“I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” + “Real Housewives of New Jersey” = Oxytocin malfunction due to excessive IL-4?

Q: Can you be allergic to oxytocin, and does that make you mean?
A: Yes, and well, maybe just unempathetic.

We just kept a sick person on cold meds company through a marathon of the show “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant,” watched intermittently with Real Housewives of New Jersey.

We learned something: When Ashley (Jacki’s daughter)  pulled Danielle’s hair at the New Jersey Country Club fashion show when she thought Danielle (who may have something of a criminal past) was attacking Jacki (Ashley’s mom) after Teresa (the one who turned over the dining room table last season) tried to say hello to Danielle after the entire evening was spent in a stare-down between the “cool” girls and the “mean” girls and Teresa called Danielle “honey” and Danielle thought Teresa was being uppity and said, don’t call me honey, so Teresa said, well, what do you want to be called, Bi***? and then they all went out to the parking lot where the valet was concerned about scratching a Bentley and Danielle’s high heel broke off as she was running away from Teresa who was reminding everyone that she was from Patterson, and you don’t bring it with Patterson girls you coke whore, well,  we thought a weave was putting in blond hair streaks, and that hair extensions were those hair-lengths that you glued in one by one, but now we know that you weave (verb) hair extensions. Danielle claims that when Ashley pulled out the extension, she also pulled out real hair, but Teresa, in her blog, claims that Danielle probably just got that from an old hairbrush as the clump of hair Danielle was showing around wasn’t even her current color.

One more thing epiphany we had after seeing Danielle’s energist was concerned about escalation with Teresa, and had a very entertaining chat with Jacki on Jacki’s I-phone, where the energist was channeling the energy from Jacki as Jacki played a game app: People hire energists because they have brain disconnects that prevent them from understanding the emotion in the world around them and properly interpreting it.

Now, to the uninitiated, that sentence is probably incomprehensible, but, in our orbit, there are people who hire and pay for others to explain the world to them. (Yes, pay for these people).  Here’s how it works:  You bring them to a party with you and say to your friends, “Meet Rebecakah, my energist” and they walk around and meet your friends and then report back to you and call your friends and try to drum up more business or at least discredit those who think it’s a bunch of hooey. (See Noel Coward’s Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit for the general flavor of it).  But, and don’t make this mistake, while the East Coast occupational term is “energist,” here in LA  it’s “intuit.”  Intuits are not to be confused with Inuits, indigenous people of northern latitudes, a mistake I made for about 5 incredulous minutes with first intuit I met, to wit, “You’re blond with lip liner! You’re not an Inuit!” In our circle, the people who have intuits are very Danielle-like, with what seems like a brain disconnect between the frontal portion of reason and cognition and the toxic, roiling, amygdalar limbic cocktail intermittently spewing pyroclastic social behavior. So no wonder they need an energist or intuit or whatever.

Be that as it may, what is with these people?

How can someone not know they are pregnant?

And how is it that Danielle can go at it over the slightest wrong tone of mid-day Mimosa voice?

Oxytocin seems to be a common denominator between the shows. Oxytocin is the molecule that bonds mother to child; it also is one of the molecules that gives rise to heightened social awareness.

A lot of the mothers in “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” said that they were under stress or had health issues. Two of the mothers (the one who was 28 and married to the 52 year old, who worked in the auto parts warehouse stacking 50 lb boxes of bolts,  and planned motorcycle trips  with her husband), and one of the other younger mothers (we forgot which one), along with their spouses seemed to be a little on socially awkward side, perhaps indicating a little on the autistic spectrum. (A total armchair guess, grain of salt on table. This doesn’t mean that they are not loving mothers (and fathers)).  Stress, health issues, autistic spectrum . . ..  . . all of these things can have an oxytocin deficit, and all can have an inflammatory component. Did these individuals not know they were preggers because of an oxytocin deficit?

Did these people not have any oxytocin? Or were they immune to what they had? Or did they have too much?

So we did what we always do with any questions in life, we Googled it. Or Pubmedded it.

Can you be allergic to oxytocin, and if you are, what then?

First, oxytocin allergies are known particularly in pregnant women who have induced labor (pitocin, or another analog).

Second, there are all sorts of neuro-immune theories about autistic spectrum, schizophrenia, and even Alzheimers lately.  PTSD sort of comes close to those who have an empathy deficit and there are neuroinflammatory and peripheral inflammatory markers for PTSD.  And one recent paper demonstrates that, as compared to controls, certain inflammatory-response proteins are higher in people who have a difficult time feeling emotion and being empathic (called “alexithymia” – how come no one has gotten rid of this jargon?) .  This was true for IL-4 and IL-6– but not other inflammatory proteins, notably TNF and interleukins earlier up in the inflammatory cascade.

To oversimplify, IL-4 (a) prevents mothers from recognizing the fetus as foreign; and (b) is influential in preterm birth.

Is IL-4 then — the molecule raison d’être for mothers not rejecting a fetus as foreign -  like the bar bouncer who lets anyone in? Does IL-4 permit the an oxytocin allergy to take place because it lets in a molecule that binds up oxytocin, not recognizing it as foreign?