This thing called love

Dr. Michael F. de Lota, Family MedicineARC Kyle Plum Creek explores the concept of love as part of the human condition in this recent column in Austin Fit Magazine.

What drives this intense emotion?

“The answer might not be as serendipitous as we think,” says Dr. de Lota. “It lies in a vast, interconnected network of nerves, chemical signals and organ systems in our bodies — a network whose parts are in constant communication, showing us that love is truly poetry in motion.”

Three types of love: lust, attraction and attachment

“Each of these three types of love are controlled by separate hormones, nerves and parts of the brain,” says Dr. de Lota. “Lust is driven by our evolutionary desire to pass on our genetic material, ensuring the continuation of our genetic line and, in turn, the continuation of our species. Physical attraction is a continuation of lust, a phase often called being “love struck” in which the hypothalamus continues to release dopamine to the reward center of the brain, reinforcing the pleasure we feel when we spend time with and think about the person we love.

“Over time, we tend to place less of an emphasis on physical attraction and a stronger emphasis on relationship security, quality time and emotional intimacy. This defines the last stage of love, known as attachment, and is the kind of love experienced between long-term partners, friends and between a mother and her children,” says Dr. de Lota. “If love were a language, then our brains, hormones, neurotransmitters and glands are the words of poetry that bring it to life.”

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. de Lota, do so online at ARCBookNow.com or by calling ARC Kyle Plum Creek at 512-295-1333.

Tags: Austin Fit Magazine

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