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Neurotransmitters and Weight Loss

  Posts Posted by under Articles on Monday, November 14th, 2011 7:05 pm

A MISSING KEY TO WEIGHT LOSS: NEUROTRANSMITTERS

Neurotransmitters (NT) are chemical messengers produced by your body to send signals along a nerve pathway. In order for messages to be relayed along the miles of nerves within your body, neurotransmitters must be produced, released, received and cleared from the spaces between the nerves, the synapse. For example, if you step on a sharp piece of glass in your bare foot you immediately feel pain. The pain message is relayed along a series of nerves from your foot to your brain. The message jumps from nerve to nerve by specific neurotransmitters.
Neurotransmitters are proteins that are produced inside your body. They are synthesized from amino acids obtained from the foods you eat. Different combinations of amino acids form different neurotransmitters. If your dietary choices do not supply all the necessary amino acids you could potentially wind up with a specific neurotransmitter deficiency. There are dozens and dozens of different neurotransmitters produced in your body and each one has a different purpose. Some have the job of exciting other nerves and some have the job of calming down or inhibiting other nerves. Each neurotransmitter has a unique molecular form that allows it to attach to only one type of receptor on the next nerve. It is similar to a specific key to open your front door and a different one to open your office door. If you try to open your front door with your office key you won’t get the desired effect. If you don’t eat the right foods you won’t have the necessary amino acids to produce neurotransmitters to give you their desired effect.
Some of the more common neurotransmitters you may have heard of are GABA, acetylcholine, glutamate, serotonin, epinephrine, and dopamine. Different causes of NT deficiencies include poor dietary intake, emotional stress, physical stress, medication use/abuse and surprisingly, weight loss diets. Studies from several major universities have shown the same thing: Improper weight loss diets will deplete your body of serotonin, which in turn leads to increased cravings, lack of motivation, and increased moodiness all of which leads to rebound weight gain.
Another symptom of NT deficiency is depression. Most people in today’s world are either taking an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) or they know somebody who is. These are the most commonly prescribed antidepressant medications. The most common complaint I hear from patients, particularly females, is the weight gain associated with taking these drugs.
Different NT deficiencies can lead to abnormal thyroid gland function. If your thyroid gland starts to slow down, so does your metabolism. Thus, your weight goes up. You can try one of the many fad diets to lose weight, but if you don’t crank up the thyroid again by balancing NT’s, you will never succeed.
NT’s affect the way the adrenal glands function. This is a big issue in today’s fast paced, high stress world. Adrenals are already stressed by poor diet, emotional stress, poor sleep habits, excess caffeine and soft drinks. Add to that NT imbalance and you are staring at adrenal fatigue. Blood sugar dysregulation, cortisol surges and insulin spikes all just compound the problem.
Traditional health care is not equipped to deal with these types of chronic health problems. Typically you will be given a drug to cover up the symptoms, your metabolic condition will persist, and you will have to deal with the side effects of the medications, most notably, unwanted weight gain. This is a flawed system of trying to regain health.
In our office we utilize a very detailed history including asking about any drugs or medications you have ever taken. We also have all of our patients fill out two very in-depth questionnaires: one that explores their metabolic profile and another that evaluates their NT levels. This is the only way to truly get at the root cause of patients chronic health problems and helping people regain their health while losing weight.

Dr. Robert McCarthy
Board Certified Chiropractor
916 Evans Street
Greenville, NC 27834
252.758.2222
www.greenvillehealth.com

Dr. Robert McCarthy
Dr. McCarthy graduated from the prestigious S.U.N.Y.@ Stony Brook with a bachelors degree. He then attended New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, NY, graduating with a Doctorate in Chiropractic. After graduation Dr. McCarthy accepted an appointment to the NYCC faculty where he was a distinguished instructor in orthopedics, neurology and radiology.
Dr. McCarthy has been in practice for the last 15 years in Greenville. Having focused on meeting the health needs of entire families, Dr. McCarthy offers unique treatments for children, adults, and elderly patients. He has a passion for helping people who have “been everywhere” and “tried everything”. Chronic conditions that destroy peoples lives are given special attention in his office.
Dr. McCarthy served as the chairman of the Research Committee for the North Carolina Chiropractic Association. He lectures regularly on health topics ranging from weight loss and thyroid gland function to immune system function and autoimmune disease management. For more information please call 252-758-2222 or visit our websites at:
www.greenvillehealth.com.
www.greenvillefibrocare.com
www.PittThyroid.com
www.PittNeuropathy.com
www.PittMigraine.com
www.PittSD.com

How Eating Affects Your Sex Hormones

  Posts Posted by under Articles on Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 6:06 pm

We have all heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” Another extension of that phrase is, “Your sex life is dependant on what you eat.” Have I got your attention? The key to eating properly is to maintain a steady supply of glucose (blood sugar) to all the cells of your body. The problem is the average American does a very poor job of maintaining their blood sugar. Instead, they suck down a donut and coffee in the morning and their blood sugar rises rapidly. Mid-morning the blood sugar drops, they get more coffee, a soft drink or candy bar. Guess what? Blood sugar spikes up again. Lunchtime rolls around, blood sugar crashing, we chow down a huge Sub sandwich. Get the picture? Blood sugar going up and down all day, every day, month after month, year after year is very bad. When the blood sugar spikes a hormone named insulin is released in large quantities. When you live on this blood sugar roller coaster long enough it leads to a condition known as Insulin Resistance. Insulin is the hormone that carries glucose into the cells of your body. When you become Insulin Resistant, insulin cannot carry glucose into your cells and you start the downward health spiral.
Another major problem caused by repeated insulin surges is a change in your sex hormones. The major sex hormones are estrogen and testosterone. Both hormones are present and needed by both males and females. Estrogen is the predominant hormone in females and Testosterone is predominant in males. When we have these repeated insulin surges over the course of our lives it will activate special enzymes in our bodies that convert our sex hormones. Insulin surges in a female convert the estrogen into testosterone. This leads to unwanted hair growth on the face, hair loss on the head, fatigue, depression and infertility. In males, the insulin surges convert testosterone into estrogen. This creates a condition known as Andropause that is characterized by male breast tissue growth, enlarged belly, weight gain, depression, and low libido. We see these conditions in men and women regularly in our office. Imagine the frustration of a young couple trying to have a baby. She is infertile because of insulin surges and he has no libido. Thankfully, we have been successful in helping many get their blood sugar stabilized, health restored and achieve pregnancy.
If you want to maintain your health and keep a proper balance of sex hormones, you must learn to stabilize your blood sugar. Some techniques we use in our practice are eating smaller, more frequent meals, as well as avoiding refined carbohydrates as these cause a huge insulin surge. If you balance your blood sugar you will keep all the cells in your body healthy. You will also keep your love life alive.
~Dr. Robert McCarthy, D.C.


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