By: Dr. Fred Hui, MD
The brain is governed by chemicals called neurotransmitters. Like a car, it has accelerators, hand brakes and foot brakes. They can affect emotions, mood, sleep, concentration and thought processes. They are manufactured and used by nerve cells and are made of amino acids.
Amino acids are like basic alphabet letters that make up words. Some people has an adequate supply of 26 alphabet letters, however, some people are deficient in manufacturing of certain alphabets.
Neurotransmitter levels can be depleted in many ways. Stress, poor diet, toxins, genetic predisposition, drugs (prescription and recreational), alcohol and caffeine usage can cause these levels to be out of optimal range.
In normal states, balance is achieved.
GLUTAMATE is an accelerator involved in cognitive functions such as learning and memory in the brain.
DOPAMINE is both an accelerator and a foot break which comes from L-Tyrosine. When dopamine is either elevated or low – we can have focus issues such as forgetting where we put our keys, forgetting what we recently read from a paragraph we just finished reading. Dopamine helps with depression. It is also responsible for our drive or desire to get things done – or motivation.
SEROTONIN serves as a foot break and comes from 5HTP. 95% is produced in the gastrointestinal tract. Serotonin regulates many other processes such as carbohydrate cravings, sleep cycle (serotonin is the immediate precursor to melatonin, which helps you fall asleep and stay asleep), pain control and appropriate digestion.
GABA serves as a hand break that is often referred to as “nature’s valium-like substance.”
All of us are at risk of developing a neurotransmitter imbalance at some point in our lives. Some people may have genetic tendencies that can cause their neurotransmitters to become imbalanced more easily.
|Serotonin||positive, confident, flexible, and easy-going||negative, obsessive, worried, irritable, and sleepless.|
|Cathecolamines||energized, upbeat, and alert.||flat and apathetic|
|GABA||Relaxed and stress-free w||wired, stressed, and overwhelmed|
|Endorphins||feelings of comfort, pleasure, and euphoria||Over sensitive to situations and hurt, and reaching for comfort to sugar, starch, alcohol, or other drugs or behaviours.|
Why pursue the natural approach?
Conventional medications can help reduce your symptoms but can also make you think stupid. They are also difficult to withdraw from. They can cause impaired sleep, low energy, apathy and sexual dysfunction.
HOW DO I NATURALLY BALANCE YOU?
Your body may lack certain alphabets letters. It is hard to exactly pinpoint what you may be deficient of. Most of the time, you will need more in order for your body to work properly just like a broken car would require five men to push it.
Intravenous amino acid therapy (Mood-balancing therapy)
Intravenous amino acid therapy is known to be beneficial for patients under intensive care. I have arrived with good results when I started introducing this treatment to patients. It provides a buffet of alphabet soup that your body will utilize to what it needs.
The beauty of it is that it has no side effects. It is regular food that you consume daily.
It is the quickest and most effective way to deliver amino acids directly into your circulation. The body will replenish what is deficient. There is no overshoot. If the body already has an excess of certain amino acids, it will not call upon on them to be used.
Digestive issues and intestinal inflammation hinders you to properly break down, absorb and assimilate the protein you eat. I initially recommend 1-2 sessions per week for 10-20 sessions. This usually can be given for 30-45 minutes. Once a good response is noted, monthly maintenance can be recommended.
|GABA||250 mg/lozenge 600 mg/tab||250 mg as needed 600 mg and up nightly||onset of sleep anxiety|
|5-HTP (Serotonin precursor)||50 mg/tab 100 mg/tab||50 mg and up; nightly or 50-100 mg after breakfast and lunch 100-200 mg at bedtime||maintenance of sleep anxiety/depression|
|L-TYROSINE (Dopamine precursor)||600 mg/tab||3 tabs in the morning 3 tabs in the afternoon||depression|
|PROTHEANINE||225 mg||2 tabs and up nightly||anxiety|
|INOSITOL||4.1 grams/scoop||2 scoops 1- 2x/day||anxiety|
|S-adenosyl Lmethionine (SAMe)||200 mg/capsule||1 capsule daily||Depression Methylation issues|
RESOURCES: The Mood Cure by Julia Ross
VITAMINS AND MINERALS The body needs specific nutrients to convert amino acids into neurotransmitters. Minerals like magnesium, zinc, and iron are all integral to the process. B-vitamins play many roles in neurotransmitter production, as well as in helping to break them down.
PROBIOTICS The gut has been called the second brain and many vital brain functions are directly dependent on the presence of very specific gut bacteria. Ninety-five percent of serotonin can only be produced in the gut with the help of particular bacteria.
EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUES / EFT MERIDIAN TAPPING consists of simple tapping, holding or massaging with your fingertips on specific meridian points on your hands, head and upper body while focusing on a targeted psychological issue/difficulty– – this will unblock the energy flow in the body . EFT tapping helps to calm the nervous system, offers relief from negative emotions, and restores the balance of energy in your body.
MINDFULNESS MEDITATION is a large umbrella term that encompasses the practice of reaching ultimate consciousness and concentration, to acknowledge the mind and, in a way, self-regulate it. It can involve a lot of techniques or practices to reach this heightened level of consciousness — including compassion, love, patience, and of course, mindfulness. Mindfulness is the act of focusing on being in the present, such as focusing completely on drinking a hot cup of tea, taking in its scent, warmth, and taste and removing overpowering emotions from the mind. Take fifteen minutes (or more) out of each day to remain mindful when drinking tea, taking a break during work, or focusing on your breath before sleep. There’s a free resource you can download at http://marc.ucla.edu/mindful-meditations