Changes in hormones characteristic of puberty
Changes in puberty are made by hormones - chemicals produced in special organs of the body, called glands. Hormones travel throughout the body in the blood stream and affect the work and development of other cells in the body. The signal for the production of sex hormones comes from the hypothalamus, a gland located in the brain. The signal seems to have to wait until the hypothalamus has matured to a certain extent. Then it begins to affect the pituitary gland, an important gland located at the base of the brain, and it produces two hormones called FSH and LH. (Their full names “follicle-stimulating hormone” and “luteinizing hormone” correspond to their role in the girl's body, where they also trigger the puberty, although in men LH produces more.) In the boy, both of these hormones act on the testes.In a year, when the desired level of LH is reached, stimulation with this hormone causes the testes to produce testosterone, the main male sex hormone. Testosterone stimulates the growth of penis, pubic hair, and so on. FSH in the meantime causes the testicles to produce sperm. To limit the level of sexual activity, the production of FSH and LH is regulated by the so-called “negative feedback”. That is, the effects of these hormones affect their own production, so that their level falls, while the absence of hormones does not create the conditions under which they again begin to develop. For example, LH stimulates the production of testosterone, which affects the hypothalamus. As a result, he sends a command to reduce the production of LH. When LH stops stimulating the production of testosterone, the level of the latter drops, allowing you to restart the production of LH. (In the case of FSH, the control mechanism does not appear to be related to testosterone levels.)
What affects the timing
In our century, the average age for sexual maturity has been steadily decreasing. The reasons for this have not been clarified. Influence can raise the standard of living and health.The age of puberty, however, is also determined by inherited family characteristics, nutrition, general living conditions, physical and psychological condition (mental disorders and long-term childhood diseases can delay puberty).
In rare cases, puberty does not occur due to hormonal imbalance. In addition, some diseases become more common after puberty: acute myeloid leukemia, bone cancer - and less seriously - myopia.
But many of the so-called physical problems of puberty have only psychological significance. Very early or, on the contrary, late development, skin problems, increasing body odor - all this is more psychological than serious physical problems. A common but temporary problem is extreme lethargy, with both physical and psychological causes and consequences.
From a psychological point of view, this can be caused by major physical changes taking place at the same time, which can lead to anxiety, self-esteem and longing for the old childhood entertainment and former roles.From the physical point of view, it can be caused by the influence of hormones, or accelerated growth, or simply by too frequent strolls late.
It is worth mentioning some normal processes of puberty, which can be mistaken for anomalous.
The thyroid gland is often enlarged, but must shrink again upon completion of the ripening process.
Obesity can develop due to a violation of control of appetite in the brain (and not due to the effects of glands or gluttony). Sometimes it disappears afterwards, but it is better to start practicing diet control on time.
Almost a third of the boys form a slight tumor under the nipples of the breast. It disappears in a year and a half.
The range of variation of any characteristics in most people is quite narrow, the range of possible variation is very wide. A good example of this is the height of a person. Out of every 100 men, 95 is between 162 and 187 cm tall.