Hormone: A Chemical Communicator | 2018-09-13 | daily-sun.com


Hormone: A Chemical Communicator

Abdullah Al Moinee     13 September, 2018 12:00 AM printer

Hormone: A Chemical Communicator

Hormones carry the necessary energy required for the survival of life. The word ‘hormone’ is derived from a Greek participle, which means “to set in motion or urge on”. A hormone is any member of a class of signaling molecules produced by glands in multicellular organisms. Hormones are transported by the circulatory system to target organs to regulate human psychology and physiology.

In the 1800s, scientists started to think that some sort of chemical communication must take place between different organs in the body, and they later recognized that certain disorders could be treated with extracts from endocrine tissues. But the term "hormone" wasn't gleaned until the early 1900s. In 1902, English physiologists William Bayliss and Ernest Starling concluded that the chemicals, which they later named hormones, controlled the secretions of the pancreas. 

Hormones are the chemical messengers in the body that are created in the endocrine glands and secreted directly into the blood stream to tissues or organs. As a chemical messenger, a hormone works to engineer the communication between organs and tissues for physiological regulation and behavioral activities controlling the essence and urge of life such as digestion, metabolism, respiration, functions of tissues, sleep, excretion, lactation, stress, growth, movement, reproduction, and mood.

A hormone designs a perpetual pathway as an engineer to continue the journey though human body. Firstly, a particular hormone goes through biosynthesis in a particular tissue. Then hormone is stored and secreted from the selective places of the tissues. Later, the signals engender the hormone to transport specifically. The intracellular receptor or associated cell membrane recognizes the hormone on the basis of selective specification. Then, the signal transduction process aids for relay and amplification. This leads to a cellular response. The reaction of the target cells may then be recognized by the original hormone-producing cells, leading to a down-regulation in hormone production. Finally, the breakdown process of hormone occurs spontaneously under specific environment.

The eight hormone-secreting glands of the endocrine system are the adrenal gland, hypothalamus, pancreas, parathyroid gland, pineal gland, pituitary gland, reproductive glands and thyroid gland. But some other organs and tissues that are not generally considered part of the endocrine system also produce and secrete hormones. For instance, the stomach releases the hunger-inducing hormone ghrelin and the hormone gastrin, which stimulates the secretion of gastric acid. 

Hormone secretion occurs in response to specific biochemical signals from a wide range of regulatory systems. Serum calcium concentration affects parathyroid hormone synthesis; blood sugar affects insulin synthesis; because the outputs of the stomach and exocrine pancreas become the input of the small intestine, the small intestine secretes hormones to stimulate the stomach and pancreas. The pancreas has both endocrine and exocrine functions. On one hand, it releases a number of hormones, including insulin and glucagon, into the bloodstream. But it also secretes a pancreatic juice that contains important digestive enzymes via ducts into the small intestine.

Well, hormonal imbalance that happens as a result of exposure to toxins, an unbalanced lifestyle or thyroid issues or diabetes, can lead to serious health disorders. Trouble in sleeping may be a symptom for hormonal problems. Researchers believe that one week of camping, without electronics, can help the body synchronize melatonin hormones with sunrise and sunset. More sunlight exposure for a man can likely elevate testosterone levels as there is a positive correlation between vitamin D and testosterone levels. Vitamin D is the only vitamin that is also a hormone. Its deficiency can lead to numerous mental illnesses such as depression and Schizophrenia. Diabetes is a disease in which the pancreas stops producing insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. Besides, alcohol has widespread effects on the endocrine system. Alcohol can impair the regulation of blood-sugar levels by interfering with certain hormones, reduce testosterone levels in men by damaging the testes and increase the risk of osteoporosis.

The endocrine system quickly secretes various hormones in response to stress at higher-than-normal levels in order to help the body mobilize more energy and adapt to new circumstances. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, many endocrine system studies were generated on dogs, rather than on more typical lab animals, such as mice and guinea pigs. In 1889, German physiologist Oskar Minkowski and German physician Josef von Mering induced diabetes in dogs by removing their pancreases. Five years later, English physiologist Sir Edward Albert Sharpey-Schafer and English physician George Oliver took extracts from the adrenal glands of dogs and injected them into other dogs, which resulted in hypertension and rapid heartbeat.

Finally, it can be said that hormones are the engineer of human essences to design the pathway fueling the activities of life significantly. The natural designs of many hormones with their structural and functional analogs are utilized as medications. For example- insulin, as mentioned earlier, is used by many diabetics.