Do hormones control our emotions--or is it the other way around?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Many people think that our hormones control our emotions. But actually, it's the other way around-emotions control our hormones through biochemical changes in the brain.

Fear, for instance, is accompanied by the production of one set of brain chemicals that can make us alert and ready to flee, while pleasure triggers the release of other chemicals that soothe and calm.

Here we can learn from the animal kingdom. Stressed-out mother baboons have more problems producing healthy offspring, presumably because sustained production of stress hormones can also damage the hippocampus, which is central to learning and memory. So even though baboons may not commute, do their boss's dry cleaning, or root for the Cubs, they suffer very similarly from the scourge of stress.
YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

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YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it's true that we live in an age when we're as obsessed with our bodies as...

Continue Learning about Endocrine System

Endocrine System

Your endocrine system works with your nervous system to control important bodily functions. The endocrine systems responsibilities include regulating growth, sexual development and function, metabolism and mood. The endocrine syst...

em also helps give your body the energy it needs to function properly. Endocrine glands secrete hormones into the bloodstream. Hormones are considered chemical messengers, coordinating your body by transferring information from one set of cells to another. Your endocrine system health can be affected by hormone imbalances resulting from impaired glands. A hormone imbalance can cause problems with bodily growth, sexual development, metabolism and other bodily functions. Endocrine system diseases or conditions include diabetes, growth disorders and osteoporosis.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.