Endocrinology is the study of hormones, which are essential for health and wellbeing. Hormones are biological messengers that travel throughout the body, telling cells and tissues what to do. When they are out of balance or fail, this can lead to the development of prevalent chronic diseases such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, cancer, osteoporosis and obesity, and other health challenges such as infertility. There are also more than 400 rare endocrine conditions that affect millions of people in Europe, but often go undetected.
To learn more about endocrinology and the endocrine system, watch the animation (left), which was prepared for European Hormone Day 2023.
(You'll also find more resources in our European Hormone Day public outreach toolkit.)
The story of European Hormone Day
European Hormone Day began in 2022 to put the spotlight on endocrine health, organised by ESE and the European Hormone and Metabolism Foundation (ESE Foundation). The first two campaigns focused on building connections between endocrine stakeholders and issues a collective call for change about how hormones and endocrine-related disease are addressed in public policy across Europe:
- In 2022, 35 national and specialist endocrine societies endorsed “Recognising the key role of hormones in European health: the Milano Declaration”, published jointly by ESE and ESE Foundation, which calls for stronger emphasis of endocrine perspectives in European health policies.
- In 2023, ESE and the ESE Foundation published "10 Recommendations for Good Hormone Health" with simple actions each of us can take to ensure better hormonal health.
- In 2023, we also published Because Hormones Matter: Working together to raise awareness and promote better endocrine health in Europe, which included a calendar to help the endocrine community focus our combined efforts over the coming year. This has been updated for 2024.
In 2024, our mission remains the same – to increase awareness of the importance of good hormone health, encourage advocacy so endocrine issues are better understood by decision-makers, and improve health policies to advance diagnosis, treatment and care for endocrine patients.
Joining forces to raise the profile of endocrine health and disease
Despite scientific progress and increased awareness in some areas, there’s still a lot more that can be done to raise awareness of and address hormonal health. Given that hormones affect such a wide range of conditions, it’s vital that the endocrine community joins forces to push for change. For that reason, European Hormone Day 2024 will focus on raising public awareness of the importance of good hormone health.
But European Hormone Day doesn’t stand alone: there are many other European and worldwide initiatives that we can all add our voice to (perhaps your organisation has one, too). As part of our European Hormone Day toolkit in 2023, we published a calendar of awareness-raising days to help the endocrine community focus our combined efforts over the coming year, which you can download here:
We encourage you to use the hashtag #BecauseHormonesMatter on any endocrine-related awareness days to keep the momentum going and build the profile of endocrine health and disease in Europe. You can also follow our new @BecauseHormonesMatter Instagram account, where we'll be sharing public-facing information about hormone health and celebrating the fantastic work of the endocrine community.