Understanding Hormones

Hormones are silent drivers of behavior and personality; their molecular fingerprints are on everything from attraction to appetite. New parents are slammed with hormones, as is the rookie player on a sports team. And the endocrine system is so complex that the same chemical may behave radically differently from person to person.

Recent Posts on Hormones

Loneliness: Perceived Social Isolation Is Public Enemy No. 1

For the first time, a new study has identified how "perceived social isolation" triggers fight-or-flight stress responses that can lead to illness and premature death.

Child Rearing: Boundaries and Love

At a certain point during breastfeeding, it is natural for the baby to bite the breast. This is one of many important avenues for mother and baby to negotiate their boundaries—between self and other. All of child rearing revolves around boundaries and love.

Don't Let Recent Events Cause Panic at the Airport

The news is disturbing. If we keep it out of awareness, we feel better. But, avoided concerns can catch up with us. If they hit all at once as we board a flight, panic may result. We are better off if we deal with disturbing news as it happens.

Feeling Hormonal? Slap on the Makeup

Women use more cosmetics when their testosterone levels are high, according to new research by psychologists at the University of Glasgow.

Bliss Molecules and Love Hormones Propel Our Social Networks

Neuroscientists from the University of California, Irvine have discovered that the “love hormone” oxytocin stimulates the brain production of self-produced cannabis neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids—which are also known as the “bliss molecule." This dynamic duo enhances the pleasure of social interactions and drives our human urge for intimate relationships.

New Details About How Melatonin Triggers Sleep

By Michael J Breus Ph.D. on October 13, 2015 Sleep Newzzz
New findings also suggest that melatonin may be a bridge between the two powerful systems that govern sleep: the circadian system and the homeostatic sleep system.

Good News for Those with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

By Joann P. Galst Ph.D. on October 10, 2015 Fertility Factor
Hope for those with polycystic ovarian syndrome to avoid the heartbreak and expense of infertility.

Evolution Tells Us to "Eat Up"

It seems cruel to think about, but are our bodies aiding us in developing an eating disorder? Unfortunately, the answer for some women, is yes.

Do Social Odors Build Cities?

By Gayil Nalls Ph.D. on October 02, 2015 Sensoria
Is your smell communicating everything about you, from your state of mind to the foods and drugs you take? Learn how the invisible sense of smell influences every aspects of your daily life.

Fear Flying? Statistics Don't Help.

By Tom Bunn L.C.S.W. on September 20, 2015 Conquer Fear Of Flying
Forty million isn't personally meaningful. But, the number one hits home. It's personal. What did people on that flight feel? Maybe they got on expecting nothing bad would happen. These thoughts trigger the release of stress hormones and a cascade of feelings.

Are Transgender Women Just Reinforcing Sexist Stereotypes?

By Deborah L. Davis Ph.D. on September 15, 2015 Laugh, Cry, Live
How is gender identity formed? Are masculinity and femininity just oppressive stereotypes? Would transgender women, like Caitlin Jenner, exist if men were free to wear dresses? Modern brain research reveals how sex differences, hormones, and experiences influence gender identity and expression.

When Is the Best Time to Give Birth?

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on September 14, 2015 How We Do It
Medical intervention in human birth is now so widespread in industrialized countries that deliveries are seldom spontaneous. Yet with no intervention there is clear persistence of a general mammalian 24-hour biorhythm in birth hour. Is this just a carryover from ancestors that gave birth during their inactive period, or is that basic rhythm still biologically important?

Hormones Play Leading Role in Eating Disorder Risk

Every month, women face a recurring cycle that can throw our bodies out of whack and make some of us suffer in many ways. Not only can the ovarian hormones that drive the menstrual cycle makes us emotional, but they may be flipping switches on the genes that make some women more vulnerable to eating disorder symptoms.

What is Brainlock?

Now you get it: You are trapped—by your own brain activity and chemistry, by developmental patterns from the past, by the way your patterns and your partner's patterns interlock with one another, and by social forces that are hard to see. Read about how this becomes "Brainlock" and cements you (in a plural sense) into a state of irrelationship.

A Pilot Fearful During Flight as a Passenger

By Tom Bunn L.C.S.W. on September 03, 2015 Conquer Fear Of Flying
A pilot writes, "I understand all of the concepts of flying and the safety relating to it. This is not my problem. I’m afraid only when I’m a passenger. It’s the feeling of not being in control. Also, my fear fear is associated with the plane’s movements, and not knowing if a turn is coming or when it is coming."

How the "Bonding Potion” Oxytocin May Cure Anorexia Nervosa

Oxytocin is widely known as the bonding hormone for its effects on love and lust between two people in a relationship. Many studies have been performed to determine whether this love potion can aid in psychological disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and depression.Oxytocin is making a big impact in science and is currently being researched to treat eating disorders.

Hot Enough for You? Sweating at Night Undermines Sleep

By Michael J Breus Ph.D. on August 20, 2015 Sleep Newzzz
Don’t suffer at night because of night sweats. This soggy, uncomfortable experience will interfere with how much sleep you get, and how well you sleep.

How to Completely Change How You Think About Menopause

If you are a woman anywhere near 50, you either just went through menopause or you are going to go through it within the next five years. How is that going to affect your sex life? And how will you respond chemically to new love affairs and breakups?

"Eggsploitation: Maggie's Story" and Risks of Egg Retrieval

"Eggsploitation: Maggie's Story" reveals how the fertility industry takes advantage of individuals' altruistic motives in search of profit while the medical risks remain unknown.

The “Exercise Hormone” Irisin Is NOT a Myth

The Harvard scientists who discovered the powerful health benefits of the "exericise hormone" irisin have confirmed that human irisin circulates in the blood at nanogram levels and increases during exercise. Their latest findings were published in Cell Metabolism on August 13.

Exercise Your Way Out of Anxiety and Depression?

When the stress hormones surge, learn how exercise can help you deal.

Can Using Xanax When Flying Cause PTSD?

“We barely made it. After we landed, they closed the airport. Thank God I had my Xanax to get me through it.” Though life-threatening events happen rarely in aviation, they happen routinely in the Xanax-fueled mind of an anxious flier. Threats to one's life, whether real or imagination-based, can lead to PTSD.

Cortisol and Oxytocin Hardwire Fear-Based Memories

New research shows that the "stress hormone" cortisol and the "love hormone" oxytocin can create a double whammy when it comes to hardwiring anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Arousal: Must It Mean Fear and Danger?

We can feel fear when safe. We can feel no fear when in danger. It takes more than feelings to determine whether we are safe or not. A sophisticated system hosted in the pre-frontal cortex does that.

The Secret Life of Melatonin

Melatonin is a commonly used over the counter sleep aid, but this hormone's effect on fertility and puberty are powerful and not fully understood in humans. Caution should be exercised before any chronic use or using melatonin in kids.

What's Really Keeping You From Getting a Good Night's Sleep

Light exposure alters the ebb and flow in the body of the “sleep” hormone melatonin, which occurs in circadian rhythm.

This Is Your Brain on Stress

Hey man, don’t stress me out! We’ve all experienced stress from threats (physical, social, and financial), fears, and uncertainty, Stress isn't just in your mind—it's in your brain. Stress changes your brain structure—and not in a good way. Click here to find out how to change it back!

Study Confirms: IVF DOES Drive People Crazy

Who defines "infertility"? And who's protecting the sex lives of infertility patients?

How Do Various Cortisol Levels Impact Cognitive Functioning?

Having just the right amount of cortisol in your bloodstream appears to optimize childhood cognitive functioning. What is the secret to finding the sweet spot between too much cortisol or too little cortisol?