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Hormone: the symphony behind complexities in behaviours, looks, and emotions, by Aisha M Auyo

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Hormones: the symphony behind complexities in human behaviours, looks, and emotions, by Aisha M Auyo

Hi pals… it has been a long while… I miss you too😉, so I’m back with a bang. Let’s begin by talking about hormones, which is something we don’t usually, openly talk about, shall we?

Hormones influence or determine a huge percentage of our behaviors and physical appearance. If we say our hormones are what makes us, we won’t be exaggerating. Yet we hardly discuss it. Yet very few know about it. Yet very few believe in its impact. From genetics to behavioral scientists, to physiologists and psychologists, these specialists believe in the power of hormones, especially on women. I’ll try my best to write in the simplest language possible so that I won’t suffocate you with medical jargon.

Hormones are chemicals that coordinate different functions in the body by carrying messages through the blood to the various organs, the skin, muscles, and other tissues. Hormones are the signals that tell your body what to do and when to do it. No gainsaying therefore, that hormones are essential for life and health. So far, Scientists have identified over 50 hormones in the human body.

Hormones control many different bodily processes, including metabolism, homeostasis (constant internal balance), such as blood pressure and blood sugar regulation, fluid (water) and electrolyte balance, body temperature, growth and development. Hormones also affect sexual function, reproduction, sleep-wake cycle, and mood.

With hormones, a little bit goes a long way. Because of this, minor changes in levels can cause significant changes to your body and lead to certain conditions that require medical attention. Levels and nature of hormones present in the body, have correlating affects on our moods, sense of smell, body odor, taste buds, thinking faculty, energy, and looks.

In this week’s outing, I’ll start with women, as they’re the gender whose hormones have a greater influence and impact on their lives. If you have a woman in your life, regardless of your relationship with her, know that she’s constantly being influenced by hormones.

READ ALSO: World Menopause Day, Theme: Cognition and Mood, by Aisha Musa Auyo

The process of a girl’s growing and transiting into a woman, comes with a roller-coaster of emotional and physical changes. There’ll be noticeable differences in her attitude, looks, behavior, and even how she smells. There’s irritability, sadness, heightened or lowered confidence.

Women have heightened hormonal influence during certain periods. When she’s growing from a girl to an adult, when she’s ovulating, and different ones when she’s on her monthly period. There’s a hormonal influence in pregnancy when she’s breastfeeding, and when she’s using hormonal contraceptives. There’s yet, another hormonal issue at menopause, just as it is at adolescence.

A few days to menstrual onset, (ovulation periods) a woman experiences a libido boost, appetite changes, heightened sense of smell and mood changes…usually in a good mood. But, during the onset of their period, a woman will experience cramps, dizziness, bloating, acne breakout, feeling tired, and mood swings…sad, anger and anxiety. It’s just a roller-coaster of feelings and emotions.

When pregnant, (this should be a topic of its own) a woman is most likely to experience, among others, morning sickness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting; strange food cravings, fatigue, heightened sense of smell, forgetfulness, lack of patience and, crying for no explicit reasons. Bro, be patient and empathic, it’s beyond her.

Then there comes the postpartum and breastfeeding period which is associated with crying, difficulty in making decisions, lack of sleep or oversleeping, tiredness, mood swings, etc. Not infrequently, a woman may fall into depression at this phase.

Then there are issues relating to the use of contraceptives. These range from headache, migraine, acne, weight loss or gain, hair loss, smooth skin, dryness, and mood swings. The signs are numerous, depending on the woman, and the type of contraceptives used.

Then, there is the advent of menopause which comes with palpitations, hot or cold flashes, difficulty sleeping, tiredness and irritability, dryness and a whole lot of other changes.

Have you ever noticed how a woman can be so lovely today and nasty the next day, for no reason? Have you ever seen a woman cry just like that? Have you ever seen a woman with clear skin today, and skin full of rashes or acne tomorrow? Have you ever noticed that a woman can be thin today and bloated a day after? Know that these amazing, dramatic transformations are results of the interplay of hormones. You have to be tolerant, understanding, and kind.

You see, as a husband, father, son, brother, or friend, you need to understand the complexities of hormones in women to a certain level. This will help you make informed decisions about certain behaviors. This might help explain some oddities in women’s behavior you experience or notice. The knowledge will help you and be the person she needs during those trying periods.

Sometimes, all a woman needs is space, silence, patience, kind words, empathy, massages, or a shoulder to cry on (that is If she’s your wife, yauwa😏). Chocolates, a listening ear, a credit alert lol, a hot tea, a pain killer or taking her on a walk may be the healing or soothing balm.

The above is just a summary of what women go through. I’ll expatiate in subsequent editions, each stage as a topic of itself, and see how we can navigate through each milestone of hormonal symphony and the complexities of women’s health and emotions. Insha Allah.

Dear reader, but do you know that, men too, have hormones and emotional issues which we overlook? From childhood to adolescence and adulthood, men also come under certain societal expectations and pressure to suppress what they feel. I’ll try and summarize that in my next article.

Aisha Musa Auyo is a Doctorate researcher in Educational Psychology, a wife, a mother of three, a homemaker, a caterer, and a parenting/ relationship coach.  She can be reached via aishamuauyo@live.co.uk

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