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
Connected and in touch
Hopeful, optimistic, euphoric
Taking personal responsibility
Having a take-it-or-leave-it attitude toward sweet foods

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

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