Hormones are compounds manufactured by endocrine system glands such as the pituitary, thymus, thyroid, adrenal and pancreas. Hormones travel in your bloodstream to tissue and organs where they act as regulators of bodily functions.

Hormones affect:
  • Growth and development
  • Metabolism (how your body gets energy from the foods you eat)
  • Sexual function
  • Reproduction
  • Mood

Hormones are powerful. It takes only a tiny amount to cause big changes in your whole body. That’s why too much or too little of a certain hormone can be serious. Lab tests can measure the hormone levels in your blood, urine or saliva. Your Ohio State healthcare provider may perform these tests if you have symptoms of a hormone disorder.

Stress and infection can influence hormone levels. Ongoing (also called chronic) diseases can occur if your body produces too much or too little of a certain hormone or if your body does not respond to hormones the way it’s supposed to. The most common endocrine disease in the United States is diabetes. Endocrine diseases are usually treated by controlling your body’s hormones with supplements, medications and lifestyle changes.