Pleasure hormones make life enjoyable, even passionate. Insomnia and stress, in turn, impair the action of these hormones.
1. Dopamine takes you forward in life
In the deep parts of the brain, in the nuclei of the midbrain, a neurotransmitter is created that made our ancestors hunt and cope with life-threatening situations. While energy no longer needs to be used to ambush wildlife, we would be in trouble without dopamine. It keeps us alive, makes us eat and drink, strives towards the goal, and feels pleasure and passion.
Dopamine production can be increased by setting goals and doing meaningful things, moving around, enjoying physical intimacy, or even traveling. Dopamine can also be released more than usual when we deal with negative emotions such as sadness or anger.
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The other side of dopamine is that it also plays a role in the development of addictions. It can make a person exercise beyond strength, make impulse purchases, or get stuck at gaming machines. Alcohol, drugs, and nicotine hit dopamine nerve cells and make the brain thirst for more of the drug.
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When rats are given drugs that activate dopamine receptors in gambling studies, they eventually begin to press the risk lever: the one that can
get bigger profits even at the risk of losing. Dopamine thus stimulates desire and lust. Because it helps to focus deeply, interest in something may become lavish. This is the case, for example, with work addiction.
2. Oxytocin attracts others
One important well-being hormone is oxytocin, also known as attachment hormone. It strengthens the sense of intimacy and helps build social relationships.
Hugging, kissing, rubbing, having sex, and stroking a pet do get the brain’s oxytocin pathways into play.
As labor approaches, oxytocin is excreted enormously not only in the mother but also in the unborn child. It contributes to building a bond between mother and baby. Oxytocin causes the uterine muscles to contract, and labor can be initiated by giving the woman oxytocin as a drop if necessary. The hormone also causes milk to wake the breasts during breastfeeding.
Reflection and controlling reason are located in the forebrain, while the almond nucleus stores all emotional memories such as fear, shame,
anxiety, pleasure and joy. Oxytocin depresses the almond nucleus, relieving anxiety and removing blockages. When falling in love, the mind is overwhelmed by a certain kind of madness, and the forebrain seems to clump.
3. Serotonin balances mood
The role of serotonin among well-being hormones is a bit of a mystery. However, it regulates the activity of almost all other hormones and the activity of the forebrain.
Serotonin is released in large amounts from nerve cells for use by the brain during exercise. Sunshine also increases hormone production. However, this does not necessarily happen with a predisposition to depression.
If serotonin levels are appropriate, the mood is good and serene. If it is produced too much, a person becomes overwhelmed by anxiety, while too little concentration drops him into depression. In the treatment of depression, so-called SSRIs are used, ie serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as sertraline and fluoxetine. They increase the concentration of serotonin in the space between nerve cells.
These drugs work to ensure that as much serotonin as possible is left for use by brain cells. Because serotonin is also known to suppress binge eating and relieve fears, these drugs are also used to treat, for example, binge eating disorders and social fears.
Certain brain cells use serotonin in their communications. For example, when falling in love, the activity of the brain island and the pliers folds up. Then the face of the loved one is perceived as charming, the feeling of empathy grows and the feelings of anger and sorrow dilute.
Serotonin is also produced in the gut and it is often said that our other brains are in the gut. If serotonin levels are measured in the blood, it does not tell you how well serotonin is available to the brain. Due to a blood-brain barrier, only a limited amount of the hormone enters the brain.
Serotonin is also likely to regulate sleep alert rhythms. If there is a deficiency in serotonin function, sleep may become more superficial and
4. Endorphins act as a painkiller
Endorphins produced in the hypothalamus and pituitary gland cause a strong sense of well-being. They are also considered natural
as analgesics. Endorphins are structurally similar to morphine, which is used, for example, to relieve cancer pain.
Opioid receptor blocker naltrexone can be used to treat alcoholism. The problem, however, is that while the craving for drinking and the joy brought by the rising hops diminishes, one does not get pleasure from just about anything else. This decreases treatment motivation.
Heroin is a very addictive drug that mainly affects the endorphins system. When burned, heroin is absorbed
quickly and produces a euphoric, orgasm-like, pleasurable feeling. You can get a safe endorphin boost from listening to your favorite music, exercising, sex, reading, massaging, good food, or chocolate.
5. Adrenaline brings excitement and healing
So what makes some get overwhelmed with excitement, jump in a bungee jump, or watch torturous horror movies?
The answer lies, at least in part, in the adrenaline secreted by the adrenal glands. Adrenaline is released during stress, such as during sports or freestyle swimming. Adrenaline explains why someone gets hooked even in skydiving.
Adrenaline prepares a person to fight or flee. Then the blood circulation intensifies, the blood pressure rises and the bronchi dilate, which prepares the person for physical performance. In such a situation, other hormones are secreted, such as norepinephrine and dopamine, which enhance the feeling of pleasure.
Adrenaline is a great remedy for allergic shock as it opens constricted bronchi, increases heart rate and maintains normal blood pressure, preventing it from falling into unconsciousness. In addition, it prevents allergic reactions. Adrenaline pens are available on a doctor’s prescription to inject adrenaline into a muscle in an emergency.
Noradrenaline, like adrenaline and dopamine, is a mediator of the central nervous system, but it also acts in the sympathetic peripheral nervous system.
Noradrenaline regulates mood and pleasure, but not as strongly as even dopamine or endorphins. Noradrenaline keeps us refreshed and creates feelings of longing and desire. If its action is paralyzed, we will fall asleep.
Here’s how to take care of hormones:
- You should seek help in time for union problems. Sleep deprivation disrupts hormonal balance.
- Use alcohol in moderation, as drinking a lot also impairs the production of well-being hormones.
- You should stay at the right weight. Both overweight and underweight alter hormonal function.
- Do things you enjoy. Pleasure hormones reinforce each other’s effects. When you get one, you get more.
Experts: Petteri Piepponen, Docent, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, Helsinki
university. Timo Partonen Research Professor, THL.
This article has appeared in Good Health magazine. As a subscriber, you can read all numbers free of charge from the digilehdet.fi service.
Source: Hyvä Terveys by www.hyvaterveys.fi.
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