Category Archives: Health

Rheumatic Heart Disease

It is an ominous disorder. Usually it affects older children, more probably in the five-to-fifteen-years age group. Strange to say, it often commences by affecting one or more joints. But this is really a trap for young players, and is frequently merely the tip of the iceberg.

Although a painful swollen joint is uncomfortable, in many cases it resolves completely. But later on this may inauspiciously lead to fairly severe disease of the heart. In fact, it may not become apparent until well into adult life.

It’s seen less frequently than in years gone by. I think the general improvement in living conditions, housing standards, and probably nutrition have all played a part in reducing its frequency. Social problems and domestic difficulties, with consequent overcrowding and reduced general health, seem to have played a part in occurrence. As these improve, so the incidence appears to reduce.

Rheumatic Heart Disease Symptoms

The child often runs a fever and feels off-colour. Sometimes a large joint, probably the knee, ankle, elbow or wrist, swells up and becomes hot, tender and painful. After a few days it may subside, to jump surreptitiously to another joint. There may be a skin rash, and occasionally little lumps come up around the joint, or at the base of the skull.

As the fever continues, often the heart rate starts to increase. In fact, it may step up to a very fast rate, and this certainly demands urgent attention.

Children will make strange movements. This is more probable in young girls, and is referred to as rheumatic chorea or St Vitus’ dance. Quite out of her control, the hapless child commences making strange grimaces and ridiculous, purposeless movements. Besides facial twitching, there may be similar movements in the limbs or body. The more she tries to stop, often the worse it becomes. It’s very tiring, debilitating and embarrassing, and the whole episode is filled with distressing emotional overtones. I’ve heard that these heart abnormalities can follow on from a simple infection of the throat, in a way similar to certain kidney infections.

Yes. The wily germ called the Haemolytic streptococcus is capable of many mean things, and affecting the kidneys and heart are in his repertoire. It may begin several weeks after the throat infection, and by the time the heart is involved, the initial infection is long since finished. It may be from one to three weeks after, or even more. The chorea may not set in for many weeks, perhaps 15 or more from the initial infection.

Chronic Rheumatic Fever may ensue. By then it’s almost certain the heart is involved. Scarring of the heart muscle or the heart valves may occur, and this is a bad outlook for the future. In fact, some patients develop significant cardiac symptoms many years after a childhood infection.

Rheumatic Heart Disease Treatment

Many doctors believe that it’s wise to try to pr vent trouble from taking place. For this reason, many treat every sore throat with suspicion. What’s more, if antibiotics are prescribed, the doctor likes to make certain the full course is taken, in order to completely knock out the invading germ, and not just stun it. As far as treatment in general is concerned, a routine will be worked out specifically for each patient, and this will be in accordance with the needs of the moment. It may vary in each case. It’s important for best results that the doctor’s instructions be carried out implicitly.

Ideally the child should be served attractive meals that are well-tolerated. A spread of nutritious foods is recommended, for trying to maintain good general health is essential. It will lessen the risk of contracting further infections. A variety of drugs are used. These may include salicylates, the stand-by form of therapy for many years. They still rank with the best antibiotics that may be prescribed, and sometimes the steroids are used for short periods.

It is essential to provide the child with as much tender, loving care and backup emotional care and support as possible. The illness may be a long, tedious, harrowing one, for the patient as well as the parents. A mother can do a great deal by emotionally supporting her offspring. Also, husbands should try to support their wives as much as possible, for frequently they bear the brunt of the deal, being at home and having to supervise the care


A woman suddenly realizes that her normal monthly flow has not occurred. Or the thought may not occur to her until she has actually missed more than one. If she is in the 45 plus age range, then she has either reached, or is on the verge of a time in life commonly referred to as the menopause.

Menstruation most commonly ceases about the age of 50. This is also popularly known as the change of life or climacteric. Happily, many women breeze through this particular event with perfect equanimity. Periods stop abruptly; there is little if any outward indication that marked and dynamic changes are occurring inside the body. Nervous stability remains normal, and life seems little different from the usual pattern.

But this is not always the case. Many other women are not so fortunately endowed. For them, the time is fraught with problems, and every day new hazards seem to occur and escalate.

It seems that about 50 percent of women sustain symptoms that are sufficiently distressing to warrant medical attention.

The problem of the menopause is a fairly recent phenomenon. The hard, cold facts are that in past ages, many women failed to reach these mature years that the majority now do.

In Roman days, average life expectancy was about 23 years. By the 14th century, it had risen to around 33 years. Even at the turn of this century, it was only 48 years. So, in those days, the problems of the change-of-life woman seldom occurred.

The reason why symptoms occur is that the ovaries, the small pelvic organs that have been active since the age of 10 – 16 years, producing hormones and eggs on a very regular basis, finally reduce operations.

Gradually the hormonal production winds down, until it finally stops completely. Similarly, the release of the egg each 28 days ceases.

The consequences of this reduction in activity are twofold. First, the chances of pregnancy reduce drastically. If there is no egg present, the chance of its becoming fertilized is nil. Also, no egg means no menstrual period, and these cease. But more dramatically the enormous reduction in circulating hormones also means that the chemical responsible for the general wellbeing and normal operation of the pelvic areas phases out.

Almost inevitably this leads to the production of a new set of symptoms.

Menopause Symptoms

Usually the most apparent symptom is cessation of regular menstruation. This may occur abruptly, but more likely it is a gradual process. A period is missed intermittently, or the time between successive periods may be longer than normal, until finally they cease.

We would emphasize again that if bleeding at this time is heavier than normal, then investigation by the doctor is often essential. It may be due to simple hormonal withdrawal from the system. But in this special at-risk age group, uterine cancer must always be considered with bleeding irregularities, particularly heavy bleeding, or bleeding after total cessation of menstruation.

Another very common symptom is the appearance of hot flushes. These may be mild and transient, or they may be marked and distressing. Often they commence in the face. From here they may spread to the neck, shoulders and probably the chest area. The upper part of the body is usually affected most markedly. There may also be a suffocating sensation and the patient may fan herself and gasp for more air. In some, profuse sweating may occur.

The body appearance tends to alter. The breasts may become larger, due to an increase in their content of fat. But in some women the reverse takes place, and the breasts tend to become smaller, less attractive, pendulous and weary-looking. Many women tend to become plump, as fat is deposited on the usual places, usually where it is desired least of all—the midriff, buttocks, thighs and upper arms. This is often associated with a reduction in the desire for activity and exercise.

Primary Dysmenorrhoea

What is Primary Dysmenorrhoea?

Primary Dysmenorrhoea is also known as spasmodic or true dysmenorrhoea. This is the most common form of severe period pain. It usually starts a year or two after the commencement of periods. It nearly always disappears spontaneously after 25 – 30 years of age and is usually at its peak between the ages of 15 and 20 years.

The pain always starts with the actual menstrual flow, never before. It may last for a few hours or even a day or more. It may be of considerable severity while it lasts. The pain is felt chiefly in the lower part of the abdomen. It often spreads to the inner parts of the thighs; there may be some low backache also. The patient may look drawn and pale, sweat profusely and feel very uncomfortable. Nausea and vomiting are fairly common, and sometimes the patient may faint. There is often discomfort with passing urine and with bowel actions; sometimes there is diarrhoea.

All sorts of medical explanations have been put forward over the years as to why this should suddenly put in an appearance in otherwise normal, healthy young women. Some claim the sudden alteration from an active, exercise-filled routine such as experienced in school or college to a more sedentary way of life is of particular importance and a causative factor. It strikes suddenly and without any obvious cause at an age when these variations are occurring, suggesting that physical activity (or the lack of it) may play a part.

Thousands of young women have been checked very carefully to discover if there is some underlying pathology. In most cases none can be found. The pelvic organs are perfectly normal and healthy. In some rare cases, heavy menstrual bleeding may produce clots, and in turn this can produce pain with the commencement of the flow, particularly if clots become jammed in the cervical canal.

Some women have an abnormally shaped uterus, and these seem more prone to producing menstrual problems, but these are in the minority. The most plausible explanation and the most recent one is wrapped up with the discovery of a new hormone called prostaglandin that is produced by the body. This is manufactured in women in the uterus, and it has a powerful effect in causing the muscle fibres of the uterine wall to contract rhythmically. It is also known that prostaglandin production is greatly stimulated by the female hormone progesterone, produced in increasing amounts during the second half of the menstrual cycle.

So it seems that with the build up of progesterone, prostaglandin is produced in maximum amounts just at the time when menstruation would be occurring. The violent cramp like pain and discomfort represents the uterine muscles actively contracting, and the other symptoms are a flow on from this. This is a very logical explanation, and further research will probably make the picture even clearer. On the other hand however, it may go down in history as just another theory as to its cause. There have been very many of them to date, and many doctors shrug their shoulders and wonder if any is true, including this most recent one.

Primary Dysmenorrhoea Treatment

The important aspect from the suffering woman’s point of view is what to do. She is not as concerned with the cause as with the remedy. Today, there are many different lines of attack. Here are some of them:


Medication collectively referred to as analgesia will usually bring prompt, efficient relief from pain and discomfort. Many different lines are available, either on prescription from your physician, or over the counter from your pharmacist. Most contain the well known medications aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid), paracetamol and codeine in varying doses.

A simple remedy is paracetamol, 2 x 500 mg tablets three to four hourly. Alternatively, aspirin (soluble is often quicker in effect and may be dissolved in water), 2 x 300 mg tablets. Take this after food, as it may provoke nausea, being a gastric irritant. Some proprietary lines contain caffeine and codeine, which may assist; and some analgesics obtained by scripts from the doctor may have varying amounts of these ingredients. Most work quite successfully. Their use for half to one day is often adequate. Patients with the problem on a recurring basis should carry tablets with them when trouble is anticipated.


Doctors sometimes prescribe medications claimed to relieve spasm of the uterine muscle. These are usually a prescription-only line, and must be doctor-ordered and taken under correct medical supervision.

Anti-inflammatory Medication

For many years doctors have known that simple aspirin brings quick relief. It is also recognised that the anti-inflammatory drugs such as indomethacin, naproxen, ibuprofen and ketoprofen bring relief, even though these are generally used in arthritis! It seems that all three are powerful “prostaglandin antagonists”— in short, they destroy the prostaglandin in the uterus, and so stop its action and reduce the symptoms. These must also be given under proper medical supervision, for they are potent drugs, and must be treated with respect.

Hormone Therapy

The contraceptive pill has had a dramatic and major beneficial effect in reducing dysmenorrhoea. Once more, the hormones in the pill effectively prevent ovulation from taking place. In turn, this prevents progesterone from being formed, and stops prostaglandin from being manufactured. So, presto! There is no pain. Today, many young women in the dysmenorrhoea age bracket regularly take the pill for contraceptive reasons. Many notice that their period pains suddenly vanish.

In 1994 medroxyprogesterone (Depo Provera C150) was approved as an injectable contraceptive in Australia (much earlier in New Zealand). A single injection three-monthly prevents ovulation, which should inhibit periods and lessen dysmenorrhoea. Often, use of the pill or injection will solve the problem. Frequently, when the pill is discontinued, the period problem ceases also. But if not, medication may be continued. The pill is a potent combination of hormones, and in most Western countries it must be ordered by a doctor on a prescription and given under medical supervision. Its beneficial effect can be invaluable.

General care

There is little doubt that attention to general matters of physical activity, personal hygiene and commonsense living can also play a valuable part in ridding the system of dysmenorrhoea. Outdoor activity, participation in physical sports, commonsense attitudes to eating high-quality food, bowel regularity, adequate rest at night, can only help in a general sort of way. At least it equips the body to function more normally, and anything that will do this is north a trial—a long-term trial.


Masturbation means the production of an orgasm (climax) by the manual or mechanical friction of the genitals. This, I might add, has been going on for a long time, for it comes from the Latin word masturbatie, which has the same meaning as it does today. Now small children have no knowledge of sex, and until after puberty at least, orgasming, in the true sense, is simply not possible, for sexual development is an essential prerequisite.

Children, from babyhood on, are learning. This they do via all the senses, and this includes touch. With their two hands and ten fingers they will avidly explore every part of their body. This is part of juvenile education. It’s all a matter of learning. So crevices, cracks, knobs and appendages all come within this orbit.

In babyhood and childhood, definitely no. They have never heard of sex and so know nothing about the sex act or sexual relationships that are such an important part of life as one develops and matures. What about sensations?

They may gain some gratification from “playing with himself/herself’ (as some parents explain in horror). But they may also gain delight from tickling their feet, hands or stomach. This is all, and any gratification is within any normal physical and mental bounds.

I believe they should ignore it. Some are bowed down by guilt feelings, probably from a strong religious training, or the thought that anything in this area can only be wicked, sinful, the work of the devil and so on. This of course is incorrect. Ignore the whole activity and soon the child will do likewise, and it will be of little consequence. Do not blow it up out of proportion, for it is not important at this stage of life.

Masturbation Treatment

The less attention that is given to this passing juvenile habit, the better. Do not remonstrate, scold or abuse. Rather, ignore it. Probably try to get the child interested in other entertainments. These may be varied and there is no shortage of material to which to turn.

As children become older they will naturally ask questions. Answer them with frank, straightforward, honest answers. If you do not know, tell them so, but start to educate yourself and find the answers, for they will keep on coming, and they will gradually become more and more complex, believe me. I have been doctoring for many years (and have been a father for many years also, and know the type and range of queries that are fired at parents).

Do not appear embarrassed. If you are not, they will not develop this attitude either. Do not adopt an attitude of guilt or shame. This is anathema and can immediately put up unwanted barriers.

Pituitary Gland

The Pituitary glands together produce many important hormones that can govern the activity of all the other endocrines. For this reason it is often called the “captain of the ship”, but things can get out of hand, although fortunately these are quite rare also.

The Pituitary gland is located on the undersurface of the brain close to where the optic nerves arise is a vital area known as the hypothalamus. Its anatomical boundaries are not clearly defined, but it is a hive of activity. Jutting from the hypothalamus is a short stalk, at the end of which is the pituitary gland, the first of the important series of internal glands called the endocrines. Collectively, this small area exerts a major influence over other endocrine glands of the system, as well as being of crucial importance to the wellbeing and normal activities of the body. Over the past few years much research has been carried out on these centers, and today a lot of relatively new information is available.

The hypothalamus contains specialized centers (called nuclei) that regulate body temperature, sleep rhythm, appetite and sexual development and function. It has control over blood circulation, respiration and the nervous system, including the emotional system. It also acts as a control center for the various hormones produced and secreted by the pituitary gland itself. Chemicals called neurohormones are produced here. These are carried via the blood to the pituitary gland, permitting it to release the various hormones it manufactures.

In some cases, release of some hormones is reduced or entirely prevented. In effect, the hypothalamus acts as an accelerator or a brake on the pituitary. The hypothalamus also produces two hormones called vasopressin and oxytocin that are carried by the blood to the back (posterior) part of the pituitary, where they are stored.

The pituitary gland itself is a small organ, comprising a front or anterior lobe (sometimes called the adenohypophysis), and a back or posterior lobe (called the neurohypophysis). Each lobe produces or stores certain chemicals called hormones which can exert a profound and dynamic effect on many other parts of the body. They are of major importance. It is incredible that such a small area of the body can be so influential in regulating the system’s general welfare.

Lead Poisoning in Children

More children will inevitably suffer from the ill effects of this, as more lead comes into the atmosphere. At one time, lead poisoning was almost solely blamed on lead-based paints. Children often picked off peeling paint and ate it, so enabling it to accumulate in the system and cause adverse effects.

But in more recent times with the enormous sale of leaded petrol (which is said to increase the efficiency of motor cars), more lead is being pumped into the air. However, this should now gradually lessen in Australia with the reintroduction of unleaded petrol.

The concept is that increased lead in the atmosphere inevitably increases the amount children inhale. Young children are very sensitive to inhaling it. But it may also come from other sources of pollution, and children living near lead mines are said to often have higher than normal levels.

Lead Poisoning Symptoms

They may come on insidiously. Irritability, nervousness, being jumpy, ill at ease, spiteful, bad tempered, feeling weak and lacking normal energy and vitality, are some of the symptoms reported. There may be nausea, vomiting, being off one’s normal food, constipation, headaches, cramps, pains in the abdomen. Occasionally teeth will show a telltale “lead line.” If it worsens, there may be fits. It is possible to undergo special tests to measure the lead levels in the system.

Quite often the child will be referred to a major centre geared to diagnose cases with vague symptoms for which there may not, on the surface, be obvious causes. Diagnosis may be difficult. Investigation and therapy is best carried out at a major centre. After this, endeavoring to shield the child against further lead exposure is the idea. But this may be more of a wish than a possibility.

Children may hold the breath, probably after an emotional upset, or if frightened or angry. They simply stop breathing, and may even go blue in the face or may have a convulsion or two and go unconscious. Various levels occur.

Herein may lay the crux of the problem. The child may know that the episode will guarantee the attention desired – maybe lots of TLC that had been missing! Infants are often smarter than parents give them credit for!

Lead Poisoning Treatment

Ignoring the whole situation is the best idea. The more fuss and attention given to such children, the more they are likely to continue playing on their mother’s goodwill, and will continue with the attention-getting routine. By totally ignoring it, the exercise then has a negative effect and they will soon become tired of this little game. Parents should not blame themselves for it. No harm will befall the infant, who will not suffer any disability and certainly will not become mentally retarded as a result. The parents may have been breath holders themselves, so the baby is merely repeating history.

A child-specialist colleague suggested to me that placing icy-cold flannels over the child’s head and face (with the nose sticking out) invariably caused the child to suddenly inspire, and the procedure was at an end. It sounded a good idea to me. Why not give it a try, if this happens to be your problem?

Reye’s Syndrome

A rare but potentially fatal illness of preschool and school-age children. A number of organs may suffer damage, but the brain and liver are typically the most severely affected. The most worrisome feature of this disease is edema (increased fluid) within the brain, which can cause a dangerous increase in pressure within the skulk At least 70 percent of children diagnosed with Reye’s syndrome survive, but they may have neurological defects, depending upon the severity of the illness. Younger children appear to be at greatest risk; very rarely has Reye’s syndrome been reported in adults.

Reye’s Syndrome Symptoms

This syndrome is usually preceded by a viral infection such as chicken pox or influenza. The exact cause is unknown, but it is believed to be associated with taking aspirin (or products containing aspirin) during the infection.

The following is a typical scenario of Reye’s syndrome:

  1. A child has the chicken pox, flu, or other viral illness, during which she receives a product containing aspirin to reduce fever and aches.
  2. At first she seems to improve, but five to seven days after the beginning of the illness, she begins to vomit repeatedly.
  3. After the vomiting ceases, she becomes listless, inattentive, irritable, and delirious.
  4. As the disease progresses the child may become confused, and within a few hours, seizures and a deep coma may develop.

Reye’s Syndrome Treatment

It is important that you seek medical attention immediately if your child is manifesting the above symptoms, especially listlessness or confusion that follows vomiting. If Reye’s syndrome is suspected, blood tests and a spinal tap will usually be necessary to make the correct diagnosis. Treatment is supportive and requires admission to a hospital equipped to deal with life threatening situations involving increased pressure within the skull and abnormalities of liver function.

Reye’s Syndrome Prevention

No one understands why Reye’s syndrome affects some children .d not others. Over the past several years physicians and other health resources have warned parents not to give aspirin to their children during viral infections (or, for that matter, most other acute conditions), and this has decreased the number of re-ported cases of this disease. If your child develops a fever and/or aches during an illness, you should use acetaminophen or ibuprofen instead of aspirin to relieve it. Check the label of any product you give your child during an acute illness to be sure that it does not contain aspirin. (The label should include a specific warning about Reye’s syndrome.)

Restless Leg Syndrome

Some patients complain of “restless legs,” causing the legs to twitch and jump shortly after retiring to bed at night. It may be associated with vague sensory changes. The bed partner complains more frequently than the patient.

The cause is unknown. Some claim it is due to oxygen lack to the lower limbs occasioned by the recumbent position, sluggish blood flow, and probably partial venous obstruction due to vascular disease and advancing years. The benzodiazepenes are often prescribed. Calcium and quinine are given, the latter being successful for nocturnal cramps by reducing muscle-fibre spasm.

Some doctors suggest reducing pressure on the limbs by using only light bedclothes or, in winter weather, preventing the clothing from resting on the limbs, so inhibiting normal free blood circulation.

This may be easily done by placing old clothing into a pillowcase, and placing this at the centre of the foot of the bed, so elevating bedclothes slightly. It is often very successful. Alternatively, a wire frame (or half a circular bird cage) is also often effective. Some claim lower limb massage (from feet to body), hot and cold packs, thumping the limbs with the sides of the hand or closed fists also improves circulation and reduces symptoms.

Herpes Infections

Itchy spots that develop into blisters, and then ulcerate after a few days, are common in the genital region, and are often caused by the common cold-sore germ, called the herpes virus 2 (or HSV-2 for short). The irritation may be intense, and the ulcers are extremely painful, especially if urine flows over them. It often makes intercourse difficult or impossible for some weeks.

Herpes Infections Treatment

The sores automatically heal themselves. However, the application of icepacks (crushed ice in a fabric bag) for 30 minutes two to three times a day in the very early stages will often stop them from developing. This is called “cryotherapy.” and cold prevents viruses from multiplying. Idoxuridine cream, if applied Color-enhanced electron micrograph of a herpes simplex virus in an infected cell very early, may help. The antibiotic called acyclovir applied as a cream or taken orally is also dramatic in its effect.

Remember that genital herpes is often a sexually transmitted disorder, and may be spread between partners even when no active sores are present—the friction from rubbing skin surfaces may allow the virus to spread from person to person.

Herpes Simplex Infection

Conjunctivitis due to infections with herpes simplex virus (often called HSV-1) can take place. This is the virus that causes cold sores. The conjunctiva becomes inflamed, the lymph gland in front of the ear swollen and tender. Blisters may appear on the eyelid.

The eye is treated with a drug called idoxuridine in an eye ointment base that kills the virus if used early. It is applied four times daily. Sulpha eye ointments may also be used if infections by bacteria are also present. Medical supervision is necessary.

The antiviral antibiotic acyclovir will kill the herpes germ, and is given as liquid eye drops or tablets. It must be ordered by the physician, and taken under strict supervision. The earlier treatment is started with this product, the better the result.

Herpes Zoster

Chickenpox virus may remain in the system for many years after a childhood infection, and later reactivate to produce inflammation of superficial nerves of the skin, called herpes zoster or shingles. Sometimes this may affect the nerves of the face and extend into the eye. Secondary infection may also occur. Symptoms are usually obvious, with painful blisters occurring on the side of the face or forehead, and may encroach on there. If the cornea is involved, vision may be affected.

Medical attention is desirable, and antibiotics can assist. Pain in the affected nerves the face often persists for weeks, months or even years. Generally, the outlook for the eyes is good, and recurrences are rare.

Once more, the germ causing herpes is sensitive to antiviral. It must be given as early as possible in the infection, ideally within first 48-72 hours, or as soon as blisters become evident. It must be given under medical supervision.

Hormones in the Human Body

The names of the various hormones are long and may seem confusing to the reader. Various names and abbreviations have developed over the years. An effort will be made to keep this as systematic and simple as possible for case in reading and understanding.

The anterior lobe of the pituitary produces six separate hormones. These are as follows:

  1. Corticotrophin (also known as adrenocorticotrophin, abbreviated to ACTH). This hormone regulates the secretion of cortisol from the adrenal cortex (another endocrine gland located on top of the kidneys – it will be described in detail later on). Refer to Chapter 5. It also has a direct action on the skin, leading to increased pigmentation.
  2. Thyrotrophin (also known as thyroid- stimulating hormone, abbreviated to TSII). This hormone stimulates the thyroid gland in the neck into producing its hormones, which are called thyroxine and triiodothyroxine.
  3. Gonadotrophins. These consist of two parts. First there is the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and second the luteinizing hormone (LH), which act on the gonads (the sex glands) in the pelvic area, and testes. They regulate the production of sperms and ova, and play a vital part in the reproductive processes. (LH is now the term used to replace the older one, testicular interstitial-cell stimulating hormone, in males.)
  4. Growth hormone (usually abbreviated to GH). This is concerned with normal body growth, and is particularly important in children, although it continues to be secreted throughout life.
  5. Prolactin. This hormone has various functions, some of which are not understood at present. It is involved with breast milk production, and also with ovulation. A considerable amount of research has been carried out on this hormone in the past few years, and some exciting practical results have accrued, particularly with women who appeared to be infertile.
  6. Melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH). This leads to a darkening of the skin in the same way as ACTH. It acts on the melanin cells in the upper skin layers that are the pigment cells of the skin.

The posterior lobe produces two important hormones. These are:

  1. Antidiuretic hormone (also called ADH or vasopressin). This plays an important part in controlling loss of water.
  2. Oxytocin. This is a powerful hormone exerting an effect on the uterus. Recent research has shown that these two hormones are actually manufactured in the hypothalamus, and are carried to the posterior pituitary where they are stored until required.