Are You Oxytocin Deficient?

oxytocin deficient

Do you feel stressed, tired, lonely and disconnected from your relationships with others and even yourself?

Do you prefer to stay home than socialize?

Have you walked by people you know and didn’t say hi, not because they annoy you but because you didn’t want to interact?

Are you missing the warmth of love and connection?

Do you just not have the energy to connect?

The chronic effects of stress can throw us off balance. It is very possible that two very important hormones in your body – cortisol and oxytocin – are waging war on each other and wreaking havoc on your life.

Cortisol, one of your life-saving hormones, is an immediate responder in times of danger and stress. It’s our body’s natural anti-inflammatory. An example of someone who runs on excess cortisol is a person who takes a vacation and immediately gets a cold. That happens because cortisol was naturally suppressing inflammation and inflammation makes you sick. Take that stress away, cortisol goes down and any underlying inflammation flares up.

Other signs of high cortisol include not sleeping well (even when you sleep well, you’re tired), weight gain (especially around the abdomen), cravings for unhealthy foods (cortisol raises your blood sugar putting you at risk for diabetes), backaches and headaches, low sex drive, gastrointestinal problems, anxiety, and depression (high levels of cortisol suppress production of serotonin).

Chronic high cortisol can lead to rapid aging, loneliness, depression, adrenal fatigue and burnout and then chronically low levels of cortisol. Inflammation takes over and that translates into rapid aging. It also can become easier to disconnect, detach, walk away and not look back. These symptoms are also a sign of low oxytocin.
Oxytocin is called the “love and bonding” hormone because it’s critical to our mental and emotional health. It’s the hormone we release in abundance during childbirth as we look into the eyes of our newborn. It is also released with orgasm, laughter, play, hugging and giving. It’s the peace, love and anti-aging hormone. If we’re deficient in oxytocin, we won’t feel as connected to others, or feel as good about ourselves. The lack of oxytocin in the amygdale (where social memory is stored) of the brain will produce anxiety and fear.

Oxytocin and cortisol oppose each other. When one goes up, the other goes down. The key is balancing the two.

Chronic stress and PTSD trigger the cortisol-oxytocin disconnect and it may cause us to unconsciously walk away from things and people we love.

Oxytocin deficiency has been linked to increased risk of developing:

• Autism
• Depression
• Fibromyalgia

Oxytocin reduces:

• Anxiety
• Stress
• Depression
• Appetite
• Pain

What risk factors contribute to oxytocin deficiency?

• Drinking excessive amounts of fluid/water
• Loneliness, lack of familial and social contacts
• Fear
• Drug abuse
• Detachment
• Bad social experiences
• Prolonged or even short negative stress
• Anger

Maintaining Oxytocin Sufficiency

Oxytocin levels increase with food intake, soft touch, hugs, laughter, play, giving gratitude and thanks, massage, reading, viewing pictures of loved ones, music, singing, physical exercise, positive environments, positive social contacts, living with others, partner support, mothers love, romantic love, warm climate, nipple stimulation, suckling, vaginal distension.

Oxytocin Testing
Assess your oxytocin levels with Integrative Medicine of New Jersey (973) 736-5300, and find out how to improve your levels naturally. If you are still struggling, prescription oxytocin supplementation through a compounding pharmacy may be recommended.