Dr. Craig Reese, DC. PC.
BIO CRANIAL CENTER OF BOULDER

3000 Center Green Dr. Suite 230
Boulder, CO 80301
303-447-1300


November 2010 Newsletter

I have a confession to make…I’m degenerated. Don’t sit there looking all smug because the bad news is that you are degenerated too. Neuronally degenerated that is. We all lose brain cell neurons on a daily basis whether we try to or not. In a seminar I took recently on Neurotransmitters and the Brain, the instructor informed us that we were going to lose an average of 54,000 neurons during the weekend seminar. Some lose more than others due to lifestyle choices and environmental toxins. Many of us Baby Boomers are noticing our memories aren’t what they used to be and are afraid of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia because we have seen it in our parents and grandparents. There are some solutions for us…

Promoters of Neuro-Degeneration

  • Lack of stimulation-make those neurons fire through mental and physical exercise.
  • Inflammatory response triggered by food sensitivities and/or chronic joint pain
  • Microglia activation-cells in your brain that clean up the debris of dead neurons.
  • Dysglycemia- chronic high or low blood sugar levels.
  • Methylation imbalance-a detoxification process that takes place in the liver.Deficiency of nutrients-B vits, proteins, essential fats, minerals, etc.
  • Hormonal imbalance-high cortisol levels from chronic stress, low progesterone, estrogen and testosterone.
  • Xenobiotic exposure- a chemical compound (as a drug, pesticide, or carcinogen) that is foreign to a living organism. Kills brain cells as well as poisons your body.

So what does it take to slow the loss of these vital cells and to help regain our slipping memory? Your brain neurons need 3 things to stay healthy:

  1. StimulationOxygen
  2. Glucose

Stimulation

Stimulation needs to come in the form of releasing neurotransmitters. When we do the same mental or physical activity our neural pathways become well worn and very efficient. They no longer take much stimulation to do the old familiar routine. It is true I can adjust someone in my sleep and did so many times when my kids were growing up. Last year I took up golf and I have had to train lots of new neural pathways to make my muscles work in the way they should to hit the ball properly. Though I’m better than when I started (can’t fall out of a hole!) I still have a long way to go before I get my PGA Pro card. Learning any new skill helps stimulate unused portions of your brain and nervous system. Learning a new language or a new sport are both positive stimulants to your nervous system.

Oxygen

Living at a “Mile High” means less oxygen in our air so we have to be more physically fit to keep our bodies oxygenated. People with chronic cold hands and feet may not be getting enough oxygen to their extremities. Guess what…your brain is an extremity as well. Chronic toe nail fungus can also be attributed to poor circulation in the feet and not just a fungal infection. Many people have been told that their low blood pressure (below 110/70) is a good thing. Well we are finding out that is not true. Chronic low blood pressure starves the body of circulation to all the extremities (brain included) and causes lightheadedness and kills brain cells. Chronic low blood pressure makes it difficult to heal the body and is just as bad as high blood pressure. Chronic illness is many times found with chronic low blood pressure. The pressure is not strong enough to perfuse the body and brain with life renewing oxygen filled blood. How’s this for a new concept... a chronic illness is usually a brain problem that creates symptoms in many parts of the body due to a lack of nerve function. The other part of this oxygen equation is anemia. If you are iron and/or B12 deficient you will also tend to be fatigued and depressed. Anemia can slow down any healing process but it can be easily diagnosed by blood work.

Glucose

Your brain needs large amounts of glucose or it starts to suffer. It consumes 25-33% of your body’s glucose. If you experience feeling light-headed if you don’t eat (hypoglycemia) or want to fall asleep after a meal (insulin resistant), you are dysglycemic. That means your blood sugars go up and down radically and that is having an adverse affect on your brain as well. That light-headed, shaky, cranky feeling when you are hungry is your brain starving for glucose. There are lots of great botanicals and minerals that can help balance your sugars before you create brain damage or become diabetic. Dysglycemia is also a major factor in hormone imbalances and hot flashes that has to be addressed for lasting results. Hormone creams alone will only work temporarily if the blood sugar levels are off.

Anti-Aging

True anti-aging treatments are not about treating you with bio-identical hormones, it is about saving the brain. If you continue to accelerate the degeneration of your brain, you are aging rapidly. High cortisol levels produced from your adrenals due to chronic stress, is highly destructive to brain tissue. If you notice your short-term memory is getting worse, your hippocampus has probably been damaged by high cortisol levels. There are supplements, like phosphatidylserine in a cream form (Apex Energetics Adrena-calm), that can help heal the damage done by the cortisol.

Depression

A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that anti-depressant medication had little to no effect on mild to moderate depression. Fortunately, there are nutritional supplements that can help balance the neurotransmitters, blood sugar and hormone imbalances that may be causing the depression and/or anxiety that the medications can never do. We have a questionaire that you can fill out that will help pinpoint which brain neurotransmitter seems to be out of balance and which nutritional supplements might help balance you. If you have been told that a urine sample can tell you what your brain neurotransmitters are doing, you have been misled. It does measure the neurotransmitters produced by the adrenals but, because of the intact blood-brain barrier, the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain cannot be tested. Even if they could be tested, it is not about replacing the neurotransmitter but about repairing the system to function properly. It is about finding the problem and fixing it rather than covering up the symptoms temporarily with a medication. From ADD to memory problems to mild or moderate depression, there are natural solutions that can help alleviate the problem. Our testing can help pinpoint those solutions.

Office Info

We will be closed for Thanksgiving on 11/25 but we will be open for normal hours (9-noon) on 11/24 and 11/26. Have a great November!

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