SAD (Stress, Anxiety and Depression) and Understanding Neuron Communication

There’s nothing more complicated than emotions – sadness, stress, anxiety, depression. How do you control them? How do you deal with them? How do you keep these emotions from negatively affecting you?

Research is ongoing but more has been done to find the link between our brain, emotions and how healthy we are.serotonin-neurons-baucominstitute-stress-anxiety-depression-blog

One way to approach this complicated connection is to understand how it all works.

There are as many as 40-50 different chemicals in the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves that serve as neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitter molecules quickly travel the synapse to lock into protein receptor sites. When enough neurotransmitters are locked in to the receptors there is an electrical charge that is activated.

In the case of emotions and mental incapacities, these neurotransmitter mechanisms can go awry and the interactions between the neurons can become overactive or underactive. Both overactivity and underactivity can cause problems. Abnormal levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) are found in chronic stress, anxiety and depression.

When someone goes to the doctor and receives medication for one of these issues, the doctor is hoping to re-adjust the levels of various neurotransmitters in the brain that are out of balance.

SAD-stress-anxiety-depressionFor example, Prozac or some other antidepressant will be prescribed for depression where as Gabapentin or Neurontin will be prescribed for anxiety.

Where the rubber meets the road, specifically, is with three of the 50-odd brain chemicals called “neuroamines” – serotonin, norepinephirine, and dopamine. These chemicals are produced primarily in the brain stem and circulate throughout the brain. Abnormalities in these chemicals lead to pervasively high levels of two basic emotions: fear and sadness, which are driving forces behind stress and fear. For example, elevated levels of norepinephrine are associated with chronic stress and anxiety disorders including panic attacks and phobias. Decreased levels of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine are thought to be involved with depression.

We’ll break this down more next blog and how emotions are the driving force that create SAD – stress, anxiety and depression.

What is a takeaway that helps you from this blog?

Autism and Impaired Methylation: PMhx Case – Chris

From the last blog we presented impaired methylation and the connection to autism. This week, we look at a specific case where a subject, named Chris, was given treatment through nutrition and supplements.

  • Treatment: Elimination diet 6 weeks followed by no gluten or cow dairy.autism-baucom-institute

  • EPA/DHA liquid

  • chewable muti-vitamins (organic)

  • Probiotics c FOS

  • B12/5mthf, B6, mg glycinate, Nac

  • Phospho serine at  Hs

The symptoms resolved! Although a few minor issues with dyslexia continued, Chris integrated back into school after his mom took him out of school and home schooled him for a year until she could control his diet.  Methyl-folate and methyl-B12 were added this past year which helps energy and support detoxification in Phase II of the liver function.

nutrition-autism-baucom-instituteINTERVENTION 1: Supplementation with folinic acid and betaine

Although supplementation was effective in normalizing the methionine cycle metabolites to the concentrations in the control subjects, the intervention significantly improved but did not normalize tGSH or GSSG concentrations or tGSH:GSSG

INTERVENTION 2: Supplementation with folinic acid and betaine and Methyl vitamin B12

The addition of injectible methylcobalamin (intervention 2) did not alter the mean concentrations of methionine, SAM, SAH, or homocysteine beyond the alterations induced by the intervention with folinic acid and betaine. However, relative to intervention 1, the addition of injectible methylcobalamin further decreased the concentrations of adenosine and GSSG and further increased the concentrations of methionine, cysteine, and tGSH and SAM:SAH and tGSH:GSSG.

Catechol-O-Methyltransferase

Spectracell Methylation Presentation.pptx

 

  • Involved in phase II metabolism of hydroxy-estradiols
  • Involved in metabolism of xenobiotics
  • Involved in metabolism of chocolate
  • Involved in metabolism of caffeine by-products (catechins)
  • Involved in metabolism of excitatory neurotransmitters

Spectracell Methylation Presentation.pptx (1)

  • S-adenosylmethionine and magnesium dependent
  • Linked to estrogen
  • imbalance disorders
  • Is involved in hyperhomocystinemia in Parkinson patients on L-dopa
  • Is linked to psychiatric disorders

Spectracell Methylation Presentation.pptx (2)

Homocysteine & Vascular Disease

Pathophysiology of Homocysteine:

1. Interference with normal thrombolysisHomocysteine-Damage-Ladd-McNamara

  • decreased antithrombin III activity
  • Activation of factor V or XII
  • Inactivation of protein C
  • Promote binding of Lp(a) to fibrin
  • Platelet inhibition (interaction with nitric oxide)

2. Promote SMC proliferation

3. Promote LDL oxidation

4. Direct toxicity to endothelium

Genetic and Dietary Determinants of Serum Homocysteine Concentrations:

Genetic -

  • Cystathionine-beta-synthase deficiency
  • Methionine synthase deficiency
  • MTHFR deficiency
  • Defective absorption of B12 or folate
  • Prevalence – 30% Female V. 25% Male

lowering-homocysteine-levels-naturally-baucom-instituteNutritional -

  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folate

Risks Associated with MTHFR Variants/High Homocysteine:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Cerebral Vascular Disease (stroke)
  • Venous and Arterial Thrombosis
  • Methotrexate Toxicity for Cancer Therapy

 

What Does Gluten Do?

Rose Family Fall 2013 074Maddy’s story begins like so many others – born into a middle class family in the midwest, she has had the privileges of most teenagers her age and is now a freshman Criminal Justice major at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois.

Maddy has found that eating is a rather difficult thing, especially at college, even though they have a gluten-free menu, because of all the temptations on the regular menu. She has a gluten intolerance, on the extreme end. It makes it hard to take care of herself away from home, yet she’s working hard to do it, realizing that eating gluten is just not worth the pain.

Maddy says, “First off, you can tell as you are eating it you start to feel full but you aren’t sure if you are bloated or if you are actually getting full. After you’ve eaten, about only 30 minutes later, you start to get indigestion. You get really bad issues that come with extreme gastrointestinal stress, extreme nausea, heavy fatigue, you become moody and irritable and it can even result in vomiting. You also have energy depletion and headaches that include throbbing, making it hard to focus. Speaking of focus, your attention span is decreased, making it hard to work, study, pay attention in class, and go through daily activities that would normally not be an issue for you. You also feel heavy, muggy, miserable, and all around sickly. I also get hot and cold flashes sometimes – that’s when I know it’s really severe. It wasn’t until I talked to Dr. Baucom about my symptoms that I realized why I was having trouble every time I ate. She had me read various articles on gluten, making me realize I was on the extreme end of this issue.”

What is gluten? It is a protein that has been engineered as a component of wheat that provides the elastic qualities for baked goods. But the protein is also difficult to digest. And even a healthy intestine does not completely break gluten down. For those with celiac disease, the undigested gluten essentially causes the body’s immune system to lash out at itself, leading to malabsorption, bloating and diarrhea — the classic gastrointestinal symptoms — but also, at times, joint pain, skin rashes, etc.

Joseph A. Murray, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota says of gluten-intolerance, “It truly has become more common.” Comparing blood samples from the 1950s to the 1990s, Murray found that young people today are nearly five times as likely to have celiac disease, for reasons he and others researchers cannot explain. And it’s on the rise not only in the U.S. but also in other places where the disease was once considered rare, like Mexico and India. “We don’t know where it’s going to end,” Murray says.

Mark Hyman, M.D. practicing physician and founder of The UltraWellness Center is a pioneer in functional medicine. He’s done some extensive study on the effects of gluten. He says that a review paper in The New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 “diseases” that can be caused by eating gluten. (iv) These include osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, canker sores, (v) and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and almost all other autoimmune diseases. Gluten is also linked to many psychiatric (vi) and neurological diseases, including anxiety, depression, (vii) schizophrenia, (viii) dementia, (ix) migraines, epilepsy, and neuropathy (nerve damage). (x) It has also been linked to autism.(ix)

Gluten sensitivity is actually an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation throughoutgluten-warning-baucom-institute the body, with wide-ranging effects across all organ systems including your brain, heart, joints, digestive tract, and more. It can be the single cause behind many different “diseases.” To correct these diseases, you need to treat the cause–which is often gluten sensitivity–not just the symptoms.

How can you know if you are gluten-intolerant? Try going off food that causes the symptoms – breads, pastas, sauces made with flour, chips, french fries, chocolate, anything with wheat or barley in it, etc. Even body and hair care products can have gluten and can be absorbed through the skin. See how you feel. If you have less symptoms like intestinal distress, bloating, etc. you know that gluten was at least a culprit. Most importantly seek a medical professional educated in restorative medicine or naturopathic education. Unfortunately, most MD’s are not aware nor educated on the effects of gluten, although society’s awareness is pushing the medical community to become more aware.

How do you relate to Maddy’s story? What symptoms cause you to think you may be gluten intolerant?

The X Factor

the-x-factor-metabolic-syndrome-baucominstitute

We’re always looking for the next big thing but the next big thing is already here – Metabolic Syndrome X – the biggest problem in America! The USA has the highest percentage of obese in the world, 34% female and 27.7% male, 35% of whom are Mexicans and 40% African American males.

What is Metabolic Syndrome X? In our blog last week, we shared that this syndrome is a result of having three or more metabolic risk factors: insulin resistance, elevated blood pressure, abdominal obesity, high lipids – TG, LDL, etc.

“94% of the rats who were allowed to choose between sugar and cocaine, chose sugar. Even rats who were addicted to cocaine switched their preference to sugar!”

Here are the symptoms:

  • Borderline high or normal blood glucose
  • High triglycerides (above 2.3 mmol/l)
  • Low HDL (good cholesterol)
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Excess weight resistant to dieting
  • Skin tags
  • Osteoarthritis

According to researchers at Yale University School of Medicine, insulin resistance in skeletal muscle leads to changes in energy storage and insulin-resistant individuals rerouted carbohydrates to liver fat production. This leads to elevated triglycerides in the blood by as much as 60% while lowering HDL (good) cholesterol by 20%. In a study done by Yale, participants who were young and lean, with no excess abdominal fat became insulin resistant. The good news is, they found that insulin resistance in skeletal muscle can be treated with one simple method – exercise!

Let’s talk about sugar for a moment, because that it ultimately the biggest culprit in the cause of The X Factor.

The average American eats 142 pounds of sugar a year, or about 2.5 pounds each week, a 23% increase over the last 25 years! And most of it is coming from, one guess . . . soft drinks – which includes artificially sweetened drinks as well! In the US, ¼ or 22% of the daily calories are from drinks, according to a report called “What America Drinks.”

According to Drs. Fischer, Hommel, Fiedler, and Bibergeil, in a study done on “reflex mechanism on insulin secretion,”  we are seeing that soft drinks are linked to Metabolic Syndrome:

  • Men and women who drank more than one soda daily had a 48% adjusted higher prevalence
  • insulin level rises in the first minute after the start of a carbohydrate-rich meal, vs glucose level rising in the third minute of a balanced diet
  • An increase in triglyceride levels and LDL
  • Consumption rose 135% of high fructose corn syrup between 1977 and 2001
  • Americans eat an average of 132 calories of high fructose corn syrup a day

In a lab experiment with rats by the University of Bordeaux called “Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward,” 94% of the rats who were allowed to choose between sugar and cocaine, chose sugar. Even rats who were addicted to cocaine switched their preference to sugar!

Obviously, we have to get over our addiction to this satiable substance! In the meantime, many changes have to take place to get this X Factor under control.

Doctors, in weight-loss fields, GP’s, restorative, and otherwise, are all finding that to get this syndrome under control several factors have to take place:

  • Balance glucose/insulin levels
  • Increase metabolism
  • Increase fat burning
  • Create appetite suppression

A study done by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute European Association for the Study of Diabetes found that a natural substance can greatly help in this fight:  Green Tea Catechins or EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). After 5 and 10 weeks of treatment with EGCG, and GlaxoSmithKline’s diabetes drug Avandia, the blood sugar and insulin levels of mice were tested. The researchers found that the mice did just as well on the green tea extract as they did on the drug. The extract has been found to have these benefits:

  • Reduces fat absorption
  • Reduces LDL cholesterol/TG levels
  • Reduces glucose/insulin levels
  • Increases beta oxidation
  • Helps decrease appetite

Which ultimately:

  1. Reduce body weight gain
  2. Reduce body fat accumulation
  3. Stimulate oxidation in the liver

All in all, here are the recommendations by Alexander McLellan, ND, Neuropathic Physician in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and professor at the Canadian School of natural Nutrition and Chief Medical Officer for three clinical research trials in Diabetic Neuropathy in Canada and the US, in treating obesity and Metabolic Syndrome: Check thyroid function, Restrict carbs, Check for food allergies, Keep hydrated, Get stress levels down, Get to a support group and stay educated, Detox, detox, detox! The bottom line? It’s the samo, samo:

  • Eat right
  • Exercise more
  • Don’t rely on a “magic pill”

What do you think?

BIG Bellies – drugs or lifestyle change?

belly_fat_diabetes_baucominstituteWe have a major problem in our society . . . we’re fat! Especially in the belly. Why? Are some of us presupposed by our DNA to struggle with weight? Are we just lazy? Is it all because of what we eat?

Let’s break it down.

  • There are an estimated 23.6 million people in this country with diabetes.
  • There are another 57 million with high blood sugars
  • Between 2000 and 2010, the prevalence of a BMI >40 kg m(-2) (type III obesity), calculated from self-reported height and weight, increased by 70%
  • Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese. (CDC)
  • Since 1980, obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled.

It all comes down to insulin resistance.

What does insulin do? It helps the body utilize glucose – it’s really the key that unlocks the cell door so glucose can pass into it from the bloodstream. Once inside the cell, glucose is used either for energy or stored for use later in the form of glycogen in the liver and muscles. belly_fat_metabolic_syndrome_baucominstitute

Insulin resistance occurs when a normal amount of insulin is not able to open that cell door so the body secretes even more insulin in an attempt to maintain normal blood glucose levels or when there aren’t enough insulin receptors (the average overweight person has 75% less receptors).

So, glucose stays in the bloodstream which is sent to the liver and then converted into fat and then stored throughout the body. These fat cells are even more insulin resistant and often coalesce near the middle – a lot of belly fat. Other symptoms are: headache, day-time drowsiness, insomnia, fatigue,  frequent illnesses, sugar cravings, erratic and insatiable appetite.

And then there’s Metabolic Syndrome – Syndrome X a result of having three or more metabolic risk factors: insulin resistance, elevated blood pressure, abdominal obesity, high lipids – TG, LDL, etc.

What’s the treatment? Do we treat the problem with drugs or with lifestyle changes?

3200 adults with impaired blood sugar control were put into three groups:

  • Metformin (drug)
  • Exercise 150 minutes per week (lifestyle)
  • Usual Care

After three years, there was a reduction in progression to diabetes:

  • 58% in lifestyle group
  • 31% in drug group

In 2008:

  • two clinical trials revealed that diabetic patients on antidiabetic medications gained no significant protection from heart attack and stroke
  • a third study was ended when interim results showed more deaths in volunteers using diabetes drugs for intensive blood sugar control.

So what’s the answer? Lifestyle change – the right nutrition and exercise. It’s simple. Age old. Cliche. But it works. We just don’t want to have to change.

Nutrition -

  • 30% protein with high fiber and avoidance of starch, sugary carbs
  • abundant greens and fresh vegetables
  • frequent ginger, garlic, curcumin, oregano, onions
  • avoidance of refined processed foods like pasta and bread
  • Avoidance of artificial sweeteners and sugars
  • Intake of nuts, legumes and lentils

Supplements -

  • Herbal treatments – Fenugreek, Guar Gum, apple pectin, beet powder, oat fiber, etc.
  • Niacin
  • Lecithin
  • Vitamin E
  • Nattokinase
  • Fish oil
  • magnesium
  • Green Tea, etc.

A restorative or naturopathic physician should always be consulted when creating a pathway to change when dealing with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

What are your thoughts on treatment insulin resistance leading to metabolic syndrome?

Nutrition – Convenient Yet Effective

1364832703339We’ve been talking the last month about the bacteria, fungi, yeast, etc. that can build up in the gut and how to treat the issues that occur as a result. One of the overarching ways to take care of the gut is nutrition. There isn’t anything more convenient and effective on the market today than Juice Plus+. It is a complete vegetable and fruit supplement in a capsule. It is the actual vegetables and fruits themselves, so the body can process the nutrition just as if you were eating that many foods.

Clinical research has showcased the benefits of adding Juice Plus+ to your diet and it’s those studies that impressed Dr. Baucom of The Baucom Institute to take a closer look at the product and eventually start herself, her family and her patients on it.

The Juice Plus+ Clinical Research that is published in medical and scientific journals can be accessed via pubmed.gov.

stellar-events-pic-juice-plus

Pubmed is part of the National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) . It is one of the most reputable resources for obtaining peer reviewed journals articles.

There are over 20 gold standard studies that have been conducted in leading hospitals and universities around the world.

Because of this substantial evidence, Juice Plus+ stands above the rest in nutrition effectiveness.

How do you supplement your diet? If you are a doctor or nutritionist, what do you use to enhance your patients’ nutrition?

Intestinal Health – the Four “R” Program: Part II – Bacteria

bacteria

In Part I of our four-part series, we looked at the gut and how bacteria plays a part in a good way and a bad one. We also presented that there are four steps to creating a healthy gut:  Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, Repair.

In Part II, we’ll look at bacteria specifically in relation to our gut health and what it does to create havoc in our system, not just our gut.

Opportunistic and pathogenic bacteria proliferate in our body, specifically our GI tract, because of our own behavior, namely poor diet; antibiotic use; as well as contaminated animal food sources, water and produce. That being said, it is within reason that the infection can be reversed.

lifecycle_entamoebahistolytica

 

 

http://www.thelifetree.com/amoeba.htm

The symptoms of this invasion present themselves as acute gastritis with abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, cramping, fever, diarrhea, even influenza-like symptoms are common, including headache and malaise, and sometimes resulting in as bad as bloody diarrhea, colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome.

As bad as it sounds, there is treatment for bacterial infection: probiotics, prebiotics, vitamins, herbal agents such as goldenseal, citrus seed extract, garlic, oregano oil, and olive leaf extract. At the very least, be sure and rehydrate if you have had any diarrhea.

At Baucom Institute, we deal especially with the gut and treatment of these types of issues. In more invasive cases, we specialize in prescribing medications to deal with the serious nature of these issues.

Do you have any of these symptoms or know anyone who does?

 

Intestinal Health – the Four “R” Program: Part I

640_DigestiveSystem

“Intestinal health” – not the most appropriate dinner talk but probably one of the most important topics regarding your overall health. Not many people want to talk about their intestines, stool samples and the pathway of digestion but this is where so many issues lie that affect one’s health and wellness.

Over the next four weeks, we will present the essential ideas to creating a proper gut and better intestinal health. We’ll start with the 4 “R” Program. This will help you remember the four important steps to increased intestinal wellness.

Four “R” Program:

1. Remove – offending foods, medications, gluten and reduce poor quality fats, carbohydrates, sugars and fermented foods.

2. Replace – what is needed for normal digestion and absorption i.e. betaine HCI, pancreatic enzymes, herbs to aid in digestion (licorice, marshmallow root), fiber and water.

3. Reinoculate – with favorable microbes (probiotics i.e. Lactobacillus sp.) and supplement with prebiotics (i.e. inulin, beta glucan and fiber).

4. Repair – mucosal lining by giving support to healthy intestinal mucosal cells, goblet cells and to the immune system i.e. L-glutamine, zinc, vitamin C.

Predominant Bacteria

To really understand the gut and it’s importance to your overall health, you have to start with the smallest of subjects: bacteria. You might think that bacteria is a bad thing. Our society is bent on wiping it out with hand sanitizer. (If I never see another bottle of hand sanitizer at a table in a restaurant, it won’t be too soon!) It can create problems in the wrong environment. However, microorganisms in the GI tract perform very useful functions like communicating with the immune system, preventing the growth of harmful bacteria, and regulating the functioning of the gut, to name a few. Intestinal microflora prevent colonization of pathogens and predominant bacteria are beneficial when in balance.

Abnormal Bacteria, Fungi, and/or Parasites

Most people don’t realize that they have abnormal bacteria, fungus or parasites. Not until there’s an issue which occurs by:

  1. Inadequate physical and immune barrier functions i.e. leaky gut, gluten intolerance, inflamed bowels
  2. Medication usage i.e. antibiotics, NSAIDs, antacids
  3. Inadequate digestive and absorptive function i.e. intestinal inflammation, nutrient insufficiencies, diet high in red meat, saturated fat or refined carbohydrates.

Low Predominant Bacteria

Predominant bacteria should be present at normal levels in a healthy gut i.e. Bacteroides sp. and Bifidobacter sp. in the greatest amounts. If one has low levels of beneficial fecal bacteria such as Bifidobacter sp., Lactobacillus sp., and E. coli, issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) presented as diarrhea, cramps, and food intolerance can arise.

So what should someone do if these symptoms appear? Treatment should include:

  • Probiotics
  • Prebiotics i.e. psyllium, oat bran, oligofructose
  • Increase intake of fresh vegetables and fibers
  • Address other GI abnormalties

High Predominant Bacteria

What if one has too much of a good thing? Issues can occur such as blood infections of Mycoplasma have been linked to chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, D-lactic aciduria, and infections.

What can be done to treat overgrowth of certain bacteria?

  • Reduce poor quality fats, refined carbohydrates and sugars
  • Increase fresh vegetables and high fiber foods.
  • Supplement with probiotics to balance flora
  • May need to use anti-microbial agents

Have you had any of these symptoms or had treatment for a bacterial infection? If you are a physician, how have you treated these any bacterial infection? The Baucom Institute