Hormones: 9 Chemicals at Play Nurses Need to Know


It is amazing how smoothly the functions of our body flow. It is like a well-oiled machinery that would produce and produce when it is in an excellent condition. All of us are curious as to what is behind the masterpiece that is our body, and the principal stars are tiny, teeny hormones that are playing inside us. Each and every hormone has their own function and designation, so let’s meet and greet these little ones and see what they got for us.

1. The Women’s Hormone: Estrogen

You might be familiar with this tiny, lady-like hormone. Let’s call her a ‘she’ because she is the main sex hormone in females. If you are curious as to what maneuvers our puberty stages, then she is the one you are looking for. Estrogen does not only spearhead the development of females, but it also prepares their body for pregnancy. In addition to that, it is responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle. All these tasks for a minuscule element! Everything that the estrogen does is for the development of every woman’s being; hence, it is always identified as the women’s hormone.

2. The Mother’s Hormone: Progesterone

Here comes estrogen’s best friend. This hormone is also a ‘she’ because, like estrogen, it gives a hand to the development of females’ body. Yet progesterone’s main goal is its role in pregnancy. It assists in the menstrual cycle, and when it recognizes that the woman is pregnant, it immediately imposes itself against estrogen, causing a decrease in estrogen and an increase in progesterone. Without progesterone, women could not become full-fledged mothers and bear adorable babies.

3. The Men’s Hormone: Testosterone

The counterpart of the women’s hormone, testosterone is responsible for the masculinity of males. Some people would tell a man that he is oozing with testosterone when what they really mean is he is very macho or exudes a very masculine appeal. The primary task of this male sex hormone is to cause puberty. The deepening of the voice, the increase in facial hair growth, and the muscle mass growth for males is all thanks to this sturdy, tiny hormone. You know who to thank or blame about your physical attributes guys!


4. The Stress Hormone: Cortisol

Almost all of us must be hunting for the one responsible for the infamous stress we are always feeling during complicated situations. Be glad that you read on, because you have finally found the culprit. Cortisol assists our body in responding to stress, so we would not be able to feel stress without this tricky hormone.

How cortisol responds to stress.

However, this is not the only function for cortisol. It is also responsible for the regulation of our blood pressure and blood glucose. We have to be friendly with cortisol if we don’t want to suffer the deadly diseases of hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. As some would say, keep your enemies closer than your friends.

5. The Sleep Hormone: Melatonin

Wake those sleepy heads up for they will benefit from this part of the topic. Ever wondered why you are so sleepy most of the time, or you are having a hard time sleeping? Well, well, we already got the hormone in question. The only hormone that could knock us out is melatonin. Depending on its levels, we are able to feel sleepiness or hardly feel any sleepiness at all. Its levels increase as the dark approaches, explaining why we feel sleepy as the night approaches. Stock up on your melatonin if you want to sleep for a longer time, guys!


6. Grow Up or Grow Down: Growth Hormone

You could not forever blame your parents’ genes for not achieving the height that you have always wanted. Well, it is partly one of the causes, but aside from that you divert that piercing look of yours to the silent but somehow powerful hormones from the anterior pituitary gland. Each one of us has our own growth hormone to nurture, and these are secreted in great amounts during our sleep. So never forget to tell your younger siblings about the story of our growth hormones if they really want to become basketball players or supermodels someday. Call on up your melatonin levels too!

7. The Milk Hormone: Prolactin

One of the most amazing miracles manifested by human females is being able to feed their young. The miracle of breastfeeding is really heartwarming and tender to behold, especially for the mothers who are participating in this act. Let me introduce you to the bearer of this miracle, prolactin. This is the official milk stimulator of the body which enables lactating mothers to produce more milk for their babies. It also plays a role in the sexual behavior of females. Without this hormone, the most important food for babies, breast milk, would never be possible.

8. The Bitter Hormone: Gastrin

Have you ever wondered why vomiting brings a bitter taste to your mouth? The moment all your stomach’s contents are emptied out because you are vomiting, what would follow next is a bitter, colorless substance coming out of your mouth. This is all due to the hormone gastrin which promotes the secretion of acid in your stomach. Acid assists in the breakdown of your food molecules once it hits the stomach, but too much of it could be bad for your gastrointestinal system. Befriend your gastrin hormone by avoiding too many spicy foods and taking your meals on time. You would not want to taste it in your mouth, right?


9. The Bloody Hormone: Erythropoietin

Red blood cells do not just burst out of nowhere. They are formed in our bone marrow, and there is an outstanding event organizer that makes everything possible for red blood cells. Meet erythropoietin, the trusty caregiver of red blood cells. They stimulate its development in the bone marrow, and without it, anemia would surely hit us up.

These are just a few of the important hormones that play all around our bodies. They may be tiny and not visible to the naked eye, but they have loads of critical functions that enable our bodies to move around normally. A humungous and gargantuan thanks to our hormones, the infinitesimal beings that matter the most! 

Marianne is a staff nurse during the day and a Nurseslabs writer at night. She is a registered nurse since 2015 and is currently working in a regional tertiary hospital and is finishing her Master's in Nursing this June. As an outpatient department nurse, she is a seasoned nurse in providing health teachings to her patients making her also an excellent study guide writer for student nurses. Marianne is also a mom of a toddler going through the terrible twos and her free time is spent on reading books!