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What does Blood Sugar Balance Have To Do With The Brain & Mental Health

Your Not Broken (Preview)

A preview from my upcoming ebook linking the the gaps between mental health and overall health, Please note this is just a draft and will be edited

What does Blood Sugar Balance Have To Do With The Brain & Mental Health

Well, we’ve all probably experienced the feeling when we haven’t eaten enough and we get a headache, feel shaky, blurred vision and struggling to concentrate, This is what happens when our BS drops too low, The brain simply isn’t getting enough fuel.

There is lots of evidence correlating a healthy diet with the maintenance of mental health, However, a trend towards a reduction in the quality of adolescent diets has been observed at the global level (77). This trend is characterized by an increased intake of fast foods, fried foods, sweets, refined grains, processed meat, and a reduction of fruit/vegetable intake (76). The consumption of this Western-style diet has been independently associated with a greater risk for the development of anxiety and depression (76)

A 15-year-old female student of south-Asian descent, Was diagnosed with GAD (General Anxiety Disorder)

A diet history revealed the following typical daily food intake:

(i)Breakfast: fruit smoothie containing fruit, fruit juice, and water. 

(ii)Morning snack: bagel with margarine.

(iii)Lunch: pasta or white rice with vegetables.

(iv)Afternoon snack: granola bar or cookies or gummy candies. 

(v)After school meal: white pasta; it may include meat.

(vi)Dinner: white rice or spaghetti; it may include meat.

(vii)Evening snack: cookies and toast.

(viii)Beverages: 2 litres of water, 1 cup of juice, 1 cup of lactose-free milk, and 1 cup of tea.

At the initial visit, the following dietary plan was prescribed:

(i)Breakfast: it includes a smoothie containing fruit, water, 1 scoop of protein powder, and 1 tablespoon of flax seeds or olive oil.

(ii)Lunch and dinner: they include a serving of protein (meat, legume, and soy) and a serving of vegetables.

(iii)Snacks: they include protein when possible (e.g., apple with sunflower seed butter, vegetable sticks with hummus, and pumpkin seeds).

(iv)Continue to eat carbohydrate-containing snacks as needed for the management of hypoglycemia symptoms.

At the first follow-up, four weeks later, she reported that she had complied with the dietary plan since the previous visit. She reported a significant decrease in anxiety (4 to 5/10) compared with (8 to 10/10), as well as improved energy, less frequent and less intense hypoglycemia symptoms, and fewer headaches (once per week compared to daily) in addition to improved concentration and mood. She required fewer snacks during the day and decreased her intake of granola bars, cookies, and candies (1-2 servings per day).

At a subsequent follow-up visit four weeks later, she reported that she had briefly reverted back to her original diet for a period of one week and experienced a worsening of anxiety symptoms within one day. After returning to the dietary intervention prescribed, her anxiety symptoms decreased within two days.

This case illustrates an example of improved anxiety and hypoglycemia symptoms in response to changes in the macronutrient composition of the diet. It suggests that dietary GI (Glycemic index) and blood sugar balance, within a physiologic range, may play a role in the development or clinical progression of anxiety. Subsequently, modifying the diet by reducing the consumption of refined carbohydrates and including more protein, fat, and fibre may be beneficial (77.)

Too much sugar and starchy foods are a major promoter of inflammation in the brain, and when inflammation affects the brain, neurons die rapidly and in great numbers, speeding up brain ageing and increasing the risk for neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s (59.)

In order for our brain to make neurotransmitters it needs the goldilocks effect for sugar in the brain, Too much or too little then our Neurotransmitter production is compromised.

Blood sugar imbalances are a big issue today and it’s no coincidence that brain chemistry imbalances are also a big issue.

When we eat too many sweets, starchy carbs, those sugary drinks that go by the name as coffee, all this causes a surge in insulin to stop BS rising to high, When insulin is too high Branched Chain Amino Acids are refused entry to the brain, leaving Tryptophan to travel to the brain alone.

Tryptophan gets made into Serotonin. The issue with this is that we now have too much serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is calming which is why people, after they have had a high starchy meal, may feel drowsy and sleepy. After the serotonin levels drop, people may feel depressed, spurring once again those cravings for sweets and starchy foods for that “high” they get from the serotonin surge. 

Overproduction of serotonin can lead to serotonin production being impacted. The end result over time is a loss in effective serotonin activity and increased symptoms of low serotonin, such as depression, loss of interest in life, seasonal affective disorder, and more. 

So the effect of too much insulin in the body leads to, too much Serotonin being produced, What about Hypoglycemia (Low BS)

Well, it’s kind of the opposite, There isn’t enough Tryptophan being produced and transported to the brain so not enough Serotonin is made. Another factor is that hypoglycemia lowers overall glucose levels in the brain. Adequate glucose is necessary to fuel energy in the brain, including the energy to produce serotonin.

This same principle applies to dopamine, our “pleasure and reward” neurotransmitter. As with a serotonin deficiency, a dopamine deficiency can produce symptoms of depression. Other symptoms include feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, lack of motivation, and a tendency to snap or fly into a rage over little things

Posted in Daily Fire

We need to practice

We don’t become virtuous by reading Epictetus or Seneca, We need to practice – Massimo Pigliucci

Practice, Practice, Practice that’s all we’re doing, all day every day,

The question is what are you practising?

Are you practising what you said you would or are you practising talking or quitting…

Talking about how you’re going to do this and how your going to do that Or quitting this because it didn’t work the first time

Jerry Seinfeld was booed off stage the first time he performed, did he quit… no, He practised

Posted in Daily Fire

Operating Systems

Operating Systems

They are the lively hood of any tech gadget, any video game and anything in the digital world.

Operating systems are always changing, improving and innovating, That’s why you probably throw out your phone every 12-18 months to upgrade it for the fancier version…

If a tech company introduced a new device with a poor operating system that was difficult to use the company would go bust, Becuase nobody wants a poor slow device…

Yet we function on an operating system too and most often in today’s day and ages our Operating systems are far from supersmooth and reliable,

Yet even me whos writing this at this moment in time I have a dull aching pain running from my hip to part of my lower back because I have neglected to improve or fix the glitch in my operating system.

The question is

Why are we quick to improve our gadgets but not ourselves?

Why are we quick to offer other people advice on how to improve theirs but we don’t follow our own advise?

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Failure Is Success (Part 2)

Yesterday I wrote my interpretation of the above-titled chapter,

This is a summary of what Rob (Moore) actually wrote

The harder you try the luckier you get, the more you persist on even when you keep getting rejected, missing shots and losing status the better chance you get at being a success.

Rob uses examples of famous success including Justin Rose (Golfer) Who took to fame at age 17 coming 4th in a major tournament… Over the next several years through his form slipped and so did his rankings, he slipped from being in the top 50 then to the top 100 then slipped even further out of the top 100 rankings…

He persisted on and in 2018 he was ranked no 1 golfer in the world (Along with a sweet 10 mill)

The point of the chapter was to embrace your failures

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Mistakes

Mistakes.

Mistakes are great, we learn from them, we get valuable feedback from them and we can grow from them.

We don’t make enough of them though.

Not new ones anyway.

The mistakes we make are the same old ones, we make, weeks, months years ago…

They didn’t work then.. why would they work now?

They wouldn’t,

We’re just scared of trying something new.