What is the role of hormones in the body?

When we think about hormones, those such as testosterone and estrogen likely first come to mind, but there’s so much more to our endocrine system than the sex hormones that command our reproductive cycle. Every second of every day you have dozens of hormones acting in your body to get certain physiologic functions accomplished. This includes reactions taking place in the skin, too. Physiologically speaking, hormones control much of what we feel, be it tired, hungry, horny, hot or cold. They control the rates of certain chemical reactions, assist in transporting substances through membranes and help regulate water balance, electrolyte balance and blood pressure. They manage development, growth, reproduction and behavior.

Put simply, hormones are the body’s little messengers, which get produced in one part of the body, such as the thyroid, adrenal or pituitary gland, pass into the bloodstream or other body fluid and go to distant organs and tissues where they act to modify structures and functions. They are like traffic signals, telling our body what to do and when so it can run smoothly and efficiently. Hormones are as much a part of our reproductive system as they are a part of our urinary, respiratory, cardiovascular, nervous, muscular, skeletal, immun and digestive system.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.


The role of hormones is to travel all over the body performing different functions, such as helping bones to grow and helping the body make more blood cells. Hormones are like messengers in the body.

Hormones have many roles in the body. Hormones are chemical messengers that are made in one organ and travel through the blood and body fluids to organs and tissues to modify and control functions. For example, the thyroid makes and secretes two hormones, thyroxine (T4) and thyronine (T3), which affect the metabolism of almost every cell in the body.

Continue Learning about Endocrine System

When Hormone Replacement Therapy May Be Good
When Hormone Replacement Therapy May Be Good
Fear-mongering about hormone replacement therapy isn’t good science. For the right woman with nasty menopausal symptoms and the right man with low tes...
Read More
How do obesogens affect my weight?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Obesogens, or endocrine disruptors, mimic the actions of naturally occurring hormones in our bodies,...
More Answers
Is there a cure for follicular adenoma thyroid nodules?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
The majority of thyroid nodules do not require any type of treatment. Most of the time, they are not...
More Answers
What Are Effective Treatments for an Underactive Thyroid?
What Are Effective Treatments for an Underactive Thyroid?

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.