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by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath
Brain disorders are definitely on the rise. It is now recognized that 1 in 8 senior citizens will develop Alzheimer’s but this is not just and aging issue because 1 in 8 children are also diagnosed with brain development disorders such as autism, ADD and ADHD. Estimates share that people living with incidents of dementia have been estimated to be as high as 24 million people with the number predicted to double every 20 years until at least 2040. Add to this that anxiety disorders, obsessive/compulsive disorders, learning disabilities and depression are extremely common these days. On top of this, sleep disorders, poor mental clarity mild depression and moodiness are actually very common. With all this said, it is no surprise the antidepressants are the most prescribed drugs in the United States. Brain disorders have now become what we would consider commonplace. Since I witnessed both my mother and grandmother deteriorate with severe dementia before their deaths, I can share that you want to do everything you can to prevent this and other brain disorders. Did you know that the extreme mood swings associated with premenstrual syndrome, perimenopause and menopause are most often hormone driven brain imbalances and brain inflammation? Unfortunately in our culture most women are taught that this is actually normal, when it is anything but normal. OK guys, before you start thinking “whew, I don’t have to worry about that” your not out of the woods. This is the same for men as they drop into andropause, also referred to as male menopause. When a man’s hormone function is in disarray this can lead a lack of motivation, weight gain, the typically “grumpy old man” syndrome or what has been come to be known as the “mid-life crisis.” Both menopause and andropause create and environment for early brain degeneration that is most often preceeded by a poor functioning brain. And round and round we go… Another hormonal area to understand in regard to brain function is the thyroid. Did you know that an estimated 27 million Americans are living with thyroid dysfunction and that this can profoundly impact brain health? This combination can lead to brain fog, depression, anxiety and other brain based challenges. This can often accelerate brain degeneration and even coexist with brain autoimmunity. With this understanding of hormone driven brain chemistry imbalances, it is always important to get to the bottom of the hormone imbalances. Most hormone imbalances originate as adrenal insufficiency. Over my career we have reviewed approximately 4,500 adrenal test kits and have only seen 5 come back normal. Yes, ONLY 5! In fairness, at Depke Wellness, we work with health challenged individuals but this tells us that if you have a health issue, there is only about 1/10 of one percent chance that you have healthy adrenal function. Based on what we have discussed earlier in this article in regard to brain function, menopause, andropause and thyroid dysfunction, take a guess at what affects all of these areas. If you guessed adrenal function, you are right on! While your adrenal function plays a role in so many areas of your body, this will directly affect thyroid function, ovary function, inflammatory states and neural connectivity. So when we are looking hormone drive brain based disorders, it is essential to understand your personal adrenal function. Based on years of this focus here at Depke Wellness we always recommend adrenal saliva testing so you can understand adrenal function throughout the day. We would look at cortisol production at four times during the day, a total cortisol and a DHEA average but that’s not all. We also look at estradiol, estriol, progesterone, testosterone and melatonin. This provides us the necessary information to make recommendations to assist your body in balancing adrenal function. With proper adrenal function, you can begin to enjoy further balance with the thyroid, ovaries, inflammatory states and brain function. While adrenal function may not be the “end all” for your brain disorder, it is the most significant starting point for hormone related brain disorders. So call our office today at (949)954-6226 and request a #205 adrenal saliva test kit and move forward with your goals of health and happiness. If you have any comments or questions, please post these below for us to address personally.