It’s a success. You may recall that on June 5 I wrote a post on Metal Fragility and Neurotransmitters. I discussed neurotransmitter (NT) imbalance symptoms, common imbalance causes and likely side-effects of certain pharmaceuticals (SSRI’s).
As an active participant in my own health and as part of my continuing education as part of the FDN Master’s program I took it upon myself to get tested. The results are in and I am not so bad. Do consider that I have been actively following, personally, the protocols that I coach with clients. My health foundation is rather solid at this time. I would have loved to see the results when I started this journey a few years ago.
The NT test is a simple urine test you can do at home. I won’t go into a lot of detail or science. I would rather do that with you and your personal results. My results were depressed serotonin levels, elevated dopamine and depressed epinephrine and GABA. Nor-epinephrine, histamine and glutamate were within optimal levels and in balance with the others.
So what does this mean? I will relate this to my personal situation. Similar symptoms in you do not mean that there will be similar lab results. This is due to biochemical individuality, the environment in which you live and your lifestyle choices up to this point.
- ↓ Serotonin, ↑ Dopamine: This imbalance commonly manifests as difficulty focusing, depression with chronic elevated stress and also feelings of anxiety
- ↓ Epinephrine: Low levels are highly correlated with insufficient or low cortisol output (primary stress resolution hormone)
- ↓ GABA: Plays a major role through a calming influence on the body/mind
Honestly, the results correlated highly with my symptoms and lab results at the time of the test. This has been for me, a hectic year with the change in my business location, focusing more heavily on building the functional health aspect of the business and with some home renovations it feel like, at times, I am also acting as a foreman on a work site. The home renovations were both need and wanted, so I am not complaining. Wearing multiple hats can be fatiguing. While stressful, it has all been very good and worth the energy.
I have been having focus issues, especially when trying to multi-task or trying not to get distracted by less relevant issues. I would not say I have had any bouts of depression but I did tend to fluctuate with periodic spurts of anxiety when I felt overwhelmed. This was usually followed by a strong desire to take a day or two off and just mentally and physically vegetate. I have learned to always listen to my body, so I did not have the opportunity to discover just how bad I could feel.
My adrenal function, while much stronger and robust than it has been, is still deficient in overall cortisol production considering my lifestyle. It is a balance taking time to heal, recover and grow versus following my dreams and maintaining some semblance of control over day-to-day activities and obligations. I never said being healthy is easy, though I have said it is worth it.
Protocol Results: It has been just over 4 weeks of a NT balancing protocol and I have to say the results are rather remarkable and this is with fairly subtle imbalances to start with.
- Feelings of anxiety are greatly reduced so I am not feeling like I need more recovery time every week or so.
- While I still get distracted, it is not to the point where I lose hours of productivity and then beat myself up for having done so. My focus is better but more important, I can better prioritize and stay on track. The end result is that I am getting more done in less time. This means more time for other things…yeah!!
- Overall, I feel much more balanced. The lows are not so low and the highs are not as high. Everything has a more positive feel to it.
The short-term objective was to bring balance back and within four weeks that is happening. Long-term I want to maintain the balance, the feeling and improved function while not having to rely on the supplement support. That will require me to continue fine-tuning my lifestyle, specifically diet, rest, exercise and stress reduction and provide adequate time to further heal and grow.
After reading the first article, you have recalled the potential and likelihood of having rather severe side-effects to psychotropic pharmaceuticals. The best part of the functional approach I offer is that there are NO negative effects when applied appropriately.
A surprising benefit is that I am feeling much more creative and more importantly, taking advantage of it. I mentioned that we, Michele and I, are having some home renovations performed. We ended up with some reclaimed wood. Since moving my business into the home we lost a significant amount of storage space in the basement. For the last two weeks I have been using the wood, re-purposing it. Turning it into rather strong and efficient shelving. Once we dispose of things we no longer need or want we will have much more space available. Then I can build the near-infrared sauna and further support my detox pathways.
I am also putting the finishing touches on a plan to build a storage shed for split wood near the house as I lost the space on what was formerly our covered porch. Moving wood from the backyard during the middle of winter does not sound like fun. I do realize I could buy a shed, already made, but where is the fun in that. I want to make it fit a specific need so that is what I will do. As you can see, I have a bit more new wood to move and stack. You can’t beat the ambiance and feel of wood heat in winter.
I am mentioning this influx of creativity because I did not realize how much I missed it and how important it is for me to use my hands and right side of my brain. It allows me to think differently and is very relaxing. Using this creative outlook is another form of Zen experience that defines who I am.
What’s Next: What I have learned and continue to learn, especially as part of this FDN Master’s Program is incredible. The body is simply amazing and I am so appreciative of my mentors and educators. I have been given a gift that I will continue to use on myself and spread to others.
Until next time, Much Love and Chi