D’oh, it’s dopamine!

lights

We’ve made it through the holidays.

Hurrah!

This post might seem long but it’s kind of all connected.

This post will be looking at how we might think a bit differently about aspects of ourselves by becoming more aware of the role of dopamine. You may have noticed from my somewhat nightmarish vision of christmas decorations and my language that I don’t relish the season we’ve now turned our back on. I’m preferring instead to embrace all that a New Year can bring. I don’t think I’ve ever been considered the life and soul of a party but that’s ok with me.

  • lacking drive?
  • low on motivation?
  • finding it hard to engage and live life fully?

All of the above could describe what I’ve always felt was part of my ‘nature’. Since signing up to 23andme (previous mentions of it here, here and here). I’m beginning to see that the chemistry lab in us all is shaped by our genes and so an impaired neurotransmitter production here and utilisation issue there might explain me sometimes preferring a good book to a good party.

I’m finding out the bits of me that don’t work as well as they could and realising my inner curmudgeon might in part, be thanks to the chemistry lab.

Many of the posts on this site are about investigating how to make life a little better. Sugar’s not come out smelling of roses on these pages. I’ve not been able to find anything good it can bring to the table apart from cake which we all know is really nice (for birthdays and very special occasions).

Having indulged in various sugary confections over the holidays I’m eager to get started on reducing the sugar again and getting back to a simpler way of eating. I talked about noticing the difference here but got a little distracted from my sugar free desires by birthday cake!

I found out something which might stiffen my resolve when it comes to the sweet stuff.

23andme analysis has thrown up some interesting things about dopamine in me. There are ways to protect what we have and get more, naturally. Finding I’m low in/poor at using this stuff through having wonky vitamin Dreceptors could answer an awful lot of questions about my behaviour in years past and the actions of a reformed sugar addict when relapsing with (gluten free) mince pies in recent weeks.

A diet high in sugar can wear out the dopamine receptors which can make what dopamine there is in the system less useful again.

One thing I’ll definitely be continuing with is supplementing with phospholipids over and above the

  • krill oil I take daily. I also started, back at the beginning of December taking two teaspoonfuls every morning of
  • Empirical Labs Phospholipid Complex. I bumped into this site whilst researching the stuff.

Go to about halfway down the NCBI post, The US National Centre for Biotechnology Information (better known as the reliable and often cited PubMed) for studies on depression, improvements in coping with stress as well as repairing brain matter. It really seems to be a wonder substance. It has a consistency a bit like bitumen or treacle (for its stickiness not sweetness). When I first started I thought it could waterproof the hull of any nearby boat. It helps strengthen the edges of all our cells not just those in the brain.

I think I feel… less… wobbly? Like I’m more in charge of keeping my body under control (both mentally and physically). I feel less prone to overbalancing whilst standing completely still. I thought this increased stability may have come from reducing a candida overgrowth since Septembe but the stability’s still there even after struggling to reduce my sugar consumption since a sugary christmas. more to follow on this struggle in another post.

Whatever caused the improvement I’m happy about it and whilst it would be nice to treat my body as an experiment and only change one variable at a time I also don’t want to hang about getting myself well.

After reading the US Pubmed post I’m going to make sure I never run out of this phospholipid complex ever again!

I think it’s fascinating the many and varied roles dopamine plays, including

  • brain function,
  • metabolism,
  • energy production aswell as affecting mood as mentioned at the top of this post.

The role that phospholipids seem to play in our harvesting of dopamine I’ve only just scratched at the surface of. You can perhaps tell I still have a lot more reading to do on the subject but thought I’d share this burst of enthusiasm with you!

There are so many possible suspects involved in us not feeling our best. I’m choosing to see the addressing of potential problems as a challenge to be entered into with curiosity and an open mind.

New Year’s resolutions are for the birds, feeling better is a lifelong undertaking (albeit taking in a few duvet days along the way). Cutting ourselves some slack/being kind to ourselves is just one way to get the best for and from us.

I hope, with a return to low sugar food in my diet and a regular intake of healthy fats I will achieve weight loss , my pre christmas energy levels and will have no need to make this noise.

happy New Year.

 

 

 

 

Any port in a storm?

water water everywhere

I chose this image of mine to illustrate the need of any port in a storm but it’s a disordered environment, really. The glowering images of a storm on a Norwegian sea I’d thought of to illustrate this post are on a packed away external drive at the moment. I feel now, this image works better – something’s wrong with what would normally be a charming image of rural countryside.

There might be any number of contributing factors that bring a hint of the nautical to what should be a bucolic agrarian scene.

Brain you tube: The body will keep circulation for as long as possible to basic stuff like breathing. The newer stuff – thinking, writing poems, doing a One Direction dance are not worth saving at all costs by the brain. They’re less important because they aren’t essential for our survival. I think it’s good to get an image of how things are supposed to be.

Fecal transplants seem to be something that’s been helping conditions obviously affecting the gut – Clostridium Difficile for example. Now it’s also being suggested for neurological disorders such as MS, Parkinsons and Autism.

This post will be full of things that have caught my eye recently. Here’s one to throw into the mix: alkalize for health. We all know that veg especially greens are good for us (read previous post here where I speak about folate) but also making our body less acid has untold benefits for a body that’s become used to one too many cakes or steaks (both food items I heartily approve of but probably not that extra helping?) Trying to increase the number and variety of veg in the diet I see as the take home message of the page.

Get to know your body whether it’s behaving well or not. I had my genome sequenced. I mention my experience of the process in previous posts here and here. It’s pointed out that my supplementing with

  • vitamin B12 will be better being done with hydroxy rather than methyl B12.
  • My vitamin D receptors aren’t working properly which could explain my especially bad SAD in December/January.
  • certain glutathione processing SNiPs were completely missing so it seems it would be a good thing to supplement with glutathione (I’m using a cream applied under the ribs (over the liver) that will be absorbed transdermally and will hopefully give my liver a bit of a leg up and help it rid the body of general day to day toxins. I hope this might result eventually in a bit more energy. I probably have a lot more reading to do!

Here is another page that highlights why we want to get all the vitamin D we can. The methylation cycle is fiendishly tricky to understand (well, it is for me anyway).You may have noticed from the flavour of the posts on here so far that I’ll point you toward things that aren’t necessarily cures – the approach, protocol or exercise regime won’t make you all better by tomorrow but I’ll suggest things that might make life a little better whether you may be someone with a condition, care for someone with a condition or, you’re entirely well and somehow ended up on this site.

How does this help?

It might not help anyone else but I take some comfort knowing there may have been an underlying reason I didn’t fully engage in life at school and could never have been considered life and soul of the party! Half the population are thought to have impaired SNiPs. The information I’ve found out about me makes me wonder about the worth of double blind placebo controlled trials for complex conditions and also all the people who grew up being told they were slow, stupid or lazy.

All these lines of investigation and exploration might help an individual a little bit. I believe any port in a storm will do for me. Having a chronic, neurological disorder I believe can sometimes be likened to being lost at sea. You can’t rely on a stable base or solid ground or anything!

Dr Amy Yasko, a molecular biologist with an interest in healing her child’s autism has written about the process she has taken to getting a disordered brain back to some kind of normal.

I consider myself to be at the beginning of this process.

  • I took a food intolerance test over 10 years ago so know what foods my insides prefer not to deal with (dairy and gliadin, gluten essentially).
  • I got 23andme’d this summer and have found out I need to reshape a malfunctioning (from birth) methylation cycle and
  • I’ve been on a candida clearout for the past few months (please read 2 earlier posts on the subject here and here).

I wonder whether a body not working optimally from before birth also contributed to some of the vascular issues whose existence is being debated in cases of MS. I went to get CCSVI’d by Dr Sclafani in Brooklyn two years ago and have mentioned it here)The hypothesis that Dr Paulo Zamboni first put forward in 2009 but was initially investigated by Dr Franz Schelling (which i talk about here) is called ccsvi.


As we know, MS (and life) is multifactorial.