Monday, June 24, 2013

Your Brain "On Steroids"

No doubt you've heard on the news about ongoing allegations, controversies, and assigned penalties related to the use of exogenous (from the outside) steroids by sports figures. Truth be told, your brain is “on steroids” all the time. Endogenous (produced inside the brain-body) steroids—often referred to as hormones—are critical to daily optimum brain function and include testosterone, cortisol, and estrogen, to name just a few. No surprise, there can be adverse consequences when steroids (endogenous or exogenous) put the brain-body system out of balance. Competition can dramatically increase testosterone levels, primarily in males. Severe or prolonged stress can negatively impact cortisol production, secreted in response to stress. Woman can experience symptoms related to an excess of estrogen, although inadequate levels of estrogen are more common; and hormonal fluctuations are part and parcel of menstruation to say nothing of PMS and menopause. And all of this impacts brain function. Oh, yes. Your brain is on steroids your whole life . . .  

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