Permanent Cure for Food Cravings, Mood Swings, and Addiction
You may have heard that chemical imbalances can cause depression, mood swings, and other mental problems. But did you know that food cravings, weight problems, yo-yo dieting, and binge drinking might also be results of chemical imbalances?
You see, your brain contains chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neurons in your brain use these chemicals to communicate. They create your mood, confidence, self-esteem, and many other emotions.
There are several key neurotransmitters, including serotonin, GABA, and catecholamines. These chemicals must be in proper balance for healthy brain function. And each one plays a different role. You can see these roles most clearly when your body becomes deficient.
For instance, a serotonin deficiency may cause you to struggle with worry, anxiety, obsession, winter blues, and low self-esteem. You might have panic attacks, phobias, fibromyalgia, TMJ, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, hyperactivity, and a dislike of hot weather. And you might use drinks, drugs, or carbs to elevate your mood.
A conventional doctor might prescribe a SSRI for depression. They block serotonin reuptake from your neuronal synapses. SSRIs can be highly addictive and have many troublesome and even life-threatening "side effects." These can range from liver failure and metabolic problems to suicide and murder.
In addition, these drugs don't even correct the problem. All they do is mask an underlying deficiency of the neurotransmitter. Though the real problem is a serotonin deficiency, they don't encourage your body to make more. They only help your neurons hold on to a deficient supply. When you stop them, your problem may worsen. You'll have a 50-80% chance of withdrawal toxicity. Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, dizziness, sleep disorder, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, depression, tingling, or electric shock sensations.
But serotonin isn't the only possible neurotransmitter deficiency. Here are several more possibilities:
* A catecholamine (dopamine, norepinephrine) deficiency can cause a lack of energy, focus, and concentration. You might get bored easily. And you might be sleepy more than usual. Cocaine users may be deficient in catecholamines. Cocaine masks the deficiency, but makes it far worse. It wipes out your body's natural production. And you might crave stimulants, such as caffeine, chocolate, and amphetamines.
* A phenylethylamine (PEA) deficiency is a common cause of depression. The drug selegiline prevents your body from breaking it down. Exercise increases PEA, so it may be responsible for the common "runner's high." Some researchers refer to PEA as "the molecule of love." That's because it's found in chocolate. This could be why you're a chocoholic or desperately need your workout.
* A GABA deficiency can cause you to crave alcohol and sedatives, such as Valium or Xanax. You may feel stiff, tense, overstressed, unable to relax or loosen up, wired, overwhelmed, or burned out. That's because GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. It relaxes, sedates, and reduces overstimulation. Without it, you'll find it very hard to unwind.
Do any of these symptoms sound like you? Your emotional imbalance or addictive tendencies are real. And they're likely due to a chemical imbalance called neurotransmitter deficiency.
And while most doctors will prescribe drugs to handle these chemical imbalances, there's a much safer way to fix the problem. You need to start by restoring your neurotransmitters.
How to correct a serotonin deficiency: The good news is you can correct most serotonin deficiencies with supplements rather than drugs. There are a few cases I've seen where drugs did work better. But in every one of those cases, the patient had an underperforming thyroid. When we corrected the thyroid problem, the supplements worked just fine. So if the following supplements don't work, have your integrative doctor check your thyroid and body temperature.
To reverse a serotonin deficiency, you need the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is converted to 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) and then to serotonin. Taking either one can help a serotonin deficiency. Doses of tryptophan range from to 1,000-2,000 mg one to two times daily. The 5-HTP dose is 100-200 mg up to 2 times daily. The nutrient SAM-e is essential to restore serotonin (and catechols). Try 200-400 mg twice daily. And zinc (30 mg) may help in some cases.
Supplemental B vitamins are essential. Your body can't make neurotransmitters without them. I suggest supplementing them at 50-100 mg daily. Your body makes vitamin B3 or niacin from tryptophan. Tryptophan is also necessary for serotonin production. But if you're deficient in vitamin B3, your body might divert tryptophan to make B3. This would reduce the amount of tryptophan available for serotonin production. Taking vitamin B3 will allow your body to use the tryptophan to produce the needed serotonin.
How to correct a catechol deficiency: The amino acid phenylalanine is the raw material. However, its metabolite, the amino acid tyrosine (500-1,000 mg twice daily), is probably superior. Many doctors use tyrosine to help break a crack cocaine addiction (two grams three to four times daily).
How to correct a PEA deficiency: An incredible source of PEA is an algae called Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). NutriCology markets it as PEANhance (available on the Internet or 800-545-9960). Psychiatrist Gabriel Cousens, MD says that it may dramatically help the addicted and depressed brain. Try one to two capsules per day.
How to correct a GABA deficiency: The neurotransmitter GABA is possible to replace. Take a GABA supplement (100-500 mg per day). But be careful if you need full alertness! It can make you sleepy. You can also reverse a GABA deficiency with the amino acid taurine (500-1000 mg two to three times daily). And theanine (50-200 mg one to three times daily) can help GABA production in your brain. Theanine is also found in green tea.
You should take amino acid supplements about 30 minutes before a meal or one to two hours afterward to prevent competition for absorption from other amino acids. Amino acids have two optical forms called D and L. Phenylalanine found in nature is the L form. It's the parent of the catechols. Making phenylalanine synthetically creates both the D and L forms. This form is most helpful in rebuilding your natural opiates for chronic pain. Try 500-1,500 mg three times daily of DL-phenylalanine.
Improving your diet and lifestyle are the best ways to recover your health. I can't emphasize exercise, prayer, meditation, and sunlight enough. It's best to also avoid reliance on any pills, even supplements. But if you have a brain chemical imbalance, correction could be difficult or impossible without supplements.
If you haven't started taking antidepressant drugs already, you may be an ideal candidate for the natural approach. If it fails with a serious depression, your doctor can prescribe drugs to help. However, they are for short-term relief only. They are not a cure. And they do have side effects. You could be on them forever if you don't help your brain recover production of its own neurotransmitters.
If you would like more information on how neurotransmitters can affect your health and moods, I strongly recommend you read some of the work done by Julia Ross, MA. She's a nutritional psychologist who's done a bang up job in her books The Diet Cure and The Mood Cure.
Julia goes into more detail on how to recover and rebalance your brain's chemistry. Correction could forever end your food cravings, weight problems and mood swings. Julia's information and books are available at her website www.moodcure.com. You can also find her books online and at local bookstores.
Ref: Ross, Julia, MA. "Orthomolecular treatments for alcohol, addiction and depression," OHM Annual Meeting February 2007; Ross, Julia. Diet Cure, Mood Cure.