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You may not know it, but food can act as a powerful drug. Yes, foods high in carbohydrates can increase the neurotransmitter, serotonin, in your brain. You have probably felt its impact - you eat a large meal of pasta and bread and you feel really calm and peaceful and, of course, satiated. When you increase levels of serotonin, you can induce a feeling of well being and actually calm anxiety. If serotonin drops, then you can begin to feel irritable and moody, and if you have felt the medicating influence of carbohydrate foods, you may begin to self-medicate to restore that calm feeling. There can be two problems with that:
These foods (carbohydrates) can spike your blood sugar rather quickly, especially when unaccompanied by other foods, because they digest quickly (if processed) and release large amounts of sugar into your bloodstream. An hour or two later, you can then feel a rather profound blood sugar drop, and that drop can cause you to feel ...
A Migraine and medication question just came in for our Ask the Clinician column. There is so much confusion about this that it's become necessary to address it yet again to help you wade through the confusion and take care of yourselves as well as possible. Here's the question:
"I have been taking 60 milligrams of Cymbalta daily to treat depression, having switched from Zoloft due to a substantial weight gain. I also suffer from migraine headaches, which my doctor prescribed Imitrex. After some research I have found that Cymbalta and Imitrex should not be used together. I also have Malignant Hyperthermia, and am especially concerned about taking medications which could lead to very serious complications. What are my options in migraine relief? I currently get 10 to 15 migraines each month. Kristina."
The issue of taking both triptans (Imitrex, Maxalt, Zomig, etc.) and SSRI and SNRI antidepressants is nowhere near as complicated as some people, including some doct...
One of the main tools in the fight against depression is the use of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI) drugs such as Prozac. SSRI medication has the effect of increasing the neurotransmitter serotonin in some parts of the brain, so it has always been assumed that depression must result from low serotonin levels. However, recent research has revealed that the brain chemistry of a depressed person is far more complex, and that too much serotonin in parts of the brain could actually cause depression.
Christopher A. Lowry Ph.D., of the Department of Integrative Physiology University of Colorado, is reported in the journal New Scientist as saying the discovery of multiple types of serotonin-releasing neurons in the brain, along with high levels of serotonin recorded in people with depression is prompting a rethink as to the cause of depression.
Lowry feels that it is far more likely that there are subgroups of serotonin neurons that are overactive during depressio...
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