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Zandra had managed to avoid uncomfortable situations most of her life where she felt her social anxiety kicking in.

Lately it seemed to be worse and harder to avoid those situations, especially at work.

She told us that she had always been uncomfortable talking to strangers, particularly in a business setting.

Her job required more of that type of interaction these days and she was ‘freaking out about it’, she said.

Quick Start

Zandra had found us online when she read my post about our new Quick Start Session where you can quickly stabilize your emotions through the use of amino acids while you dig deeper to uncover the physiological cause of those emotions.

When I talked with Zandra, she explained that she had always felt anxiety in social situations, but it had become more crippling lately.

She been through a traumatic situation in recent years and felt that she was still recovering from it.

Zandra signed up for a Quick Start Session.

She took our Stress Assessment Test and based on those results, we determined which amino acids and supplements would likely benefit her the most.

After a discussion about her past experiences with supplements and medications, she was ready for an amino acid trial.

Is it Genetic?

In the meantime, Zandra and I talked about the genetic condition known as Pyroluria (aka Kryptopyrroles).

It manifests itself in Social Anxiety.

This condition causes low Vitamin B6 and Zinc, both of which are vitally necessary for the calming neurotransmitters in the brain.

There is a lab test for it.

Great Plains Labs offers it for $129 and DHA Labs offers it for $82.

However, the treatment is so simple that most people simply take Vitamin B6 and Zinc to determine if that helps their symptoms.

Zandra read more about Pyroluria in my post and further information from Trudy Scott, CN on her anxiety-related site, EveryWomanOver29.

We discussed starting dosages of Vitamin B6 (or P5P) and Zinc, how to determine the correct dosage, and recommended brands.

GLA, an omega-6 fatty acid, is also helpful in this situation.

Zandra reported back to me later that she was feeling MUCH better just taking the B6/Zinc/GLA combination and used amino acids immediately prior to a social situation.

She said that she didn’t have that horrible feeling of dread and panic for days before a social event anymore.

It was not something she looked forward to, by any means, but it no longer overwhelmed her like it had in the past.

I was glad to hear that Zandra had made so much progress so quickly.

You can too. Reach out and schedule a Free 20 Minute Phone Chat if you would like to reclaim your emotions.

Be well.

If you would like more great tips for healthy living, sign up for my blog posts to be sent to your email, just once per week.

Joli Tripp and Mind Blowing Wellness are not medical doctors nor licensed medical professionals.  No comment or recommendation should be construed as being a medical diagnosis. If you suffer from a medical or pathological condition, you should consult an appropriate healthcare provider.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

Mind Blowing Wellness is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Mind Blowing Wellness is also an affiliate for Thrive Market receiving a small commission for new memberships.

The post Zandra found out what was causing her Social Anxiety (quickly) appeared first on Mind Blowing Wellness.

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If you take supplements to boost your health, you may already know how important quality supplements are.

You’re going to love the new online supplement ordering program that Emerson Ecologics has introduced.

Emerson Ecologics has long been known to holistic healthcare providers as the source for online high quality supplements at a deep discount.

With over 300 brands, you can surely find the brand and supplement you need.

In addition to every brand being cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practice), their EQP (Emerson Quality Program) takes it one step further.

Brands like Thorne, Douglas Laboratories, Metagenics, Lidtke and many more are available at discounts up to 35%.

Why Quality is so Important when choosing Supplements

Supplements are considered to be “food” according to our government.

And they are food. That is true.

Therefore, they are not regulated in the same way as pharmaceutical drugs (not that the FDA process of drug regulation is even remotely adequate).

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994 provides the regulation for supplements in our country.

Manufacturers do not need to prove that dietary supplements are safe and effective before they can market them.

Supplement manufacturers also do not need to notify the Food and Drug Administration that a new product is on the market unless they intend to make a health claim or unless the product contains a new dietary ingredient.

Dietary supplements are considered misbranded foods if the labeling is false or misleading.

The degree of quality control for dietary supplements totally depends on the ingredient suppliers, manufacturers, and others in the production process.

In 2007, FDA issued a final rule establishing current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) for dietary supplements. Manufacturers must ensure that the identity, purity, strength, and composition of a dietary supplement product are accurate.

According to the Pew Charitable Trusts,

“Although the FDA inspects registered dietary supplement manufacturers—and unregistered facilities when it becomes aware of them—the agency is able to visit only a small fraction of facilities because of resource limitations, and not every entity selling dietary supplements is registered with the FDA.”

That’s why it is so important to choose high quality supplements.

You’re not likely to find high quality supplements at your local Costco, grocery store or even the big chain drugstores.

Even Amazon has become an unreliable source of supplements.  Here’s why.

Many of the pharmaceutical grade supplements are only available through a healthcare practitioner (brands like Standard Process, Apex Energetics and Biotics Research).

If you find any of those products online or on Amazon, that is no less than the ‘black market’ and could be expired products, replaced/resealed, or the real thing. You just don’t know.

Sadly, you can find those healthcare-practitioner-only supplements on Amazon all the time.

Why take the risk?

Without running all over town, it can be difficult to find supplements that you can rely on.

Introducing Wellevate

Now you can have your own account through Emerson Ecologics to choose from over 300 brands of high quality supplements at the same discounts that healthcare providers get.

Wellevate is the name of the new dispensary program.

All you need to do is let me (or your healthcare provider) know that you want an account.

Wellevate only needs your name and email address to open your private account.

It’s totally free to open an account.

No minimum orders or contracts or any of that garbage.

Shipping is free when you spend more than $50.  But even if you don’t spend that much, shipping is only $4.95 for a 4-6 day delivery.

Compare their prices.

I have. They can’t be beat.

Just so you know, I don’t benefit from this new service financially. It’s just a great deal and I wanted to share it.

Be well.

If you would like more great tips for healthy living, sign up for my blog posts to be sent to your email, just once per week.

Joli Tripp and Mind Blowing Wellness are not medical doctors nor licensed medical professionals.  No comment or recommendation should be construed as being a medical diagnosis. If you suffer from a medical or pathological condition, you should consult an appropriate healthcare provider.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

Mind Blowing Wellness is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Mind Blowing Wellness is also an affiliate for Thrive Market receiving a small commission for new memberships.

http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/fact-sheets/2017/10/dietary-supplements-what-are-they-and-how-are-they-regulated

The post Up to 35% Discount on 300 Brands of Quality Supplements appeared first on Mind Blowing Wellness.

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You’ve learned that amino acids such as Tryptophan and 5-HTP can help improve emotional symptoms such as anxiety and depression.

But how do you know which amino acid supplement is right for you?

And how much should you take?

Great questions!

The answer is an amino acid trial.

Which Supplement is Right for you?

Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers between neurons. The most common neurotransmitters that affect our moods are SerotoninCatecholaminesEndorphins, and GABA.

Amino acids, along with vitamins, minerals and enzymes, make those neurotransmitters.

Supplementing with amino acids can have an immediate effect on moods in most cases.

Unfortunately, there is currently no lab test to tell you what your levels of neurotransmitters are in your brain.

The best tool we have is to analyze our symptoms.

We recommend our Stress Assessment Test, a quick tool that will help you determine which neurotransmitters may need support.

The test is a simple checklist of symptoms.

Once you take the test, you will receive an email with more information about the specific neurotransmitters that may need to be balanced.

That email will detail information about symptoms, causes, foods to support that neurotransmitter production, cofactors, steps to take, recommended amino acid supplements and underlying medical conditions that may derail your efforts.

Read that emailed information carefully. If you need a refresher, click these links: SerotoninCatecholaminesEndorphinsGABA.

How Much Should you Take?

That depends on you. An amino acid trial is the best way to determine your dose.

Here’s how:

  1. Establish your scores from our Stress Assessment Test. There are 4 parts to the test. Be sure to complete them all and record your scores. If you forgot to write down your scores, just take it again.
  2. If your score triggered anything other than a thumbs up , this indicates a need for support with that neurotransmitter.
  3. Decide which neurotransmitter you would like to address first (SerotoninCatecholaminesEndorphinsGABA).
  4. Do a trial with the amino acid that most resonates with you for that neurotransmitter.
  5. Open up the amino acid capsule on your tongue or chew it but don’t swallow for 1-2 minutes. Test only one amino acid at a time. If you are highly sensitive to supplements, just put a dab on your tongue, not the whole capsule.
  6. Rate yourself. Do you feel like your anxiety (or other symptom) has improved?
  7. If it was a big improvement, then you have found your supplement and your dose.
  8. If it was a small improvement, you may need to take the supplement twice a day, for example.
  9. If there was no improvement at all, you may want to trial a different supplement.
  10. If an amino acid supplement makes you feel unpleasant, take 1000 mg of Vitamin C as a short-term antidote.
  11. Give it about a week and adjust up or down, paying close attention to how you feel.

For more information about amino acid trials, check out “How to do an amino acid trial for anxiety” by Trudy Scott, CN.

Precautions 

In general, keep these guidelines in mind when supplementing with amino acids:

  • Amino acids should be taken away from meals (except 5-HTP) which means 30 minutes before or 60 minutes after a meal.
  • Try one new supplement at a time in your trial.
  • Always work with your healthcare practitioner if you have a current illness.
  • Certain amino acids should be avoided with patients with PKU, Cancer, Bipolar disorder, Thyroid disorders, Migraines, Asthma, High or Low Blood pressure.
  • Consult with your prescribing physician if you are currently taking psychiatric medicines, particularly SSRIs and MAOIs.
  • Review these amino acid precautions established by Julia Ross and reprinted by Trudy Scott, CN.

Trudy Scott, CN, is a well-known anxiety expert. In her book, The Anxiety Food Solution, she discusses these anxiety types in detail with recommendations for dosages.

Which Brand of Supplements is Best?

Choose high quality supplements. There IS is a big difference.

Remember that supplements are not regulated by the government except for labeling (and nobody is checking the validity of labeling).

This means avoiding the local drugstore brands, Costco and other big box stores and grocery store brands.

If you choose to buy locally, go to a store that specializes in supplements, such as the Vitamin Shoppe.

Pharmaceutical-grade supplements are typically only available from healthcare practitioners (like me).

If you prefer to purchase high quality supplements online, Emerson Ecologics now has a discounted professional supplement site called Wellevate.  Contact me if you would like a free patient account with Wellevate.

Be well.

If you would like more great tips for healthy living, sign up for my blog posts to be sent to your email, just once per week.

Joli Tripp and Mind Blowing Wellness are not medical doctors nor licensed medical professionals.  No comment or recommendation should be construed as being a medical diagnosis. If you suffer from a medical or pathological condition, you should consult an appropriate healthcare provider.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

Mind Blowing Wellness is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Mind Blowing Wellness is also an affiliate for Thrive Market receiving a small commission for new memberships.

The post Amino Acid Trial tells you which Supplement and How Much appeared first on Mind Blowing Wellness.

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Our new Quick Start Session answers a need that most of our clients have.

Quick Start provides a method to quickly stabilize your emotions like depression or anxiety.

Once the depression starts lifting and stress is calmed, it becomes easier to focus on digging deeper to find out what is underlying those emotions.

We now know that most psychological symptoms have physical roots (barring some sort of past or present trauma).

The secret to overcoming those emotions is to find and resolve the physical problem which will, in turn, resolve the emotional distress.

Quick Start Session

We know it can be difficult to focus when your emotions are out of control.  Sometimes it’s hard enough just to get through each day.

The Quick Start Session is designed to quickly get your emotions stabilized, soothing anxiety and lifting depression so that you can concentrate on the underlying physiological cause of those emotions.

We do this with the use of amino acids.

Amino acids, along with enzymes, vitamins and minerals, control the production of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers between neurons).

Supplementing with amino acids has an immediate effect on moods in most cases.

Once you are feeling more in control, you can move on to the Jump Start program to dig in, find and fix what’s underneath your moods.

Here are the steps:

1. Stress Assessment Tool—Establish, using your own symptoms, which neurotransmitters may be out of balance using our Stress Tool.

Our unique Stress Assessment Tool uses a series of symptoms with checkboxes to allow you to assess where you might be out of balance.

It identifies the neurotransmitters that may need regulation.

Remember that there is currently no lab test that accurately measures the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain.

2. Symptom Analysis–Private discussion of your emotional symptoms and past experiences with medications and supplements for those symptoms.

Once you obtain your confidential results, we discuss your symptoms and their history.

We also will discuss your past and current experiences with medications and supplements that have attempted to address those symptoms.

3. Recommendations–Together, we will establish a plan using nutrients to quickly restore balance to your emotions.

Our plan uses amino acids and other supplements to stabilize your emotions.

4. Amino Acid Trial–A systematic self-administered program to get you feeling more in control so that you can dig deeper to find the underlying cause.

We train you in the methodology of an amino acid trial so that you can discover the proper nutrient and dosage for your particular needs, now and in the future.

We know that everyone is biochemically different.  One size does not fit all with nutrition.

For example, DL-Phenylalanine is just right for some people, whereas the D-version (D-Phenylalanine) is much better for others.

A quick test is the best way to determine what is right for you.

How Much Does Quick Start Cost?

Our introductory price for the Quick Start Session is just $50.

It includes:

  • One private Video conference call meeting (allow up to 30 minutes, video is optional)
  • One follow-up phone call or email (allow 30 minutes each)

While supplements are not included in this price, we can provide access to discounted high-quality supplements that you can order online.

Or we can recommend brands available in your local area.

The Quick Start Session can help you to calm anxiety and boost depression to enable you to get to the root of your moods.

Be well.

If you would like more great tips for healthy living, sign up for my blog posts to be sent to your email, just once per week.

Joli Tripp and Mind Blowing Wellness are not medical doctors nor licensed medical professionals.  No comment or recommendation should be construed as being a medical diagnosis. If you suffer from a medical or pathological condition, you should consult an appropriate healthcare provider.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

Mind Blowing Wellness is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Mind Blowing Wellness is also an affiliate for Thrive Market receiving a small commission for new memberships.

The post Announcing: Our new Quick Start Session designed to Stabilize your Emotions appeared first on Mind Blowing Wellness.

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Whether you struggle with chronic diarrhea or constipation, poop problems can be miserable.

They can completely control your life!

Either you are afraid to be too far away from a bathroom or you are so backed up, you feel like you swallowed a bowling ball.

Maybe you have been diagnosed with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) which is Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s disease.

But those are just labels, not the underlying cause of the problem.

Did you know that approximately 80% of people with IBS actually have SIBO?

What is SIBO?

SIBO or Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth is just as it sounds–too much bacteria in the small intestine.

The small intestine is not designed to have much bacteria in it. That’s the job of the large intestine or colon.

The excess bacteria feeds off of the undigested food in your small intestine.

In particular, they love to feed on sugar, simple and complex carbohydrates, starches, and alcohol – they love carbs.

As the bacteria feeds, it causes the carbohydrates to ferment, which produces hydrogen as a byproduct.

Hydrogen can, in turn, feed single-celled organisms in your small intestine called archaea, which then produce methane as a byproduct.

Depending on which gas (hydrogen or methane) is more predominant usually determines whether you will have diarrhea or constipation.

Hydrogen–>Diarrhea

Methane–>Constipation

Symptoms of SIBO

Digestive issues are not the only signs and symptoms of SIBO.

Dr. Amy Myers lists these 10 common signs:

  1.  Gas, bloating, and diarrhea
  2.  Abdominal pain or cramping
  3.  Constipation (much less common than diarrhea)
  4.  Diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  5.  Food intolerances such as gluten, casein, lactose, fructose, and particularly histamine intolerance
  6.  Chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, neuromuscular disorders and autoimmune diseases
  7.  Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, including vitamins A, B12, D, and E
  8.  Fat malabsorption (signified by pale, bulky, and malodorous stools)
  9.  Rosacea and other skin rashes
  10.  Leaky gut

You may have some, all or NONE of these symptoms.

In fact, some studies suggest that between 6 to 15% of healthy people have SIBO with no symptoms at all.

Causes of SIBO

There are a variety of causes of SIBO, the most common of which is a diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates and alcohol.

Other risk factors of SIBO can be:

  1. Physical obstructions in the gut (like scars from surgery)
  2. Crohn’s disease
  3. Diverticulitus (Diverticuli are tiny pouches that can form in the wall of the small intestine which can also collect bacteria instead of passing it on to the colon)
  4. Damage to the nerves or muscles in the gut caused by Diabetes or Scleroderma
  5. Low stomach acid or HCL (hydrochloric acid)
  6. Celiac disease
  7. Multiple courses of antibiotics, acid-blocking drugs and steroids
  8. Organ dysfunction (such as liver cirrhosis, chronic pancreatitis, or renal failure)
  9. Diet high in sugar, refined carbs and alcohol
Testing for SIBO

SIBO is largely undiagnosed.

Most people attempt to treat their symptoms themselves without seeking medical help.

Many healthcare professionals only treat the diarrhea or constipation symptoms without addressing the underlying condition.

There are generally four methods to test for SIBO:

  1. Symptom analysis–no lab test at all, simply use your symptoms as a checklist.
  2. Organix Dysbiosis–this is a simple urine lab test, but does not distinguish between the methane and hydrogen forms of SIBO, which is important because the treatment methods are different for each
  3. Comprehensive Stool Test–this will also reveal things like Candida, parasites and other gut issues which are common with SIBO
  4. Breath Test–the gold standard test is a breath test measuring both hydrogen and methane levels.

Your healthcare provider can arrange for these tests.

The breath test is available from these labs:

A negative result from the glucose test necessitates a retest with the lactulose version, so you might as well get the lactulose version.

Dr. Allison Siebecker, renowned SIBO expert, recommends the 3 hour breath test over the 2 hour one.

How to Treat SIBO

SIBO is difficult to treat.

Relapse is a reality unless the underlying cause is corrected.

100% of symptom resolution is not expected, but 80-90% is.

There are three steps, according to Dr. Amy Myer:

  1. Diet & lifestyle modification
  2. Herbal antibiotics or Pharmaceutical Antibiotics
  3. Probiotics to restore the good bacteria

A fourth step is recommended by Dr. Allison Siebecker: Prokinetics which are discussed later in this article.

Diet & Lifestyle Modification

Eliminate all refined carbohydrates, all sugars, and alcohol.  These carbs are food for the bacteria.

During this time you’ll eat plenty of non-starchy vegetables, leafy greens, lean proteins, and healthy fats, with minimal fruit.

Dr. Siebecker goes a step further in recommending an elemental diet which is a powder of predigested nutrients drunk in place of all meals for 2-3 weeks (no solid food eaten).

Once the SIBO is well controlled, Dr. Siebecker recommends one of these diets for life:

She also encourages meals to be spaced 4-5 hours apart with a 12 hour fast overnight.

Herbal Antibiotics or Pharmaceutical Antibiotics

The pharmaceutical route will be faster than the herbal route, but either route is effective.

Dr. Myers finds that Xifaxan (antibiotic) is more effective with hydrogen-dominant SIBO and Neomycin (antibiotic) tends to be more successful with methane-dominant SIBO.

Dr. Siebecker recommends Rifaximin for hydrogen-dominant SIBO and for methane-dominant SIBO, she prefers Rifixamin along with Neomycin or Metronidazole for 2 weeks.

Some choose the slower herbal route because of the fact that prescription antiobiotics wipe out ALL bacteria, good and bad. As well, antibiotic resistance is a growing problem.

As for the herbal route, Dr. Siebecker recommends Berberine, Oregano, and Neem for all SIBO patients and adds Allicin for methane-dominant SIBO. Take all of these for 4 weeks.

Dr. Myers recommends a blend of a blend of Magnesium Caprylate, Berberine, and extracts from Tribulus, Sweet Wormwood, Grapefruit, Barberry, Bearberry, and Black Walnut.  All of these are available in a product that she sells, Microb-Clear.

Probiotics 

If you have SIBO and you’ve tried to take a probiotic, you probably are saying “NO WAY” because most probiotics blow you up like a balloon.

The trouble with most probiotics is that the majority of probiotic supplements out there contain lactobacillus or bifidobacterium. Often SIBO is from those very species.

It’s like throwing fuel on the fire.

Soil-based, also known as spore-forming probiotics, don’t contain lactobacillus or bifidobacterium.

Dr. Amy says “soil-based probiotics have a seed-like structure that protects them from stomach acid, bile salts, and digestive enzymes so that the bacterial strains remain alive.

They can actually sense when the environment is safe for them to emerge and begin colonizing your large intestine and colon.

This makes them a great option for SIBO because they don’t populate the small intestine and contribute to bacterial overgrowth there, instead heading straight to the large intestine and colon where they can support vibrant health.”

A couple of good sources of soil-based or spore-forming probiotics are:

Prokinetics

Dr. Siebecker recommends one further step.

Prokinetics are particularly important for chronic cases of SIBO and are designed to prevent relapse.

She recommends starting on Prokinetics the day after finishing the antibiotics.

Again, there is a pharmaceutical route and an herbal route.

She recommends:

  • Low dose Erythromycin
  • Low dose Prucalopride
  • Low dose Naltrexone

For the herbal route, she recommends:

  • STW 5 (Iberogast) which includes Iberis amara, angelica, chamomile, caraway, milk thistle, melissa, peppermint, celandine, licorice
  • MP which includes 5-Htp, Acetyl L-Carnitine, Ginger, Vit C, B6
  • Ginger

Dr. Siebecker recommends a minimum of 3 months on Prokinetics but suggests that they may be continued long-term.

Dr. Siebecker freely offers dosage recommendations for physicians on her website Siboinfo.com.

Be well.

If you would like more great tips for healthy living, sign up for my blog posts to be sent to your email, just once per week.

Joli Tripp and Mind Blowing Wellness are not medical doctors nor licensed medical professionals.  No comment or recommendation should be construed as being a medical diagnosis. If you suffer from a medical or pathological condition, you should consult an appropriate healthcare provider.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

Mind Blowing Wellness is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Mind Blowing Wellness is also an affiliate for Thrive Market receiving a small commission for new memberships.

The post Is SIBO the Cause of your Poop Problems? appeared first on Mind Blowing Wellness.

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Yvonne couldn’t remember a time when she wasn’t depressed.

Mind you, she still got through life accomplishing what was expected of her, but life felt more like a chore instead of a joy.

After a particularly stressful period in her life, Yvonne reached out to us because she was sick and tired of being sick and tired.

She needed relief from chronic depression.

Jump Start for Joy

When Yvonne and I video-conferenced with each other, it was clear she was struggling.

Her forced smile and flat expression were evidence enough that she was feeling depressed.

While the stressful situation she had recently been in was over, she was left feeling lower than low.

Yvonne  jumped into our Jump Start program and agreed to:

  • Complete a Confidential Client Wellness Questionnaire, our unique Nutri-Q nutritional assessment and a 3-day Food Journal
  • Discuss her complete history, health challenges and goals
  • Provide any recent lab test results to us for further analysis using optimal reference ranges

During our first 1.5 hour session, Yvonne and I discovered that there were several health issues to address that may be at the heart of her depression.

Some of those issues, like fatty acid deficiency, for example, would take a bit of time to correct.

While we were working to put together a plan of action, Yvonne needed some immediate help to lift her mood.

Amino acids to the rescue!

Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.

They are the primary “active ingredient”, so to speak, used in making neurotransmitters.

Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers between neurons that influence our mood.

Without sufficient amino acids, mood regulation is nearly impossible.

Of course, amino acids are used for a whole lot more than just mood regulation, but that’s our focus here at Mind Blowing Wellness.

Yvonne took our unique Stress Self-Assessment Tool and discovered that she needed help with both of these neurotransmitters:

To date, there is no reliable lab test to accurately assess the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain.

An amino acid trial is the best way to determine which amino acid is right for you and the proper dosage. You can read more about how to conduct an amino acid trial at the link.

Research shows that these amino acids can be helpful for folks deficient in these neurotransmitters  (click on the title for more information about each neurotransmitter and the recommended amino acids):

Serotonin

  • L-Tryptophan
    OR
  • 5-HTP

Add-ons can be: SAM-e, Saint John’s wort

Catecholamines

  • L-Tyrosine
    OR
  • DL-Phenylalanine or D-Phenylalanine
    OR
  • PEA (Phenylethylamine)

Endorphins

  • DL-Phenylalanine or D-Phenylalanine

GABA

  • GABA
    OR
  • Phenibut

Add-ons can be: Inositol (Vitamin B8), L-Glutamine

Care should be taken with amino acids. Consult with me or another healthcare provider prior to taking amino acids.

Too much can be as bad as not enough.

Contact me for recommended dosages. Read the precautions for each amino acid at the corresponding link.

I offer a free 20 minute chat about our program’s ability to suit your needs.

General Precautions:

  • As with all supplements, if you experience any adverse effects, stop taking them immediately.
  • Excesses of neurotransmitters can be just as problematic as deficiencies.
  • Consult with your healthcare practitioner if you have a serious illness such as cancer, severe liver or kidney problems, an ulcer, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.
  • Check with your doctor if you are pregnant, nursing or are taking any prescribed mood medications such as an SSRI or MAOI.

Vitamin and Mineral Requirements

Prior to beginning a regimen of amino acids or even before taking an amino acid trial, it is vital to be sure that you have necessary cofactors to allow your body to use these amino acids.

Vitamins and minerals are the other primary ingredients used in the manufacture of neurotransmitters.

Vitamins

  • The B vitamins are the most important.
  • Folate (Vitamin B9) instead of folic acid
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D3

Minerals

  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Chromium, especially if sugar cravings are an issue

Other Nutrients

  • Omega CO3 fatty acids (fish oil or krill oil)

To ensure that your levels of these important nutrients are sufficient, contact me for recommended dosages.

If you find that you are deficient through a lab test or by your symptoms, a therapeutic dosage level may be necessary.

Spectracell Labs is well-known for its Micronutrient test panel for vitamin and mineral status.

Back to Yvonne

Yvonne chose to take 5-HTP on a trial basis first to elevate Serotonin.

Amino acids need to be taken on an empty stomach, so she took her dosage before dinner and before bed.

5-HTP helps with sleep as well.

Yvonne found that not only did she sleep more soundly, but she was less anxious, less irritable and her outlook improved almost immediately.

Her trial showed her that 2 capsules per dose were right for her.

She was still feeling a bit flat though.

Next she added DL-Phenylalanine to her amino acid trial to boost Catecholamines and found that her moods lifted dramatically!

Because Phenylalanine can be stimulating (particularly the L- version), she took her dose before breakfast and before lunch.

These supplements seemed to work well for Yvonne and now she knows how to adjust them as her symptoms improve.

Now that Yvonne is feeling “like a real person again”, as she put it, we can focus on addressing the underlying health issues causing her depression.

Be well.

If you would like more great tips for healthy living, sign up for my blog posts to be sent to your email, just once per week.

Joli Tripp and Mind Blowing Wellness are not medical doctors nor licensed medical professionals.  No comment or recommendation should be construed as being a medical diagnosis. If you suffer from a medical or pathological condition, you should consult an appropriate healthcare provider.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

Mind Blowing Wellness is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Mind Blowing Wellness is also an affiliate for Thrive Market receiving a small commission for new memberships.

The post Yvonne found relief from chronic Depression with Amino Acids appeared first on Mind Blowing Wellness.

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Many people ask me if there is a lab test for Serotonin levels and other important neurotransmitters in the brain like Dopamine and Endorphins.

The answer is Not Yet.

There is no direct way to measure active neurotransmitters in the brain to date.

(Neurotransmitters are those chemical messengers between neurons that highly influence our mental well-being).

That’s not to say that labs don’t offer neurotransmitter tests or that doctors don’t order those tests.

They do.

In fact, the most commonly used neurotransmitter lab test is a urine test.

However, the metabolized neurotransmitters in urine are no reflection of what is going on across the blood brain barrier inside the brain, unfortunately.

Doctor’s Data, one of the premier labs offering neurotransmitter tests, says:

 “Urinary levels of neuro-biogenic amines {neurotransmitters} primarily reflect the activity of the peripheral and GIT enteric nervous systems.  Up to 20% of urinary neurotransmitter metabolites are estimated to originate in the CNS {Central Nervous System}.”

In other words, they estimate that only <20% of the neurotransmitters they see in their lab test come from the brain.

Neurotransmitters are made throughout the body, not just in the brain. In fact, it is estimated that 80% of Serotonin is made in the gut!

A measurement of Serotonin metabolites in urine (or blood) is not representative of what’s going on in the brain.

Amino Acids

We can, however, accurately test Amino acids.

Amino acids, along with enzymes, vitamins and minerals, control the production of neurotransmitters.

(Amino acids are the building blocks of protein).

For example, the amino acid Tyrosine needs Vitamin B6, Iron and Folic Acid to convert to L-DOPA.

L-DOPA needs Vitamin B6 and Magnesium to convert to Dopamine.

So you can see how vital amino acids, vitamins and minerals are to neurotransmitter synthesis.

While we cannot accurately measure neurotransmitter levels in the brain, we can measure the substances that produce those neurotransmitters.

Most of our lab partners have test kits for amino acids and Spectracell is well-known for its Micronutrient test panel for vitamin and mineral status.

Self-Assessment Tool

Until there is a reliable lab test for neurotransmitters…

Symptom analysis is the best tool we have to determine imbalances in neurotransmitters in the brain today.

You can use our free Stress Self-Assessment Tool to find out which neurotransmitters may be out of balance and what you can do about it.

Be well.

If you would like more great tips for healthy living, sign up for my blog posts to be sent to your email, just once per week.

Joli Tripp and Mind Blowing Wellness are not medical doctors nor licensed medical professionals.  No comment or recommendation should be construed as being a medical diagnosis. If you suffer from a medical or pathological condition, you should consult an appropriate healthcare provider.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

Mind Blowing Wellness is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Mind Blowing Wellness is also an affiliate for Thrive Market receiving a small commission for new memberships.

The post Is there a Lab Test for Serotonin and other Neurotransmitters? appeared first on Mind Blowing Wellness.

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Bipolar disorder, formerly known as Manic-Depressive Disorder, is characterized by swings of depression and mania.

Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure for bipolar disorder.

You can’t fix it and forget about it.

However bipolar syndrome is very treatable. People can manage the condition and keep it in remission for long periods of time so they can lead productive successful lives.

The trick is you need to be able to recognize the early warning signs of a bipolar phase as soon as it starts so you can treat it in the early stages before it develops into something serious.

Bipolar disorder is a changeable condition with two sides requiring different treatments.

You need to be able quickly and intuitively monitor your condition to adjust your treatment protocol.

Treating bipolar-depression naturally can be self-administered but should still be monitored by a healthcare professional.

Is it Dopamine Depression or Serotonin Depression?

Too little Dopamine can cause depression.

But so can too little Serotonin.

Dopamine depression is characterized by:

  • weariness
  • significantly diminished energy levels bordering on being fatigued
  • possibly slowed thinking and moving
  • excessive sleeping
  • apathy and significantly diminished levels of motivation
  • inability to feel enthusiastic about anything
  • the loss of the ability to feel pleasure from things that you previously found pleasurable
  • diminished libido
  • diminished capacity to feel love or much at all

Whereas, if you are low in Serotonin, you tend to be more negative, obsessive, worried, irritable and struggle with sleep.

To oversimplify, Serotonin gives us happiness, Dopamine gives us pleasure.

The demotivated, low energy depression caused by lack of Dopamine is quite different to the intensely painful depression caused by lack of Serotonin.

Taking the amino acids which elevate Serotonin will not alleviate the depression caused by low Dopamine and vice versa.

It is unfortunately possible, and even common, to have both deficiencies at the same time.

A severely Dopamine depressed person may wish they were dead, but they may lack the motivation or energy to do anything about it.

The tortured Serotonin depressed person, on the other hand, has more energy and may be at a greater risk of suicide.

Suddenly increasing energy and motivation in a person with Dopamine deficient depression by boosting Dopamine can significantly increase the risk of suicide, at least initially.

The suicide rate is higher from bipolar disorder than for any other mental illness.

Be aware that this side effect of initially increasing suicide risk is also observed with prescription antidepressants.

Conventional psychiatry would generally caution against the use of anything that would increase Dopamine levels with bipolar syndrome for concern that it could induce a manic state and this concern is not without foundation, says Peter Smith, Naturopath.

For some people, combining Serotonin based antidepressants (SSRI) with mood stabilizing drugs is sufficient to remedy their depression.  For others, it is not.

Many people with bipolar disorder never even know that they struggle with it because they never exhibit the manic side of the disorder.  Many of those Dopamine deficient people find that Serotonin based anti-depressants simply don’t work for them.

Work with your Healthcare Practitioner

As part of any treatment protocol for Bipolar disorder (or any neurological condition), you and your healthcare practitioner should evaluate the following for contributing factors:

  1. Heavy metal toxicity–heavy metals can affect neurotransmitter  (the chemical messengers between nerve cells) production.
  2. Inflammatory diets–brain inflammation contributes to bipolar disorder.
  3. Food sensitivities/allergies–food issues and leaky gut can be an underlying trigger.
  4. Thyroid issues–Dopamine depression looks very similar to low thyroid.
  5. Low Vitamin D levels–low Vitamin D levels attribute to depression.
  6. Low Vitamin B12 levels–low B12 levels are common with depression.

The Dopamine deficient state can look very similar to Hypothyroidism where the thyroid gland does not produce enough Thyroxine (T4).

In fact, both the neurotransmitter, Dopamine, and the thyroid hormone, Thyroxine, are made from the same amino acid, Tyrosine. Taking Tyrosine can actually help both conditions.

If you are taking any type of psychiatric medication, it is essential to consult with your doctor before making any changes to your medications or supplements.

Suicide is a risk for bipolar disorder. Take it seriously.

Do the Opposite for Bipolar-Depression

If you read my article “Treating Bipolar-Mania Naturally“, you learned how to treat manic episodes naturally.

Since manic episodes are triggered by elevated levels of Dopamine and Glutamate (an excitatory neurotransmitter that increases the level of activity in the brain), it would seem to follow that depression episodes are caused by deficient levels of those two neurotransmitters.

For the most part, that is true.

The goal is to boost Dopamine (and possibly Serotonin) which is typically deficient during bipolar-depression episodes. There is really never a time that you would want to boost Glutamate.

Dopamine gives the brain energy, motivation, a switched on feeling and excitement about new ideas.

The amino acids that boost Dopamine are Tyrosine and Phenylalanine.

Peter Smith, a Naturopath in the UK recommends the following to boost Dopamine. Take special note of “OR” and “AND”.

  • Tyrosine 800-1500 mg (up to 5000 with severe depression or addiction) on an empty stomach in the morning.

OR

  • L-phenylalanine 1000-1500 mg on an empty stomach in the morning.

OR

  • DL-phenylalanine 2000-3000 mg on an empty stomach in the morning

AND

  • Vitamin B Complex 50-100 mg
  • Vitamin B6 50-150 mg (keep the total B6 less than 250 mg/day unless you have Pyroluria).
  • Rhodiola 500 mg (3% standardized) 1-3 times per day. Rhodiola is an adaptogen herb, meaning it can can help your body adapt to physical, chemical, and environmental stress. Rhodiola has the ability to help balance the stress hormone, cortisol and relieve depression by boosting receptors for Dopamine and Serotonin.

Additionally, Dr. James Lake discusses:

  • Omega-3 Fatty AcidsDr. James Lake reports that Omega-3 fatty acids DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) are more effective with bipolar-depression than with mania. These can be obtained from fish oil.
  • NAC (N-acetylcysteine)–an amino acid with strong antioxidant properties that has been used to treat a range of inflammatory disorders. Emerging findings suggest that NAC may reduce symptoms of depressed mood but not mania.
  • Phosphatidylcholine–Choline is a necessary precursor for synthesis of acetylcholine. Abnormally low levels of acetylcholine may underlie some cases of mania. Findings of a small controlled trial suggest that phosphatidylcholine (15 to 30 g/d) may reduce the severity of mania and depressed mood in bipolar patients, reports Dr. James Lake in the Psychiatric Times.
  • Folic acid–Abnormally low levels of Folate (Vitamin B9) are also associated with mania. Methylated Folate, preferred over Folic Acid due to the high numbers of people who have the MTHFR gene mutation, increases the effectiveness of lithium.
  • Lithium Orotate–low-dose nutritional lithium is effective for bipolar-depression as well as mania. See my discussion of lithium in “Treating Bipolar-Mania Naturally“. Lithium is a stable part of bipolar disorder treatment for both mania and depression.

Dr. Leslie Korn (Nutritional Essentials for Mental Health, Leslie E. Korn, 2016) also recommends:

  • Inositol (Vitamin B8)–comes in a powder form that can be mixed with water or juice. Inositol is effective for Bipolar-depression and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).
Amino Acid Questions

Which is best, Tyrosine or Phenylalanine?

That is up to you to figure out for yourself. For some, Phenylalanine causes racing thoughts, whereas for others Tyrosine has no effect on their depression.

Which form of Phenylalanine is best, the D-, L- or DL- versions? 

L-phenylalanine is the common form that occurs in protein foods and is the form used as a standard building block for manufacturing proteins, hormones and neurotransmitters.

D-phenylalanine (DPA) is a synthetic manufactured form of Phenylalanine and very uncommon in nature, however it may be the best form for some people to increase Dopamine because it boosts PEA (Phenylethylamine).

DL-phenylalanine is a combination of the two.  If you find that this form makes you jittery, switch to the D- formula.

When should Tyrosine or Phenylalanine be taken?

Both Tyrosine and Phenylalanine can be stimulating, so it is best to take them in the morning. Always take amino acids on an empty stomach.

Are there any Side Effects or Cautions?

  • Monitor your blood pressure if you have Hypertension.
  • Do not combine with MAOI or tricyclic antidepressants.
  • Do not take if you have been diagnosed with Schizophrenia, an overactive thyroid/Grave’s disease, or malignant Melanoma.
  • Consult your doctor if pregnant or nursing.
  • Do not take Phenylalanine if you have PKU (phenylketonuria).
  • Boosting Dopamine may induce mania in bipolar people.
  • Increasing Dopamine can give so much raw energy to the brain it can cause a surge in motivation before it relieves the pain of depression. This may temporarily actually increase the risk of suicide. This is a common phenomena with antidepressant drugs also.
  • If you overdo it, taking too much Tyrosine or Phenylalanine everyday you can become ‘wired’ then crash like overdoing coffee.

How much Tyrosine or Phenylalanine should I take?

Neurotransmitters seem to ‘pool’ or accumulate in the brain. So if the first day you take Tyrosine or Phenylalanine, you get a strong effect you should probably cut back the dosage the next day because your Dopamine levels will still be elevated from the previous dose.

For example if you take 1500 mg on the first day and feel you have more energy, motivation and less depression you should probably take 1000 mg the following days.

Bright Light Therapy

Bright Light Therapy (BLT) is a therapeutic treatment for depression of all types.

Blue light is prevalent in outdoor light, so your body absorbs the most during the summer and much less in the winter.

Blue light appears to play a key role in your brain’s ability to process emotions, and its results suggest that spending more time in blue-enriched light could help prevent and/or treat SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and depression, says Dr Mercola.

Keep in mind however that blue light at night should be avoided, as it can impair your sleep.

Getting outside in the sun for at least 30 minutes in the morning hours or even sitting in a sunny window can improve depression.

If the weather is not conducive or you cannot get outside, purchase a blue-light emitter like this one.

Use it for 15 minutes twice a day during the daytime. The blue light has been found to be particularly beneficial for boosting your mood.

Exercise is the Number One Best Treatment for Depression

Far and away, regular exercise is the best treatment for depression.

Doesn’t have to be intense and it doesn’t have to be a lot.

In fact, just one hour per week has been shown to significantly reduce depression.

While exercising multiple times per week is best and elevating your heart rate is also a benefit, simply getting some exercise each week can make a difference.

Be well.

If you would like more great tips for healthy living, sign up for my blog posts to be sent to your email, just once per week.

Joli Tripp and Mind Blowing Wellness are not medical doctors nor licensed medical professionals.  No comment or recommendation should be construed as being a medical diagnosis. If you suffer from a medical or pathological condition, you should consult an appropriate healthcare provider.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

Mind Blowing Wellness is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Mind Blowing Wellness is also an affiliate for Thrive Market receiving a small commission for new memberships.

The post Treating Bipolar-Depression Naturally appeared first on Mind Blowing Wellness.

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Bipolar disorder is probably one of the most difficult psychological disorders to treat.

The swings from depression to mania can occur rapidly and without notice. Every bipolar person’s symptoms are different, requiring individualized treatment protocols.

There are the two different sides (manic/depressive) and these can cycle slowly, rapidly or manifest together.

What makes treating bipolar syndrome so challenging is when you treat the mania with drugs or natural remedies, the bipolar brain can tend to overshoot and instead of coming back down to normal it may swing too far ending up in a low dopamine depression.

Similarly, antidepressants used to treat bipolar-depression can cause an overshoot in the opposite direction pushing dopamine levels up too high into bipolar-mania.

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment, but there are some basic foundations that can be helpful for everyone to treat bipolar-mania naturally.

Much of it revolves around Dopamine, the neurotransmitter that controls our pleasure/reward emotions, and Glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter that increases the level of activity in the brain and perpetuates signalling of thoughts circling around and around in the mind.

Note: If you are currently taking a pharmaceutical medication for bipolar disorder, do not stop your medication! Discuss any changes in medication and supplements with your doctor.

Dopamine

Dopamine gives us drive, energy, motivation, a switched on feeling and excitement about new ideas.

In the manic phase, dopamine and glutamate levels become excessively high and drive the reckless, risk-taking, hedonistic and destructive behaviors people engage in during phases of hyper-mania along with the speeded-up thinking and hyperactivity observed in both hyper and hypo-mania.

Conversely, during phases of bipolar-depression, dopamine activity appears to be inadequate and depleted.

The bipolar brain either speeds up and runs too fast or slows down and runs too slow.

Peter Smith, Naturopath, says:

“Caffeine, amphetamine and especially cocaine cause dopamine levels to surge in the brain. If you gave a cocktail of these drugs to a non-bipolar person and watched how they behaved over the next few hours they’d look remarkably similar to a person with bipolar mania.”

Dopamine levels naturally rise and fall a little, a healthy non-bipolar brain is able to efficiently self-regulate the levels adjusting them up or down to keep dopamine within the normal range.

In the bipolar brain, however, when dopamine levels start to rise they keep going and rise all the way up to the ceiling intoxicating the brain, hijacking the mind and causing manic behavior, then they crash down into bipolar depression.

Adjusting your dopamine levels by increasing or decreasing the natural remedies that affect dopamine is one of the best methods to treat bipolar syndrome.

The amino acids that boost Dopamine are Tyrosine and Phenylalanine.

To treat bipolar-mania, we need to reduce anything that enhances the absorption of Tyrosine and Phenylalanine.  Be sure that any supplements you are taking do not include those amino acids while treating the manic side of bipolar disorder.

It is also advised to avoid SAMe (S-adenosyl-L-methionine) and Inositol (Vitamin B8) for bipolar-mania patients (while they can be helpful during a bipolar-depression episode).

Glutamate

Excess Glutamate intensifies anxiety in the bipolar brain. It speeds us up and intensifies anything else going on like imbalanced dopamine, driving us to pursue addictive and hedonistic pleasures.

Elevated Glutamate is the primary neurotransmitter speeding up the brain in bipolar-mania when you get those racing frenzied thoughts–that’s caused by too much Glutamate.

Avoid the amino acid L-glutamine, commonly used for digestive disorders like leaky gut. L-glutamine is a precursor to Glutamate.

To combat the tendency for glutamate to go too high, nutritional lithium can be effective. Lithium orotate (nutritional lithium), Zinc, NAC (N-acetyl-cysteine), Glycine and Taurine can be effective.

Dr. James Lake, MD, discusses many of these complementary and alternative treatments for bipolar disorder in Psychiatric Times.

Serotonin

If bipolar-mania symptoms include aggression, you may need to boost Serotonin.

Low Serotonin activity is associated with low impulse control and aggression, which are common behavioral problems for people with bipolar disorder in both the depressive and manic phases.

Boosting Serotonin with L-Tryptophan or 5-HTP can help tame impulse control and aggression. Be careful not to take these amino acids if you are taking an SSRI or SNRI anti-depressant.

You will also want to be sure to take a good B-Vitamin complex, Magnesium and Zinc to provide cofactors to direct Tryptophan/5-HTP towards Serotonin.

Acetylcholine

Acetylcholine is a major neurotransmitter that affects the memory circuits of the brain. It gives the brain quick and sharp thinking.

Acetylcholine appears to play a role in mood disorders as well.

It has been observed that administration of drugs that increase the release of Acetylcholine can decrease manic symptoms during manic phases but may worsen depression during depression phases or even precipitate depression.

Choline is a necessary precursor for the synthesis of Acetylcholine. Abnormally low Acetylcholine levels may underlie some cases of mania, reports Dr. James Lake. 

Findings of a small controlled trial suggest that Phosphatidylcholine (15 to 30 gm/day) may reduce the severity of mania and depressed mood in bipolar patients.

During manic phases it has been observed that supplements that increase Acetylcholine activity in the brain have useful anti-mania affects.

Lecithin is just such a supplement. Lecithin’s primary ingredient is Phosphatidylcholine. Be aware that most Lecithin is from soy if you are avoiding soy.

One of the side effects of taking high doses of Lecithin is that it makes you sleepy. This is exactly what you want to introduce during periods of bipolar-mania.

The combination of high Phosphatidylcholine and low Phosphatidylinositol in Lecithin can be useful to induce sleep, bring down a manic state and yet give you a soft landing so you don’t drop out of mania straight into depression.

Natural Treatment Protocol for Bipolar Mania

One of the greatest challenges with bipolar-mania is that the bipolar person typically LIKES having the increased energy that comes with mania. They may be more creative, even more productive yet in a frenzied and distracted way during manic periods.

Along with this creative energy comes recklessness, risk-taking, impulsiveness and destructive behaviors.

Physiologically, a continued manic state can be damaging to the brain because of the high levels of Glutamate and Dopamine.

Note that you should work with a qualified healthcare practitioner whenever you are starting, stopping or changing a supplement or medication.

Even natural supplements can have side effects. Their combination with prescribed medications must be monitored by a doctor.

Also, be sure to check for toxic heavy metals as part of your protocol as they can also affect neurotransmitter synthesis as well.

Sleep

The number one issue to address in bipolar mania is SLEEP.

Whatever you have to do to get adequate amounts of sleep, do it. Sleep is critical.

Changes to your sleep-wake cycle should be a warning that you may be heading towards or are already in a manic episode.

Sleep changes everything and the manic person typically cannot sleep. During times of bipolar mania the amount of time one spends in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is diminished.

Below are recommended methods to return to normal sleep patterns:

When you’re manic, the last thing you need is more stimulation so you should avoid bright light, especially in the evening prior to bedtime.

Darkness therapy is much more than just avoiding stimulation in the evening. It somehow seems to actively treat mania and rapid cycling.

Use blackout curtains and eliminate all sources of light in the bedroom. I’ve talked about sleep in my e-book, here and here.

Be sure to dim the lights in the evenings after dinner to signal your body that it’s time to prepare for sleep.

As well, use blue-blocking glasses in the evenings to avoid the blue light coming from the TV, computer screens, etc.

The goal is to get 12 hours of Total Darkness Therapy per day.  This can be very difficult for a person in mania.

Seven hours of sleep plus five hours with the blue blocker glasses can be a good starting point.

  • Melatonin on the other hand does not interfere with any normal sleep phases and promotes non-REM deep sleep and REM dreaming sleep.

Buy a very low dose Melatonin to start with so that you have the flexibility to experiment from very low to very high doses and see what works for you.

Anywhere from 0.5 mg to 3 mg is typically available.

Glycine

For a hyper-manic crisis or any time you feel you are beginning to lose control, begin the crisis management treatment with a single dose of the amino acid Glycine.

Glycine comes in a powder form, capsules or in sticks.  Whatever works best for you.

I find the capsules are easy to open, control the dose and mix with water or juice. The sticks are great for panic attacks to hold under the tongue for faster absorption into the brain. Most amino acids are sweet tasting.

At the onset of symptoms, Peter Smith recommends 15-30 gm (15,000-30,000 mg) in water/juice on an empty stomach at least two and half hours after eating a protein.

Adjust the dosage according to your body weight. Take 30 gm if you’re a big person and 15 gm if you’re petite.

You should feel calmer, even sleepy, fairly quickly.

On subsequent days, lower the dose to 2-4 gm (2000-4000 mg) on an empty stomach once or twice per day as needed.

Taurine

The amino acid, Taurine, is best used on an ongoing basis. It is anti-inflammatory and works with GABA to prevent overactivity of the neurotransmitters.

Like all amino acids, it should be taken away from meals.

Take 1000 mg at least 30-40 minutes before each meal and optionally another dose before bed until things begin to calm down. Thereafter 500 mg on the same schedule.

Taurine is a useful remedy to use as soon as you see the early warning signs that have previously told you that a mania is ahead.

Lithium

Lithium can effectively stabilize both the wild euphoria and the crushing melancholy that are the hallmarks of manic depression or bipolar disorder.

Lithium exerts a push/pull effect on the neurotransmitter Glutamate, eventually causing it to level off in a stable zone where it can control both extremes.

Our levels of the mineral Lithium go down when we are manic.

I’ve discussed low-dose nutritional Lithium before.

We are not talking about the pharmaceutical type of lithium, Lithium Carbonate.

Lithium Orotate, on the other hand, can be very effective in controlling both the manic and depressive sides of bipolar disorder in low doses .

Lithium is necessary for the regulation of our sleep cycles as well.

It takes a few weeks before Lithium begins to relieve depression and mania in bipolar patients.

Peter Smith recommends 5 to 10 mg of Lithium orotate in combination with other remedies as a standard dose and up to 20 mg as needed during manic phases.

Dr. James Greenblatt, psychiatrist, recommends a dosage of 2 to 5 mg of lithium orotate for a healthy adult simply seeking optimal health. For people with clinical symptoms, he recommends a dose of 5 to 40 mg.

Note: Be sure to purchase Lithium orotate brands that label the product with the amount of Elemental Lithium that is in each capsule so that you know what you are getting. There should be 3.83 mg of Elemental Lithium in 100 mg of Lithium orotate.

Branched Chain Amino Acids

Branched Chain Amino Acids, BCAA, reduce the availability of the building blocks of dopamine within the brain. They are very effective for reducing Dopamine levels.

The BCAAs are Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. These can be purchased as a combined amino acid supplement.

This PubMed study supports the BCAA method of reducing dopamine.

Omega-3 Fish Oil

A central part of treating bipolar syndrome is to eliminate inflammation in the brain by: following an anti-inflammatory diet, eliminating leaky gut syndrome and avoiding food sensitivities.

Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory, but they compete with Omega-6 fatty acids.

We typically get plenty of Omega-6 fatty acids in a Standard American Diet (SAD), but not enough Omega-3s. Omega-3s are found in fish, fish oils and foods like hemp seed, flax seed, walnut and wheat germ.

Two types of Omega-3s that are essential for cognition and brain function are EPA (Eicosapentaenoic) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic). Both are obtained from fish oil.

DHA is most important for cognitive function because the brain is made up mostly from this fat.

Peter Smith recommends 1500 mg EPA upon the onset of symptoms. This helps bring down the inflammation and helps with sleep.

Vitamin C

When the mineral Vanadium builds up in people with bipolar disorder, they are more likely to become manic.

Administering 2000 to 4000 mg of vitamin C per day detoxifies the excess Vanadium and speeds up the recovery from mania, according to Peter Smith and others.

It is believed that this is because Vanadium and Lithium are antagonistic minerals meaning that as vanadium levels go up it suppresses lithium levels, the very thing we need to control bipolar mania.

Vitamin C is a well-known detoxifier.

Taking 2000 to 4000 mg of vitamin C a day prevents Vanadium build up and protects Lithium from being suppressed.

Folate

Abnormally low levels of Folate, Vitamin B9, are also associated with mania.

Methylated Folate, preferred over Folic Acid due to the high numbers of people who have the MTHFR gene mutation, increases the effectiveness of lithium.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a calming mineral. It relaxes the muscles and body.

Dr James Lake reports that:

‘Preliminary findings suggest that oral or intravenous magnesium may be an effective adjuvant to mood stabilizers in patients with acute mania or rapid cycling bipolar disorder.’

It’s a Lot to Swallow

The recommended supplements may seem like a lot to swallow every day, but if you have ever had a loved one struggle through resolving their bipolar disorder using pharmaceutical remedies, you will appreciate the lack of extreme side effects.

These supplements allow the flexibility to treat each person’s symptoms accordingly. This protocol may be helpful for one person but not for another. Tweaking dosages is important, which is another reason why a healthcare practitioner should be involved.

Bipolar-Depression and Bipolar-Mania require different treatment protocols.

My article “Treating Bipolar-Depression Naturally” addresses the factors to consider for the depression phases of Bipolar disorder.

Be well.

If you would like more great tips for healthy living, sign up for my blog posts to be sent to your email, just once per week.

Joli Tripp and Mind Blowing Wellness are not medical doctors nor licensed medical professionals.  No comment or recommendation should be construed as being a medical diagnosis. If you suffer from a medical or pathological condition, you should consult an appropriate healthcare provider.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

Mind Blowing Wellness is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Mind Blowing Wellness is also an affiliate for Thrive Market receiving a small commission for new memberships.

http://www.balancingbrainchemistry.co.uk/peter-smith/12/Bipolar-Treatment-Naturally-Without–Drugs/Treating-Bipolar-with-Natural-Treatments-INTRODUCTION.html

http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/integrative-treatment-bipolar-disorder-review-evidence-and-recommendations

The post Treating Bipolar-Mania Naturally appeared first on Mind Blowing Wellness.

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