Numerous individuals suffer from a variety of psychological and emotional issues, such as, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety disorders, Sleep disorders, difficulty regulating emotions, memory & focus problems, migraines and severe headaches, and compulsive behaviors. The primary contributing factor in many of these cases is an imbalance in neurotransmitter levels.
Brain Wellness – NEUROTRANSMITTERS
Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that communicate information throughout our brain and body. They relay signals between nerve cells, called “neurons.” The brain uses neurotransmitters to tell your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, and your stomach to digest. They can also affect mood, sleep, concentration, weight, and can cause adverse symptoms when they are out of balance. Neurotransmitter levels can be depleted many ways. As a matter of fact, it is estimated that 86% of Americans have suboptimal neurotransmitter levels. Stress, poor diet, neurotoxins, genetic predisposition, drug (prescription and recreational), alcohol and caffeine usage can cause these levels to be out of optimal range.
There are two kinds of neurotransmitters – INHIBITORY and EXCITATORY. Excitatory neurotransmitters are not necessarily exciting – they are what stimulate the brain. Those that calm the brain and help create balance are called inhibitory. Inhibitory neurotransmitters balance mood and are easily depleted when the excitatory neurotransmitters are overactive.
Serotonin is an inhibitory neurotransmitter – which means that it does not stimulate the brain. Adequate amounts of serotonin are necessary for a stable mood and to balance any excessive excitatory (stimulating) neurotransmitter firing in the brain. If you use stimulant medications or caffeine in your daily regimen – it can cause a depletion of serotonin over time. Serotonin also regulates many other processes such as carbohydrate cravings, sleep cycle, pain control and appropriate digestion. Low serotonin levels are also associated with decreased immune system function.
GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is often referred to as “nature’s VALIUM-like substance”. When GABA is out of range (high or low excretion values), it is likely that an excitatory neurotransmitter is firing too often in the brain. GABA will be sent out to attempt to balance this stimulating over-firing.
Dopamine is a special neurotransmitter because it is considered to be both excitatory and inhibitory. Dopamine helps with depression as well as focus, which you will read about in the excitatory section.
Dopamine is our main focus neurotransmitter. When dopamine is either elevated or low – we can have focus issues such as not remembering where we put our keys, forgetting what a paragraph said when we just finished reading it or simply daydreaming and not being able to stay on task. Dopamine is also responsible for our drive or desire to get things done – or motivation. Stimulants such as medications for ADD/ADHD and caffeine cause dopamine to be pushed into the synapse so that focus is improved. Unfortunately, stimulating dopamine consistently can cause a depletion of dopamine over time.
is an excitatory neurotransmitter that is responsible for stimulatory processes in the body. Norepinephrine helps to make epinephrine as well. This neurotransmitter can cause ANXIETY at elevated excretion levels as well as some “MOOD DAMPENING” effects. Low levels of norepinephrine are associated with LOW ENERGY, DECREASED FOCUS ability and sleep cycle problems.
Epinephrine is an excitatory neurotransmitter that is reflective of stress. This neurotransmitter will often be elevated when ADHD like symptoms are present. Long term STRESS or INSOMNIA can cause epinephrine levels to be depleted (low). Epinephrine also regulates HEART RATE and BLOOD PRESSURE.
To address these imbalances or deficiencies we offer neurotransmitter testing and a subsequent treatment regime to attain a balanced neurotransmitter profile. Rather than taking psychotropic medications, such as antidepressants, tranquilizers, and stimulants, which frequently have numerous side effects or potential for abuse, this is achieved through amino acid supplementation.
Amino acids are the precursors to your neurotransmitters. For instance, the amino acids tryptophan and tyrosine are converted into two key neurotransmitters Serotonin and Dopamine. As mentioned previously, imbalances in neurotransmitters can have varying effects on mood, concentration, behavior, and sleep. By addressing these in an accurate means through specific testing, an individual is able to develop a more effective treatment plan that is targeted to their individual needs. Furthermore, utilizing a natural intervention, which is not foreign to the body, a safer and longer-term plan can be developed.
While all of our clients can benefit from brain wellness treatment, those in particular have been parents who desire an alternative to placing their children on powerful stimulants or antipsychotic medications, women who are currently on medication and intend to become pregnant. those with a history of addictive behaviors, and clients who are aversive to taking psychotropic medications or whose medications are no longer producing the results they have previously. We are not opponents of medication, nor do we advise anyone from discontinuing medication they are presently taking. Any changes from a current medication regimen would have to be consulted with your physician or psychiatrist. However, brain wellness treatment provides a research based alternative to psychotropic medications for many individuals.
If you would like to receive more information regarding brain wellness or are interested in scheduling an appointment to undergo testing for an alternative treatment for anxiety and other disorders, please contact us today.