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Hormones are biochemical messengers that play a crucial role in regulating physiological processes in the body. They are produced by various glands in the endocrine system and are transported through the bloodstream to target organs or cells, where they induce specific biological responses.


Hormones are involved in a wide range of bodily functions, from growth and metabolism to reproduction and mood regulation. They operate as part of the endocrine system, a network of glands that includes the pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, pancreas, and more.

Types of Hormones

There are several types of hormones, classified based on their chemical structure:

  • Steroid Hormones: Including sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone, and corticosteroids like cortisol.
  • Peptide Hormones: Such as insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels.
  • Amine Hormones: Including hormones like adrenaline, produced by the adrenal glands.

Mechanism of Action

Hormones work by binding to specific receptors on target cells. This binding can trigger various responses, such as altering gene expression, activating or deactivating enzymes, and changing the cell's metabolic activities.

Hormonal Imbalances and Disorders

Imbalances in hormonal levels can lead to various disorders. Common conditions include:

  • Diabetes: Resulting from issues with insulin production or action.
  • Thyroid Disorders: Such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
  • Adrenal Disorders: Like Cushing's syndrome or Addison's disease.

Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy is used to treat various conditions, from menopause symptoms to specific hormone deficiencies. It involves administering hormones to restore normal levels or to achieve a desired physiological response.

Advances in Hormone Research

Ongoing research continues to uncover new roles for hormones and their interactions with other bodily systems. This research is crucial for developing new treatments for hormone-related disorders.


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