Archives for February 2018

Stress: How this messes with digestion, leaky gut and inflammation

The last blog post started a series on a hot topic in integrative health circles, which is "leaky gut." It is a hot topic because it is a major course of systemic inflammation which is a common and significant cause, perpetuator and aggravating factor in any disease or health condition. We are now going to cover what causes leaky gut and the multiple factors needed to repair it. Last time we mentioned a core strategy is to chew slowly, but not specifically WHY it might be beneficial. The reason is that if we eat when we are rushed or stressed or anxious, we are turning down the part of our brain that controls digestion, so we get poor digestion processes which lead to several things: Incomplete digestion of proteins, fats and carbs, which leads to putrefaction of proteins, fats become rancid and carbs ferment which can lead to inflammation and leaky gut. Hormone imbalances, ... Read more

Leaky Gut Is Real and Disrupts Your Brain: Mood, Foods, and Bugs!

Once again we are looking at the brain and how low level chronic inflammation can lead to brain dysfunction. Symptoms of brain dysfunction include, but are not limited to, depression, anxiety, fog, memory challenges, cognitive decline (early dementia), mood swings, stress related brain dysfunction, hormonal controls (think pituitary), fatigue, reading challenges, visual disturbances, headaches, migraines, and chronic pain anywhere in the body. The causes of brain dysfunction are many, and here we are focusing on the gut – brain relationship. The authors state: “The emerging links between our gut microbiome and the central nervous system (CNS) are regarded as a paradigm shift in neuroscience with possible implications for not only understanding the pathophysiology of stress-related psychiatric disorders, but also their treatment. ... Read more

Fast Food Causes Inflammation & Disease: More Proof That Healthy Foods Are Essential

Inflammation will cause, aggravate or perpetuate virtually every chronic disease known, from depression to dementia, from type 2 diabetes to cardio-vascular disease; from arthritis to headache to virtually any kind of pain or neurologic disorder, digestive issues, immune problems and more. You simply must read this link where you will learn that poor food choices stimulate the immune system for the chronic activation of inflammation, and you know what inflammation can do!! “Summary: The immune system reacts similarly to a high fat and high calorie diet as to a bacterial infection. Unhealthy food seems to make the body's defenses more aggressive in the long term. Even long after switching to a healthy diet, inflammation towards innate immune stimulation is more pronounced. These changes may be involved in the ... Read more

Sleep Takes Out The Toxic Garbage and Saves Your Brain!

Hello again everyone: Here is some really fantastic information about sleep. Up until recently, it was thought that the brain did not have its own garbage clearance pathways, that is, the lymphatic system. Now we know, through some really great research done here at UVA, that we do have a brain cleaning system and that it is activated by sleep and stress reduction such as rest, relaxation, exercise, prayer, meditation and mindfulness practices. The authors state: "Despite decades of effort, one of the greatest mysteries in biology is why sleep is restorative and, conversely, why lack of sleep impairs brain function. Sleep deprivation reduces learning, impairs performance in cognitive tests, prolongs reaction time, and is a common cause of seizures.... The conservation of sleep across all animal species suggests that sleep ... Read more

Light for Depression

This week’s news will focus on a safe and effective treatment for depression: light therapy. An article published in the JAMA Psychiatry Journal explained that light therapy has been previously shown to be an evidence-based, effective treatment for SAD, also known as the winter blues or seasonal affective disorder. It was not known if light would help non-seasonal major depressive disorders (MDD), until now. In this research, the following was revealed in regards to major depressive disorder: Fluoxetine (Prozac, a type of serotonin re-uptake inhibitor) did not perform any better than placebo. Light, by itself, significantly outperformed fluoxetine in relieving major depression. The combination of light with fluoxetine did the best. Light by itself: 50% improved, with Prozac, 75%. No therapy, or ... Read more