© 2014 Dr. Sharon Norling
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The Holidays are right around the corner. If you are not stressed now, you may likely be during this festive season. What can you do to be more relaxed and in balance?
When a person suffers from emotional imbalances it affects the entire family, friends, school, and the workplace. Sometimes cravings and addictions occur. Anxiety, depression, insomnia, and mood swings are not something you can just “snap out of.” Science proves these disorders can be caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals, along with other factors. Treatment usually includes rounds of psychotherapy or treatment with an array of pharmaceutical drugs. Dr. Hedaya, Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University recently noted a pharmaceutical mood altering drug is considered successful if, 50% of the symptoms are relieved Neurotransmitters are responsible for every thought, mood, pain, and pleasure sensation we feel. They control our energy level, our motivation, our appetite, and the foods we crave. Neurotransmitters even regulate how well we sleep as well as our sex drive. They affect our ability to focus and concentrate. When they are out of balance they can lead to mood disorders and addictions.
The brain makes over 100 chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are produced and stored in the brain (and gastrointestinal tract) and are released into action when the brain cells are electrically activated.
Physicians order lab work every day….checking the blood count, cholesterol, thyroid, blood sugar. These are necessary to effectively treat and manage the patients. It is important to test neurotransmitters. Before treating an individual with neurotransmitter imbalances, it is important to identify their specific levels in order to recommend the best therapeutic support.
Neurotransmitters and hormones commonly measured are serotonin, dopamine, GABA, nor-epinephrine, epinephrine, glutamate, cortisol, DHEA and thyroid. A deficiency of any particular neurotransmitter not only affects neuronal function but also endocrine function anywhere in the body. Correction of imbalanced neurotransmitters is imperative if clinical progress is to be made. Specifically designed targeted nutrient therapies are very successful. When the neurotransmitters are balanced the individual often makes more progress in psychotherapy as well.
Nutritional support is also essential. Neurotransmitter health must be maintained with a balanced diet that includes adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and good fats. No food group can be eliminated since they are all critical for proper neurotransmitter production and function. Dietary toxins such as excess caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and sugar create imbalances and should be avoided. Furthermore, approximately one third of patients with depression have been found to be deficient in Vitamin B’s. Magnesium deficiency is the single most relevant nutritional deficiency in the United States today. This contributes to pain, fatigue, and increased risk of heart attacks, depression, and numerous other problems as magnesium is critical in over 300 different reactions in our body. Low levels of vitamin D have also been shown to lead to depression.
The good news is that advances in science have made it possible for individuals to not only measure their neurotransmitters but to correct deficiencies and imbalances with targeted nutrient therapies. Happiness and optimal health have their own biochemistry, which can be powerfully balanced and enhanced naturally. Have yourself a wonderful balanced holiday season.
Written by: Dr. Sharon Norling, MBA