Why I’m Obsessed with Brain Health

I have been obsessed with brain health in the last 6 months. As some of you may already know, I was exposed to mold toxins in my office and have suffered some devastating neurologic symptoms.  The irony is that this is what I treat in my clinic – the neuro-inflammatory effects of exposures to toxins. It has been humbling to exhibit some of the same symptoms my patients have, and yet, it has made me determined to get stronger and better than before it all started.

As a result of my own exposure, I’ve been doing a deep dive into what heals the brain, and I’ve learned a great deal about how often neuro-inflammation and toxic exposure are the cause of the most common ailments I treat: fatigue, depression, anxiety, insomnia, brain fog, cognitive deficits, and more. The trick is to find each person’s personal exposure and treat that…not the symptom.

I am constantly amazed at the healing power of the brain, and as mine starts to get better, I am even more passionate about learning everything I can about how to heal the brain. The brain is endlessly forgiving, actually. We used to think that Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Multiple Sclerosis were all diagnoses with little to no concrete or reliable answers for treatment. These diseases all have in common a demyelination of the neuron as a root cause. Demyelination is like taking the outside layer off of the nerve cell leaving it unable to communicate with the neuron next to it. Thus, messages do not get sent, and overall functioning of the brain is reduced.

The findings these days are so encouraging: remove the obstacles, feed the brain what it needs, and watch it heal. So much more empowering than thinking that there’s nothing we can do about neurodegenerative disorders. 

Common Neurodegenerative Conditions, include:

• Alzheimer’s disease (AD)

• Parkinson’s disease (PD)

• Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

• Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

• Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

• Post CVA Brain Injury (PCVABI)

• Non-Alzheimer’s Cognitive Decline (NACD) – this affects most of us to some degree

We have come a long way in our understanding of how to heal the brain from proving how genetics, meditation and beliefs, nutrients and energy can literally change your brain. The field that interests me greatly is called neuroplasticty, which essentially means that the brain can be rewired around old injuries, strokes, exposures to toxins, and can actually be healed. By putting simple exercises in place, nutritional interventions, and detoxification of the brain, patients can re-wire neural circuitry and regain strength, symmetry, and cognitive abilities that were once thought to be gone forever. 

A powerful example is Terry Wahls, M.D. She was diagnosed with MS, and as a medical doctor, she adhered to her neurologist’s recommendation for pharmaceutical interventions. As her symptoms progressed, her drug regimens would change, but her symptoms continued to worsen. As her symptoms continued to progress, she became wheelchair bound. She slowly lost more and more physical functioning and became less able to treat her patients.

Feeling that she had nothing to lose, she finally took herself off of her medications and put herself on a radical anti-inflammatory diet that was comprised mostly of organic fruits and vegetables. Fast forward several years, she is symptom free, drug free, out of her wheel chair, and now treating patients with similar degenerative diseases with this diet in her clinic. She received no training in nutrition in medical school but found that this was the “medicine” to heal her brain.

She spoke at the conference I attended in June and showed videos of patients arriving at her clinic often needing the assistance of one or two people and a walker to get into the exam room. The same patient 12 weeks later on this diet was literally skipping down her hallway. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know full well what diet can do for you, but even I was taken aback by the dramatic change in a disease we all consider difficult to treat. And it only took 12 short weeks! 

Reversing MS with diet? If this is the case, what else can diet reverse? Why not let this be our medicine?

Here is an interview conducted with Dr. Terry Wahls and Dr. Bob Roundtree, MD. It is a fun, interesting, and motivating read, even if you have not been diagnosed with a neuro-degenerative disorder, and you simply want to unleash the full potential of your brain. If you know someone with a neuro-degenerative disorder, consider passing this along to him or her.  Visit her site for more information: www.terrywahls.com.

Also, if you are interested in how your genetics play a role in your brain health, Super Genes: Unlock the Astonishing Power of Your DNA for Optimum Health and Well-Being by Deepak Chopra, MD and Rudolph E Tanzi, PhD. is a fascinating and empowering read.

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