What exactly is a hormone?

BIG question! Hi. In general terms, a hormone is a substance made in one place in the body and active at other places (the target tissues). Hormones bind specific receptors in target tissues and modify cell/tissue function. Hormones come in 4 broad categories: peptides/proteins, steroids, biogenic amines, and fatty acid metabolites. I've got monster textbooks that try to answer that question! :-)

Related Questions

What exactly does growth hormone do to a 17 year old boy, any negative side effects?

Depends. If a 17 year old is fully developed and has completed puberty, growth hormone will not be of any use. However if there is room to grow there may be some benefits according to some studies. There may be increased end height or they will just complete their growth faster. As for negative side effects, in general the hormone is well tolerated. Increased cancer risk is often discussed but not proven. Read more...

What exactly is hormone chemotherapy?

Hormonal therapy. Certain breast cancers are hormone drive, estrogen receptor positive. Hormonal therapy block receptors or formation of hormones in that way it decrease tumor growth and decrease the chance of recurrence of disease. Read more...
Receptor Therapy. Hormones are molecules produced in your body that attach to a specific hormone receptor and make cells grow or multiply or sometimes shut down. Hormone therapy is designed to take advantage of this effect. We can either turn on receptor to make it do what we want them to do or block the receptor so that it doesn't do what it is supposed to do. Read more...

What exactly is hormone replacemet therapy?

Post meno therapy. HRT is the replacement of hormones postemenopausally typically to treat menopausal symptoms. HRT is controversial. The controversy revolves around breast cancer and cardiovascular disease risks. Read more...

What exactly does the antidiuretic hormone have to do with urinary volume?

Reduces the volume. . Maintaining fluid balance is an important function of the body. When the body senses dehydration, the brain releases antidiuretic hormone (adh), also called vasopressin, to signal to the kidneys to conserve water. Reabsorption of water leads to lower urine volumes and more concentrated urine. Alcohol blocks ADH release, which is why you urinate so much after drinking. Read more...

What exactly causes libido? Is it a hormone?

More than hormones. Libido is the desire for intimate activity. It is in part controlled by various hormones but also other external factors such as stress, your attitude towards your partner and vice versa, personal beliefs about sex and intimacy, etc. A healthy sex life is more than just hormones. Open honest communication with your partner plays a big role. Additionally, some medications can affect your libido. Read more...