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April 23, 2004

At long last, a Subhanallah lesson

Growth Hormone Function: Growth Hormone (GH) is a hormone released by the anterior pituitary which, as its name implies, is critical for normal growth to adult size. There are many factors that lead to increase in secretion of GH: sleep, exercise, etc. There are also factors that lead to decrease in secretion of GH: obesity, etc.

What’s interesting is that pregnancy also causes a decrease in GH. In other words, a woman can be secreting normal levels of GH before pregnancy, but during pregnancy, lower levels of GH are now secreted.

What’s so useful/cool about that: GH causes a decrease in glucose uptake to cells and an increase in lipolysis (breakdown of fats). Therefore, a decrease in GH will cause an INCREASE in glucose uptake and a DECREASE in lipolysis. This will ensure the mother has enough energy (from the glucose uptake) that can enter the bloodstream and thus be given to the fetus. This will also spare lipolysis in the mother, a mechanism the body uses to generate glucose (from fat) when it’s not available otherwise.

I guess I just find it amazing that God has programmed the mother’s body to physiologically “change” for the pregnancy period and then resume normalcy after the child is delivered.

Yet another reason why mothers rule…


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