© 2014 Dr. Sharon Norling
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A person’s emotional imbalances like anxiety, depression, insomnia and mood swings affect the entire family, friends and performance in school and the workplace, and often result in cravings and addictions. These disorders may be caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters.
The brain produces more than 100 neurotransmitters, which control every thought, mood, pain and pleasure sensation we feel, as well as our energy level, motivation, appetite and cravings. Neurotransmitters even regulate how well we sleep, our sex drive and our ability to focus and concentrate. When out of balance, mood disorders and addictions can result.
The usual treatment for mood disorders and addictions includes rounds of psychotherapy or an array of pharmaceutical drugs. According to Georgetown University professor of Psychiatry Dr. Robert Hedaya, a pharmaceutical mood-altering drug is considered successful if 50 percent of the symptoms are relieved in 50 percent of the patients.
In diagnosing a patient’s condition, physicians routinely order lab work, checking the blood count, cholesterol, thyroid and blood sugar levels. Testing a patient’s neurotransmitters is often overlooked, despite the fact that a deficiency of any particular neurotransmitter not only affects neuronal function but also endocrine function anywhere in the body.
Neurotransmitters and hormones commonly measured are serotonin, dopamine, GABA, nor-epinephrine, epinephrine, glutamate, cortisol, DHEA and thyroid. Correction of imbalanced neurotransmitters with specifically designed targeted nutrient therapies has proven successful, and often allows the individual to make more progress in psychotherapy as well.
A balanced diet that includes adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates and good fats is essential to proper neurotransmitter production and function. Excess caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and sugar create imbalances and should be avoided. Adequate vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin Bs and vitamin D, both linked to depression, and magnesium, critical for more than 300 different functions in our body, are also essential.
Advances in science have made it possible for individuals to measure their neurotransmitters and correct deficiencies and imbalances using targeted nutrient therapies. Happiness and optimal health have their own biochemistry, which can be powerfully balanced and enhanced naturally.
Written By: Dr. Sharon Norling, MBA