Ultrametabolism By Dr. Hyman

Stress does not get enough attention when related to health and weight loss.  We all have heard that we should reduce stress, but don't make many changes, because stress is just a part of life.  We are under a constant level of stress which leads to weight gain and a breakdown of health.  Following is a survey by Dr. Hyman which can be an indicator of how much stress you are coping with:
  • Do you have low blood pressure?
  • Do you get dizzy when you stand up?
  • Have you been diagnosed with hypoglycemia?
  • Do you have cravings for salt or sweets?
  • Do you have dark circles under your eyes?
  • Do you have trouble falling asleep and or staying asleep?
  • do you feel groggy and not refreshed when you wake up?
  • Do you experience mental fogginess or trouble concentrating?
  • Do you get headaches?
  • Do you get frequent infections (for example, colds)?
  • Do you feel tire easily on doing any exercise or feel very fatigued after exercise?
  • Do you often feel stressed?
  • Do you have panic attacks or startle easily?
This list goes on - what it indicates is a stressed adrenal system.  When we are under so much stress, we lose the natural rhythm of our bodies.  We no longer sleep well, which leads to fatigue, which leads to sugar cravings, which leads to weight gain... and so on and so on.  To resolve this, we have to go back to simplifying our daily lives.  We need to slow down, support our systems with whole foods, water and supplements, get out in nature, and most of all, relax.  Stress affects every part of our lives.  Have a relaxing weekend - Shanna

Serotonin is probably the neurotransmitter that most of us are most familiar with.  Serotonin affects our mood, sleep cycles and anxiety levels.  The most familiar medications for depression (Prozac, Wellbutrin, etc.) are designed to increase serotonin levels in the system.  According to the book "5-HTP" by Michael Murray, N.D., if serotonin levels are low, the following symptoms may be apparent:  Depressed, anxious, irritable, impatient, impulsive, abusive, short attention span, scattered, flying off the handle, reactive, craves sweets and high carb foods, insomnia and poor dream recall.  Along with the above symptoms, according to the author, the following conditions are also associated with low serotonin levels:  Aggression alcoholism, attention deficit disorder, bulimia, chronic pain disorders, epilepsy, headaches, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, obesity obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorders, premenstrual syndrome, schizophrenia, seasonal affective disorder and suicidal thoughts and behavior.  This long list makes it apparent as to why so many people are turning to medication to feel better.  When the above issues become chronic, they affect daily life and the quality of that life.  Many times, low serotonin levels can be hard to determine, because each person displays different symptoms and concerns.  Fortunately, we don't have to suffer with the above issues.  I would recommend seeing a natural health practitioner or your regular doctor to determine what the best solution is for you.  Have a great day - Shanna