On which ingredients to buy and how to put the recipe together. Itake your entire picture, along with your labs, to to paint a clear picture of how you got to where you are, what to do to fix it, and what’s coming down the pipeline if you don’tact now.
If you’re suffering from symptoms of imbalance, hair loss, chronic fatigue, PMS, hypothyroidism, adrenal dysfunction, fibroids, endometriosis and have seen everyone and tried everything,I can offer you solutions on your healing journey that will help you to get your life back. A full life of fun, happiness and ease. It’s time to end your needless suffering.
Express your Gratitude in February, for your Health’s Sake
Simple Approaches to Love your Health More
Gratitude Improves Physical Health
Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Not surprisingly, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups, which is likely to contribute to further longevity. Research shows that when we think about what we appreciate, the parasympathetic or calming part of the nervous system is triggered and that can have protective benefits on the body, including decreasing cortisol levels and perhaps increasing oxytocin, the bonding hormone involved in relationships that make us feel so good.
Gratitude Improves Psychological Health
Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
The benefits of gratitude start with the dopamine system, because feeling grateful activates the brain stem region that produces dopamine. Additionally, gratitude toward others increases activity in social dopamine circuits, which makes social interactions more enjoyable. Like the anti-depressant medications, gratitude increases circulating levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer. The University of Manchester in England was interested in the effect that gratitude might have on people’s snooze time. Their study included over 400 adults (40% of whom had sleep disorders) who filled out questionnaires about gratitude, sleep and thoughts that they had prior to falling asleep (“pre-sleep thoughts”). Gratitude was related to having more positive thoughts – and less negative ones – at bedtime. This phenomenon was consequently related to falling asleep faster and having more restful sleep.
When you make the choice to actively experience and express gratitude throughout the day, you are more likely to naturally have your experience filled with positive thoughts and emotions at bedtime. The way that you choose to fill your heart and mind throughout the day has a natural impact on your mood at bedtime. When you have spent the day filled with worry, fear, or sadness, these experiences try to come to bed with you. Just as you can choose to think thoughts filled with fear, you are equally capable of thinking thoughts filled with gratitude.
You don’t have to “have it all” to experience authentic gratitude. In fact, I would be willing to bet that you have much more than you consciously realize in this very moment. Learning to become mindful of pleasant experiences, to slow down and become mindful throughout the day, and take the time to count your blessings all adds up to a calmer heart and mind at bedtime.
Where to Start
If you tend to experience difficulty with falling asleep or getting restful sleep, consider making the commitment to actively cultivate an attitude of gratitude for the next week. Here are some ideas which you can begin to journal nightly to express your gratitude and love about:
Your home. What memories does it hold? What type of protection does it give you?
Your favorite hobby. What do you love about it? How does it make you feel?
A favorite memory. Why does this memory stick out?
Your free time. What do you like to do in your free time?
Someone important. What role does this person fill in your life? How can you show him or her how grateful you are?
Energy Drinks have Detrimental Effects on Brain Health
Energy drinks are widely promoted as products that increase energy and enhance mental alertness and physical performance. Next to multivitamins, energy drinks are the most popular dietary supplement consumed. There are two kinds of energy drink products. One is sold in containers similar in size to those of ordinary soft drinks, such as a 16-oz. bottle. The other kind, called “energy shots,” is sold in small containers holding 2 to 2½ oz. of concentrated liquid. Caffeine is a major ingredient in both types of energy drink products—at levels of 70 to 240 mg in a 16-oz. drink and 113 to 200 mg in an energy shot. (For comparison, a 12-oz. can of cola contains about 35 mg of caffeine, and an 8-oz. cup of coffee contains about 100 mg.) Another major ingredient in energy drinks includes artificial and “natural” sweeteners (stevia). Caffeine makes the body think is it under stress, which raises the cortisol level, raises the insulin level, and causes carbohydrates to be deposited as fat. In the long run, the brain becomes depleted of the major neurotransmitters that contribute to a variety of mental health concerns such as depression, lethargy, ADD, and insomnia.
Neurotransmitters are molecules that regulate brain function. They are chemicals which relay messages from nerve to nerve both within the brain and outside the brain. They also relay messages from nerve to muscle, lungs, and intestinal tracts. They can accentuate emotion, thought processes, joy, elation and also fear, anxiety, insomnia and that terrible urge to over indulge in food, alcohol, drugs, etc. In short, neurotransmitters are used all over the body to transmit information and signals.
There are two kinds of neurotransmitters – inhibitory and excitatory. Excitatory neurotransmitters are what stimulate the brain. Those that calm the brain and help create balance are called inhibitory. Inhibitory neurotransmitters balance mood and are easily depleted when the excitatory neurotransmitters are overactive such as when they are being artificially stimulated by caffeine.
SEROTONIN is an inhibitory neurotransmitter – which means that it does not stimulate the brain. Adequate amounts of serotonin are necessary for a stable mood and to balance any excessive excitatory (stimulating) neurotransmitter firing in the brain. If you use stimulant medications or caffeine in your daily regimen – it can cause a depletion of serotonin over time. Serotonin also regulates many other processes such as carbohydrate cravings, sleep cycle, pain control and appropriate digestion. Low serotonin levels are also associated with decreased immune system function.
GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is often referred to as “nature’s VALIUM-like substance”. When GABA is out of range (high or low excretion values), it is likely that an excitatory neurotransmitter is firing too often in the brain. GABA will be sent out to attempt to balance this stimulating over-firing.
DOPAMINE is a special neurotransmitter because it is considered to be both excitatory and inhibitory. Dopamine helps with depression as well as focus, which you will read about in the excitatory section.
DOPAMINE is our main focus neurotransmitter. When dopamine is either elevated or low – we can have focus issues such as not remembering where we put our keys, forgetting what a paragraph said when we just finished reading it or simply daydreaming and not being able to stay on task. Dopamine is also responsible for our drive or desire to get things done – or motivation. Stimulants such as medications for ADD/ADHD and caffeine cause dopamine to be pushed into the synapse so that focus is improved. Unfortunately, stimulating dopamine consistently can cause a depletion of dopamine over time.
NOREPINEPHRINE is an excitatory neurotransmitter that is responsible for stimulatory processes in the body. Norepinephrine helps to make epinephrine as well. This neurotransmitter can cause anxiety at elevated excretion levels as well as some mood lowering effects. Low levels of norepinephrine are associated with low energy and decreased focused ability and sleep cycle problems.
EPINEPHRINE is an excitatory neurotransmitter that is reflective of stress. This neurotransmitter will often be elevated when ADHD like symptoms are present. Long term stress or insomina can cause epinephrine levels to be depleted (low). Epinephrine also regulates heart rate and blood pressure.
If you believe that your caffeine consumption has become addictive or is the root cause of your mental health imbalances, please know that a simple test can help to determine your neurotransmitter imbalances. Please contact the office here, to begin.
If you’ve been diagnosed with depression, your doctor may have said that you’ve inherited the depression gene and you may worry that having a depressed family member means that you’ll get depression too. The next thing they’ll recommend is putting you on an antidepressant such as an SSRI which prolongs more serotonin to stay in your system or another medication to silence your symptoms. Sadly most of these medications wreak havoc on the gut leading to a vicious cycle of more medications and worse symptomology.
Science has consistently shown that chronic inflammation is at the root of nearly every disease. Inflammation is linked to everything from metabolic disorders, like obesity and diabetes, to neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. I’ve personally treated hundreds of patients diagnosed with depression whose bodies were on fire with chronic inflammation rising most especially from their gut. My clinical success rates are so high because I recognize that depression is a symptom, not a disease, and I treat the cause of the symptom which is the inflammation.
Although serotonin is well known as a brain neurotransmitter, it is estimated that most of the body’s serotonin is made in the digestive tract. Our gut consists of sheaths of neurons embedded within it’s walls. In fact, altered levels of this peripheral serotonin have been linked to diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. A big part of our emotions are actually influenced by the nerves in our gut.
Gut bacteria have also been found to play a significant role in the communication that goes on between the brain and the gut.
When most people talk about gut bacteria, they are referring to the friendly and beneficial microorganisms housed in the digestive tract. These microorganisms come together and form a community, or what is otherwise known as a microbiome.
Certain bacteria have the special ability to generate that “feel good” mood. Some beneficial bacteria that have taken up residence in the gut will actually increase GABA receptors in the brain. When there are more GABA receptors in the brain, more GABA is being put to good use. This is a good thing, especially since a decrease in GABA receptors has been associated with mood disorders, like chronic depression.
Gut bacteria and overall gut health significantly influence the communication between the brain and the gut. When the gut is full of healthy bacteria, it has the potential to regulate mood and positive feelings.
How to Heal your Gut and Stop your Depression
For over a decade now I have been treating patients suffering from long term depression, irritability and moodiness using my newest formulation called Gut Be Calm™. My proprietary formulation is customized to help heal the inner nervous system of the gut to balance neurotransmitters and GI inflammation. It is now available for purchase on-line to help those that can’t see me personally in-office. Start by healing from the inside out. The investment in your own health is the healthiest choice you’ll ever make.
To order your own Gut Be Calm™ or to learn more, please click here.
Your diet, what you eat and drink, has a real effect on your heart and blood pressure, but also your mood. So it’s no surprise that the more healthy your eating habits are, the lower your blood pressure will be and the happier too. If you currently have high blood pressure or suffer from depression or anxiety, it is even more important to make healthy changes to your diet. And if you are on blood pressure, anti-depressive or anxiety medications, you may be able to avoid or minimize use of the medications by watching what you eat.
What is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood through the arteries as it leaves the heart and travels throughout the body. There are two numbers: systolic is when the heart pumps the blood out and diastolic is when the heart is relaxed before the next beat. A healthy blood pressure is considered to be 120/80 or lower.
The Link Between Diet, Mood, and Blood Pressure
Scientists have known for a long time that food — the kinds we eat, how we digest it — can affect our moods. People who are obese are more likely to have depression, studies have shown; neurotransmitters that alter our moods, such as serotonin and dopamine, are in fact produced by the microbes that live in the gut.
Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers that relay information throughout the body. They carry signals between nerve cells, called “neurons.” and are responsible for sleep, mood, concentration, movement, energy and appetite. When neurotransmitters are depleted and out of balance, our brain and body are depleted and out of balance as well. Neurotransmitters are affected by stress, poor diet, toxins, genetic predisposition, drugs or medications, alcohol and other environmental and lifestyle factors. Neurotransmitters are important chemicals that facilitate communication within the brain and between the gut and the brain. Brain cells (also found in the gut) require specific amino acids, in combination with certain vitamin and mineral co-factors, in order to produce neurotransmitters.
Let’s look at how some of these Neurotransmitters Work
Norepinephrine is an excitatory neurotransmitter/hormone. As a stress hormone, secreted by the adrenal gland, it works together with epinephrine to give the body a burst of energy in times of stress, known as the “fight or flight” response resulting in increased heart rate and blood pressure.
Serotonin is an inhibitory neurotransmitter responsible for regulating sleep, body temperature, function of the immune system, muscle contraction, pain intensity, memory, learning, mood, appetite, and digestion. If you use stimulant medications or caffeine in your daily regimen – it can cause a depletion of serotonin over time.
Dopamine affects brain processes that controlmovement, emotional response, rational thinking, memory, focus and ability to experience pleasure and pain. When dopamine is either elevated or low – we can have focus issues such as not remembering where we put our keys, forgetting what a paragraph said when we just finished reading it or simply daydreaming and not being able to stay on task.
To control your mood or blood pressure, the body’s natural response is to release the proper type and amount of the necessary neurotransmitter to control the imbalance caused by the issue at hand. For our purposes it would be mood or blood pressure regulation. If however there is an imbalance in the gut, the issues going unresolved, therefore causing a downward cascade of symptoms. It’s usually at this point when the person is placed on medications to (quiet the symptoms, not necessarily heal the issue).
The Appropriate Response
According to Michael Gershon, the chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at New York–Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, the gut contains some 100 million neurons, more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system. Needless to say, healing the gut first, is imperative. Most people who suffer from mental/emotional imbalances or high blood pressure, can greatly benefit by addressing any imbalances that effect their GI issues. While changing the diet will have a significant impact, making sure the inner lining of the gut is repaired, for good, is vital.
If you are interested in healing your body and releasing your depression or high blood pressure concerns, contact the office to begin today.
Everyone at some point in their life has experienced a low mood, or even a state of depression. But what if what you are eating, is at the core root of your sadness? You may be surprised to learn that your food choices can have a significant impact on your mood. It’s key to eat foods that support your neurotransmitters, which are the brain’s messengers that control your mood, energy levels, appetite and several other functions in the body. Neurotransmitters are significantly influenced by the foods you put into your body as they are the hormones of the brain.
A newly published study shows that patients weaned off sweets, fried food, and refined meats and cereals in favor of fish, lean meats, nuts, whole grains, and veggies showed marked improvement — more than a third of patients showed signs of pulling out of major clinical depression — during a 12-week period.
Genetics and Depression
DNA doesn’t simply compose the helical structure of the human genome. Environmental factors such as stress, cigarette smoking, and food alter DNA to change the structure of genes. These epigenetic modifications activate and deactivate genes in ways that help or harm your health.
Food is one essential way in which you can control your DNA. Because what you eat affects your mood, you should aim for foods that enhance your gut health. In fact, microorganisms produce numerous neurochemicals. These neurochemicals made by gut bacteria play a role in mood and other neurologic functions. So balancing gut bacteria through the consumption of probiotics help to elevate mood.
Foods Causing Depression
Some foods promote health and others bolster disease. To avoid the latter, you should steer away from foods that make you feel depressed:
Alcohol: Although the occasional drink is fine, people should limit their alcoholic intake. Heavy alcohol consumption is associated with anxiety and panic attacks; excessive drinking also depletes serotonin, which makes people prone to anxiety and depression.
High-Calorie, Low Nutrient Foods: When you eat processed, refined sugars, you enjoy a momentary high-energy jolt. Eating sweets raises blood sugar level, increases fat storage, and promotes a crash-and-burn feeling. Maintaining a steady blood sugar level is important to achieve even-keeled energy levels. Empty calories in a lot of our foods means you aren’t getting the vitamins and minerals needed to burn for fuel and deal with the waste; it taxes your body.
Eat your Happiness
To eat your way to being healthier, consume foods that promote wellness, improve sleep, and elevate your mood. For example, serotonin is a feel-good hormone that elevates your mood and helps you to sleep better. Eat foods such as chickpeas, which are rich in tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin. To balance your mood and prevent depression consider adding the following foods to your diet:
B12 and folate prevent mood disorders and dementias. Sources: beetroot, lentils, almonds, spinach, liver (folate); liver, chicken, fish (B12)
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with different mood disorders. Sources: sun exposure and salmon.
Selenium decreases depression. Sources: cod, Brazil nuts, walnuts, poultry
Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for cognitive and behavioral function. Low levels of omega-3 fats lead to many health problems including mood swings and depression. Sources: cod, haddock, salmon, halibut, nut oils, and algae.
Dark chocolate enhances mood by increasing endorphins in the brain that promote a sense of well-being.
The Natural Solution
You’ll be happy to know that treating your depression with a Holistic approach, can be a simple solution. Don’t be afraid to ask for support, it’s so important to get help when you need it. Contact the office to schedule your consultation to begin today.