By Dr. Gopinath S. Sunil –
Hormones are potent chemicals that assist in maintaining our body’s normal functions. They are chemical messengers that occur naturally and are released by our hormone-producing organs. They are generated within the endocrine system. The endocrine system is made up of a set of glands that include the thyroid, adrenal, gonads, and pituitary. These glands secrete hormones; which impact growth, development, behavior, and reproduction. Hormones play an essential part in preserving homeostasis. They are at the heart of more than acne breakouts and mood swings.
In females, they seem to create a unique challenge. Women that are between the ages of forty and sixty seem to experience moderate to severe hormonal imbalances which leave them uncomfortable and distressed. Even before menopause, certain symptoms may be signs that hormonal adjustments are needed; such as, breast tenderness, headaches, bloating, and mood swings. Studies show that estrogen loss can also affect memory and cognitive ability. These days, women of all ages are busy with both family and work; the last thing that they need to worry about is a drop in their estrogen levels. The term Estrogen actually refers to three different hormones, Estrone, Estriol, and Estradiol. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is regarded as the gold standard for alleviating these symptoms. Estrogen decreases the perception of pain, preserves bone mass, and increases HDL — the good cholesterol. Maintaining hormonal balance of not only Estrogen, but Progesterone as well, is critical throughout both menopause and post-menopause.
You will find two methods for achieving this balance by taking estrogen and progestin; the continuous method and the cyclic method. While following the continuous method, a pill which contains both estrogen and progestin is taken daily. The cyclic method consists of taking estrogen and progestin independently – with estrogen taken either every day and progestin taken for 10 to 14 days of the month. Before beginning an HRT regimen, seek the advice of an endocrinologist. Your primary care physician may be knowledgeable in most areas, but only someone that specializes in hormones is truly qualified to walk you through this process.
What is a gland?
Glands are organs within animals that synthesize substances, like hormones, for release. These substances may be delivered into the animal’s bloodstream (endocrine gland) or directly into body cavities; or they may be externally passed through an outer surface (exocrine gland) like saliva, sweat, or tears.
Glands fall into 8 groups:
• Endocrine – solution is secreted into the bloodstream without the use of ducts.
• Exocrine – discharges via ducts or directly onto the apical surface. Theses glands can be further segmented into three groups:
• Apocrine – a component of the cell’s body is displaced in the course of secretion.
• Holocrine – the entire cell breaks apart in order to release its substances (e.g., sebaceous glands).
• Merocrine – cells secrete their materials by the process of exocytosis.
• Serous – discharge a watery product that is typically rich in protein.
• Mucous – secrete a sticky solution, loaded with carbohydrates.
• Sebaceous – exude a lipid (fat) product. These glands are also known as oil glands.
Physicians, such as Dr. Sunil, have made it their life’s work to help patients that are coping with hormonal problems. Dr. Gopinath Sunil M.D. practices endocrinology and internal medicine. If you wish to consult Dr. Sunil’s vast knowledge on the subject of menopause and HRT, he can be contacted at 321-325-1111.
The Glands Center is located at 11181 Health Park Blvd, Suite 3050, Naples, FL 34110.