Dopamine Deficiency Part IV: More Solutions
Do you struggle with belief in any area of your life? Maybe it’s work…. Self confidence…. Big goals…. If so, know that improving your dopamine balance will only help you grow into living what you struggle to believe. Now would be a great time to grab that bottle of Believe essential oil and become a walking diffuser for yourself. Go grab it now… I’ll wait for you!
Gary Young knew which plant chemicals stimulate, protect, and support healthy dopamine levels. And of course, he knew that belief is fueled by dopamine. Essential oils Balsam, Coriander, Bergamot, Frankincense, Idaho Blue Spruce, Ylang ylang , and Geranium all fuel belief through their effect on dopamine within us. These are the oils within the blend Believe. Pretty cool right? Gary never made a product that wasn’t highly purposeful!
Other oils that have been found to contain constituents supportive of healthy dopamine levels in the body include rosemary, oregano, thyme, rose, sandalwood, neroli , palmarosa , and marjoram . Did you notice that many of these oils are used in Raindrop massage? Just one more reason everyone should receive a Raindrop on the regular!
God has gifted us with so many natural ways to support dopamine levels. (Go back and review last week’s post so that you’ll have the full combined list!)
Mowing the yard! It may be hard work, but the aroma of fresh cut grass contains a chemical called hexanal (the “green” smell of grass) that stimulates dopamine release.
St. John’s Wort has been found to increase dopamine in the prefrontal cortex of the brain by 40%. Resveratrol has been found to perform similarly ( found in red wine, fresh grapes, dark chocolate, blueberries, peanut butter)
Organic coffee (No more than one cup a day or it may contribute to adrenal fatigue…. A dopamine high followed by a crash!) or a cuppa organic green tea (Have you tried the YL Vanilla Lemongrass Green Tea yet?) is a dopamine supportive treat.
Rhodiola is another herb known to stimulate dopamine receptors and inhibit enzymes that break down dopamine in the brain. Ashwagandha (You might recognize this as an ingredient in Powergize and Endogize) is also an effective adaptogen with supportive dopamine activity.
Pregnenolone is a natural hormone produced in the body that has a positive effect on dopamine levels in the brain. It is an ingredient in hormone supportive Cortistop capsules, PD 80/20 capsules, and Regenolone moisturizing cream. Do a little research on each of these to determine if they might fight your individual hormone balancing needs.
Acupuncture stimulates the vagus nerve, which in turn support healthy dopamine levels. (Go back and reread the section on low vagal tone!)
Creating and performing music boosts dopamine levels even more than listening to your favorite tunes, but all three are effective. Listening to music has even been shown to improve fine motor skills in Parkinson’s patients.
Chronic inflammation reduces dopamine synthesis and release in the brain. We’ve got tools on hand to support a healthy inflammatory response (as opposed to the runaway variety!). Sulfurzyme, BLM, Agilease, and OmegaGize3 are excellent supplements. Nobody can “out supplement” an unhealthy lifestyle…..examine your life and look for offending (and often hidden) toxin triggers in household chemicals, processed foods and drinks, body care products, and makeup.
Lack of sleep down regulates dopamine receptors and reduces dopamine receptor availability. You know what to do! Sleep is so very important in ALL aspects of health. Review your sleep hygiene practices and look for “holes in the armor” that may result in interrupted sleep. I LOVE and incorporate Rutavala on the base of my big toe and Immupro (chewable) in my bedtime rituals.
Iron plays a role in dopaminergic neurotransmission. Iron and ferritin levels are important lab values to watch (both for being too low and too high). Natural sources of iron include spirulina ( an ingredient in Multigreens), dark chocolate, spinach, shellfish, organ meats (I highly suggest Sally Fallon’s cookbook Nourishing Traditions), beans, lentils, chickpeas, red meat, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, turkey, broccoli, and fish.
Vitamin C assists with the formation and conversion of dopamine in the brain. Deficient levels of vitamin C may show up as a low mood. Super C Chewables are a tasty way to supplement daily.
Vitamins B6 and B9 are critical for dopamine synthesis. Low folate levels contribute massively to low dopamine levels which may ultimately lead to depression. Super B is another fantastic supplement to help the body in at least a thousand little and big ways.
Alternate between standing and sitting. “Chronic sitting” lowers dopamine levels. Our body was designed to move!
Finish a project. Who knew? This in itself causes the brain to flood with dopamine.
Huge (and easy) list, right? And yet, sometimes it may seem hard to get motivated to make the changes. Circle back around….. Grab your bottle of Believe, and start somewhere small. I promise you won’t regret finding your dopamine happy place!
Round 2: #GettingFactsInated
Did you know that by subjecting yourself to a certain poke, the chance of developing heart disease jumps from 11% to 25%?
I believe in medical freedom. I also believe that people should be given all the facts when making their decisions.
EYE CLUES PART II
Before diving into a deeper discussion of all the clues our eyes give us, I wanted to issue a call to action. ⏰Do you have an ophthalmologist (MD) or doctor of Optometry (OD) that you see annually? Remember that the application of knowledge is not only power… it is also where wisdom is born. As is the case with regular lab work (which we will discuss at some point!), having professional insight into the health of your sight organs 👀provides invaluable clues to help you manage the rest of your body, thereby perhaps avoiding consequences later in life. When you go to your appointments, do not be shy about asking questions and taking notes! Additionally, any abrupt changes in the eyes should warrant an ASAP trip to your eye professional. If you have a relationship with yours, they will be more likely to see you quickly in cases of urgent need.
Secondly, be aware that any💊 medication 💊that affects neurological function may also affect vision and cause changes throughout the eye, including the cornea, optic nerve, lens, macula and retina. Some of these changes may be gradual or nearly instant and some may be temporary while others can lead to permanent vision impairment. I won’t be able to list all the medications because there are so many! If you suspect a medication may be partially responsible for an eye disturbance, do some digging and then talk to your doctor.
With that…. Let’s start unpacking more clues!
👀The appearance of slightly bulging eyes is a significant clue for a possible overactive thyroid that is also called Graves disease. Frequently, this disorder is ignited by exposure to environmental toxins in the home, workplace or in the water. Latent viruses such as Epstein Barr have also been implicated in playing a role in developing a chronically inflamed thyroid (leading to either hyper or hypo thyroid manifestation).
👀Another easy to spot clue from the peepers is a gray or whitish ring that is clearly visible around the cornea. The cornea is the lens that covers the “colored” part of the eyeball. Evidence of this ring usually indicates unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels and is a marker for increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
👀Droopy eyelids (ptosis) may be a be a genetic issue, especially if present at birth. Eyelids that become droopy are the clue for this discussion. Medical conditions that can lead to droopy eyelids include:
👉Injury/trauma to head or eye
👉Decreased blood flow to either the eye or the area of the brain controlling the eye (a droopy eye may be an early stroke sign)
👉Diabetes. Remember that diabetes quietly becomes a vascular disease if not controlled.
👉Headache syndromes. (a visible manifestation of the headache)
👉Myasthenia gravis. A droopy eyelid is often the first symptom of this autoimmune disease that is most commonly seen in people over the age of 50. It may be accompanied by occasional double vision, a hoarse voice, or weakness in the arms and legs.
👀Optic neuropathy simply means damage, disease, or dysfunction of the optic nerve. It may be caused by toxin exposure, infection, an autoimmune disorder, chronic inflammation, trauma, glaucoma, insufficient blood flow to the optic nerve, or use of certain medications including those used for erectile dysfunction and amiodarone, a medication used to control heart rhythm. Symptoms of optic neuropathy include pain in the face or eye socket, pain inside the eye, loss of peripheral vision, or sudden or gradual vision loss. Ophthalmologists and OD’s can detect inflammation of the optic nerve on routine eye exams. #makeanannualeyeappointment
👀Eyes that are painful, red and sensitive to light gives a vast set of possibilities. Given how “screen focused” our culture is, know that computer eye syndrome is a real thing! Give yourself regular breaks from screen time, and use blue light filter glasses when you are spending hours at a time in front of a computer or phone screen. Unmanaged, this can lead to eye strain or dry eyes. Wearing contact lenses for too long may have a similar effect.
👀If screens are not your eyes source of issue, other causes may need to be investigated. Chronic redness in the sclera (the white part of the eye) is linked to systemic inflammation throughout the entire body, and indicate a possible autoimmune disorder (ex: RA, psoriasis, or ankylosing spondylitis). If light sensitivity is accompanied by “halos” around light sources, get checked for glaucoma!
👀If your eyes sting, burn, or feel “gritty”, chances are, you are experiencing dry eyes. In fact, we have all probably had brief episodes of dry eyes after riding a bike, spent too much time in front of a computer, lived in an area with dry winter heat, or been on a plane for many hours in low humidity recirculated air. Chronic dry eyes have been linked to an autoimmune disorder called Sjogren’s syndrome, thyroid disorders, Vitamin A deficiency, or taking certain medications known to cause dry eyes as a side effect. 💊Antidepressants, antihistamines, decongestants, beta blockers (heart/blood pressure), certain antibiotics, ibuprofen, birth control pills, and meds for bladder control💊 are some of the more common culprits.
👀Rapid onset eye inflammation / sensitivity is often a clue indicating infection or inflammation.
👀Blurred vision is another clue to take seriously. While the clue may be manifesting as an inconvenient or annoying visual impairment, dangerously high blood pressure or high blood sugar are causing problems quietly elsewhere in the body. An estimated 73% of diabetic patients have bouts of blurred vision. High blood sugar causes the lens within the eye to swell, causing the blurring. Certain medications may also contribute to blurred vision:
💊Alendronate (for osteoporosis/ osteopenia)
💊COX-2 inhibitors such as Celebrex and Mobic (for pain and inflammation)
💊Acetaminophen, ranitidine (stomach acid), and lovastatin (cholesterol) are just three very common medications that also carry warnings about their potential to blur vision.
👀Red itchy “allergy” eyes may indeed be allergy related. However, the same symptoms also occur in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Approximately 1.3 million Americans have this autoimmune disorder. The immune system begins attacking body tissue, and its focus is generally tissue heavily laden in collagen. The sclera (the white part of the eye) and the cornea are made up almost entirely of collagen, and the inflammation there mimics allergen exposure.
👀An eye twitch can be ever so bothersome, yet it’s an important clue too. Check yourself…. They are generally related to fatigue or stress. It may be time to rest and recover! Chronic eye twitching should signal a visit to a health professional as it can be an early sign of a neurological disorder.
👀Yellowed eyes are a sign that the liver is struggling… a classic sign of jaundice. This is another ASAP health professional moment.
👀“Floaters” are gray or black specks, strings or cobwebs that appear in vision. If you suddenly notice floaters, contact your eye specialist immediately. Certain medications are known to cause floaters. 💊, diphenhydramine (antihistamine), diltiazem (blood pressure), amitriptyline (mood), and alprazolam(anxiety)💊 are among those known to cause this.
As I write, I’m reminded again of the impact that chronic toxin exposure has on our bodies… all the way up to our eyeballs! The liver and other detoxifying organs do their level best to keep us healthy, but they are not miracle workers. We have to claim ownership and do our part by avoiding toxins wherever possible by making a conscious effort to exercise, drink plenty of clean water, get plenty of sleep, manage our stress, and eat healthy clean food. So much medication 💊(a class of toxins all its own) may be avoided by caring for ourselves this way.
What conscious decisions did you make today that decreased your toxin load?🙌 I chose to use YL body care products in the shower this morning and YL Cinnafresh deodorant before I put my clothes👖👕 on. I brushed my teeth with fluoride free YL Thieves Aromabright toothpaste, and bypassed an impending headache by using peppermint 🌿on the roof of my mouth. I finished out my time in the bathroom by avoiding some of the worst toxins☠️ in our homes….. standard American cosmetics. The Savvy Minerals makeup line is not only gorgeous and long lasting, it is liver friendly too!
You are worth taking care of!
Thanks for making it easy Young Living!