• Hormones 101

Imagine a world where the word “hormonal” isn’t used as an insult. Knowell strives to help women recognize that hormones help make them who they are and who they can be.  It’s time that women feel empowered and embrace their bodies by understanding hormone health.  Feeling hormonal can be fantastic!

Just like we strive for balance in our lifestyles—offsetting long work weeks with plenty of rest and self-care—our bodies seek equilibrium, too. (This balanced biological state is called homeostasis, if you want to get technical.) Hormones are highly specialized watchdogs for homeostasis. They communicate closely with tissues and organs, sensing tiny shifts in body chemistry and responding accordingly.

Think you don’t need to worry about hormonal health unless you’re trying to conceive or nearing menopause? Not true. From a woman’s first menstrual cycle and for the rest of her life, hormones regulate mood, metabolism, sleep, and much more.

Sadly, we aren’t often encouraged to have pride in the possibilities of our hormones. Instead, we tend to blame them when we don’t feel our best. Symptoms of hormonal imbalance, like bloating, mood swings, fatigue, and PMS, are often brushed aside. They’re normalized, and women are taught to accept them.

But here’s the thing: Hormonal health is a reflection of overall health. When we consistently produce too much of one hormone or too little of another, it creates a ripple effect that can throw the whole body out of balance. This can contribute to major problems down the road, including inflammation, chronic fatigue, mood disorders, immune disturbances, sexual dysfunction, and infertility.

This is why Knowell exists. We’re on a mission to empower you by helping you understand your hormone health. It’s time to embrace your body and recognize that your hormones are a powerful asset, not an adversary.

Hormones are
incredibly individual.

Your hormonal profile is unique to you, and it naturally shifts over time. There are over 50 hormones and they all interact like instruments in a symphony: Each organ in the endocrine system relies on the others to function at its best.

In an ideal situation, every note blends with the rest to create something beautiful. However, if the percussion suddenly goes out of rhythm or the string section plays too quietly, the music doesn’t sound as harmonious.

That second scenario is all too common, but there are things you can do to positively impact your hormonal experience. The first step in taking better care of your hormones is to understand their needs.

Just like many other aspects of overall health, lifestyle elements such as fitness and environment can make a difference—and so can nutrition.

Knowell provides focused nutrients to nourish hormone balance, and the information you need to support your hormones in every other aspect of life.

Hormones have a close relationship with neurotransmitters: chemicals that play a major role in mood stabilization. (Dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin are a few of the big ones.) When hormones are balanced, adequate neurotransmission can occur—and vice versa.

How Knowell helps: Probiotics promote serotonin production in the gut, which can contribute to a better mood. Inositol supports neurotransmitter synthesis for a clear, balanced mind.
Stress and Energy
Emotional and physical stress can trigger the overproduction of a hormone called cortisol, which can have a dramatic effect on other hormones. This may lead to irregular sleep, acne, slowed metabolism, fatigue, irritability, anxiety, and depression.

How Knowell helps: Adaptogens such as ashwagandha, maca, cordyceps, and reishi help the body stay balanced in the face of stress. Antioxidants from vitamin C, black pepper, and turmeric help repair cell damage and reduce stress-induced inflammation, both of which can hinder hormone function.
It isn’t always as simple as not “being in the mood”. Stress, lack of sleep, oral contraceptives, or an impaired thyroid can all contribute to hormone imbalances that result in a low libido.

How Knowell helps: Maca, chasteberry, and rhodiola rosea are herbs that have been relied upon for centuries to boost sex drive. Antioxidants from vitamins A and C are essential for proper thyroid function and hormone production.
Reproductive Health
Prolonged stress, starting or stopping oral contraceptives, PCOS, impaired thyroid and pituitary glands, uncontrolled insulin—all of these factors can bring about issues like PMS, irregular periods, lack of ovulation, and impaired fertility.

How Knowell helps: B vitamins and D3 are essential for creating hormones and nourishing the endocrine system. Zinc helps keep estrogen at optimal levels, while chasteberry and rhodiola rosea help manage the symptoms of PMS.
There are lots of factors that can hinder metabolism and make it more difficult to manage weight. These include stress, uncontrolled blood sugar, an impaired thyroid, an imbalanced microbiome, and irregular menstrual cycles.

How Knowell helps: B vitamins are a must for strong metabolism, as they help break down food into energy. Inositol can improve the body’s response to a hormone called insulin, stabilizing blood sugar and reducing cravings. Probiotics help regulate hunger hormones. Along with chromium and manganese, they also promote the breakdown of nutrients needed for hormone production.
Gut Health
Hormonal health starts in the gut. Poor gut health due to diet, stress, alcohol consumption, or nutritional gaps can inhibit the function, balance, or production of hormones.

How Knowell helps: Probiotics help support good gut bacteria for a robust immune system, good serotonin production, and stable inflammatory response—all necessary for healthy hormone function. Niacin helps the digestive system and the nervous system communicate with each other to help regulate mood and hunger.

The endocrine system is where our hormones come alive. It’s a body-wide complex of glands that create hormones and release them into the bloodstream. These hormones communicate with other organs and tissues to get important jobs done—growth and development, reproduction, sleep, and metabolism, to name a few—and to create balance in the body. 

Want to know more? Explore the key elements of your endocrine system below—because, really, we should all be on a first-name basis with our own biology.

Adipose Tissue(Fat Tissue)
Leptin - loss of fat signals the activation of leptin to trigger appetite and food intake.
  • Gland: Hypothalamus - Essential nutrients for function include B Vitamins and Vitamin C

    Gonadotropin -releasing hormone (GnRH)- Cycle Switch. Regulates the on and off switch of monthly menstrual cycles. GnRH stimulates pituitary gland to produce Follicle Stimulating Hormone and Leutinizing hormone.

  • Oxytocin - Brain candy and love potion. A chemical messenger important to human interactions and behaviors such as sexual arousal, social bonding, anxiety, addiction, trust.

  • Thyrotropin-releasing hormone- activates the pituitary gland to stimulate thyroid stimulating hormone.

  • Gland: Pineal

    Melatonin - The sleep hormone. Integral to the sleep/wake cycle known as circadian rhythm to decrease body temperature and respiration rate at night to encourage sleep. Although the direct impact is still unknown melatonin can influence reproductive development and fertility.

  • Gland: Pituitary

    Follicle -stimulating hormone (FSH)- Stimulates the maturation of ovarian follicles that produce an egg.

  • Leutenizing hormone (LH) - Stimulated the production of progesterone and estrogen, triggers the releases of a mature egg during ovulation, and develops the corpus luteum.

  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone - controls thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine in the thyroid gland by binding to receptors on the thyroid.
  • Estrogen aka Oestrogen - key female reproductive hormone that promotes the ripening and release of an egg during menstruation, thicken the uterine lining, and develops the placenta during pregnancy.

  • Progesterone - prepares the lining of the uterus for the to receive and nourish a fertilized egg. The increase of progesterone limits the production of estrogen to signal that ovulation is complete.
  • Glucagon - Controls blood glucose levels from becoming too low. Glucagon works by releasing sored glucose from the liver into the blood stream and blocking uptake of glucose from the liver. Glucagon also can create glucose from non-carbohydrate sources such as amino acids and stored fat for fuel.

  • Insulin - Regulates blood glucose levels. Insulin pulls glucose from the blood stream which lowers total blood glucose. Insulin enters into cells of muscle, liver, fat tissues as a to transform glucose into useable fuel for function and energy. Blood glucose levels dictate how much energy is used from food and how much energy is stored as fat.
  • Ghrelen - commonly known as the hunger hormone as it stimulates the appetite. It also plays a role in glucose balance and stimulates growth hormone for muscle formation.

  • Serotonin- The happiness hormone. Used to transmit information between nerve cells. Most serotonin is concentrated in the GI tract where it regulates bowel function. It has a role in the regulation of mood and happiness, appetite, emotions, sleep, memory, sexual desire and function.
Parathyroid hormone - Regulates calcium balance in the blood stream and uptake of calcium into bone.
  • Gland: Adrenals
    Adrenaline - The fight or flight hormone that respond to acute stress. Adrenaline increases blood pressure, dilates pupils, increase heart rate, increases lung capacity, increases blood glucose to brain and muscles.

  • Aldosterone- Works with the kidneys to regulate water weight, electrolyte balance, and blood pressure. Its main function is to maintain hydration balance.

  • Cortisol - Prompts different hormones and tissue to maximize fuel in order to do highly active work such as waking up or responding to stressful stimuli. Almost every cell in the body houses cortisol receptors. Cortisol effects blood glucose control, inflammatory response, blood pressure, and hydration balance.

  • DHEA/ Dehydroepiandrsterone - A precursor of estrogen and progesterone
  • Triiodothyronine, aka T3 - becomes activated from thyroxine in the kidneys and liver to regulate metabolism, heart rate and circulation, digestive function, muscle control, bone density, and brain development.

  • Thyroxine - Inactive, abundantly circulating form of thyroid hormone.

  • The Adrenal Glands produce hormones that regulate the immune system, blood pressure, metabolism and respond to stress. Adrenal hormones are part of the steroid family of chemicals made from cholesterol.