Posts Tagged ‘ADD ADHD Austism Aspergers’

How Addictions Get Stuck in Your Brain!

Friday, January 19th, 2018
(Sharing this fabulous article…Thanks!)
At New Leaf we use kinesiology and Universal Consciousness guided meditations, along with nutritional supplements (which improve the neurotransmitters below); LEAP Brain integration and stress diffusion techniques to support better control over addictions.  Kinesiology and Universal Consciousness healings support better frontal cortex (problem solving) activity, so that the addictive centres don’t take hold as quickly…
Madonna Guy
07 3348 6098
YouTubeChannel:  New Leaf Health Team

How Addictions Get Stuck in Your Brain

Why are some people who overdo it with alcohol, food, sex, or other things, able to remember the consequences of their actions, learn from their mistakes, and avoid repeating the behaviour? And why do others minimize the consequences, maximize the pleasure they got from the activity, and continue to engage in the same destructive behaviour?

The answer lies in the way your brain is wired.

Why Am I A Slave to These Cravings? Understanding the Brain’s Reward System

Whether you experience consequences and quit the bad behaviour or keep repeating it depends in large part on the biological makeup of your brain and your brain’s reward system. What is the brain’s reward system? It is an intricate network of brain systems and neurotransmitters that are critical to human survival. It drives us to seek out the things we need to stay alive and carry on the human race.

Many other things that are not necessarily crucial to our survival also activate the reward system:

  1. Listening to music
  2. Taking a warm bath
  3. Looking at a beautiful painting

Then there are substances and behaviours that are actually detrimental to our health and well-being that cause the reward system to kick into high gear such as:

  1. Cocaine
  2. Methamphetamines
  3. Heroin
  4. Alcohol
  5. Caramel fudge brownies
    Playing video games
  6. Excessive texting and gambling

Let’s take a closer look at the neurotransmitters and brain systems involved in the reward system so you can see how it works and how it gets out of whack. First, let’s examine the role played by four neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters act as the brain’s messengers, relaying information within the brain. The strength or weakness of each of these neurotransmitters plays an important role in your ability to stop engaging in bad behaviours or in driving you to addiction.

BRAIN CHEMICALS INVOLVED WITH CRAVINGS AND SELF-CONTROL

Dopamine—motivation, saliency, drive, stimulant
Serotonin—happy, anti-worry, calming
GABA—inhibitory, calms, relaxes
Endorphins—pleasure and pain-killing properties

  • Dopamine is a feel-good chemical. Whenever we do something enjoyable, it’s like pressing a button in the brain to release a little bit of dopamine to make us feel pleasure. Cocaine, methamphetamines, alcohol, and nicotine all cause dopamine surges that make these substances highly desirable—sometimes even more desirable than the things we need to survive like food, water, and sex. The amount of dopamine released when drugs are taken can be two to ten times more than what your brain produces for natural rewards.
  • Serotonin is thought of as the happy, anti-worry, flexibility chemical. Many of the current antidepressants work on this neurotransmitter. When serotonin levels are low, people tend to be worried, rigid, inflexible, oppositional and argumentative, and suffer from anxiety, depression, obsessive thinking, or compulsive behaviours. Simple carbohydrates increase l-tryptophan in the brain, which is why some people can get hooked on cookies, bread, potatoes, and sugar.
  • GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that calms or helps to relax the brain. If you have suffered an emotional trauma or you are under a lot of stress, GABA may be depleted and your emotional or limbic brain may become excessively active, making you feel anxious, uptight, or sad. This makes you eat or drink in an attempt to calm your limbic brain.
  • Endorphins are the brain’s own natural pleasure and pain-killing chemicals. They are the body’s own natural morphine or heroin-like substances. These substances are heavily involved in addiction and the loss of control.

Why Can’t I Just Say No? The Brain’s Self-Control Circuit

The brain systems that drive you to seek out things that bring you pleasure and the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which puts on the brakes when you are about to engage in risky behaviour, work in concert to create your self-control circuit. In a healthy self-control circuit, an effective PFC provides impulse control and good judgment while the deep limbic system offers an adequate dose of motivation so you can plan and follow through on your goals. You can say no to alcohol, hot fudge sundaes, cigarettes, gambling, sex fetishes, and many other bad behaviours.

In the addicted brain, the PFC is diminished and the drive circuits take control. When the PFC is underactive, it can create an imbalance in the reward system and cause you to lose control over your behaviour. When this is the case you are more likely to fall victim to your cravings. Having low activity often results in a tendency for impulse-control problems and poor internal supervision.

ADD, ADHD, Autism, Aspergers, Memory Loss… is your brain inflamed?

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Brain Inflammation… sounds awful doesn’t it? Did you know that it’s impossible to have any of ADD, ADHD, Autism, Aspergers, Memory Loss without brain inflammation?  It’s an increasing problems these days:

  1. 1 in 12 kids have ADD/ADHD
  2. 1 in 91 kids have autism/aspergers (this was 1/1000 10 years ago…)
  3. 1 in 3-6 kids have allergies (very much linked with ADD/ADHD/Aspergers/Autism)
  4. 1 in 2 people over 50 years old will have dementia by 2030

Scary statistics!

But does it feel like there’s nothing that can be done? Medically it’s a matter of give this drug (a calming down drug) in the morning and this drug (another calming down drug) at night…  not to mention the side-effects and family stress associated with the problems of these conditions.

There are some things we can do immediately to start the process of reducing the inflammation in the brain!  Kinesiology helps us target the correct things for you and your family – not everyone needs every intervention, and that would be exhausting!

  1. Stop wheat, gluten and dairy: many kids have a DPP4 enzyme deficiency which creates an ‘opioid’ effect in the bloodstream which can literally make them act like they’re on drugs!  Hyperactivity, tantrums, exhaustion, brain-dead…
  2. Colourings, preservatives and flavourings: these overload metallothioneine pathways in the liver, the ‘particles’ create the inflammation in the brain, and cause hyperactivity and extreme anger symptoms in susceptible bodies…
  3. Salicylate Sensitivity: often in kids with nasal allergies, red rashes.  Salicylates are an aspirin-like substance that thin the blood (the liver, the skin, the gut – in susceptible people) and can cause huge problems where there’s an issue.
  4. Sugars, fructose, glucose issues: many kids don’t have an ability to break down sugars properly.  Kids foods are soooooo linked with sugars these days, all the pre-packaged spreads and biscuis, tiny teddies, fruit juices, cereals, muffins…  If there is ‘insulin resistance’ the body is not getting the sugar into the cells, insulin is floating around outside the cells – yep, creating more inflammation!
  5. Auto-Immune Components: Through live blood screenings and kinesiology we can find out if there’s the possibility of an auto-immune condition affecting the brain.  Current thinking with Autism (particularly) is that an old staph/strep infection is affecting the basal ganglia in the brain, directly affecting moods, behaviour and how we interact with our world around us.
  6. Heavy Metal toxicity: Lead, mercury, cadmium and aluminium (regularly in medications we give our children such as vaccines) are very well documented to  be a link in ADD, ADHD (lead particularly), Autism (aluminium and mercury particularly), Aspergers and Allergies
  7. LEAP Kinesiology: is a specific process done at New Leaf Natural Therapies that re-integrates the pathways of the brain.  The more toxic the brain is (the more inflammation, insulin, opioid-like-substances, sugars, flavourings, colourings, preservatives) the more likely our brain pathways won’t be functioning properly.  See if any of these problems sound familar for someone you love!

Amygdala stress: the amygdala is a part of the brain that is activated when we’re under stress.  IF we’re stressing, and we don’t get our logical and creative thought processes finding a solution quickly enough, we whip into an old ‘amygdala’ pattern.  (This is the same pattern that people with PTSD and Vietnam Vets know all about)  The amygdala holds patterns of:

  • fight and flight (these can be fully activated or have exhaustion)
  • pain and punishment circuits (kids who are constantly in trouble are easily ‘labelled’ and therefore their brains and always expecting the worst.  This doesn’t help behaviour in any circumstance where there’s always a pattern in place
  • escape, submission, freeze: some kids brains just ‘switch off’, they look like they’re ‘not paying attention’ but their brains are just overloaded and they can’t take anymore
  • rage, anger, frustration (need I say more?!?)
  • pleasure and reward centres – switched off!  this creates depression, anxiety, panic attacks, lack of enjoyment with day to day activities

Our Learning Enhancement Programme has been put together to get the best results and to save you $$$.  Ask about our 9 month programme (standard length of time for ‘normal’ learning and behavioural issues).  More complicated health problems take longer to resolve – but we’ll see how we’re going as we go through the sessions.

Madonna Guy ND
Chief Clinician
New Leaf Natural Therapies
3348 6098 / 0417 643 849