Healthy Beginnings

Achieving Brain Health – What You Need to Know to Heal and Strengthen Your Brain (Part 3)

Part one of this three-part series discussed the ‘Web of Brain Healing’ and the complexity of nine realms that affect brain plasticity and its overall ability to heal and restore function. Part two discussed the myriad of neurological therapy requirements, the current healthcare system obstructions, insurance limitations, cultural beliefs and logistical factors that prevent the brain from healing. This article – part three – discusses steps one and two in the ideal model for brain healing, and what you can do to help.

Web of Brain Healing

  1. Treating the Whole Body
  2. Eliminate External Interference & Damage
  3. Neurophysiology
  4. Awaken the Brain (Brain Activation)
  5. Neuron Timing
  6. Brain Region Synchronization
  7. Mind-Body Connection (Emotions, Visualization)
  8. Holistic Care (Psyche)
  9. Integrative Care (Medications)

To begin, we can liken an injured or unhealthy brain to a house that is on re due to a ruptured gas line.

The fire needs to be extinguished before the construction crew and materials can be delivered to the site. Thereafter, the rebuilding is done in a specific sequence, thus requiring a detailed plan of action and management of the job site and all the workers.

Step One: Extinguish The Fire

The most common factors causing re on brain inflammation in post-acute injury or a degenerative condition are external sources like altered food proteins, environmental chemicals and/or our own thoughts fueling a sympathetic flight/fight cascade of pro-inflammatory chemicals. Just like the house fire, it would not make sense to send in dozens of firemen to douse flames with water (anti-inflammatory drugs/supplements) when you can simply eliminate the fuel to the re – turn o the gas supply!

External Causes of Inflammation: Identify Food, Environmental and Medication Sensitivities

To identify the external sources of fuel to your brain re, there are blood tests by Cyrex Laboratories and Genova Diagnostics for identifying food, environmental and medication sensitivities causing an immune system response (inflammation and/or antibodies). You’ll need to find a physician to order these tests and provide you with an appropriate analysis of the findings and take the needed actions to eliminate those items that damage the brain’s neurological tissues and blood vessels.

Food Sensitivities Causing Inflammation or Antibodies

Wheat, Rye, Barley Spelt, Quinoa

Polish Wheat, Buckwheat

Sorghum, Amaranth

Teff, Oats

Sesame, Hemp
Corn, White Potatoes

Cow’s Milk, Whey Protein

Soy, Eggs, Yeast

Tapioca, Instant Coffee

Milk Chocolate

 

Balance Dietary pH and Blood Sugar

Further, the diet needs to be adjusted to reduce acid by-products and yield more alkalinity by nor- mal daily body functions. So too, inflammation is reduced by balancing blood sugar. The book “The pH Miracle for Diabetes” – written by Robert Young and Shelley Young – is a good starting point to ad- dress both acid/alkaline balance and blood sugar. Be cautious of ingesting alkaline water to balance the body’s pH. Again, the appropriate action is to eliminate the source of inflammation and not waste bodily materials and energy trying to douse the fire.

Nightshade Foods

For some people, nightshade plants are pro-inflammatory. These include white potato, spinach, eggplant, tomatoes, goji berries, all peppers except black pepper, paprika, cape gooseberries (not normal gooseberries), garden huckleberries (not blueberries), ashwagandha (adaptogenic herb) and ground cherries. These too may need to be eliminated.

Excitotoxins

Excitotoxins are food additives, preservatives, aspartate, L-cysteine and most notably MSG (mono- sodium glutamate). These can cause brain inflammation, hyper-excitatory states of neurons that lead to neuron death (MSG-induced seizures), mental fatigue, failure of neurons to function and over- all brain dysfunction. In general, it is not possible to consume a processed food that does not contain an excitotoxin. In particular, MSG is hidden in our food supply due to FDA labelling laws. MSG enhances food flavors by ‘exciting taste neurons’ in the brain, thus elevating our sense of taste. Excitotoxins are easily eliminated by simply not eating processed foods and not consuming re-heated meats, such as beef stew. Yes, re-heating meat proteins can be broken-down into MSG, which is why some foods taste better after multiple re-heating.

Hidden Sources of MSG

Additives that always contain MSG:

Monosodium Glutamate

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein

Hydrolyzed Protein, Textured Protein

Hydrolyzed Plant Protein

Plant Protein Extract

Sodium Caseinate, Calcium Caseinate

Yeast Extract, Autolyzed Yeast

Hydrolyzed Oat Flour

 

Additives that frequently contain MSG:

Malt Extract, Malt Flavoring

Bouillon, Broth

Stock
 Flavoring, Natural Flavoring

Natural Beef or Chicken Flavoring Seasoning

 

Additives that may contain MSG and other Excitotoxins:

Spices, Carrageenan

Soy Protein Isolate or Concentrate

Whey Protein Concentrate

 

Infections

Low-grade infections, be they viral, bacterial, fungal or yeast, can cause secondary systemic inflammation. Hence, it is necessary to do additional testing. Two diseases to look for, which may be asymptomatic, are Lyme’s and Hepatitis B and C (sinus, inner ear and dental infections need to be cleared, as well).

Identify Internal Causes of Inflammation: Detoxification

Before we can induce new building materials for the brain, it is important to detox the liver, lymphatic and the blood. A source for liver detoxification products is Apex Energetics. Massage is ideal for lymph drainage. If the patient is not anemic, they can donate whole blood. If they are ineligible due to a disease or cardio-pulmonary condition, they can do a therapeutic phlebotomy. By dumping some whole blood you can rid the body of compounds, which can’t be broken down by normal excretion processes, as well as reduce excess iron, which can cause inflammation. You’d be surprised at the residual compounds left in the blood from medications and food pesticide neurotoxins that cause an array of human symptoms.

Thoughts and Emotions

Identifying the internal fuels to brain re requires interpersonal exploration to reveal your beliefs and thoughts that arouse a fearful response. Here, one cannot just eliminate fearful beliefs – you’ll need to embrace new beliefs that arouse thoughts of inner peace. For many this is a paradigm shift and may require a psychologist or religious or spiritual healer.

Step 2: Clean Up and Prepare the Construction Site

Fix the Gut

Since 2004, there has been extensive research into the gut-brain axis. The imbalance of gut bacteria can alter the functions of the hypothalamic-pituitary-axis (HPA) in the brain. The gut is the immune system’s first line of defense, hence you want it healthy and strong to prevent entry of anything that would cause systemic infections.

Fix Blood Brain Barrier

Many patients may have ‘leaky gut’ or gluten sensitivity. This immune system activity can cause dam- age to the intestinal barrier system, which in turn can damage the brain’s blood barrier integrity. This can be treated with the dietary changes described above combined with 60-90 days of mega-dosing vitamin C. Five minutes of elevated cardio are sufficient to activate natural process that will heal the blood vessels when combined with compounds that increase nitric oxide.

Boost Immune System

The immune system is needed for both cleaning up the debris from the re that is already in the body, along with defending the body so as to protect the brain. Don’t eat sushi – the immune system has enough to do without wrangling up larvae and worms.

Re-Establish Overall Good Bodily Function

Bottom line – you need a healthy body in order to rebuild the brain. All systems must be working well. For those who recently acquired their brain injury or diagnosis of a degenerative disease – manage your care using a natural process, if possible. For those whose brain injury was some time ago and they’ve not had a complete physical within a year – schedule a physical to identify and then address any general health issues. Again, use natural medicines when possible and plan a basic exercise program of walking 30 minutes, twice per day.

Steps one and two are part of a larger solution to achieving brain health. In next month’s issue, we discuss steps three and four – reconstructing the brain’s anatomy and restoring the brain’s function. Our brain is the center of our human universe, giving us the ability to experience the world – stay tuned for more on how to protect – and heal – this precious organ.

For more information, call Van Harding at 530-536-5084 or visit www.TahoeNeuroHealing.com.

References:

  1. Your Health Your Choice: Your Complete Personal Guide to Wellness, Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Dr. Ted Morter Copyright 1995 ISBN 0-8119-0667-1
  2. Nightshades Posted on March 30, 2010 by Garrett Smith at The Weston A. Price Foundation http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/nightshades/
  3. Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills by Russell Blaylock, MD Neurologist. Copyright 1997
    ISBN-13 : 978-0-929173-25-2, ISBN-10 : 0-929173-25-2
  4. Possible neurologic effects of aspartame, a widely used food additive. Environmental Health Perspectives 1987 Nov.; 75: 53-57 T J Maher and R J Wurtman
  5. Four Unexpected Benefits of Donating Blood by Dr. Mercola, July 28,2014
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/07/28/blood-donation-benefits.aspx
  6. Donate Blood, Be Healthier? : Studies suggest phlebotomy cuts the risk of heart disease. But some experts say it isn’t so. By Terrance Monmaney LA Times November 17, 1997
    http://articles.latimes.com/1997/nov/17/health/he-54663
  7. Environmental Medicine, Part 4: Pesticides – Biologically Persistent and Ubiquitous Toxins.
    Walter J Crinnion, ND Life Style Laboratory Note: 134 References
    http://lifestylelaboratory.com/articles/toxins-pesticides.html
  8. Cortisol: Why “The Stress Hormone” Is Public Enemy No. 1 and 5 simple ways to lower your cortisol levels without drugs Psychology Today January 22, 2013 Christopher Bergland https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201301/cortisol-why-the-stress-hormone-is-public-enemy-no-1