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Oxytocin is known as the love hormone, but what happens if you don't have enough? Could anxiety, depression, stress, aggression and even a low libido all be related to an oxytocin deficiency?

What diseases and symptoms are related to oxytocin deficiency? 

Imagine a life where there is nothing that aids labor induction, or even no bond between mother and child. Imagine a life where the stress hormone cortisol cannot be curbed, social interaction cannot be enhanced, the antidepressant and anti-anxiety effect of oxytocin is absent, there's no social bonding, and no fidelity in monogamous relationships. What would society be like?

Just as some things increase oxytocin levels, other things decrease oxytocin levels, causing symptoms and diseases related to oxytocin deficiency. The importance of oxytocin cannot be over-emphasized. With oxytocin, there is no sitting on the fence — oxytocin is either secreted at a level where it performs its work, or its absence will do the opposite.

Aggression: A Symptom Of Oxytocin Deficiency

Oxytocin has the ability to alter how the way brain reacts to situations. Brain oxytocin can keep adrenaline surges in check, for instance, thus limiting the amount of aggression you display.

Research shows that oxytocin is involved in carbohydrate metabolism, immunity, thermoregulation, reproduction, and the physiology of fluid, and that its secretion provides a mechanism for enhancing and suppressing aggressive behaviors.

Therefore, if there is an alteration in this regard, an oxytocin deficiency,  the opposite will be the case. The mechanisms that aid the enhancement and suppression of aggressive behaviors will be negatively affected. [1]

Little Or No Pleasure During Sex: Could You Have An Oxytocin Deficiency?

Seen someone who never enjoys sex? The solution might not be far-fetched — book an appointment with an endocrinologist.

Oxytocin is a good vasodilator. It facilitates proper blood flow to the sexual organs. A particular study showed that the level of oxytocin increases during orgasm. The cuddle hormone plays a vital role in erection during sexual arousal, and is also essential for forming monogamous pairing between sexual partners. [2]

Hence, when there is a shortage in the secretion of this cuddle hormone, sexual arousal is affected and the monogamous pair bond is severed.

Lack Oxytocin, Lack Social Interaction

It is evident that some individuals exhibit a fear of social gatherings, shying away from meeting new friends, and as such displaying what is known as a social deficit.

Oxytocin has been linked to interpersonal bonding and promotes social interaction by stimulating the production of certain neurotransmitters in the brain — the same neurotransmitters that are stimulated when you smoke marijuana, in fact. As such, if there is a deficiency in the production of this neurotransmitter, which is sponsored by oxytocin, an individual will exhibit social deficits. [3]

Oxytocin Deficiency Makes You Stressed

Stress appears to be endemic right now. Curbing or controlling cortisol levels is therefore a major concern to medical science and even endocrinologists.

Oxytocin was first discovered to aid labor and milk ejection, but more recently, its role in promoting anti-stress and restoration has been brought to light. Oxytocin induces anti-stress effects such as a reduction of cortisol levels and blood pressure. People who lack oxytocin might notice a deterioration in their normal state of health because of the presence of cortisol, which wears the immune system down — incidentally another symptom of oxytocin deficiency. [4]

Depression Is Related To Oxytocin Deficiency

Individuals suffering from depression exhibit signs like indigestion, weight loss or weight gain, and pessimism. These can be handled by the anti-depressive effect of oxytocin.

Sometimes, a hug or body contact can be therapeutical to depressed individuals, as they stimulate the secretion of oxytocin — which can change the brain signals.

A deficiency of oxytocin will pave way for the symptoms of depression to have an overwhelming effect on an individual without a curbing effect. [5]

Could Your Anxiety Be Caused By A Lack Of Oxytocin?

Being anxious over a job interview, or a forthcoming event is normal, but when worries refuse to go away over a long period of time, you might have an anxiety disorder.

From research about oxytocin, we know that the nano-peptide may influence behavior through anxiety reduction. Oxytocin nasal spray has been shown to have an anxiolytic effect on the brain. Where there is an oxytocin deficiency, the opposite will happen, and people will become more anxious. [6]

The beauty of this nano-peptide cannot be enjoyed by individuals with a deficiency in oxytocin. Nonetheless, it is advisable that we are involved in activities that cause us to naturally increase oxytocin or make use of synthetic oxytocin to maintain a balance in the fight against stress and the issues it may result into.