Read up on neurotransmitters 101 and you’ll know more about GABA, Serotonin, Dopamine and Acetylcholine than your doctor might…
These four neurotransmitters govern much of the body, and imbalances in any of them create an extremely diverse set of mild to severe symptoms. Rather than treat 3, 4 or 6 different issues, wouldn’t it be easier to find the common theme between them and look to support that?
The four main neurotransmitters are Dopamine, Acetylcholine, GABA and Serotonin.
Neurotransmitters 101: Dopamine and Acetylcholine
I call two of them the “go-go’s. These are Dopamine and Acetyl-choline and they govern action, motion, planning, focus, carrying through and energizing the brain and metabolism.
When our brain loses power and speed, we can lose control of blood sugar, heart function and our youthfulness. Supporting Dopamine and/or Acetyl Choline in diabetics and the elderly is like putting new spark plugs in your car. Suddenly, the power is back on!
But, be careful! The real problem may be that you’ve burnt out your “slow-slow” neurotransmitter brakes, and that’s WHY you have used up your Dopamine. You’re all “go” and no “slow” and this has been going on too long!
In my clinic, I look first to balancing the restful and healing parts of our nervous system before I try to “give people energy”. Most people feel better when they’re calmer and not using up their energy so fast.
Neurotransmitters 101: Gaba and Serotonin
The balance to the “go-go’s” is provided by the other two main neurotransmitters GABA and Serotonin (the “slow-slow’s”).
They allow us to rest, sleep, repair and keep rhythm and harmony in body and mind. The mind doesn’t jump around so much. Sleep and menstrual cycles get more stable. Digestion and bowel patterns improve. Stability is the word here….
What happens when we live all “go” and no “slow”?
Isn’t this what’s happening in our lives now?
Too much speed and perfection is required of us. Instant emails, high performance jobs, success at all costs. And we’re unprepared and untrained to learn HOW to relax the physical body and the mind. We think we’re supposed to be wired up all the time, but many of us fall back in exhaustion and depression that we can’t keep up.
I know for myself, most of my life has felt like I was a giant brain, running an exhausted body through its paces whether it was strong enough or not. The result was a series of deep physical and mental meltdowns that took a lot of time and effort to dig myself out of.
The Edge Effect is a truly helpful book on these 4 neurotransmitters, and is not hard to read or understand. It shows the health issues associated with each of these, and lets you see how seemingly unrelated symptoms may all be classic signs of a GABA or Dopamine deficiency or excess.
I have many articles and podcasts on the calming neurotransmitter GABA and its role in managing anxiety and insomnia. Here’s some of them: GABA Deficiency Symptoms; Understand and Manage Anxiety Without Medication podcast; 5 Clues You Have Chronic Anxiety; Passion Flower For Sleep and Calming;