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OPRL1 gene associated with more PTSD

June 11, 2013 Leave a comment

 

English: Cases of PTSD and Severe Depression A...

English: Cases of PTSD and Severe Depression Among U.S. Veterans Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan Between Oct 2001 and Oct 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s nice information to know if a certain gene can be associated with PTSD, if you have the gene you and your family could take extra steps in compensating for stressful events rather than expecting people to “buck up”.

This article shows that the use of a particular undisclosed drug kept people from having PTSD like symptoms in mice.  The drug works by activating the OPRL1 receptor for a brain chemical called nociceptin.   When the receptor was activated the mice learned not to feel fear.

In humans the presence of a particular SNP of that same gene had more pronounced PTSD symptoms.

So one version of the gene can protect you while another version may not.  And it seems that morphine  acts on a receptor that’s related, by that I assume close to, OPRL1.

Chronic Fatigue and Exercise Intolerance

Sleeping when studying - Nakhon Sawan, Thailand

Sleeping when studying – Nakhon Sawan, Thailand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Exercise Intolerance is exactly the thing that people blame themselves (and others for).  Stop being lazy, push yourself harder, nauseous?  here have a half a stick of gum, now don’t give up!

Maybe all these things are valid at one level to get one out of a rut, or complacency, but when you have chronic fatigue these behaviors maybe fairly dangerous.  One young man who pushed himself despite his Exercise Intolerance, died from his efforts.

The Test

Using the same stress tests as used by doctors and sports professionals 8 minutes on an exercise bike, add in a mask to test for oxygen levels, the system tests several systems, cardiac, pulmonary, and metabolic.  Normal people after having this type of stress should recover and have the same performance the next day.   CFS people do not. If you have CFS you know that it takes several days to recover.

The test can give you your “anaerobic threshhold”.  This is the activity level where CFS patients now lose strenth and stamina in a way that is difficult to recover from.  Less than your threshhold you can still “bounce back” from your activities.  That threshold can be referred by heart rate, so theoretically you can exercise as long as you remain below that threshhold.

Disability

Unfortunately some people meet this threshhold while taking a shower, or other daily activities.  Luckily Social Security has been accepting the results from this test as an independent marker of disability.

Categories: Bodywork, Fatigue, POTS, Stress

High Blood Pressure

January 19, 2013 1 comment

 A little info about High Blood Pressure prevelance, symptoms and treatment options.

Prevalence

High Blood Pressure is known as a silent killer.  You may not know that you have it, but for it to be even slightly elevated there may be problems.  73.6 million people in the U.S.  have high blood pressure,  that’s one in four people and the CDC says one in three adults.  And it’s not just for old people, one in ten of men between the ages of 25-34 have it!  Why are rates increasing in younger people?  There could be a couple of reasons:   When I was younger upto 140/90 was still considered normal, now it is considered Stage 1 Hypertension, so it may be recategorization.  It seems that the obesity epidemic is contributing to more cases of HBP, as more younger people gain weight.

There tends to be more HBP in men then in women, and is highly correlated with heart disease, stroke, inflammation, allergies, headaches and fatigue among others.  While some say that there is not a genetic component there is a correlation with high homocysteine, and the MTR, CBS and MTHFR gene mutations can impact homocysteine levels.  As one ages your capillaries can lose their flexibility and that creates higher blood pressure.

Poor diet, and stressful lifestyles can also contribute to high blood pressure, and this is situational hypertension rather than the slow progression seen in aging.  Anger is another example of situational high blood pressure, that you may be able to address with therapy or meditation/spirituality.

Associations with Other Conditions

In addition to those mentioned above, do check out your blood presure if you have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome or are hypothyroid.

Symptoms

Though it is considered a silent killer,  do consider being mindful of your blood pressure if you have the following symptoms

Fatigue Cluster headaches
nosebleed tinnitus
numbness tingling weakness
palpitation frequent urination
blurred vision confusion memory loss
chest pains dizziness
muscle cramps exessive perspiration
Irritability brain aging

Treatment

 

In addition to blood pressure medication you have the the following options you might want to try.  Sometimes medications can cause edema and other symptoms, so you could try these to see if the medication dose can be reduced if not eliminted

Herbs

  • You may consider going to your local herb shop and getting a blood pressure blend.  These will typically contain Hawthorn, which has been known to alleviate HBP.
  • Rauwolfia  has been used in India to control HBP for a long time, it can be found in Cardiotone and homeopathically

Nootropics

Pyritinol, which is an analog of Vitamin B6 has been known to bring down blood pressure fast.  It is considered an antiaging drug and can be found on antiaging sites.  It is also known as Cerbon 6.

Essential Oils have been studied and purported to reduce high blood pressure.  You could consider cold diffusing Ylang Ylang, Lavender, Lemon

Potassium-rich foods

  • Purple Potatoes
  • Beet Juice
  • Celery
  • Apples
  • Red Wine..or grape juice?

Supplements

  • Fish Oil , you can freeze these before swallowing if you otherwise burp fish oil
  • Vit C, CoQ10,Vit E ( but not too much)
  • Ginger, Garlic, Cayenne
  • Fiber
  • Calcium and magnesium
  • Aspirin for inflammation reduction and blood thinning
  • Music for relaxation and anger
  • Stop Smoking!
  • Meditation andPets for reducing stress

Monitor

Do consider purchasing a blood pressure monitor, and possibly a Wrist Monitor, if your arms are too bulky for the regular ones, and monitor weekly if you’re on the border and daily if you are already on medication.  Make sure to empty your bladder before doing this, because it may affect your readings.

Remember that your blood pressure may rise if stressed, or if you are traveling and eating out more (they add sodium to food out there you know).  If you are daily readings you may be able to correlate with events

Drink more water; you may think water is boring, so may be perk it up by putting in some lemon or spiking it with an essential oil you may like.

Cheers,

Inflammation and Depression

December 31, 2012 1 comment
Dahlia 'Inflammation'

Dahlia ‘Inflammation’ (Photo credit: F. D. Richards)

According to this Danish post, inflammation causes depression, which causes inflammation.  Depression causes one to have errant sleep, poor stress management, eating poorly, withdrawl from socials support.  This causes epigenetic changes that increase inflammation.

Danish scientists took a cohort of 73,000 people and measured their levels of C-Reactive Protein (CRP)…a marker for inflammation, and mapped those levels to antidepressant dispensation from a pharmacy, and records of people hospitalized for depression.  (You will never be able to do something like this in the USA). 

They found that people with CRP above 3mg/liter had more antidepressant use and hospitalization than those with values under 1mg/liter.  CRP is made in the liver. While the article says that inflammation may affect serotonin in the brain.  We know that serotonin is also found in the GI tract….right next to that liver.  So it must be affected there as well?

 So many more reasons to monitor inflammation, and reduce it.   I suspect that inflammation is our body overextended.  Designed to solve problems here and there such as in injuries, prolonged stress may lead to continuous inflammation.  So stress reduction may be a great way to reduce CRP and maybe therefore depression..

Touch and Move

December 30, 2012 Leave a comment
Massage Faciale © Hélianthal - Office de Touri...

Massage Faciale © Hélianthal – Office de Tourisme de Saint-Jean-de-Luz (Photo credit: Terre et Côte Basques)

YOHAF had a recent show up stress and hormones, I’ve summarized it here for reference.  Please forgive the bulleted summary style!

Massage

Massage releases oxytocin, which reduces fear. Stretching and physical activity with massage add to the effect.

Intervention studies abstract out many other variables such as mood, time, place, practition etc when it comes to massage studies, but why not add these variables back in to suit you.

Moving helps  heal affects of stress.  In this study fruits and vegetables did not address consequences of stress, but movement did.  Rest is also important; need time to recover.

Continous Stress

Stress hormones are also hormones of learning and adaptation, but Downtime is also important to integrate what they’ve learned.

Adrenaline -> Cortisol -> higher blood sugar -> lower immunity healing, digestion, sex hormones go down during acute stressors.  Can present as autoimmune things like Lupus, Thyroidits.  Amygdala grows and hippocampus shrinks.  Now you have chronic inflammation.

Recover by:

  • Be Kind to yourself
  • Eat
  • Rest
  • Walk
  • Avoid Helplessness

 If Cortisol is high/low, sex and thyroid hormones are affected.   If sex hormones are lowered, choleserol will go up. Alcohol raises estrogen in men. 

Stress causes people do want comfort foods raise insulin and cortisol.  Now there is depression and weight gain.  Now progesterone gets low and can cause acne and PCOS.  Sustained stress causes depression and lowered TSH. Pharmaceuticals used to push you when you need rest then messes up other nutrients, like vitamins, carnitine etc.

Movement

Exercise increases metabolism for up to 4 hours, it can also make you smarter.  Around 20-30 minutes of exercise upregulates your metabolism and switches to burning fat!  If stress makes fat, then exercising burns it while it’s being made.  But again be gentle with yourself. If you are in stress mode, exercising more than you can handle can create even more stress.

  • Wireless is also a stressor
  • Socialize
  • Take an iron-free vitamin supplement, especially Vitamin C
  • and minerals
  • Omega 3s from Vegan sources
  • Meditation
  • Art
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