Today we discuss the link between depression, anxiety, fatigue, and parasite infections.
According to the CDC, depression is now the #1 leading cause of disability in the USA. I predicted this years ago when my podcast first hit the airwaves. The influence of social media, comparison, and envy are just a fraction of the issues the population is facing as a whole.
As you know I dealt with depression for over a decade. It wasn't until I discovered that I had various parasitic, bacterial and yeast infections in my body that were causing deficiencies in important amino acids that fuel neurotransmitter production.
Once I was able to heal my gut, I saw positive improvements in my energy, mood, sleep and more. Listen to this podcast with Dr. Justin and I as we delve into some of the most common and major root causes of depression. HINT: It's not a deficiency of Zoloft!
Thanks to our sponsor Ahtrantil, get 10% at lovemytummy.com/evan using the code evan at checkout.
Dr. Ilardi has written a self-help book based on the elements of TLC, The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs.
Evan Brand: Hi! It’s Evan Brand here. And I wanted to talk to you today about neurotransmitter symptoms. Now, there are over a hundred different neurotransmitters but we’re just gonna be talking about four key neurotransmitters today and the symptoms that are linked to those. Whether these things are imbalanced to low, deficient, I mean, there are so many things in the modern world that deplete us of these brain chemicals, stressors including toxins, emotional stress, speeding on the highway, pornography, addiction, sugar, caffeine. All of these different things deplete our neurotransmitters and they lead to widespread deficiencies that cause symptoms.
So today, we’re talking about the main four symptoms that I see in my clinic and what we can do about them.
So first, Fatigue. Fatigue is epidemic. I see so many people every week in the office, in online - that’s their number one complaint right after that they want to lose weight. That they’re fatigue and they can’t get the energy to actually work out or do the things that they think they need to do to lose weight.
So Fatigue is generally linked to low dopamine levels. Now, low dopamine can be from many different causes but some of the things that are associated with low dopamine are gonna be people that are gonna be eating chocolate to try to boost themselves back up. Now, I’m a big fan of dark chocolates, I know it’s delicious. Seventy two percent (72%) cacao or more, that’s gonna be my recommendation for you. However, the more potent and the more raw, natural the dark chocolate is, the more caffeine and theobromine, theses stimulating compounds that are gonna be found in it. So, it’s definitely something that if you’re always going to dark chocolate, you may look into seeing if you have low dopamine levels.
Now, caffeine, that sort of tied in to chocolate but there’s lot of people that I see in the clinic that are drinking so much caffeine via coffee. Even if it’s butter coffee, that they’re just way too depleted and when you try to pull them off of coffee, or well.... How would you do that? Right? Or you try to switch them over to, say, a green tea or something to minimize the caffeine intake, they start to have these low dopamine symptoms such as just not wanting to get off the couch or just tired.
Lastly, pornography. Now, I mentioned this just because out of the top 50 and 100 websites on the web, some of the most visited are pornography websites. People in the age group 25 to 50, 78 to 80 percent of people are looking at pornography multiple times per week. And I actually have some clients come into the office that have been addicted and they’ve been completely just exhausted and fatigue from it and their whole life revolves around it because you get that nice dopamine hit. You look at a lot of different studies where they use rats and they measure neurotransmitter levels after being introduced to new females like you would with pornography, dopamine levels sky rocket. So to temporary high followed by low.
So, you know, with fatigue, typically what we’re gonna do is we’re going to look at an amino acid called L-Tyrosine. Now, tyrosine is a natural way to boost up, in support, dopamine levels. So this is isn’t like an adderall or something that’s just gonna crank you up or armodafinil - these type of smart drugs that are available on the black market in via your prescribing medical physician.
Tyrosine is an amino acid you can find in nearly any health food store in the world and its gonna help you boost yourself back up. So Tyrosine is eventually gonna come back over here (refers to dopamine) and support these dopamine levels. So that’s my first intervention when I see people with fatigue, that’s what we’re gonna do.
Obviously, we have other things like light. So getting you’re bright sunlight in the morning first thing when you wake up, that’s helpful, ten minutes if you can. Just go out, let the naked eyeballs touch the sunshine. Does that make sense? No sunglasses. I know it’s so easy. You ran out the door, you throw on the sunglasses, you’re getting in the car, you’re hiding behind the windows, window tint, all of that stuff, you’re really not getting the over one thousand natural light spectrums that you need to hit your body, you’re eyeballs especially. Helps regulate your circadian rhythm, helps make sure that your cortisol is gonna be outputted at the right time, giving you that energy to get through your day, making sure that your melatonin levels are gonna be low in the evening so that bright light exposure in the morning is really helpful.
Number 2. Walking. Now I say walking is because I find it, fatigue, is a bit like a snowball effect. If you’ve been in a habit of just being a couch potato, you’re more likely to stay there on the couch. But if you just go out for a walk, you’re gonna find that you may have some inspiration, you may have some new found creativity, and you may feel that that second walk the next evening or even later in the same day is gonna be a lot easier. So walking.. those are my two more lifestyle holistic things and then we also used Tyrosine as well.
Once we identified the deficiencies via organic acids testing, then we can really get some specific nutrients in to balance out these neurotransmitters. That was a long time spent on number one.
Let’s go to number two. Uptight and stressed. Are you uptight and stressed? Do you know somebody that’s just always round up so tight, you’re just like... Ughh! Take a breath, man! Do you know those people? Those people are mostly deficient in GABA. Now, GABA is the calming neurotransmitter. It’s the brakes of the brain. And I used the analogy on the podcasts all the time of the modern human being like a semi-truck with bicycle brakes. So we have so much go go go go go until we hit the wall or burnout but we don’t have breaks. We don’t have GABA, we don’t slow down. So a fast pace lifestyle does that, just generally hurrying yourself, locking yourself into that sympathetic fighter flight mode of your nervous system. Those are all types of lifestyle activities that intend to deplete GABA levels. So those type of symptoms that you know go on hand with uptight, stress.
Binge eating. So, just the people that just go to a buffet and they just can’t control themselves until they’re stuffed.
People with anxiety. Even panic attacks or more extreme manifestation of low GABA levels, can’t relax. I mean it’s simple enough. This is the type of person that has to have a glass of wine in the evening after dinner and they just can’t relax without it. You know, these are the people that after dinner, they go for sugar or the sweet or the wine or the dark chocolate. So you see, some of these symptoms are similar to dopamine and also serotonin when we get there. They are all tied hand in hand. They are all sort of a, concerto, together if you will.
So what do we for GABA? Well, two things. We can go straight GABA. Now, I typically don’t go these route because you’re not supposed to feel the effects of GABA. You have what is called a blood brain barrier inside of you, just like in your gut, where it’s supposed to be permeable only for certain things. Now, the GABA molecules supposed to be too big to fit through that center in the brain, that blood brain barrier. But people to have what is called leaky brain due to gut inflammation, tons of different disregulation that happens in the body with inflammatory oil, too much Omega 6, fats, things like that. GABA can relax you. SO if you take GABA, say 500 mg to 1 gram and you find that it relaxes you, you may have a leaky blood brain barrier. It’s a handful to say BBB, leaky BBB.
So, instead of that, I’ll do L-Theanine. Now, theanine is just an amino acid that’s found naturally in green tea. I highly recommend taking it in capsule form just because it’s a lot more bang for your buck. You may get 20 to 40 mg of L-Theanine which is just a little bit below the threshold that I like to see clients at, in terms of boosting up these GABA levels naturally. So, I like to see about a hundred to 200 mg of L-Theanine, if you want to drink some matcha tea which is just a special form of green tea, it’s more ground up, it has a higher L-Theanine content in it so it’s a great way to boost your mind up. Just a little bit of caffeine but has a lot more L-Theanine in it.
So other ways to reduce uptight stress, I’m just gonna go ahead and make it simple. Go back to walking. Take a walk. You know, that’s really gonna help. If you’re doing it in the forest, there’s tons of studies now about forest bathing, which is also known as Shinrin-yoku. I wrote a lot about that in my second book, Stress Solutions, where you can see a reduction of cortisol levels by 13 percent or more. You can boost your anti-cancer proteins by 50 percent and it boost your immune system. So get out in the forest, if you can. That’s the best way to naturally support GABA levels along with the amino acids therapy there.
Let’s move on. Number 3. Emotional Sensitivity. Now, these are the type of people that are low in endorphins. These people cry easily. Those are the people that wear their heart on their sleeve. The people that you just feel like you can’t say anything around them that you wanna say. You’re stepping on eggshells with that person. These people may be low in their endorphins so they can’t cope as well. These are the type of people where they just freeze up, you know, in a traumatic situation, like you almost get a car wreck or something like that. These are the people that just lose it. The people that can keep it together, they likely have a healthy supply of endorphin, whether that was genetic or they just are living a moderately relaxed lifestyle that doesn’t deplete endorphins. So, actually I have some PTSD clients that have been over in Afghanistan and they are lacking in endorphins a lot. So what do we for that?
Most of the time, we’ll go to what is called DLPA. Now, this is a special form of Phenylalanine, DLPA. It has two different molecules added to it. This really helps with emotional support and coping. So I find that even with just a few weeks of supplementation, after we verify vivid organic acids tests that they are deficient, you know, symptoms are good but you always want to have a piece of paper that’s gonna help you identify one hundred percent because if you start tweaking things here and they’re not balanced, then you can start exacerbating some other symptoms. So eventually once we identify that that’s what they need, we’ll start out with some DLPA.
Natural ways to support emotional sensitivity? Just remove yourself from the stress in general if possible. If you have to go into traffic, maybe there’s an alternate route that you can take where you go through some back roads and you drive through some woods and you happen to run across some wildlife and birds on your way there. That’s just the funderal lifestyle that my wife and I have done and I have found that’s really help build us back up and feel stable, emotionally.
Lastly, eat carbs to feel better. Now, this is so popular. 90 percent of the women that I see, they eat carbs, they feel better. Now, that’s low serotonin. Now, what happens with low serotonin is that you could have mood swings, so down here, depression, carb binges. These are the type of people that they try to go on a diet and then they just end up eating a whole piece of cake or a whole cake or a whole pie. They just binge. Now, low serotonin symptoms can kind of tie into low GABA levels so, you know like I said, it’s important to identify which one you’re struggling with so that you can use the appropriate amino acid to try to fix it.
But what we’re gonna do with for serotonin with L-Tryptophan. Now, you’ve heard the story about people getting trytophan from the turkey at Thankgsiving. It’s really not that much trytophan and you’re really not going to absorb that much depending on cooking. You’re going to cook out some of the amino acids, so that’s kind of a myth. So, a lot of people feel tired after you eat turkey for Thanksgiving because you’re with your family. It’s a good fun time. It’s relaxing. You know, that’s where you hear trytophan from most of the time.
Now, I’m talking about the supplemental form here in amino acid capsule form. Now, you can also use 5-HTP. But you’ve got to be careful with 5 HTP because if you’re taking too much of it or you’re taking it for too long, you’re gonna start depleting dopamine. So what happens is, I actually have one female client who’s taking 5-HTP for two to three years daily to the point where she couldn’t get off the couch in the morning without having a lot of coffee. So what she had done is she had pushed that pathway and that receptor side with the 5-HTP so much that she calls an imbalance and depletion of dopamine. So, that’s why I like to start out with tryptophan instead. It’s a very relaxing. It’s something I recommend in the evening, it really helps us sleep. It can help us some of the cravings and things like that, the emotional eating but 5-HTP, I will use in certain scenarios because that does end up converted to serotonin and I want you to have the necessary co-factors along with that vitamin B6. That serotonin can get converted to melatonin and hopefully you can sleep.
So, sometimes with people that have low serotonin levels, they’re gonna be irritable, moody and they’re gonna have trouble sleeping at night. So, we’ll find it when you add in some trytophen or in certain cases 5-HTP, that sleep will improve. Obviously, if you’re drinking way too much caffeine and you’re slow metabolizer that you find out just because or maybe you’ve had a 23 mid genetic test where you have the gene or you cannot metabolize caffeine quickly, like myself. Then you want to definitely limit caffeine if you’re trying to improve your sleep.
But we’re mainly talking about these four symptoms here . Eat carbs to feel better, low serotonin. Typically we’re going to go with tryptophan or 5 HTP . Emotional Sensitivity – low in endorphins, cry easily, heart on the sleeve. We’ll go with DLPA. (Meaning of DLPA) Uptight/Stress – typically low in GABA, these are the binge eaters, anxiety, uptight people that just can’t relax, tensed shoulders. Loosened up, you low GABA people. I know how it feels. L-Theanine or straight GABA. L-Theanine is preferred. Put a little star there. Lastly, fatigue – low dopamine is the chocolate eaters, caffeine drinkers, pornography watchers. L-Tyrosine is gonna be the amino acid of choice there. Get your good light cycle. Go for a walk. Obviously, this is a very general description of somebody’s symptoms. There’s hundreds more that we could talk about. I highly recommend getting an organic acids test to see exactly where you are deficient. It’s helpful to start with questionnaires but you always want to dig a little bit deeper before you start taking amino acids to try to self-treat yourself because I’ve seen many disaster stories where people start taking a lot of 5-HTP or other amino acids and make themselves feel worse. It’s always good to find a good functional medicine practitioner in your area if you want to reach out to me, I’m experienced in running these tests and identifying and giving people accurate and very targeted supplement plan to help fix some of these symptoms and imbalances.
You can reach out to me by clicking on the screen or there’s a link below to schedule a free consult with me. This is Evan Brand. Take Care. Alright, bye!
[ytp_video source="Y0O34sAwYn8"] Depression is what led me to begin my exploration into natural medicine. After the conventional doctors only had drugs to prescribe, which are ridden with side effects and poison your body, I decided to take my situation into my own hands. After training in Functional Medicine and Nutritional Therapy, I was able to completely reverse my symptoms of depression and now help clients all over the world recover from this potentially debilitating issue.
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Today we discuss
- The causes of depression
- Why it's the #1 leading cause of disability
- What you can do to support a healthy mind
- Natural remedies for depression
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