But, the problem hormone is frequently not a female hormone, but insulin. Insulin is consistently implicated in infertility, especially in women who are carrying a few extra pounds.
But how does a metabolic hormone manage to influence the reproductive system ?
Ovulation starts in the brain
Eggs are released from the ovary, but getting the egg good to go, and giving it the final heave ho out of the ovary, into the fallopian tube, is actually controlled from the brain.
The part of the brain controlling the process is the pituitary gland or “master” gland.
Gonadotrophs, are the special cells within the pituitary, that kick start ovarian development with a blast of luteinizing hormone.
Too little or too much, both interfere with the egg release.
Insulin triggers the release of luitenizing hormone
Researchers from John Hopkins Children’s Centre discovered that if they injected insulin directly into the pituitary gland, they were able to trigger the release of LH (luitenizing hormone).
Confirming that the metabolic hormone, insulin, is able to impact the reproductive hormones.
Insulin resistance gives the brain an insulin injection
When a person is insulin resistant, the cells that are supposed to listen to the insulin, have gone a little deaf, at this stage scientists are not sure why this happens.
Insulin’s job is to control fuel supplies, so the fact that the liver and muscle cells are ignoring it, is problematic. So to keep the lines of communication open, the insulin message is amplified i.e. the insulin levels are increased.
But, the other cells in the body have nothing wrong with their ability to “hear” insulin. So as the insulin levels rise, they experience a very loud blaring noise. The continuous din gives some of these cells a terrible “headache”.
PS. A pounding headache makes it really difficult to perform your duties correctly.
The gonadotrophs are drowning in insulin
The cells responsible for producing luitenizing hormone are suffering from insulin overload in women who are insulin resistant.
When the research team removed the insulin receptors from the pituitary cells using a little genetic engineering, they were able to shut off the noise. The peace and quiet brought relief to these cells and stopped the abnormal release of luitenizing hormone in the presence of insulin resistance.
Ear plugs restored fertility in mice
Insulin resistant mice, like insulin resistant women, struggle to be Moms. Mice that are not insulin resistant are six times more fertile than insulin resistant mice.
But when the insulin receptor is removed from the pituitary cells, there was very little difference in the number of babies born to insulin resistant mice versus normal mice.
Rein in insulin
There are many causes of infertility but one of the most common is being insulin resistant.
As a rule, if you’re overweight with a big tummy – you’re insulin resistant. But even if you’re not obese, most of us are insulin resistant to some degree. A blood test will tell you your status – a fasting level below 10 ulU/mL is normal, anything above this is considered to be a problem.
Turning down the noise
At this stage, you cannot give your pituitary cells a little peace and quiet by giving them ear plugs that block insulin receptors.
But you can turn down the noise.
Eating foods that are high in carbohydrates causes your body to produce lots of insulin. So cut back on your carbs to rein in insulin and increase the odds that you will soon be singing a lullaby.Rescue of Obesity-Induced Infertility in Female Mice due to a Pituitary-Specific Knockout of the Insulin Receptor.Cell Metabolism (2010) 12 (3): 295-305. Kathryn J. Brothers, Sheng Wu, Sara A. DiVall, Marcus R. Messmer, C. Ronald Kahn, Ryan S. Miller, Sally Radovick, Fredric E. Wondisford, Andrew Wolfe.
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|High insulin levels hammer your heart whether you’re thirteen or thirty||A high fat diet will shed pounds faster without jeopardizing your heart||Winter nookie increases the risk of having an autistic child|
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