Oxytocin: The New Love Drug and Its Benefits for Your Patients
February 2, 2022
Oxytocin is a well-known and prominent new “love drug” in the market.
Oxytocin is a neurohypophysial hormone and neuropeptide with a diverse anatomical distribution that regulates a range of physiological processes, including reducing caloric intake, boosting energy expenditure, enhancing fat metabolism, and sustaining glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity.
Oxytocin is popularly known as the “love hormone”, “hug drug”, or the “cuddle chemical”. Why the love drug? Because oxytocin is involved in regulating pair-bonding and affiliative behaviors. There are studies showing the pivotal role of high oxytocin levels in the maintenance of romantic relationships.
Oxytocin levels usually decline as men and women get older. For women, an oxytocin decline is commonly experienced after menopause. This decline in oxytocin can put more stress on relationships and possibly cause numerous health problems.
Some of the health problems and conditions linked to oxytocin deficiency are depression, hypopituitarism, autism, anxiety disorders, chronic opioid use, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, and others.
What causes oxytocin deficiency? Some of the key factors for oxytocin deficiency are genetic, hormonal imbalance, and nutritional deficiencies.
As a drug, oxytocin is often used to induce labor, strengthen uterine contractions, and control bleeding after childbirth. During birth, oxytocin works as a pain killer, and after birth, oxytocin helps women to create and strengthen a bond with their babies.
Oxytocin has increasingly been used as a therapy to address other medical conditions and to promote healthy aging. Some of these conditions treated by oxytocin supplementation are psychiatric illnesses, mood disorders, autism, inflammation, substance abuse disorders, and weight loss problems.
Oxytocin therapy is considered a safe treatment because the body makes this hormone naturally, and small amounts of oxytocin therapy rarely have side effects.
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