Neurotransmitters - Are You In Control?

Neurotransmitters are chemicals produced in the brain or elsewhere in the body. They transmit signals between synapses.

Synapses are the connectors between neurons.

Neurons are brain cells - at least the neurons located in the brain are.

Although I'm not a scientist - at least not a scientist with credentials - I enjoy reading and studying scientific information and scientific words.

I might have pursued a career in math or science had I not become so interested and even overwhelmed by music.

I know I share that personal history with millions of would-be scientists all over the world. There's an amazing connection between music and science, just like the connection between music and words, or spoken language.

Those of you who have been privileged to study music know about this connection.

Beautiful music causes our neurons to fire rapidly - neurons located in certain specific sections of the brain - probably multiple regions.

I'm being vague here because I barely know what I'm talking about.

Turns out that neuroscientists barely know what they're talking about when they speak or write about the human brain and its peripheral systems.

They know a great deal - much more than you and I know - but there is still a lot of mystery about how things work in our brains and the peripheral nervous system.

The term gut feeling is a non-scientific term we're all familiar with, but it has some scientific basis.

One medical doctor - probably many more than one - but one that I'm aware of - talks about at least one of the neurotransmitters being present in your gut. Namely serotonin.

Dr. Alejandro Junger writing in Clean tells us that when intestinal areas are damaged by toxins and faulty nutrition, serotonin production is diminished because a lot of this hormone is produced in the intestines.

Then when things deteriorate suffiently many other neurotransmitters involved may also be out of balance.

Serotonin is both a neurotransmitter and a hormone.

Dr. Junger writes on page 76 -

When your intestinal environment is damaged and inflamed, there is a slow reduction of natural serotonin levels, because so much of your serotonin is made in the intestines under the right conditions. When this happens, it physically changes the way you are getting signals about what to feel and how to respond to the world. Your experiences of moods and feeling will change for the worse, shifting to apathy, a dulled anesthetized state, or serious lows.

You might think he's talking about something very traumatic - such as a car wreck, or a beating by a thug damaging your mid-section.

The damage is very serious and it might be traumatic, but it happens over a long period of time. It happens gradually, so most people don't notice the changes until things have really gone seriously down hill.

It's the result of bad diet, stress, and toxins accumulating in the intestine and other locations all over the body.

Look at these words of Dr. Junger again. When this happens, it physically changes the way you are getting signals about what to feel and how to respond to the world. Your experiences of moods and feeling will change for the worse, shifting to apathy, a dulled anesthetized state, or serious lows.

When most doctors are consulted and presented with symptoms such as described above, they simply write a prescription for a mood altering drug.

Those who can't afford to see a doctor self-medicate.

Self-medicate is a term I've heard many times from various social workers as they describe people who decide to use drugs such as cocaine, heroin, or meth.

Apparently not all drug users, whether their favorite drug is legal or illegal, become addicted or at least not seriously addicted.

But many do.

A lot depends on how the individual or his peers define addiction.

If a person can't function normally without the drug, he's addicted.

Having known several addicts, including some who didn't want to deal with their addiction, I know the devastating effects.

I also know - as many family members of addicts do - the damage to our culture in terms of cost and relationships.

Multitudes are addicted to legal drugs, the ones prescribed by psychiatrists and other doctors to deal with mental and emotional problems. Very possibly all of those problems could actually be solved through dietary change.

Especially the dietary changes described by Dr. Junger in Clean.

Other sources indicate the successful use of dietary renovation along with exercise and meditation as a permanent means of curing addiction.

This makes sense because neurotransmitters are made in our bodies and brains using the nutrients available.

If the correct nutrients aren't there, and if any number of poisons are there, things go seriously wrong.

Drug addiction is another disease which can be cured by radical dietary changes and exercise.

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