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Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything

Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything

by Randi Hutter Epstein M.D.


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A guided tour through the strange science of hormones and the age-old quest to control them.

Metabolism, behavior, sleep, mood swings, the immune system, fighting, fleeing, puberty, and sex: these are just a few of the things our bodies control with hormones. Armed with a healthy dose of wit and curiosity, medical journalist Randi Hutter Epstein takes us on a journey through the unusual history of these potent chemicals from a basement filled with jarred nineteenth-century brains to a twenty-first-century hormone clinic in Los Angeles.

Brimming with fascinating anecdotes, illuminating new medical research, and humorous details, Aroused introduces the leading scientists who made life-changing discoveries about the hormone imbalances that ail us, as well as the charlatans who used those discoveries to peddle false remedies. Epstein exposes the humanity at the heart of hormone science with her rich cast of characters, including a 1920s doctor promoting vasectomies as a way to boost libido, a female medical student who discovered a pregnancy hormone in the 1940s, and a mother who collected pituitaries, a brain gland, from cadavers as a source of growth hormone to treat her son. Along the way, Epstein explores the functions of hormones such as leptin, oxytocin, estrogen, and testosterone, demystifying the science of endocrinology.

A fascinating look at the history and science of some of medicine’s most important discoveries, Aroused reveals the shocking history of hormones through the back rooms, basements, and labs where endocrinology began.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393239607
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 06/26/2018
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Randi Hutter Epstein, M.D., M.P.H., the author of Aroused and Get Me Out, is an adjunct professor at Columbia University, a lecturer at Yale University, and writer in residence at Yale Medical School. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times and the Psychology Today blog, among others. She lives in New York.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

1 The Fat Bride 1

2 Hormones … As We May Call Them 14

3 Pickled Brains 34

4 Killer Hormones 54

5 The Virile Vasectomy 72

6 Soul Mates in Sex Hormones 89

7 Making Gender 102

8 Growing Up 126

9 Measuring the Immeasurable 148

10 Growing Pains 160

11 Hotheads: The Mysteries of Menopause 174

12 Testosterone Endopreneurs 194

13 Oxytocin; That Levin' Feeling 214

14 Transitioning 230

15 Insatiable: The Hypothalamus and Obesity 246

Epilogue 257

Acknowledgments 261

Notes 267

Index 299

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