In this edition of Science Lab, we talk about two special hormones that help us grow from kids to adults. Also known as the growth hormones, their names are quite the tongue twisters – Testosterone and Estrogen!
The ‘snapchat’ in our bodies
Did you know that the human body has its own messaging system? Yes, you read that right! Our bodies have their own snapchats – haha – that helps the Big Boss, The Brain, tell other organs what to do and when.
This special messaging system comprises hormones – special chemicals – that travel through our body telling different body parts what to do and how much.
Hormones are produced by special body cells known as glands that release the hormones into our blood. There are many types of glands and they are situated in various parts of our body. Together, they are known as the endocrine system.
Hormones help body run a variety of tasks, such as:
- Convert food into energy/maintain energy levels (thyroid gland hormones)
- Maintain the sleep cycle of our body (pituitary gland hormones)
- Maintain body’s stress response (adrenal gland hormones)
The growth hormones
Now puberty, adolescence or teenage is a special time for hormoes. During this time, our body loads us with hormones whose main job is – well – to help us grow!
There are two special hormones produced during puberty that help this transition into adulthood – Testosterone and Estrogen. They are also known as the growth hormones.
The Science Lab brings you ten super facts on your growth hormones!
- Testosterone and Estrogen are present in varying quantities in all individuals (boys and girls).
- Testosterone is primarily responsible for the changes that happen in a boy’s body. It is produced in the testicles along with the sperms.
- Once it kicks into action, boys see growth in the size of testicles and penis, deepening of the voice, appearance of facial hair, growth in bone and muscle size and an increase in height, weight and strength. Think of it as “hulking out”, just not as big and not as green.
- Boys, you’ll also notice that your throat area may start to look different. The bulge that is forming in your neck is your Adam’s apple and also contributes to the change in your voice.
- In girls, estrogen helps the ovaries to develop and begin producing the eggs, which also leads to menstruation (periods). It also causes the breasts to grow as well as an increase in height and weight. You may be shopping for your first bra, soon!
- Estrogen and testosterone also cause other bodily changes that we see during teenage, such as oily skin, pimples or acne, hair growing all over your body.
- So don’t freak out when you see hair growing in your arm pits and even your privates or when that body odour gets really strong. Phew! It’s all coming from the hormones!
- Also, it’s not all physical. As hormones surge through the body during adolescence, you may also feel a variety of emotions ranging from anger, confusion, frustration and also attraction. It’s like your emotions have hit the CAPS lock button!
- So no wonder, teenage or adolescent is the timing for crushes, romantic thoughts or even fantasizing about someone you’re attracted to.
- Swinging from one mood to another for no reason at all is also what hormones are known for. It is normal to feel irritated or confused this moment and excited and happy on the next. It’s called the hormones emotions dance! Hehe just kidding!
- Gosh! hormones are pretty hard working, Aren’t they? Perhaps they should get weekends off! Especially if that gives us two days off from the pimples too!
- And finally, as no two people are the same, hormones also work differently in every body. So take it easy if you aren’t seeing any changes in your body! Yours is a special delivery and it will come at its own time!
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