Estrogen, The Daeneryus Targaryen of Hormones
Warning: Game of Thrones spoilers. Sorry if I'm ruining the show for you but... It's been 9 years, man. You've had time.
A while back I was having a health discussion with a group of male friends and we got into the topic of estrogen somehow. One of these dicks actually chimed in with "Oh that's that chick hormone that makes you guys go crazy on your period... right?". You nailed it you fuckin' wizard of biology. It was a real chore explaining to him that he also has and creates estrogen and it can wreck his world just like it can ours if he doesn't keep his hormones in check. Unrelated but in that moment I also told him to stop wearing Crocs... because I'm a good friend and Crocs kill any lady boner that ever was.
It's true though! In both men and women, estrogen plays a main role in the functionality of:
Vital organs - It helps protect the heart and arteries by managing cholesterol production in the liver.
Skin Health - It helps promote collagen production which improves skin health
Bone Strength- It helps promote bone strength and prevent degeneration
Mood- It helps balance cognitive function, specifically the release of your happy feels: endorphins, oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine.
Internal temp- It helps regulate body temperature
Energy Levels- It sends signals to the hypothalamus that helps to regulate energy and motivational behavior
Sexual Health- It regulates the desire and ability to get freaky
Now here's why estrogen is the Daenarys Targaryn of the hormone world...
Remember the first few seasons of GOT where Dany has just a little bit of power and does amazing things with it. She's creating a better world and gradually restoring order to the Seven Kingdoms. She's getting shit done. Jump ahead to when she comes into all the power and starts setting people and cities on fire just because she can. Not downplaying Khaleesi's struggle and her just desire for revenge, but we all agree she went a little too cray with it.
Estrogen does the same thing when it dominates; it takes the power away from other hormones like progesterone and testosterone. With all of the power it's acquired in its quest for domination, estrogen causes a multitude of inflammatory responses in the body and with estrogen dominance comes autoimmune disease, severe hormone dysfunction, and an overall decrease in human functionality. Even digestion suffers and boom! Khaleesi successfully breaks the damn wheel.
Estrogen Balance Estrogen Dominance
Chaos also ensues when estrogen is too low but we'll save that for another post because I really really really wanted to use my Game of Thrones analogy!
Maintaining healthy estrogen levels for men and women is simple: move your body often, eat your veggies, avoid processed food, and take it easy on the booze and pharmaceuticals. By that I mean don't do drugs at all and don't be an alchy.