Sadly enough to admit this, a person largely depends not on his own decisions, but on what the organism dictates to him. Adrenaline, dopamine, melatonin, testosterone, progesterone and many other substances affect the behavior of people, their reactions, regimes, attachments and antipathies. And what affects, for example, oxytocin?
Hormonal system of man
Any living organism exists due to the work of its biological systems. A man has a lot of them, and each of them is complex in its own way. But there is such that it is interconnected with all the others, and regulates their work. One need only mention that the human body produces more than a hundred hormones and neurotransmitters.
These substances have different nature, mechanism of action, and are formed by completely different cells. Peptide hormones, corticosteroids, catecholamines, androgens, estrogens, prostaglandins and many others are their vast array, and each performs its own important function.
The human endocrine system is a very delicate and gentle instrument that can easily be unbalanced, and the results of this can lead to very unpleasant diseases: from depression and dwarfism to diabetes and infertility. That is why it is so important for doctors to know how everything is arranged, and what substances affect what. The task is further complicated by the fact that the production of certain hormones is closely related to the secretion of other substances, and when straightening one, it is easy to damage everything else. This can be compared to a house of cards. However, the townsfolk are not interested in such subtleties. But, perhaps, all somehow heard about oxytocin - a hormone of happiness, trust and love. What does this mean, is it really so?
Hormones of love and happiness
Obviously, these substances have a strong influence on the emotional state of a person at certain points in his life. There are also those who are believed to evoke a sense of euphoria, happiness, love, trust, affection. Such an effect, for example, has endorphins - peptide hormones produced by the body in response to stress. Their elevated level causes a sense of euphoria, and the receptors with which they bind, not the least role play in the development of drug dependence. In fact, endorphins are natural analogues of opiates.
Another substance with a similar effect is dopamine. It is part of the so-called awarding system and is actively developed during the acquisition of positive experience. Some drugs work, increasing the secretion of dopamine several times, which is why they want to return again and again.
Another neurotransmitter from this group is serotonin. In general, he, in conjunction with dopamine, participates in the formation of a "reward system", but in addition it has many other functions, both mental and physiological. There are even products that affect its production and, therefore, enhance the mood. These include bitter chocolate, dates, milk. In some cases, in combination with certain medications, this can cause a dangerous condition - a serotonin syndrome.
There is another hormone that can be attributed to this group. But on it it is necessary to stop in detail, after all its role in a human body is huge.
The hormone of love, as it is sometimes called in literature, is in fact involved in the formation of attachments and has many other functions. Yes, he is all oxytocin. It has a relatively simple structure, and the more amazing is how it affects human life. From time to time in the scientific and popular literature there are new information about how hormones act on people - and this is because their careful study began not so long ago.
The doctors knew in the first place that oxytocin is a hormone that controls the process of birth. Probably, this is the extent to which scientists have suggested that deep maternal love and affection for their baby, which occurs almost in the first moments of his life, is due to the presence of certain substances in his mother's blood. So the study of this hormone began.
Oxytocin is a hormone that appears in the human body due to a special gland - the hypothalamus, which controls the work of the entire endocrine system. From there, it is transported to the pituitary gland, where it accumulates, and then is released into the blood.
Scientists recorded sharp jumps in observed people, when they were hugged or taken by the hand of their loved ones. Any contact with loved ones, such as games with children, conversation, just a quiet joint pastime, also contributes to an increase in the production of oxytocin. In this stressful situation reduces the level of the hormone, because adrenaline suppresses its production. In addition, the negative effect on the secretion of the neurotransmitter is ethyl alcohol, that is, alcohol.
Usually the level of this hormone in the blood of a person is about the same, although there are daily fluctuations. So, at night the concentration increases, so it is not surprising that both training and real contractions in pregnant women often occur precisely at night.
Mechanism of action
Oxytocin causes in the human body a response in many systems. One of its main functions is the reduction of smooth muscles, that is, it participates in the work of the gastrointestinal tract and labor. In addition, together with prolactin, it promotes the proper adjustment of lactation, allowing milk to pass into the ducts.
In addition, oxytocin is closely related to normal sexual life and the formation of attachment to a partner. This neurotransmitter contributes to the development of attraction in people and subsequent trusting relationships.
An important role of oxytocin plays in how one same person comes in different situations. At its high level, people tend to be more generous, friendly, show more confidence.
Recent research confirms the beneficial effect of oxytocin on people with autistic disorders, helping them to stabilize emotions. And at the physiological level, this hormone helps the rapid healing of wounds and the rejuvenation of muscle tissue.
Despite the fact that oxytocin - a hormone that performs a lot of extremely important functions, it can affect health and negatively. For example, its high concentrations in pregnant women can cause miscarriages and premature birth, as it causes the muscular tissue of the uterus to contract. Sometimes excess can also cause fluid retention in the body or a decrease in the level of potassium in the blood.
The condition, when elevated oxytocin, adversely affects memory and learning ability. This incident, as the researchers suggest, is due to the fact that the newborn's mothers do not need to remember the painful process of childbirth in detail. At the same time, everything that is connected with social interactions, on the contrary, is postponed in memory much better.
And one more curious effect is connected with the fact that oxytocin causes a feeling of unity with the group to which the person relates himself. When a couple breaks down, lovers experience heartache, seeking to reunite, so that the pain of a broken heart, alas, is also the action of a hormone.
Like many other substances produced by the body, oxytocin was managed artificially and made medicines from it. It is used to stimulate labor and to reduce the length of rehabilitation after cesarean section. Now he finds other ways of using, but we should not forget that the long introduction of synthetic oxytocin inhibits the secretion of the natural.