8 Ways Hormones Can Affect Your Energy Levels
Hormones are vital to the overall healthy functioning of the body. These chemical messengers make their way to various areas to help coordinate certain processes such as metabolism, fertility, and growth. They play roles in how well the immune system functions and can even affect your behavior. In the womb, hormones are tasked with guiding the brain towards full development, as well as the formation of the reproductive system. (If your arms are the same length and the food you eat gives you proper energy, you can thank hormones for that!)
Glands that produce and store hormones are responsible for secreting them at the right times so they can do their respective jobs throughout the body. The endocrine system is the term used to describe the collection of glands responsible for hormone secretion. The main glands in the system include the pituitary gland, the thyroid, the ovaries and testes, and the adrenals. But how do hormones affect energy levels? Let’s find out.
Do hormones give you energy?
Energy comes from what you eat and drink and the amount of nutrients that are consumed or synthesized by the body. That consumption has to go through the metabolism, which makes sure that the body is absorbing the right nutrients that provide energy to different cells, thus giving you the energy to get through your day. There are several hormones that play a role in metabolism, such as leptin, insulin, growth hormone, and sex hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, progestogens, and androgens.
The most important of all the metabolism hormones for energy is insulin. Insulin regulates metabolic processes that give cells the energy they need. Without insulin and the other metabolism hormones doing their jobs appropriately, energy levels can become depleted. On the flip side, hormones can also cause energy to become heightened.
What hormones cause low energy?
Low energy, or fatigue, can cause a person to feel as if they are tapped out of all their energy reserves. This can make even the simplest of tasks difficult. Hormones, and their effect on energy levels, can lead to fatigue if they become imbalanced. The hormones that are most at play when it comes to fatigue are thyroid hormones and progesterone. Studies have shown that people with higher levels of progesterone are at a higher risk of developing chronic fatigue syndrome; typically, women with high levels come down with the condition.
Thyroid hormones are responsible for many bodily processes, one of which is the modulation of energy expenditure. When the thyroid becomes underactive, it is referred to as hypothyroidism. The condition is characterized as the gland making too little of the thyroid hormone and can lead to many health issues, including fatigue and low energy levels.
What hormones cause high energy?
Sometimes, hormones can do the opposite of zap your energy – they can lead to heightened levels of energy. In the case of hyperthyroidism, caused by overproduction of the thyroid hormone, energy levels may become increased because of sped-up metabolic processes. However, this increase is only temporary and can eventually cause a person to feel fatigued, because when the metabolism speeds up, it increases the energy expenditure. Without replenishment of the energy levels, the body becomes tired.
Another hormone that can cause an increase in energy levels is estrogen. When estrogen levels rise, it leads to a natural increase in both testosterone and cortisol. Testosterone is one particular hormone that helps to generate energy. Cortisol does the same thing for the body because of the reaction that occurs when it is released. When the glands produce cortisol in response to a stressor, the body releases a large supply of glucose. This is part of the fight-or-flight response designed to give a person the energy to either fight or run away from a threat. When the body is flooded with glucose, the muscles are provided with a huge energy source.
Adrenaline is another hormone that can provide the body with a sudden boost of energy. When adrenaline is released into the bloodstream, it binds to specific receptors on the cells of the liver. This leads to the breakdown of large sugar molecules, which gives muscles energy. The hormone also increases heart rate, triggers a reaction in blood vessels that causes them to pump more blood out to major muscles, and increases your breath rate. These reactionary changes are what is known as an adrenaline rush.
What hormone controls energy levels?
Many hormones control energy levels in different ways. Some help to give the body a boost of energy when it needs it most, such as adrenaline or cortisol, whiles others zap energy by not being produced in large enough amounts. All the aforementioned hormones play their own roles in how energetic you feel on a daily basis and during periods of stress. Hormone imbalances are typically what causes the over- or underproduction of hormones that lead to depleted or increased energy levels.
Some hormonal changes are natural and can have an effect on energy, such as the fluctuations that go on during a person’s menstrual cycle. It can be difficult to determine what specific hormone is leading to the rise or fall in energy levels without getting a proper diagnosis from a doctor, because each one plays a different role and they often work together to ensure that all bodily processes are running smoothly.
Hormones may be much more important to your health than you think, and to keep your energy at a good level, it’s vital to ensure that your body is producing or not producing them at the optimal times.