complex system signal the body and control hundreds if not thousands of processes in our bodies.

Estrogen

No function in your body isn’t in some way affected by your hormonal profile. More than 70 hormones are regulating your bodily functions right now. Melatonin helps you sleep, serotonin regulates your mood and insulin regulates your blood sugar are some of the well-known hormones. There are scores of lesser-known hormones in your body like ghrelin that regulates your appetite, oxytocin that regulates your sexual function and so many more.

When you get to know all this, it seems really complex. Fortunately for us, we don’t need to dig so deep to live a healthy life and optimize our hormonal profile. Our body is designed in such a way that if you do some essential stuff right, you get to see the results.

In this article, I would like to go over three of the most talked-about hormones in particular: Testosterone, Cortisol & Estrogen.

Testosterone

Testosterone is typically thought of as the male hormone but it’s actually extremely important for all of us. That’s because testosterone is an androgenic and anabolic steroids hormone which basically means that it stimulates growth and development. Though the words anabolic and steroid have really negative connotations from the world of bodybuilding. In fact, your body needs anabolic steroids like testosterone for muscle repair growth and development.

Estrogen

Like testosterone is misunderstood as the male hormone and only males need it, estrogen is mistaken as a female hormone. When in fact all vertebrates have it and need it male and female interestingly enough estrogen isn’t actually one hormone though but a few different ones that function similarly like testosterone estrogens have a ton of functions in the body from increasing body fat to sexual function and all sorts of functions related to female fertility and childbearing earning it the nickname The Angel of Life.

On the other hand, it’s also been called the Angel of Death because excess estrogen is known to be toxic in the body. Women of course do need much more estrogen and having the proper amount is vital for everything from mental health to defense against cancer. By the way, in men increased testosterone is no good unless there is enough estrogen around. So don’t get caught up thinking that it’s the enemy even if you’re a guy while the excess of it harmful which has been stated earlier.

Cortisol

Cortisol is often described as the stress hormone. When our body is under stress – it boosts blood sugar, suppresses the immune system, decreases bone formation, and more. All of these things are very good if you need to focus resources on surviving attacks from predators but they’re all very bad if cortisol is elevated long term though it’s important to note that you absolutely need a minimal level of cortisol in the body for everyday functioning. So again don’t get confused and think that all cortisol is bad.

You should note that when you workout for more than an hour, your body starts producing cortisol, and testosterone production take a hit because of it. As cortisol is a catabolic hormone, it results in a decrease in muscle mass when done for a prolonged period of time. Keeping your gymming sessions under an hour is ideal for proper hormonal function in your body to promote muscle development and repair.

The Takeaways

Now that you’ve gained some knowledge about the three most important hormones in your body. Let’s go over some of the things that you should know to implement that knowledge in your life.

  1. You don’t actually have to tweak the hormones in order to optimise your hormonal profiles. Your body knows what it needs, all you’ve to do is to supplement it with healthy lifestyle habits and your hormonal profile will automatically be optimised.
  2. In general, external sources of estrogen and estrogenation decrease our available testosterone and should be avoided. Your body will make estrogen as it needs it.
  3. You should stay away from testosterone injections or booster as it’ll just mess up your hormonal profile. If your body gets testosterone from external source then it’ll have no motivation to make it on its own which will result in the imbalance of other hormones that depended upon it’s natural release.
  4. Cortisol, the stress hormone, reduces our testosterone and throws our hormones out of whack and therefore should be avoided.
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