If you have any of the health issues covered on this site, you will have a much greater need for specific vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, according to your condition.
You are more likely to benefit greatly from supplements if your diet is poor, either from low quality food, a restrictive diet or if you have an under functioning digestive system. Other reasons are ageing and personal biological requirements.
If biochemical ATP energy is in short supply, or potassium is low, the metabolism slows down and the production of neurotransmitters is reduced. Also remember that neurotransmitter production and ATP energy metabolism declines with age.Diet considerations
You will not experience good moods and emotions on a poor or restricted diet. Good quality protein foods are vital for building ample neurotransmitters. Other sources of protein such as pulses can be used, but by comparison, much greater quantities are needed. Notably good neurotransmitter building proteins are cottage cheese, low fat cheese, chicken, low fat milk, and if the digestion is good, peanuts, beef and lamb.
Caffeine can be a valuable mood aid if used properly. See Caffeine on the main menu.
Deeper breathing works wonders, especially if you are mentally or physically sluggish. It improves mood and metabolism by oxygenating the brain and body. It should be a part of your everyday health programme.
Too much fat and oil in the diet overloads the blood with lipids. This can temporarily clog up the tiny blood vessels in the brain, leading to lethargy and slow mental function.
Don't forget! Your foods, especially the foods that you sleep on, can affect your moods and emotions the following day. This is especially true of fats, oils and the foods that you may be allergic to.
Remember, you are what you eat!
Taking regular exercise is most important for improving overall circulation and opening up the tiny blood vessels in the brain. This results in higher neurotransmitter manufacture and activity.
Are you an over or under methylator?
Simply put, the methylation process makes neurotransmitters (mood building blocks), so you need to find out if you are producing an optimum amount, too many (over methylator), or too few (under methylator), of these. Three of the most important neurotransmitters with regard to mood and emotion are, serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline.
If you are an under methylator you can increase your methylation with certain supplements and a selective diet, to increase production of all your neurotransmitters.
If you are an over methylator you can take certain supplements, restrict others and adjust your diet to decrease methylation, thereby lowering neurotransmitter production.
Histamine levels can be a good indicator of whether someone is an over or under methylator.
Low histamine points to an over methylator who has high levels of serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline. Conversely, high histamine points to an under methylator who has low levels of serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline. You may be methylating normally, but producing all the neurotransmitters in poor mood producing ratios.
Look at the Histamine subject where you will find high / low histamine symptoms, and also the notes on B3 and the flush effect on the vitamins page , which may give you a good idea of your histamine status.
You will also find other important information relating to histamine on the allergy page.
Understanding histamine's role is important. I myself have experienced excessively high and low histamine periods and both will have a negative impact on your mood and health. Calming down oversensitivity and stabilising histamine release is more important than moderately high or low histamine levels.
There is a blood test available to measure histamine levels if you're still not sure where you fit in.
For a detailed description of histamine's role in the body, refer to the Neurotransmitter page on the main menu, also refer to the Mood Tree graphic concerning raising or lowering histamine levels.
If you are producing more of one neurotransmitter, or less of another, say serotonin, you can take the relevant supplements, adjust your diet, and have higher levels of serotonin and melatonin.
This means that over time, you may not have to take SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors).
Once you have found out in which negative direction your body's chemistry tends to drift, it's just a matter of using the above methods to pull it back the other way. With these methods you can bring about dramatic, positive, mood and personality changes that you may have not experienced before.
I know, because I have been achieving this for quite some time using a graphical interface (the mood tree),which was conceived specifically for this purpose.
Serotonin can decrease as we age, and high serotonin can be as problematic as low serotonin, producing its own set of undesirable symptoms.
What to look for when serotonin is in balance
When serotonin is right, it offsets the over stimulating effects of dopamine and noradrenaline.
Your head sings, you calm down, you feel well adjusted and cognitive thought is paced and steady. You communicate and listen well to other people.
Refer to the Mood Tree graphic and Mood Traits section for in depth help with serotonin.
These sections contain a comprehensive list of emotional and physical symptoms associated with incorrect serotonin levels, and also include a suggested help programme. A supplement regime is also included.
Dopamine and noradrenaline
Adrenaline, noradrenaline and norepinephrine are all categorised as catecholamines or cats, the mental energisers. These cats are derived from dopamine.
Dopamine and noradrenaline activity can decrease as we age. Excessively high or low dopamine and noradrenaline levels can result in a wide variety of mood and emotional problems, some quite severe.
What to look for when dopamine is in balance
When dopamine is right, everything feels right. You are motivated, ambitious, memory and attention span are good, your sex drive is up, you get pleasure out of things around you, your sense of smell and taste improves, you become more animated and talkative, above all you feel stable.
What to look for when noradrenaline is in balance
This one is unmistakable. You will be mentally energised, you will feel constructive, have higher focus and confidence, you will be motivated with interest and have a generally robust persona. When noradrenaline is right you achieve more of what you set out to do.
Refer to the Mood Tree graphic and Mood Traits sections for in depth help with dopamine and noradrenaline. These sections contain a comprehensive list of emotional and physical symptoms associated with incorrect levels, and also include a suggested programme and supplement regime to help raise or lower them.
A more in depth look at the individual neurotransmitters can be found on the main menu.
My regime is not working or producing poor results
- Have you found all your possible food and chemical allergens? important!
- Have you any thyroid gland issues? You may have have hypothyroidism (low thyroid activity).
For a simple check, try a supplement of liquid iodine, this may be all that is missing.
If this doesn't help, you should get your thyroid hormone levels checked by your physician.
- Is your blood sugar stable?
- Are you sleeping well?
- Are you sure that you have confronted and eradicated any underlying health issues?
- Are there any food or chemical intolerances that you have overlooked?
- Are you consuming too little or too much fat and oil in your diet?
- Are you including enough water, salt and potassium rich foods in your diet?
- Are you getting enough protein in your diet?
- Are you free from acidosis?
- Try only one or two of the suggested supplements at a time, start on low doses
and increase over time, carefully noting any changes.
- Are you taking any other supplements such as herbal remedies etc?
- You must take into account the effect of any medication that you have been prescribed.
Re-study the symptoms associated with your mood problem to make sure you have categorised
yourself correctly and only try one or two of the suggested supplements at a time.
Please feel free to leave a comment about your progress
Any success stories and helpfull tips which will benefit others are most welcome, negative or unfriendly comments are not. Please remember we are here to help each other.
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