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A Delicate Brain Chemical Balance Part 1

Do medications like Prozac work long term for depression?

A normal body easily balances blood sugar, serotonin and beta-endorphin. If you are sugar sensitive it is likely you are off balance. Levels in all 3 of these systems must be balanced and in harmony for you to stop dramatic fluctuations in personality and mood. Working on just one while leaving the others untouched is counter productive. A little progress can be made but negative symptoms can still haunt you if 2 of the others systems remain unbalanced.

In the chart below this reflects a person before making any changes.

Low Blood Sugar:

Tired all the time
Tired for no reason
Restless,can’t keep still
Confused
Having trouble remembering
Having trouble concentrating
Easily frustrated
More irritable than usual
Getting angry unexpectedly

Low Serotonin:

Depressed
Impulsive
Having a short attention span
Block, scattered
Flying off the handle
Suicidal
Reactive
Craving sweets
Craving mostly carbohydrates like bread, pasta and cereal

Low Beta-endorphin:

Low pain tolerance
Tearful, reactive
Low self-esteem
Overwhelmed by other’s pain
Feeling isolated
Depressed, hopeless
Feeling “done to” by others
Craving sugar!
Emotionally overwhelmed

It’s clear this person probably feels pretty bad with all three levels out of order. Lets say their physician prescribes something to raise serotonin levels to help with depression. Once the person is stabilized on the drug they begin to feel better – less depressed, and more optimism.

For the sake of discussion lets say the person does not change their diet and still eats a lot of sweets and starches. The following chart shows how that might play out

Low Blood Sugar:

Tired all the time
Tired for no reason
Restless,can’t keep still
Confused
Having trouble remembering
Having trouble concentrating
Easily frustrated
More irritable than usual
Getting angry unexpectedly

Optimal Serotonin:

Hopeful, optimistic
Reflective and thoughtful
Able to concentrate
Creative, focused
Able to think things through
Able to seek help
Responsive
Looking forward to a dessert a bit
Hungry for healthy foods

Low Beta-endorphin:

Low pain tolerance
Tearful, reactive
Low self-esteem
Overwhelmed by other’s pain
Feeling isolated
Depressed, hopeless
Feeling “done to” by others
Craving sugar!
Emotionally overwhelmed

Now that the depression seems better their self-esteem is still low and they feel isolated and in a state of overwhelm. This would be a VERY confusing state to be in. To the person it would be hard to explain the mixture of feelings. The prescription drug was supposed to help and it did – but wait a minute, why are the dark feeling still happening? the feeling may not be as intense as in the past but their still there.

This is what happened – The drug raised their serotonin but because of their diet, their blood sugar and beta-endorphin levels were still low. They still felt tired, irritable, and occasionally brassily. They might come to the conclusion the medication is not working and ask for another medication which might help, initially. And then the very same issues begin to show up.

In part 2 we’ll show you what happens when this person discovers several new diet books that look like they may be the solution or at least, part of the solution.

Brain Chemical – Beta-endorphin

Brain Chemical - Beta-endorphinBeta-endorphin is the brain chemical that’s had the least attention in the diet, depression and addiction books. That’s odd because it is incredibly powerful and can drive youtoward deeper addiction – or raise your spirits to a level of health that you may never have known before.

When your beta-endorphin is low, you feel depressed, impulsive and victimized. You may be touchy and tearful. Your self-esteem is low. And you have a desperate craving for sugar. The scientific community has been investigating beta-endorphin for mare than twenty years, but the public understanding of its effects has remained fairly limited.

You may have heard of the “runners high,” a phrase that shows how the athletes body responds to the stress of long-distance running by flooding the body with beta-endorphin, which produces a sense of exhilaration.

Understanding the powerful emotional effects of beta-endorphin levels in your brain is crucial for people with sugar sensitivity. The beta-endorphin story may radically change your sense of why you feel the way you do. As you can see from the chart, some of the effects of beta-endorphin are similar to those of serotonin.

As you look over the symptoms on this chart, you may have had two reactions.

1. You may be comforted by recognizing patterns that sound familiar and fit your experiences.

2. You may be amused that your emotional feelings and behavior can be so strongly affected by your body’s chemistry.

Optimal Level of Beta-endorphin:

High tolerance for pain
Sensitive, sympathetic
High self-esteem
Compassionate
Connected and in touch
Hopeful, optimistic, euphoric
Taking personal responsibility
Having a take-it-or-leave-it attitude toward sweet foods
Solution-oriented

Low Level of Beta-endorphin:

Low pain tolerance
Tearful, reactive
Low self-esteem
Overwhelmed by other’s pain
Feeling isolated
Depressed, hopeless
Feeling “done to” by others
Craving sugar!
Emotionally overwhelmed

Low Brain Chemical Serotonin Leads To Depression

SerontoninIn addition to blood sugar, a number of chemical in your brain affect how you feel and act. Serotonin is a brain chemical that is particularly important for people who are sensitive to sugar. It creates a sense of relaxation, “mellows you out” and gives you a sense of being at peace with the world. Serotonin also influences your self-control, impulse control and ability to plan ahead.

When your serotonin levels are low, you may feel depressed, act impulsively and have intense cravings fro alcohol, sweets or carbohydrates. Researchers have worked hard to find ways to increase the level of serotonin in the brains of people who are depressed. As an end result antidepressant drugs – such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and Effexor – have been handed out to in excess of over 6 million people.

If you have an inherited sensitivity to sugar, you may find the symptoms of low serotonin familiar.

Optimal Level of Serotonin:

Hopeful, optimistic
Reflective and thoughtful
Able to concentrate
Creative, focused
Able to think things through
Able to seek help
Responsive
Looking forward to dessert without an emotional charge
Hungry for a variety of foods

Low Level of Serotonin:

Depressed
Impulsive
Having a short attention span
Block, scattered
Flying off the handle
Suicidal
Reactive
Craving sweets
Craving mostly carbohydrates like bread, pasta and cereal

Low Serotonin And Depression
There is strong evidence that low levels of serotonin could be partly responsible for depression…
via: Storify

Fat Burning Made Easy

In our daily lives, we are inundated with media ads, television and radio commercials in by which companies use to sell exercise equipment, fat burner supplements, and lose weight fast diets, to name a few. For those of us who have spent our hard earned money on these products, we know that most of them do not work.

Corporate America wants us to believe that being overweight is due to fat and that we need to get rid of it. The myth is that fat and carbohydrates are the enemies. The truth of the matter is that we need our body fat, as well as carbohydrates for energy, used during body metabolism in order to burn up the extra calories.

Fat Burning Made EasyAlthough we do need to burn fat as well as calories, most people will not lose weight without burning calories. Not having enough body fat, is as detrimental to our heath when we have too much fat. You can find ways to evaluate your body fat percentage, BMI, online. The recommendations for men is to be at 15-20% fat, while women should be around 19-25%. Technically, body fat is a fuel. The burning of calories is the only way to use up the excess fuel.

One of the most important fat burners is cost free. All you need to do is to begin a healthy diet with added fruits and vegetables. Contrary to belief, potatoes are a great source for Vitamin C. The potato does not create fat, it is the butter, cream cheese, or sour cream that is added which adds the fat and extra calories.

Changing from white bread, rice, noodles to whole grains are going to provide you with the fiber that is needed as well. Drinking low fat milk, as well as eating yogurt, also are great changes to make diet changes.

Another great fat burning method is to exercise daily, for at least 20-30 minutes. Taking a brisk walk, going for a bicycle ride, even swimming helps with burning the excess calories leading to fat loss as well. Pilates are great exercises for fat burning, the burning of excess calories, as well as for body toning, especially around the abdominal area, without stress on the body.

Use Growth Hormones To Lose Fat

HGH human growth hormone is a powerful fat loss strategy. If you are wise you can use HGH supplements to naturally raise HGH levels, instead of expensive and dangerous injected growth hormones.

In order to begin a healthy diet, you can talk to a nutritionist, follow the diabetic diet or weight watchers diet which are great for even the expectant mom in order to begin eating healthy. Unless you change your lifestyle and dietary habits, there is not any magic pill to get rid of excess fat and weight, let alone keep it off.

Depression – Foods That Help

Depression – Foods That Help

How foods may help you control depression. Certain nutrients may have a beneficial effect on the brain chemicals that are responsible for mood. For example, researchers believe that the essential amino acid tryptophan may play an important role in normal brain function because it helps produce the neurotransmitter serotonin, which may help to reduce feelings of depression.
Continue reading “Depression – Foods That Help”

Top 10 Cholesterol Busting Foods

Top 10 Cholesterol Busting Foods

One of the first things your doctor is going to do when your cholesterol levels are on the high side is prescribe statins. I’m always amazed that they use this as the first line of defense. We’ve known for years there are foods that have a swift and effective impact on cholesterol levels. However, rarely do physicians hand you a sheet of paper showing you what specific foods that could help lower those cholesterol numbers.

Well here’s your list…

Fightcholesterol.org has created a great list of foods and brief explanations of how the food impacts cholesterol.
Continue reading “Top 10 Cholesterol Busting Foods”

Foods That Trigger Arthritis Pain

ArthritisMillions of people suffer from some form of arthritis. Research has shown that diet, nutritional supplements, stress reduction and alternative therapies can alleviate and even prevent arthritic pain and disability.

Foods that aggravate arthritis Soya, Coffee, Corn, Wheat, Bacon/Pork, Oranges, Oats, Milk, Rye, Eggs, Malt, Cheese, Grapefruit, Tomato, Peanuts, Sugar, Butter, Lamb, Lemon, Beef.

Tips on beating arthritis

Look for allergic food triggers. Be most suspicious of cereals and grains, notably corn and wheat, as well as dairy products and meats. Don’t attempt to wholesale elimination and reintroduction foods without your doctor’s supervision. You can eliminate a suspected food from your diet if you see your symptoms let up. Wait for at least a couple of days to a week for your symptoms to subside before eating the food begin.

Forgo meat, especially bacon, pork and beef. Saturated meat fats can stimulate the inflammatory process, see if a meatless diet helps.

Eat oily fish, such as salmon, herring, sardines or two, three or more times weekly. The oils in these fish are anti-inflammatory agents.

Have a little fresh ginger daily. It’s also an anti-inflammatory agent.

Cut back on corn oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil, and margarine.

Give up on milk and dairy products for week and see if your symptoms eased up. This is a quick and simple test and it may bring surprising results.

Remember to drink lots of water. If you feel your joints aching, go straight to water. In many cases, when water intake is regularly adjusted to the body’s needs, the pains would gradually disappear and joint pain may begin to repair itself

Nutrients That Reduce Stress

Nutrients That Reduce Stress

Feeling edgy, irritable, fuzzy-headed, depressed, or an occasional panic attack? Here is a list of supplements that may help you out.

Many nutrients are involved in the synthesis and repair of DNA, processes essential for the manufacture of new cells, including brain cells. Many of these same nutrients also serve as the chemical building blocks of neurotransmitters or coenzymes involved in neurotransmitter production.

Chronic stress places a greater demand on these nutrients and can diminish their levels. One consequence is an inhibition of both DNA synthesis and the production of new brain cells. Stress can also reduce neurotransmitter production and set the stage for depression, anxiety, or panic attacks. When chronic stress is combined with nutrient deficiencies because of poor eating habits the risk of mood disorders can increase.
Continue reading “Nutrients That Reduce Stress”