Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for October 25, 2007

For a couple of weeks now I’ve been reading Braverman’s book “The Edge Effect”. I think it’s brilliant and it makes a lot of sense but I’m still trying to really understand it. From his self test, I appear to be low in Dopamine. One of the things I came across lately was the factors that can cause a Dopamine deficiency. Okay, now we are getting somewhere…

There are a lot of different things that can have an effect and I know for absolute certain that I had problems with seven of them. Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Niacin, Vitamin D, excess Copper and adrenal insufficiency.

Dopamine deficiency

Dopamine levels may be low due to a combination of genetic and acquired reasons. Dopamine can be raised effectively using either nutrient based therapies or medications. Dopamine is synthesized form the amino acid tyrosine.

Factors which reduce dopamine levels:

  • Magnesium deficiency
  • Iron deficiency
  • Zinc deficiency
  • Vitamin B3 deficiency
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Excess copper levels
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Vitamin B6 deficiency
  • Vitamin C deficiency
  • Inadequate sleep
  • Glutathione deficiency
  • Chronic stress
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Lead, arsenic and cadmium exposure
  • Tyrosine (precursor) deficiency
  • Genetic dopamine receptor abnormalities
  • Chronic opioid, alcohol & marijuana use
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Influenza
  • Estrogen deficiency
  • Human growth hormone deficiency
  • Under-methylation

The only item on the list that I didn’t understand was the term “Under-methylation”. Here’s what I found:

Under-methylation/HISTADELIA

Individuals with high-histamine levels may be due to a metabolic imbalance that results from under-methylation. As a consequence, these individuals overproduce and retain excessive levels of histamine. Histamine is a substance in the body that has wide ranging effects. There are receptors for histamine in the brain, stomach, skin, lungs, mucus membranes, blood vessels, etc. For some individuals, high levels of blood histamine (called histadelia) have psychological, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms.

Many patients with obsessive-compulsive tendencies, “oppositional-defiant disorder,” or seasonal depression are under-methylated, which is associated with low serotonin levels. Often with inhalant allergies, frequent headaches, perfectionism, competitiveness and other distinctive symptoms and traits. Tend to be very low in calcium, magnesium, methionine, and vitamin B-6 with excessive levels of folic acid. People with histadelics have a positive effect from SSRIs and other serotonin-enhancing medications (Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.) because methylation is a step in the manufacture of mood stabilizing neurotransmitters. Unfortunately, histadelics often have nasty side effects with these medications.

Histamine excess can be manifest as asthma, vasomotor rhinitis, allergic skin disorders with pruritis, excess stomach acid production (acts as a gastric hormone to stimulate flow of HCl), saliva, tears, and thin nasal and bronchial secretions, and certain types of vascular headaches. This is the basis of anti-histamine medications. Excessive histamine results because of the inadequate methylation in liver detoxification. Histamine opposes adrenalin in its effects and as expected fatigue occurs just as it occurs in adrenal exhaustion.

Biochemical treatment revolves around antifolates, especially calcium and methionine. Certain forms of buffered vitamin C can help by providing calcium and ascorbic acid. Three to six months of nutrient therapy are usually needed to correct this chemical imbalance. As in most biochemical therapies, the symptoms usually return if treatment is stopped.

Methylation is involved in DNA synthesis, masking and unmasking of DNA, detoxification, heavy mental detoxification, nerve myelination, carnitine and coenzyme Q 10 synthesis. The relationship of mood and behavior to Histadelia is due to the fact that methylation is involved in neurotransmitter synthesis.

This is sounding too familiar… High-histamine levels. Something to look into further when I have more time.

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May 22, 2008 Posted by | Health | , , , , | 3 Comments

Entry for October 07, 2007

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Went to the library this weekend and found Braverman’s book “The Edge Effect” So after reading a few chapters, I finally get around to taking the assessment.

My dominant nature appears to be: Serotonin and my deficiencies appear to be with: GABA and Dopamine. What exactly does this mean?

November 25, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for October 05, 2007

Noticed another slight improvement with the candida today. So was it Acetyl-Carnitine or Theanine? That’s the one problem with wanting to take so many things…

While researching the amino acids I came across a health bulletin board where someone suggested reading a book called “The Edge Effect” and something called the “Braverman Test”. Basically, it’s a questionaire that can determine deficiencies in each neurotransmitter. This could be what I’ve been looking for but what is it exactly? Dr. Google?

The Braverman Nature Assessment

Dr. Braverman’s twenty-six years of medical education, training and clinical practice have focused on the brain’s overall health. Many common conditions have their origins in brain chemical imbalances. Each of the four main lobes of the brain has a primary biochemical, called a neurotransmitter that is responsible for a specific brain function. When you are ill, physician prescribe a medication, which restores a specific brain chemical to restore health. Natural substances however can do the same thing, because each of the primary brain neurotransmitter has a precursor, which the body used to manufacture each of the four brain chemicals. That is what prompted Dr. Braverman to develop his own line of nutrient-precursors that target each of these four brain chemicals.

Dominant
Section 1A = Dopamine Nature
Section 2A = Acetylcholine Nature
Section 3A = GABA Nature
Section 4A = Serotonin Nature

Deficient
Section 1B = Dopamine Nature
Section 2B = Acetylcholine Nature
Section 3B = GABA Nature
Section 4B = Serotonin Nature

November 24, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for February 24, 2007

A high sugar diet can cause a prostaglandin imbalance? So how is prostaglandin produced within the body? Zinc! Dr. Google…

Zinc is important in over ninety enzymatic pathways. Zinc facilitates alcohol detoxification within the liver. It plays a role in producing and digesting proteins. Zinc is also important in maintaining normal blood levels of vitamin A, boosting the immune system, healing wounds, converting calories to energy, reducing low birth rates and infant mortality, controlling blood cholesterol levels, and in producing the prostaglandin hormones that regulate heart rate, blood pressure, inflammation, and other processes.

A deficiency of zinc can lead to poor taste, anorexia nervosa, anemia, slow growth, birth defects, impaired nerve function, sterility, glucose intolerance, mental disorders, dermatitis, hair loss, and atherosclerosis. Zinc deficiency can also cause depression, since it’s necessary for the production of the happy hormone, Dopamine.

Several nutrients are involved in prostaglandin synthesis. These include certain essential fatty acids from certain vegetable oils, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-3, Zinc, and Vitamin C. Deficiency of any of those may result in prostaglandin deficiency.

February 25, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for February 24, 2007

Brain Chemicals and Modern Life

It all comes down to our chemistry. Fidgeting, concentration, sleep, energy levels, mood swings, even the ability to sweat are controlled by the chemicals lurking about our bodies. Serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, melatonin, insulin, and prostaglandins are some of the more important ones…and these in turn are influenced strongly by stress, diet, exercise, sunlight, sleep and other life style factors. Of course the life style of today is radically different than it was 20,000 years ago. Consider how these factors from modern life commonly influence us:

  • Being indoors (lack of sunlight): Reduced melatonin
  • Stress: Reduced serotonin
  • Modern food processing: Fatty acid imbalances and chemical sensitivities
  • High sugar/carbohydrate and low-fat diet: More insulin; prostaglandin imbalance
  • Lack of exercise: Decreased serotonin and dopamine
  • Lack of sleep: Reduced serotonin
  • Poor nutrition: Reduced serotonin
  • Boring classes/job, lack of activity: Reduced dopamine & norepinephrine.
  • Deionized air: Reduced serotonin

Reduced serotonin levels from stress, lack of sleep & exercise, poor nutrition, and lack of sunlight are connected with ADD, irritability, depression, aggression, anxiety, lack of concentration, chronic pain, restlessness or fatigue, nausea, obsessive-compulsive disorder, weight gain or loss, fibromyalgia, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, heat intolerance and other syndromes. Fluctuating serotonin levels are connected with bipolar disorder (manic depression) and hypomania. You don’t have to feel depressed or anxious; symptoms may be purely physical.

Reduced dopamine/norepinephrine caused by boring surroundings and lack of exercise may manifest as ADD, impulsivity, lack of concentration, restlessness, and depression or loss of pleasure. Dopamine is the “feel good” chemical which illegal drugs mimic (such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana) as well as cigarettes, coffee and alcohol. Ritalin and other ADD drugs are thought to increase dopamine activity.

Modern food processing has completely altered the types of fatty acids we consume. Since our brain is composed largely of fatty acids, we are missing the “bricks” needed for normal brain development and repair. In addition, we are eating lots of man-made chemicals. Food colors, for example, are mostly made from petroleum.

Reduced melatonin from lack of sunlight may disturb the sleep cycle and cause seasonal depression (called SAD).

Lots of sugars and carbohydrates lead to increased insulin levels. High insulin tells the body to store what you just ate as fat, thereby dropping your blood sugar concentration. Your brain can burn only sugar, so it is deprived of food. Poor concentration and depression can result. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can lead to diabetes. Also, the low blood sugar make you hungry, which causes you to eat more sugar or carbohydrates, and the cycle is repeated. Finally, insulin levels affect serotonin levels and many systems throughout the body.

Poor nutrition can result in lower levels of chemicals like serotonin. Vitamins B6, C and E (the stress vitamins) are especially important.

February 25, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 13, 2007

I remember running out of my omega 3 supplement for the first time and I had starting having weird symptoms. I figured at the time it was the omega 3 that was helping me but I could never figure out why. The answer? Low magnesium:

Magnesium has a multitude of different uses in the and is an essential cofactor of the enzyme delta 6 desaturase which converts vegatable derived omega 3 fatty acids to the brain critical omega 3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which is essential for the rapid release of dopamine. Thus if magnesium levels are low, DHA deficiency is very likely to exist. Low levels of serotonin in the brain are connected with low levels of the Omega-3 fatty acid DHA. This can again lead to increased stress and depression.

So now I’m wondering if my non refreshing sleep is from a serotonin deficiency from years of low magnesium?

There are basically two ways to rectify the Serotonin Deficiency Syndrome. One method is through the natural method of increasing tryptophan intake and the other through the use of anti-depressant medications such as Prozac. This is where the story gets very interesting.

There is a class of pharmaceutical medications called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) anti-depressants. SSRI anti-depressants include Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft and others. Their method of treatment is to concentrate existing levels of serotonin in the brain so they stay in the synapse between nerves and facilitate communication. They do not create serotonin, as many people believe, but simply collect the existing serotonin so it is used more effectively. Some studies suggest that long term use of SSRI anti-depressants actually reduce serotonin levels. Serotonin levels are often low among people with anxiety disorders.

Our body chemistry is complex; many different hormones, neurotransmitters, and other substances influence how we feel. Serotonin is one chemical that has received a great deal of attention for its contribution to mood. It’s a neurotransmitter (a chemical involved in the transmission of nerve impulses between nerve cells) that’s formed in the brain and primarily found in three parts of the body — the brain, the lining of the digestive tract, and in blood platelets. In the brain, serotonin’s main effects include improving mood and giving you that “satisfied” feeling from food. It’s also thought to help promote sleep and relaxation.

Carbohydrate-rich meals often increase serotonin levels. However, manipulating serotonin levels through food may be very difficult to achieve because serotonin’s properties may have varying effects in different people. Some people may experience a temporary lift in mood after a carbohydrate-rich meal, while others may become relaxed or sleepy. Certain foods that increase serotonin levels aren’t the healthiest choices either. Believe it or not, candy and sweets, which are simple carbohydrates, have the greatest impact, but the effect will only last 1 – 2 hours. Complex carbohydrates (rice, potato, pasta) may increase serotonin levels, but not to the same extent because the protein content of these foods might actually inhibit serotonin production.

The  doctor wants me on Paxil but doesn”t really explain why except that it was recommended by the Neurologist. Probably to raise my level of Serotonin and “fix” the anxiety. Here’s an article that actually suggests that it could make things worse!

January 13, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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