Your Truth Revealed podcast
Oct. 3, 2019

3) Know Your Neurotransmitters (part 1)

Meet Pam Machemehl-Helmly in the 1st part of her interview. We talk about brain health and balancing your neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers between nerve cells, to improve mood and sleep.

Pam is the chief science officer of Wellnicity and the CEO of Neurogistics Corporation. She began neurotransmitter testing to help clients dealing with sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, and focus. In addition, she co-developed a way for people to take clinical-test kits at home. These tests indicate critical areas of wellness including brain health, digestive health, hormone health, and foundational health.

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What are the 7 Primary Neurotransmitters?

Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers between nerve cells that can affect sleep, mood, and appetite. The primary neurotransmitters include the following.

* Serotonin

* Dopamine

* Norepinephrine

* Epinephrine


* Glutamate

* Histamine


What are the Roles of these 7 Neurotransmitters?

* Serotonin - inhibitory, master neurotransmitter, plays a role in sleep cycle, depression, anxiety, carbohydrate cravings, and PMS.

* Dopamine - focus or joy. When it's either elevated (inefficient) or low, symptoms of poor focus or memory, attention issues or poor stress response.

* Norepinephrine - excitatory, stimulatory processes in the body. Also converts epinephrine. Can cause anxiety at elevated excretion levels, as well as some "mood dampening" effects. Low levels are associated with low energy and decreased focus ability. Elevated levels can also cause elevated blood pressure.

* Epinephrine - excitatory, body's "fight or flight" response and regulates brain functions such as metabolism, heart rate, and blood pressure. Will often be elevated when hyperactivity or anxiety is present. Long-term over-stimulation can cause epinephrine levels to be depleted.

* GABA - An inhibitory neurotransmitter is often referred to as "nature's valium-like substance."

* Glutamate - excitatory or stimulating neurotransmitter that is reflective of stress. It plays a role in focus. If elevated, one should check labels of foods that are being consumed since MSG (monosodium glutamate) and the many names that it is called as a food additive can be the culprit. Excess glutamate levels can cause significant anxiety, restlessness, sleep cycle disturbances, tics, migraines and headaches. The body will excrete more glutamate when serotonin is low as well.

* Histamine - stimulating, plays a role in responding to inflammation or allergy. Low levels of histamine are indicative of fatigue.


Why is it Important to understand the Brain and Gut Connection?

* The digestive tract is sometimes called the second brain, but they are both part of the same brain.

* The enteric nervous system (ENS) consists of neurons that govern the function of the digestive tract.

* 90 % of the signals from the ENS are going from the digestive tract to the brain rather than the other way around, via the vagus nerve.

* Nervous system tissue in the digestive tract along with digestive tract bacteria produces 95 percent of the serotonin in your body, and just as much dopamine as your brain produces.

* Digestive tract bacteria affect brain chemistry, which affect behavior.


How does Gut Health mirror Brain Health?

* An imbalance in brain chemistry and stress can literally change the bacteria in your

digestive tract.

* Depression could be caused or exacerbated, at least in some cases, by a sluggish or dysfunctional gut-brain communication system.

* What we put into the gut has a profound effect on mood.

* Sensitivity sends message to to tell the brain that there's a problem: epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine. This can cause issues with anxiety and focus.

* There can be inflammatory issues with eating too much of the same foods.  

* What you eat and are otherwise exposed to (such as drugs, medications or chemicals) is already inside the digestive tract. Chemical preservatives, food dyes, overly processed foods, sodas, and inflammatory foods such as gluten and refined sugars, the gut mucosa becomes chronically inflamed and the right junctions of the gut-blood-brain-barrier (GBBB) loosen up and become permeable all along the gut, and they can no longer protect the ENS.

* The microbiome is a community of bacteria that live inside your digestive tract, primarily in your large intestine, or colon. Each of of us has two to three pounds of bacteria there—bacteria that do not come from us and are not technically part of us.

* A body system with a high diversity of bacteria tends to do better because any one colony of "bad" bacteria will exert less of an influence.