A hormone is a chemical messenger produced by glands in the endocrine system that regulate various bodily functions such as growth and development, metabolism, and reproductive processes. Hormones are released into the bloodstream and travel to target tissues where they bind to specific receptors and trigger a physiological response.
There are many different types of hormones, including steroid hormones (such as estrogen and testosterone), peptide hormones (such as insulin and growth hormone), and thyroid hormones. Hormones play a crucial role in maintaining homeostasis, the state of balance within the body, and the coordination of complex physiological processes.
An imbalance or malfunction of the endocrine system can result in hormonal disorders, such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, and reproductive disorders. Hormones also play a role in the aging process and can impact mood and behavior. Understanding the role of hormones in the body is important for the diagnosis and treatment of many medical conditions.