The Fantastical World of Hormones
It’s pretty sad of me to admit but it was a bit of a good thing for me to have gotten sick a few days ago. Nothing major – just a really bad cold/flu that wiped me out for a few days. It’s no surprise that I’ve been burning the candle at both ends, nor is it uncommon – many women I know do the same thing trying to juggle their personal and professional lives. And we KNOW that the stressful, at times chaotic, lives we lead these days wreak havoc on our hormones! So shame on me – but here’s the thing – knowing is not always the same as doing!
The good that came out of me laying low for a few days was that I got to read and watch a few things that had been on my “To-Do-When-I-Get-The-Time” list. I wanted to share this BBC Documentary with you. I finally took the time to watch it and it is FASCINATING! I highly recommend watching it. If you enjoy documentaries or are interested in hormones or the evolution of endocrinology you will find this really worth your time.
The discussion goes back into the history of male and female hormones and how the medical understanding and treatment of hormone issues has evolved. Beginning in the 1700s with the practise of pre-pubescent castration of male sopranos, to the belief that ovaries were the “nerve” centre in women leading to the removal of ovaries for the treatment of nymphomania, anxiety and hysteria in the 1890’s (not all that long ago!), to injecting sheep’s “thyroid juice” into patients, finally to the more recent discovery of a hormone called leptin released by our fat cells.
The take-away from this for me was that even though we’ve come a long way, the endocrine system is highly complex and and any knowledge we have gained has been in VERY recent years. Couple that with the gender bias in medicine (remember the avoidance of using female lab rats due to their hormones messing up the research!?) which is a modern day disgrace and it is apparent we still have a long way to go.
So grab a cup of coffee and have a look – I’m sure you’ll be as fascinated as I am.