Dr. Alex Jimenez, El Paso's Chiropractor
I hope you have enjoyed our blog posts on various health, nutritional and injury related topics. Please don't hesitate in calling us or myself if you have questions when the need to seek care arises. Call the office or myself. Office 915-850-0900 - Cell 915-540-8444 Great Regards. Dr. J

Neurotransmitters: What Are They & Why Are They Important?

What Is a Neurotransmitter?

A neurotransmitter is a chemical messenger that regulates physical processes. Neurotransmitters are responsible for movement, pain, stress, emotions, cognition, energy, cravings, and more. If the body has a lack of neurotransmitters, disruptions from the signal to the target tissue will appear and heavily influence overall health and well- being. Neurotransmitters function mainly in the Central Nervous System and communicate between the brain and the body’s glands.

Neurotransmitter imbalances are not only found in the brain but they are excreted outside of the Central Nervous System as well. Neurotransmitters play a role in influencing our digestion, nutrient absorption and impact our musculoskeletal

What Is a Neurotransmitter?

A neurotransmitter is a chemical messenger that regulates physical processes. Neurotransmitters are responsible for movement, pain, stress, emotions, cognition, energy, cravings, and more. If the body has a lack of neurotransmitters, disruptions from the signal to the target tissue will appear and heavily influence overall health and well- being. Neurotransmitters function mainly in the Central Nervous System and communicate between the brain and the body’s glands.

Neurotransmitter imbalances are not only found in the brain but they are excreted outside of the Central Nervous System as well. Neurotransmitters play a role in influencing our digestion, nutrient absorption and impact our musculoskeletal system.

Types of Neurotransmitters

Serotonin: This is one of the most known neurotransmitters and although responsible for mood, serotonin also controls our obsessions and compulsions. 95% of the body’s serotonin is produced and housed in the gastrointestinal tract, leaving only a small amount to actually be in the brain.

Dopamine: Drives pleasure, reward, and motivation. Dopamine is heavily triggered when the reward is greater than expected. For example, the excitement you feel when you pay for one thing and you get an additional for free.

GABA: This neurotransmitter is so large that it can not pass through the blood-brain barrier. However, there are natural supplements that are derivatives of GABA that are able to cross the blood-brain barrier.

Glutamate: Glutamate is involved when it comes to the repetitive behaviors of addiction. Additionally, those who feel sick may need to evaluate their diet as glutamate is a common flavor enhancer used in foods. Individuals may be receiving too much glutamate if they eat foods like soy sauce, frozen pizza, and even chicken broth.

Norepinephrine/ Epinephrine: Responsible for fight or flight. Additionally, these neurotransmitters act as regulators of carbohydrates. When the body feels threatened by the cold, low blood sugar, exercise or something scares us, these two neurotransmitters are released by the adrenal medulla.

Neurotransmitter Testing

Labrix is a company that provides a neurotransmitter test that we use in our clinic to assess neurotransmitter function. If we suspect a patient is producing too little or too much of a neurotransmitter, a take-home Labrix kit is issued to them.

Physical symptoms of a neurotransmitter imbalance include pain, sweating, dizziness, addiction, trouble sleeping, anxiety, IBS, mood swings/disorders, low social interest, depression, appetite change, brain fog, fatigue, cold hands, headaches, and the inability to relax.

When a patient comes in for chiropractic care feeling distressed because they are unable to sleep or relax, have headaches, and pain, manual adjustments, as well as neurotransmitter testing, may be appropriate.

Neurotransmitter testing allows us to understand the route cause of these symptoms. Additionally, testing provides data leading us in the direction of what all-natural supplements patients will benefit from depending on their level of neurotransmitter deficiency.

Treating Neurotransmitter Imbalances Holistically

The treatment of neurotransmitter imbalances heavily relies on if you are over or underproducing a neurotransmitter. Secondly, the neurotransmitter you are needing to correct depends on the supplement as well.

L-Theanine is a great supplement to correct neurotransmitter imbalances. L-Theanine comes from green tea and produces a calming effect on the brain. It has been shown to increase cognition and alertness. L-Theanine can be used for high or low neurotransmitter imbalances.

Vitamin D is another supplement that has been shown to have many clinical benefits. Not just for neurotransmitters bur for cancer risk reduction and blood sugar stabilization. In terms of neurotransmitters, Vitamin D activates the gene expression of tryptophan hydroxylase which regulates the production of serotonin and dopamine.

Fish oil that contains DHA and EPA possesses anti-inflammatory factors and contributes to the fluidity of a cell membrane. This supplement helps with the function of the brain and nerve cells.

Research has been overcovering the connection between the gut and brain axis. The state of the flora and what we feed our gut has a direct relationship on our mood and neurodevelopmental disorders. This being said, probiotics will help feed the good bacteria in the gut and improve mood. Considering so much of the body’s serotonin is produced in the gut, we need to remember that everything starts in the kitchen, leads to the gut, and ultimately our genes.

Lastly, remember that stress plays a significant role in the body’s internal actions. Reducing stress by exercising, yoga, meditation, or deep belly breathing are good additional ways to bring your body back to homeostasis. The relationship between hormones and brain chemistry strongly increases the severity of neurotransmitter symptoms.

Neurotransmitters clearly play a vital role in everyday mood and functions. When patients come to our clinic seeking help for headaches, pain, and depression we have to look in the direction of neurotransmitters and the gastrointestinal tract. With serotonin being such a large factor when it comes to mood and being primarily made and stored in the gut, we need patients to understand this deep connection. Additionally, our genetics impact our gut and how we break down certain foods. By feeding our guts healthy foods, we are not only altering our digestion and microflora but positively impacting our mood and genes as well! -Kenna Vaughn, Senior Health Coach

For more information regarding our diets and genetics, please read the published research study below:

Genetic and Epigenetic Contributions to Human Nutrition and Health: Managing Genome-Diet Interactions 

“As the field of nutritional genomics matures, which will include filling fundamental gaps in knowledge of nutrient-genome interactions in health and disease and demonstrating the potential benefits of customizing nutrition prescriptions based on genetics” – Stover

 

References:

Ferris, Lylen. “Neurotransmitter Primer.” Functional Medicine University . 2020, www. Functionalmedicineuniversity. com/members/1040.cfm.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Again,  We Welcome You 👊🏻.

Our Purpose & Passions: I am a Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in progressive, cutting-edge therapies and functional rehabilitation procedures focused on clinical physiology, total health, practical strength training, and complete conditioning. We focus on restoring normal body functions after neck, back, spinal and soft tissue injuries.

We use Specialized Chiropractic Protocols, Wellness Programs, Functional & Integrative Nutrition, Agility & Mobility Fitness Training and Rehabilitation Systems for all ages.

As an extension to effective rehabilitation, we too offer our patients, disabled veterans, athletes, young and elder a diverse portfolio of strength equipment, high-performance exercises and advanced agility treatment options. We have teamed up with the cities premier doctors, therapist and trainers to provide high-level competitive athletes the possibilities to push themselves to their highest abilities within our facilities.

We’ve been blessed to use our methods with thousands of El Pasoans over the last three decades allowing us to restore our patients’ health and fitness while implementing researched non-surgical methods and functional wellness programs.

Our programs are natural and use the body’s ability to achieve specific measured goals, rather than introducing harmful chemicals, controversial hormone replacement, un-wanted surgeries, or addictive drugs. We want you to live a functional life that is fulfilled with more energy, a positive attitude, better sleep, and less pain. Our goal is to ultimately empower our patients to maintain the healthiest way of living.

With a bit of work, we can achieve optimal health together, no matter the age or disability.

Join us in improving your health for you and your family.

It’s all about: LIVING, LOVING & MATTERING! 🍎

Welcome & God Bless

EL PASO LOCATIONS

Central:
6440 Gateway East, Ste B
Phone: 915-850-0900

East Side:
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste 128
Phone: 915-412-6677

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El Paso, TX 79936
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