Archive for July, 2011

Jul 29th, 2011

Depression – Part 5

The Need for Neurotransmitters

To relay the brain’s electrical messages from one nerve cell to the next, the nerve endings (axons) must secrete neurotransmitters. Certain neurotransmitters carry pain sensations, while other order voluntary muscle movement; some cause excitory emotional responses, others are inhibitory.

The neurotransmitters that govern our excitory emotional responses are called catecholamines – noradrenalin and adrenalin – derived from the amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine. Our reactions to everything we encounter – the way we are stirred by a piece of music, angered by an argument, amused by a joke – depend on the body levels of these specific neurotransmitters. Too much or too little of any of these substances will make us under- or overreact, according to stimulus.

(Continued Monday…)

Jul 28th, 2011

Depression – Part 4

The depressed person’s indifference toward personal well-being also makes him or her neglect proper diet. The result is nutritional deficiency. The more the body is starved of vital nutrients, the less able it is to cope with the demands placed on it. Before long the body spirals downward on a widening course of illness and degeneration.

Depression is difficult to prevent because its effect may often be delayed, or hidden in other symptoms. And it’s difficult to treat because a depressed person often doesn’t care whether or not he or she recovers. However, if we can uncover the biochemical imbalances that cause depression, we can use amino acids and their cofactors to correct these imbalances. Let’s start with the most important cells in the body: the nerves.

(Continued tomorrow…)

Jul 27th, 2011

Depression – Part 3

Causes & Effects

Depression can occur from an unexpected stressful event in life – the death of someone you love, for example. The sudden and prolonged stress this causes quickly depletes your body of vital nutrients, resulting in fatigue and torpor, to the extent that it might hardly seem worth making the effort of rousing yourself.

When depression lacks and obvious cause, doctors have difficulty treating it and it often becomes chronic. It might be characterized by intense self-hate, apathy, spontaneous crying spells, lack of mental focus, and a craving for solitude. A depressed person may even be bewildered by the ability of others to show enthusiasm for activities and ideas. And because of the sufferer’s indifference to recovery, this condition is often self-perpetuating.

(Continued tomorrow…)

Jul 26th, 2011

Depression – Part 2

We’ve all found ourselves in situations like this, feeling nothing but despondency and blind to the mass of future possibilities. Of course, once the sun comes out, we’ll remember the Frisbee in the trunk, and the world will be fine. Some people, though, continually live in this state. This condition is called a pathological depression. It strips the sufferers of their sense of self-worth and leaves them feeling inadequate and unresponsive. Often their mental disorder leads to physical illness – sometimes suicide.

We’ll look at the specific causes and effects of depression. Then, by seeing which metabolic pathways are involved, we can formulate and amino-based nutritional program that frees the mind from depression’s deadening grasp.

Jul 25th, 2011

Depression – Part 1

Depression is a paradox. Think of it: The most spectacularly able thing know to humanity – your brain – brought low by an overwhelming sense of futility and uselessness, a belief that life is just too difficult. The Healing Research Trust describes classic full-blown depression as “the loss of capacity to enjoy life, combined with a poverty of though and movement.”

Depression is the common cold of mental disorders. One person in a hundred suffers from it right now. And if it has never affected you, there is a better than one-in-eight chance that it will. It’s easy enough to glimpse the numbing effects of depression. Picture yourself on a family outing. It’s a Labor Day weekend, and you’ve driven into the country. But the sky is lead gray, and sleet spatters horizontally across the windshield, reducing everyone to a sense of despondency and lethargy. Conversation is held in bad-tempered monosyllables, and even drawing a face on the fogged window requires a huge effort. You want to drive home, but it just doesn’t seem to matte enough to bother.

(continued tomorrow…)

Jul 22nd, 2011

Anxiety – Part 5

Most of us occasionally experience minor symptoms of anxiety – even if it’s only from a watching a football team we support play an important game. For some, though, even this anxiety is intolerable. Their sense of dread at the outcome make it impossible for them to watch. On a wider scale, the normal, everyday challenges of their lives become harder to face, forcing them to draw back from their responsibilities and shirk confrontation.

Alleviating anxiety means having to rebalance the stress response naturally, using specific amino acids to strengthen the inhibitory nervous system. Or you can use Valium – and live as best you can with the side effects as it unbalances other metabolic pathways. If you decide on the aminos, there are four in particular that relieve anxiety so successfully they are often prescribed as a blend. A well-formulated blend of free-form amino acids should include Histidine, Tryptophan, Glycine & Taurine. and the cofactors Vitamin B1, B2, B6, Calcium as ascorbate, Vitamin C & Zinc.

All in all, anxiety is unnecessary, almost superstitious fear.

Jul 21st, 2011

Anxiety – Part 4

The Effects of Anxiety

However irrational the causes of anxiety, you anxiety results from fear: of begin late for work, of public speaking, or of crashing your car. When we are frightened, our bodies elicit the stress response, releasing adrenalin. Heartbeat increases; nostrils dilate; blood is diverted to the heavy muscles; and the high-frequency beta waves in the brain increase, shifting it to a state of greater alertness, watching for danger. And the low-frequency alpha waves associated with the mental tranquility diminish; the mouth becomes dry; secretion of digestive enzymes slows down; and blood is moved away from the intestines.

This rapid change accounts for the familiar sensations of anxiety; the roller-coaster feeling in your stomach, the slight trembling and clumsiness of your muscles as they prepare for action, and the acute alertness (like the person afraid of flying, who notices each subtle change of pitch in the noise of the jet engine).

(continued tomorrow…)

Jul 20th, 2011

Anxiety – Part 3

(Car Crash Example cont.)

The chance of being hit a second time in the same circumstances is almost non-existent. But the point is that the accident has conditioned your mind to fire the stress response whenever a similar situation arises. This sort of unrealistic fear is the source of anxiety. Our lives are full of the conditions that cause it. Perhaps as a child you were punished for sleeping in class, so that whenever you relax you always feel guilty about it. Or you might have once ben bitten by a dog, leaving you terrified of all dogs. Anxiety might even be caused by a quite unrealistic fear, such as the threat of failing a job interview.

Jul 19th, 2011

Anxiety – Part 2

What causes this extreme anxiety response? The best way to find out is by looking at a classic cause of anxiety. Then, once we understand the psychological an mental problems involved, we can formulate an amino acid blend to fight it.

CAUSES:

Imagine sitting in your car at the red traffic light of an intersection. The light changes to green. You’ve repeated these actions so often that you release the brake almost unconsciously, ease your foot off the clutch, and press the accelerator. The car moves forward. Suddenly another car, running a red light, slams into your side. You are treated for shock and a few cuts and bruises, but all things considered, you’re lucky to be alive.

A few weeks later you come up to the same intersection. Again the light is red and the memories of the accident come vividly to life: the screech of the brakes, the thundering concussion as the cars hit, tossing you sideways, the breaking glass. Now, instead, of the easy, reflexive way you usually move off, you are acutely conscious of your actions. You realize that it was exactly this chain of event that led to the accident and that every movement you now make is repeating the chain. The light changes and your throat tightens, your palm is sweaty on the gearshift, and your movements are tense and jerky. The car moves off, and you grit your teeth, your senses alert to danger.

(Continued tomorrow…)

Jul 18th, 2011

Anxiety – Part 1

It’s not all in your mind! Stated simply, anxiety is a stress response. Its symptoms – quickened heartbeat; the taut, queasy sensation in the stomach; perspiration; and heightened mental alertness – are all part of an alarm system. Your body is warning you of a stressful situation, and these uncomfortable sensations are caused by its efforts to respond.

This anxiety response is vital. It prepares us for activities that need increased physical or mental effort and even warns us away from others. It is usually short-lived. One person in twenty,  though, suffers from a continual, unreasoning dread that psychiatrists call anxiety neurosis It  can inflict severe physical degeneration on victims and leave them mentally unable to face the demands of life.

(Continued tomorrow…)