Causes of early and late menopause, part I

Causes of early and late menopause, part I

In most cases, heredity plays a decisive role. The fact is that the sexual activity of any organism is ensured by the balance of a number of hormones. And each hormone is produced by a separate gland of the body. So, in men, the main hormone of the sex is testosterone, produced by the testes. In addition, estrogen is inevitably produced in the male body – it is synthesized by the adrenal cortex.

Testosterone has a number of functions necessary, according to mother nature, to the male body most. For example, it not only provides the formation of a skeleton in the male type. Namely, with a wide shoulder girdle, a narrow pelvis and an overall massive bone structure. It also makes the male voice lower, provokes accelerated hair growth throughout the body, increases the body’s tendency to accumulate visceral fat. The latter is not deposited in the subcutaneous layer, but in the fat cells that cover each internal organ in both sexes. Visceral fat is more prone to breakdown in case of unexpected energy costs. Therefore, in the body, where these costs are quite likely, cellulite grows more slowly than the “abdomen”, which occurs due to an increase in the greater omentum – one of the main “stores” of visceral fat.

In addition, testosterone, paired with adrenaline, provides the male muscles with a high tone, good ability to grow under exertion. In addition, the man’s cardiovascular system is better adapted to high and even very high physical activity – and again thanks to them. But the action of these hormones has its drawbacks. In particular, their tandem was created in order to provide the body they control with good physical performance. And this means that such a body must constantly have large reserves of resources for recovery from stress.

In nature, the main “building material” for muscle tissue was and remains cholesterol (as we see, it is not so harmful) and proteins. But the word “stock” always means “beyond what is needed at the moment.” Therefore, the rapid development of atherosclerosis is the main problem of the body of any man – whether he is a weightlifter or a middle manager. True, in the latter case, its rapid development often turns into an early or accelerated one, but the only difference is no more. By the way, exactly the same problems are typical for women with a relatively high background of testosterone. And it doesn’t matter whether he is innate or acquired throughout life, for one reason or another.

Yes, just like estrogen is necessarily produced in the male body, a fraction of testosterone is present in the female body. And it also produces the adrenal cortex. True, the basic background of the female body is much more complicated than the male. Estrogen here is just the tip of the iceberg, a hormone whose antagonist is testosterone. By the way, both of these hormones are synthesized from progesterone, the single hormone precursor for them. The unity of the source here explains the identity of the behavior of the sexes before puberty, the phenomenon of hermaphroditism, etc. It is “from” progesterone that its chemical relatives inherit the ability to control skeletal growth, the activity of the cardiovascular and central nervous system. It’s just that each of them does this, so to speak, in his own way, depending on what sex he has turned into a hormone.

Estrogen is notable for the fact that, unlike testosterone, it forms the body more fragile, less adapted to physical activity. Hence the narrower shoulder girdle (and hence the smaller size and strength of the muscles grown on small bones). And also a wider pelvis, suitable for bearing a pregnancy is better than for maintaining the stability of the body when lifting a lot of weight. The bones of the female skeleton are thinner than the male ones, and the fat reserves in their body increase much more readily than the muscle ones. The muscles of the fair sex are always in the worst tone, they are less pliable efforts to increase them, detail, increase elasticity.

In the female body, fat (both subcutaneous and visceral) is allocated 20% of its total weight, while in the male body – only 10%. No wonder: if a man needs a fat reserve only for cases of emergency energy expenditure by muscles, then in the female body his function looks much more important. The fat of the female body at any time can begin to be spent on the growth of fetal tissue – in case of pregnancy. After all, we are talking about stocks of, in fact, pure cholesterol. And during a period of active tissue growth, this substance becomes literally worth its weight in gold.

But the main property of estrogen is its ability to block the deposition of cholesterol plaques on the walls of blood vessels. Again, nothing surprising. Firstly, pregnancy with a poor state of the heart and blood vessels can provoke complications, and fatal complications. Therefore, an organism capable of conception of a new life must be protected from such combinations during the entire reproductive period. Secondly, as was said, the female body sees the direct purpose of fat reserves in a slightly different way. And it “indicates” to them a place not on the walls of the coronary arteries, but where they can be “requested” at any time. Therefore, during the entire reproductive period, atherosclerosis in women develops several times slower than in men. But after menopause, the chances of a heart attack or stroke over the next five years in both sexes quickly equalize.

It remains to add that estrogen is produced by the follicles (immature ova) of the ovaries, and has the ability to accumulate just in fatty tissues. Due to the latter mechanism, the constancy of its background in the blood is created. But over time, its amount in the body decreases. This happens as more and more eggs go through the normal cycle – from maturation and lowering into the uterus to elimination during menstruation. In other words, the total number of follicles in the ovaries is set as early as the woman’s puberty and only decreases further.

Even simpler: with each menstruation or pregnancy, one less follicle remains in the woman’s ovaries. And so, the estrogen content in the blood decreases each time – by a small fraction invisible even for hypersensitive devices. Over time, this decrease becomes more noticeable. It prepares the body for menopause, and in a sense triggers it. In addition, a steady decrease in estrogen levels leads to an age-related change in hormonal balance in the female body.

Yes, estrogen is estrogen, but the female body is not male, with its only major hormone. In addition to estrogen, certain parts of the ovaries also produce prolactin, and oxytocin, and some others. For example, prolactin is synthesized by the corpus luteum – a kind of “nest” in which the egg matured. When a mature egg falls into the uterus, the corpus luteum in its place begins to produce prolactin more actively. Because he is responsible for sex drive no less than estrogen. In case of pregnancy, prolactin also prepares and starts lactation – hence its name. It is alleged that it forms the maternal instinct. With age, due to a decrease in estrogen levels, prolactin levels in the blood increase. As for the egg itself, it continues to produce estrogen in the uterus, since it supports its life and determines the duration of this life.

Over time, both the egg and, so to speak, the paired yellow body in the ovaries change the “accents” of hormone synthesis. They gradually reduce the production of prolactin with estrogen, replacing it with the production of oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that stimulates the tone of the walls of the uterus and the detachment of its mucous layer. Simply put, it is a hormone of successful childbirth. And in the event that the fertilization of the egg has not happened, it initiates its death and successful removal during the period of menstruation.

Of course, this is not all about the features of hormonal regulation in any organism. Firstly, because some glands in the body, as we see, can produce several hormones at once, and change the list of hormones produced, depending on what is needed now. The question arises: how does the ordinary gland know which hormone to synthesize when? The answer to it is very simple: from all the glands this is given only one thing – the pituitary gland, located in the tissues of the brain and controlled directly by its cortex. So what the bark actually knows here. She gives the order to the pituitary gland, and he already affects the individual endocrine glands of the body, trying to fulfill this order. Therefore, a number of disorders of the reproductive system are associated with pathologies or defects not of the ovaries / testicles at all. It is associated with impaired development or work of the pituitary gland.

And secondly, there is one more difficult moment. It consists in the fact that many hormones in the body complement each other’s work – like testosterone and adrenaline. But even more of them are antagonists of some other hormone – such as estrogen and testosterone. A new question arises: why are hormones of the opposite sex produced in a body with one gender? If we don’t already know the answer, then we guess. The fact is that an increase in the level of one hormone from this pair stimulates an increase in the level of another. And how else would the pituitary gland located inside the cranium, could, so to speak, “convey” its “opinion” to the gland located above the tailbone? ..

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