Hormones and Brain Health

Notes From the Healthy Gut Summit
This is not a transcript but notes I took listening to health summits. The speakers are doctors, nutritionists and specialists in their field of health that are practicing functional medicine. These are not you normal health and diet tips but the medical reasons you may be experiencing health problems. In these summits the doctors talk about what is working in clinical practice for their patients to get well. They also have a lot of information on their web pages that I link below.

Brenda Watson CNC

The type of bacteria in your gut controls skinny or obese.

Women without progesterone frequently have insomnia. There are four pillars of health eat right, balance hormones, exercise and be nutritionally sound. Do this and 60 is middle age.

She finds that most of her patients have at least one gut problem, very rare she finds anyone with a gut that’s entirely normal. Good news is we can fix it. For correcting gut health we need to measure nutrients and eliminate parasites that are connected to long term memory loss. You want as many nutrients as possible from natural foods, after 50 you make less nutrients and control stress it uses up a lot of nutrients. Stress is extremely important, put things in perspective and worry about things that are worth worrying about because it’s usually not worth getting upset over. Stress effects all functions of the body and brain.

We now have 104 autoimmune diseases and they are all related to the gut. Test the health of your gut first not the disease. There is a huge improvement with thyroid and hashimoto’s when you go off gluten. Lupus seems to be the only one that attacks any organ in the body all others seem to concentrate on one organ. We know when a person gets one autoimmune disease they are predisposed to another.

The gut flora determines what genes are turned on for what you may be predisposed for. We know a babies gut bacteria is different in a normal birth than that of a C-section so it starts early.

Celiac disease is the most common inherited autoimmune disease worldwide and here in the U.S. it’s probably under diagnosed. When men get it they have worse symptoms than women and with type 1 diabetes you have an increased risk for celiac disease. When celiac diagnosis is delayed people tend to have other diseases, higher rates of bone loss, anemia, malignancies, peripheral neuropathy, infertility and dental enamel defects. The average time of diagnosis from the beginning of symptoms is nine years. It’s not a gene it’s how the protein is broken down in the intestines, it’s actually an abnormal reaction to food.

The cause is a combination of predisposition and environment including infections also after a prolonged illness, an accident or pregnancy. It’s strange that smoking cigarettes may have some protection for celiac, we are not suggesting that people smoke they just seem to have less celiac disease. Some have an IgA deficiency. Testing is best done while your still on gluten one to three months before testing or you will not get a antibody response for correct diagnosis. There are false positives and negatives with testing.

Part of the problem with gluten is there used to be very little in the food and they increased the amount of gluten in the food to make people feel satiated in countries that were starving for food. They didn’t realize an inflammatory process could be set up in the bowel. Gluten can be in wheat, rye, bulgur, couscous, semolina, barley, barley malt, kamut, American oatmeal, much better is millet, quinoa and sorghum. With quinoa you must cook it differently to get rid of the oxalates. Soak it drain and boil in a lot of water like pasta for 10-11 minutes then pour off the water leaving the quinoa, you just poured the oxalates down the drain making it nice and fluffy that way. For rice soak it overnight then boil it drain it and bake it to get rid of the less desirable carbohydrates in the rice.

Yeast overgrowth is very common she finds it in 80% of her patients, we must knock this down to plus one which is normal. Too much yeast causes an imbalance creating many symptoms like diarrhea, memory not sharp, foggy,, rashes, itchy, food sensitivities, headaches, moodiness or chronic sinusitis. One study showed that 98% of chronic sinusitis is related to yeast not bacteria. Symptoms can depend on your age or weather your male or female and can also show up as abdominal pain, bloating, anxiety, insomnia, gas, fatigue, muscle aches and pains or muscle weakness. With children it could be a little different they may have allergies or headaches.

We treat the yeast with antifungals, we do a gut health test to determine which medicine your sensitive to. Begin with antifungals for approximately two months followed up by herbals for approximately six months. Cut down on sugar it feeds the yeast. Candida dye off will cause you to feel like you have the flu for a few days with muscle aches and pains, nausea, headaches or diarrhea and then three weeks later you will get the same symptoms because that’s the budding or baby yeast dying. With autism all children have been found to have yeast.

Most of the time if it’s in the gut it’s in the body too including the sinuses and can be systemic because people eat more sugar than they used to. Once you bring it down if you go back to a high sugar diet the yeast will grow right back. In a woman if your hormones are not balanced it predisposes you to yeast as well. She has found that if one person in the family has parasites the whole family has parasites and the same with yeast. Parasites are associated with memory loss because they take up residency in the intestinal causing an inflammatory response and all types of memory loss are inflammatory in nature. Yeast predisposes people to cognitive decline as does Lyme disease.

If the body does not detoxify then nothing works well and estrogen is cleared through the liver. It’s not just about the liver or the gut you have to make sure the skin which is the largest organ of detox in the body is able to detoxify. We also have to make sure the kidneys and the lungs can detoxify they all work together and need to be healthy. Two bowel movements a day is normal to detoxify the body.

Men have to have estrogen for memory, for women estrogen equals memory. Men with too little estrogen end up with bone loss and cognitive decline, too much increases risk of prostate cancer and heart disease. With women too little estrogen can cause a lot of symptoms because it performs 400 functions in the body. Too much estrogen that’s not detoxified they wind up with an increased risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer. All sex hormones have an interplay with the neurotransmitters with direct relationship to the gut because the gut being the source of some of the neurotransmitters like serotonin.

If the body doesn’t have enough estrogen for a woman then the bodies ability to produce and regulate neurotransmitters changes. Estrogen stimulates the production of acetylcholine, dopamine, GABA, serotonin, glutamate and noradrenaline. It effects all of those neurotransmitters in a woman. A woman’s brain has a lot to do with neurotransmitter function and part of that is through estrogen and it’s ability to regulate those neurotransmitters.

For brain fitness maintaining, cognition and for the prevention of heart disease there have been many studies that show estradiol in women is more effective to maintain memory and prevent heart disease if it is started as soon as the woman starts loosing estrogen. This is different ages for women some don’t loose estrogen right at menopause. Thinner women tend to because estrogen is stored in fat cells a woman can be 65 and still have her normal estrogen but if she replaces it as she starts to loose it it’s better for her brain and heart health. Even starting later you would still get some protection.

For testing there is three ways blood serum, salivary and urine. When we measure blood some of the hormones we don’t get the amount of free hormones, how much is available for the body to use which is what we want to know we get the free and bound together. Also if you measure what’s going on in the blood you will only see what’s going on in the blood not the rest of the body. Women have estrogen receptors in their eyes and men have testosterone receptors in their eyes. You want to see what’s going on in the whole body, saline and urine testing gives us a bigger picture of the whole body. When it comes to cortisol the best test is saliva and looking for balance of hormones.

Estrogen decline coincides with memory decline, macular degeneration and cataracts is what the studies are showing. Same for testosterone in men with memory and prevention of heart disease, in many trials we are seeing lower testosterone levels in younger men under 45. There is currently a trial running on men under 32 with low testosterone and they are all showing heart disease. They are showing hardening of the arteries and arteriosclerosis in these early ages with low testosterone. They are treating men with clomid, HCG or herbals NOT testosterone to raise it.

Seek out a functional medicine doctor because we really can do individualized and customized care. Now it has become personalized we can look at the cause of the problem not treat symptoms and very importantly we can now help to prevent disease.

Brenda Watson is the author of The Skinny Gut Diet

Brenda Watson CNC web page

She recommended worldhealth.net for finding a doctor near you



Disclaimer: The information on this site is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment rendered by a licensed physician. It is essential that you discuss with your doctor any symptoms or medical problems that you may be experiencing.

M. Scherker medical researcher


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