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Fight or Flight???

We often has the tendency of escaping from a dangerous situation or sudden rush of adrenaline which let us to go for cliff-jumping or sky diving. Sounds crazy and looks Madddd right..

There’s a metabolic reason behind this set of actions. Hormones (A detailed explanation of hormones is shared at the end of this topic.)

Well, everyone has slight or somewhat bigger idea on hormones and the side-effects of imbalance in hormones. Many of us doesn’t know that how our body triggers we get into an unexpected situation.

Assume there’s a burglar is entering into our house or a dog is chases you 😀 Immediately, our brain and body co-ordinate so well like if we’ve got that super fast analyzing capability of decision making in real instances, we can achieve so many milestones 😛

In these instances, hypothalamus activates two nervous systems sympathetic nervous system and adrenal-cortical system. Simply, it will enable to release two hormones Adrenaline which alert our body to increase heart rate and blood pressure like a war is at the door and ACTH which flows through blood stream and helps in releasing 30 hormones throughout the body to deal against the so-called-threat situation.

  • heart rate and blood pressure increase
  • pupils dilate to take in as much light as possible
  • veins in skin constrict to send more blood to major muscle groups (responsible for the “chill” sometimes associated with fear — less blood in the skin to keep it warm)
  • blood-glucose level increases
  • muscles tense up, energized by adrenaline and glucose (responsible for goose bumps — when tiny muscles attached to each hair on surface of skin tense up, the hairs are forced upright, pulling skin with them)
  • smooth muscle relaxes in order to allow more oxygen into the lungs
  • nonessential systems (like digestion and immune system) shut down to allow more energy for emergency functions
  • trouble focusing on small tasks (brain is directed to focus only on big picture in order to determine where threat is coming from)

All these reactions together let us give fight towards that situation or fly away from the situation 😀

***

Like everything should be balanced in nature and imbalances causes few disasters. Hormones also give some bad affects on our health. (Bear with me this could be some what boring because I’m drafting this at late night waking up from bed :P)

Majorly our body consists of two types of glands which secrete hormones: Exocrine and Endocrine. While Exocrine glands are some which secrete to duct like salivary glands, Endocrine glands (Hypothalamus, Pituitary, Adrenal, Pancreas, Ovaries, Testes, Para thyroid and thyroid) are few existing in brain or below the brain and few are some near the abdomen together secrete most vital hormones.

Hormones are the chemical substances secreted by the glands which will directly mix with the blood stream and thus why they have huge impact on our metabolism.

Serotonin :

Don’t confuse with the hormones which are beneficial similarly because these are of a kind i’m posting about 😀

Mood boosting hormone — a nature’s feel good chemical which helps us in learning and memory, regulating sleep, digestion, regulates mood, some muscular functions.

Low level causes depression, weight gain, insomnia and Excess level causes agitation and confusion (so crazy i know)

Adrenaline :

The Emergency hormone secreted in medulla in adrenal gland which triggers body to respond immediately in stress by increasing the metabolic rate and dilating the blood vessels going for brain & heart, thereby sends impulses to specific organs.

Ex: That withdrawing reaction of hand when we unknowingly feels shock or touches fire 😉

Excess production causes increased performance, lack of ability to feel the pain even. Lack of adrenaline causes weight loss, low appetite and salt cravings.

Testosterone EffectsTestosterone :

Anabolic steroid by nature and primarily involved male reproduction however the secondary characteristics involves muscle growth, body hair, good energy, happy feelings.

Lack of this hormone causes depression, increased fat tissue, risk of osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s risk, fatigue even.

Just imagine if the hormone is sufficient in blood, how much the body will be in control.

Thyroid :

Secreted in thyroid glands which controls the body metabolism and determines the energy levels, body temperature and skin/hair growth.

Insulin :

Secreted in Pancreas which use glucose or sugar from carbohydrates in the food for energy or to store glucose for future use. It helps in keeping blood sugar level from getting too high i.e. hyperglycemia or too low i.e. hypoglycemia.

Estrogen :

Secreted in ovaries and plays a key role in reproduction and monthly cycle. Low level causes hair loss, acne and skin problems and Excess level causes moodiness, depression even.

Progesterone :

Secreted in ovaries and plays a key role in preparing the body for conception and regulating the menstrual cycle. These levels drop for monthly cycle. When pregnancy doesn’t occur, the levels drop and leads to cycle.

Cortisol :

Produced by Adrenal gland which keep us energetic and let us help to get away from hazard situations like adrenaline but this increases respiration and blood rate to cope up in that timing.

However, if you’ve higher levels it may causes anxiety and lack of this hormone causes alcoholism. Prolonged stress is dangerous as it may suppress immune system even.

Prolactin :

Secreted by pituitary gland after child birth in females which enables for lactation and feeding the infant.

Somatotropin :

The Protein Hormone having 190 amino acids secreted by the anterior pituitary, this stimulates protein growth, cell production, metabolism which results in human development.

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