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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Who knew?

Okay, here's my first post - never even read a blog - don't hold that against me, my life consists of running my own business and taking care of 3 children and a husband - excuses excuses.... Thank you Brian - my sweety, for setting this up for me, I feel a little bit cooler! I have thrown myself into a new study. I am learning a new facet of human physiology. Neurotransmitters - Who knew they did so much. Everyone knows that chocolate - my daughter's favorite food group, helps raise serotonin, and exercise does something to raise our neurotransmitters too, but.... Wow, it's so much more than that. This is what I have found. 95% of our neurotransmitters are in our gut. So does this explain when we are constipated why we are so grumpy - I'd say "YES". We only have 1-2% in our central nervous system (our brain and spinal column). Hmmm, Then only 2-3% is of serotonin is found in our blood. Most of my clients that come in want to work on the gut - constipation, indigestion, GERD, IBS...... Little do they know that's only a jumping off point to make the rest of the body healthier. After the gut is healthier, they are able to assimilate nutrients better, so their body's become more balanced - and happier apparently. Another factor for making everyone happier is repetitive exercise - (walking, yoga, tai chi.....) It is an essential factor for getting our serotonin up. What is serotonin you say? Well, It is keeps us balanced both biochemically and emotionally. It is depleted from living a stressful lifestyle (check), using stimulants like caffeine (check), nicotine, a diet high in sugar and low in protein. I think most of us qualify for a little help already. So, how do you know if you really do have low serotonin? Well, you can have some depression, low mood, pms and hot flashes, sleep difficulties, anxiety and carbohydrate cravings. It also upsets our thyroid which feeds our brain, heart, kidneys and ovaries and has the most control over our metabolism than any other gland! The more the relentless stress we are under, the higher the cortisols get. Ever heard of that? It's been a popular subject lately in weight loss articles. Cortisol is our stress steroid hormone - helps us cope. Well, raised cortisol desensitizes serotonin uptake! Most of you are asking, well sign me up for a SSRI (selective serotonin re uptake inhibitor) - NOOOO. It simply slows the serotonin uptake, it doesn't raise our serotonin. It also helps you to pack on quick weight - not the answer you are looking for?! Eat more chocolate? I know that's what you are thinking, right? No, well, yes, but in moderation only - small amounts one time a month, no biggy. The best thing to raise serotonin is, yes the exercise, but also things like tryptophan, B6, magnesium, DHA/EPA, and taurine. I can think of something that I give to my clients that has some of those things in it called 5-HTP from Nature's Sunshine. I tried once, and could tell an immediate difference in the way I felt, literally 25-30 minutes - the Ziggy cloud dissipated! Crazy. You need to work on other things obviously, but that is what I am here for. I test neurotransmitters in the urine and send it off to the lab to get the bigger picture, and of course move the bowels and exercise...... I help with getting you set on the right track. No need to thank me yet, first you need to get in to pick up a kit.