In a previous article I told you a bit about
low Gaba and Serotonin levels in your brain, and how such a lack may
throw you into many unpleasant and stressful condition. I received many
calls and visits after that article. So many of you could identify with
the conditions of low Gaba and low Serotonin. Of course there is seldom
just one factor that creates a certain condition; our bodies are complex
and it takes a holistic approach, and sometimes medical for an acute
situation, to bring back synergy and balance.
Today I want to introduce
to you the other two brain chemicals that are important to be balanced.
What I do
not mean by that is that Gaba, Serotonin, Acetylcholine
and Dopamine should be present in equally divided amounts; far from
it. But you do have all four present in your brain. Whichever dominates
gives your personality a certain trait.
What does that mean? If your brain produces
more Gaba, you are usually a very balanced and stable person. When you
produce more Serotonin, you may take the challenges of your day in a
playful manner. A personality with a strong Acetylcholine output is
usually creative and sociable, open to new ideas as long as they excite.
They are fast thinkers and use all of their senses. Dopamine personalities
thrive on high energy; they feel empowered and energetic. They usually
move fast, love to finish things and be in control.
Before I go more into the
Dopamine and Acetylcholine characteristics, it is important to recall
that all of us have all four brain-chemicals present. The question is
how to create a better balance? There are typically certain characteristics
in people with a stronger presence of any of the four brain chemicals,
and it is not my intention to advise changing your personality. A significantly
low amount in any of these four essential brain chemicals will create
as many problems as will a significantly large amount of the one that
supports your personality. In other words: too much of a good thing
is bad. You will feel the effects of a diminished amount of your dominant
brain chemical most definitely. How? You just do not “feel like yourself”,
you feel “off”. I had a person ask me, and I quote: “drown me
in Gaba!” This person could not handle the stress, anxiety and insomnia
she suffered. Gaba can help, but it still needs to be balanced with
other issues that may need to be addressed as well.
Now let us discover a bit
more about Acetylcholine.
If you are usually a fast thinker and
create your days, weeks and months with a clear vision of what you want
to do, but lately have not been able to even visualize what tomorrow
may bring, your Acetylcholine may be too low. Your thought processes
are slow, you can’t remember why or how to do something, having an
attention deficit, are all related to a reduced brain speed and lack
of sufficient Acetylcholine. If untreated, early Dementia and Alzheimer
disease could develop. Let me also advise you to limit your exposure
to aluminum that is found in so many products of modern life. Aluminum
is known as a factor in Alzheimer disease; it also depletes your body
of Acetylcholine. Another less known activity depleting your body of
this vital brain amino acid is watching violent movies, including aggressive
behavior and listening to foul or degrading comments. What you see,
hear or feel has an effect on your body’s chemistry, which starts
in your brain! I recommend daily body and mind exercises, including
meditation and spiritual practices to recharge your body with Acetylcholine.
The fourth brain chemical
I want to tell you a bit about is Dopamine. If your dominant personality
characteristic is a strong will, a powerful intention with a mind to
get what you want, and usually get it, Dopamine may be responsible for
that. You find a lot of people who are good with numbers and facts,
but not too great with imagination and feelings in this group. People
who are Dopamine dominant have a tendency to criticize others, but don’t
take it that well for themselves. Dopamine personalities are more open
and may accept a more aggressive treatment to bring back their normal
level, because they feel the lack of “power” as unacceptable. Do
you remember that Acetylcholine is responsible for your brain’s speed?
Dopamine is responsible for your brain’s power, the voltage. Extremely
high amounts of Dopamine are found in people with a tendency to violent
and excessively aggressive behavior.
Some of the symptoms of
dopamine deficiency are a lack of concentration. Everything takes more
effort to accomplish; you need stimulants to get your performance going.
You feel burned out and tired even after a good sleep. There is all
around a lack of energy (voltage) in your brain and body. The ability
to gain or lose weight is also closely related to Dopamine. One of the
first signs of decreased Dopamine may be a significant weight gain.
There is so much more to
say about how the four brain chemicals: Dopamine, Acetylcholine, Serotonin
and Gaba affect everything in your physical body, including your mental
and emotional behavior. But again I can only ‘touch the surface’
in this article. I learned so much more about brain chemistry on my
recent trip to Dr. Braverman’s Path Medical Center in New York where
I had my brain tested with very sophisticated equipment. Some of the
tests that you can do on your own are available in print. Call me if
you want to find out more about this.
Angelika Christie ND is the managing
director of Radiant Health Center
You can reach her at 242-352-1010