How Our Brains and Bellies are Connected and Why it Matters

Have you ever heard of a broken brain?  Have you ever worried that you have a broken brain? Or perhaps you know that you have a broken brain and have struggled with various treatments throughout your life to either fix it or help you live with it.
    A broken brain refers to people that have diagnosis such as (not limited to) autism, ADD, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Executive Dysfunction, Tourette’s Syndrome, Bi-polar, Anxiety or Depression.
      Recently I read a book called The UltraMind Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman.  He is a well-known Functional Medicine doctor. In Functional Medicine (FM), there are not specialists like cardiologists, dermatologists, etc.  Instead, a FM doctor looks at your body as one connected system.  FM is interested in the sum of all your parts, not just one part.  FM uses an elegant model of exploring your genetics + internal stressors + external stressors and how these inter-play to cause you dis-ease.
          FM doctors help us “connect the dots” regarding our health by understanding the intricacy of mind, body and spirit.
            In Dr. Hyman’s first chapter, entitled Broken Brains, he states some staggering statistics.
              For example, from page 11:
            • Psychiatric disorders affect 26% of our adult population or more than 60 million Americans
            • More than 20% of children have some type of psychiatric
            • More than 40 million people have anxiety.
            • More than 20 million people have depression.
              • Our brains are connected to our bodies and when we are out of balance because we are deficient in some nutrient or overburdened with toxins we end up with heart disease, arthritis or diabetes. Or sometimes we end up with depression, autism or anxiety.  All these illnesses are simply a name for a set of symptoms that define our body’s response to being out of balance.
                  In Dr. Hyman’s book, he proposes 7 Keys that open the door to UltraMind Wellness.
                    The 7 Keys:
                      1. Optimize nutrition
                      Eating a whole, organic, and plant based diet is important.
                        2. Balance your hormones
                        Quality food, exercise, relaxation methods and 7-8 hours sleep per night will help.
                          3. Cool off inflammation
                          To cool inflammation, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, adding anti-oxidants to your diet. Also add Omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil.
                            4. Fix your digestion
                            Eat fermented foods or take a probiotic.
                              5. Enhance detoxification.
                              Clean up your world, filter your water, and use green chemicals.
                                6. Boost energy metabolism
                                Fruits and veggies help here too!
                                  7.  Calm your mind.
                                  Meditation, community, prayer and play.
                                    I highly recommend Dr. Hyman’s book.  It is easy to read and understand and offers practical solutions for healing a broken brain. As in any program regarding your health, you should discuss this plan with your doctor.  There are quizzes that you can take to self-evaluate but follow up with a doctor and appropriate testing will give you the data you need to make good decisions and help you to heal yourself.
                                      If you’d like me to help you implement these keys in your own life, if you feel like you need someone to hold you accountable, contact me at:

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