In our last article we looked at the two neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. We also looked at the different types of depression that manifest when one is depleted in one or the other.We also had a look at the nature of substances of addiction and how they interact and interfere with the regulation of dopamine in your brain. In this article we’re going to have a look at what happens to your mind, mood and body when you’re depleted in dopamine.
People suffering from anxiety and depression have become well versed in the affects of serotonin on the brain. We are all familiar with this neurotransmitter that is affectionately referred to as the happy hormone. Anti-depressant drugs are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s). These drugs work by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain. It does this by by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin, so that more serotonin is available. It’s a clever little trick. In fact it’s the same trick we use by consuming substances of addiction. What we don’t hear a lot about is dopamine.
In our last article we discussed the nature of adrenal exhaustion and the different stages leading up to it. Fortunately this state can be reversed once adrenal health is regulated and normalised. It is estimated that up to 80 per cent of people in the world suffer from adrenal fatigue. What we want to be careful about is failing to recognise the symptoms in the early stages. Body aches, trouble concentrating, racing thoughts, irritability and moodiness, tired all the time, overwhelmed, hormonal imbalance and cravings for stimulants to help increase our energy levels are all symptoms of adrenal exhaustion and fatigue.
Or the other side of the coin, is self-diagnosing adrenal fatigue and administering a rigorous detoxification program in a misguided effort to manage flagging adrenals. Often this ends up with the individual feeling worse when they retoxify, going back to a normal diet.
It’s not easy being an adolescent, all those hormones flying around wreaking havoc. But new research has found it may not be all that easy being a kid either. Particularly kids who are inclined towards aggressive behaviour. A new study1 has looked into the effects of hormones on this type of behaviour in boys and girls aged between 8 and 10
In previous articles we covered the nature of leptin, a hormone that is secreted from your fat cells. It is often referred to as the ‘satiety hormone’ because it tells you that you’re full and not hungry. Mice studied that had no capacity to produce leptin rapidly became obese, due to the inaction of leptin on their brain. However obese people actually have high levels of leptin. But with obese people the leptin is blocked in their brain, causing what we refer to as leptin resistance.
Hormonal contraception is as it sounds, a contraception that releases synthetic hormones into the body. The OCP, a combined pill, has a mix of oestrogen and progesterone. ‘The mini pill’ on the other hand is a progesterone only based contraception. IUD’s as with the mini pill, are also progesterone based as are patches and implants. What has not been studied thus far is the effect of hormonal based contraception on the mental and emotional health of the user. That is until now. A new study from the University in Copenhagen in Denmark1 has shown that depression is linked to taking hormonal contraception. Dr Øjvind Lidegaard, the lead author of the study looked at the risk of depression based on the type of hormonal contraception used.
The hormone that wrecks the most damage on your brain and like a domino effect, on your body, is cortisol. Cortisol is a steroid hormone. It’s made by your two adrenal glands, one each found on top of your kidneys. But cortisol isn’t a bad hormone. In fact, when cortisol is under control, it’s a life sustaining adrenal hormone, essential for your body’s homeostasis. It’s in charge of your body’s anti-inflammatory process, it manages your immune system, it regulates your blood pressure and it works with the hormone insulin to regulate your blood glucose levels. Frankly, it is essential for life