My fellow readers,
Stress creates a fire in the brain…inflammation. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that deals with emotions, learning and memory information. When we have extreme or uncontrollable stress, particularly early in life; the result is an excess release of the neurotransmitter glutamate which can damage and kill many cells within the hippocampus. This often leads to unknown depression. Depression also appears to inhibit the forming of new brain cells.The endocrine system can also have a part in stress related brain damage. Chronic activation of the pituitary and other hormones to release the stress hormones can lead to depression. Depression can tend to lead to brain inflammation, and neuroinflammation has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Gluten and sugars seem to be the most prominent triggers. There are shown to be links relating the gut, the brain and inflammation. There are neurons in the brain as well as the gut. This is the enteric nervous system whose neurons produce many of the same transmitters as the brain, including serotonin, dopamine, and (GABA) gamma-aminobutyric acid. Your gut has the lead on serotonin production, more than the brain. The vagus nerve communicates these two brains, these signals have significant influence over your thoughts, mood and behavior.
A lifetime of poor dietary choices, toxic chemical exposures, antibiotics, lack of exercise, and other factors may further compromise your gut/brain health. There are huge links between processed foods and depression. Food additives, refined flours and sugars, processed fructose, gluten, GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organism), Glyphosate (see Why Are There So Many Wheat Allergies), artificial sweeteners, are just a few. Aspartame has already been linked to depression as well as panic attacks.
People who live with a lot of pain issues also tend to be more depressed. This ends up with the squirrel cage issue. Their bodies have an overabundance of toxins, thus they will start taking pain medications, of which many will create more depressive episodes, then the doctor may give them antidepressants, which creates more chemicals and with the lifestyle that is creating the pain to begin with, brings more pain and the cycle continues.
Stress halts digestion and your body will not assimilate the foods that you have just eaten. When one is stressed, this creates a tension within the body, including the digestive system, and your blood goes into your extremities ready for the fight or flee, the digestion gets ignored so it shuts down.
According to Dr. Ryan Wohlfert exercise is really important because it has to do with serotonin. Tryptophan forms serotonin. Serotonin is your feel good hormone. When you exercise, and especially if you’re lifting weights (I don’t mean anything really heavy), because you are then activating the muscles a little bit more, you use branched chain amino acids and these are used to build muscle. They also compete with tryptophan to get into the brain. So when you exercise, these amino acids are used to build muscle and not compete with the tryptophan. So the tryptophan can be used to make the serotonin for the brain. I chose to do the exercise route rather than do the drug therapy, it really does work. The drugs had too many dangers, especially trying to get off of them. I keep the exercise going in my daily routine for the past 30+ years because I am terrified if I quit I will end up back into that blackhole again. There are many different ways of exercise, walking, jogging, aerobics, biking, stretching, yoga etc. and switch them out occasionally for variety to the body. Just keep moving! ‘Let exercise and food be your medicine!’