I believe we are designed to feel an immense sense of well being & peace – essentially we can live within a calm mind. Yet the majority of people today battle with mood swings, anxiety, cravings, depression and more. 1 in 10 Americans take an anti-depressant. They are the third most commonly used drug today.
According to statistics found through the National Institute of Mental Health – Mental disorders are common in the United States and internationally. An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Also, mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada. Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. Nearly half (45 percent) of those with any mental disorder meet criteria for 2 or more disorders, with severity strongly related to co-morbidity Approximately 20.9 million American adults, or about 9.5 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year, have a mood disorder. Major Depressive Disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15-44.Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.
From what we see, mental illness is on the rise and may only continue to become more prevalent. Unless, the mass public learns that these illnesses can be prevented and start to act on that now – we are in for a rude awakening in the coming generations. Sadly, we are degenerating. The hopeful thing is we can heal our bodies through nutrition, and through food.
This is clearly an epidemic we are up against. However, we do not have to accept this bad mood epidemic as our fate. We simply need to take a step back and see the bigger picture. We literally lack the nutrients we need to nourish our brains – our brains need very specific nutrients that typically are not found in the Standard American Diet.
Common Signs/Symptoms of An Imbalanced Brain
- difficulty focusing or concentrating
- anxiety, worry
- panic attacks
- depression, apathy or boredom
- difficulty regulating attention
- AD/HD (Attention Deficit Disorder with or without Hyperactivity)
- brain fog
- negative mindset, pessimism
- low self-esteem
- angry, obsessive thoughts
- obsessive behavior, compulsive, perfectionist
- irritable, impatient, edgy
- shy, fearful
- PMS with tears, anger or depression
- trouble relaxing or loosening up
- tendency to be uptight or tense
- easily upset, frustrated or snappy under stress
- overly emotional or sensitive
- avoid dealing with painful issues or grief
- isolation from others
- mood swings
- self-destructive thoughts
- failure to listen and follow instructions
- poor abstract thinking
- easily distracted
- decreased alertness
- impulsive behavior
- learning disorders
- hysterical behavior
- memory lapses
- loss of immediate visual and verbal memory
- diminished comprehension
- impaired creativity
- decreased libido
- excessive sleeping
- lack of emotional maturity
- manic depression
- thoughts of death or suicide
- poor verbal memory
- phobias or fears
- hyper vigilience
- too many ideas to manage
- lack of common sense
The majority of us can find ourselves on that list at least a of couple times. The truth is, as a nation, as a population, most of us do not live within a calm mind. We live with some level of mood dysfunction or brain chemistry imbalance. Yet, many of us today are simply not educated on proper nutrition to reverse many if not all of theses symptoms. We think it’s ‘normal’ to feel this way and accept it as part of aging or something else. We don’t stop to ask ourselves if we have a choice in the matter, but we do.
What is interesting to me is that if we took a quick look at the issues that can arise from any one of our 4 major macro-minerals being out of balance, we can see how easy it is to have mood/behavior issues……
When the body is deficient in tissue calcium stores one can experience irritability, nervousness, anxiety, hyperkinetic behavior (aka: AD/HD). This because calcium is a very sedative mineral, it helps decrease one’s sensitivity to stressors acting as a ‘buffer’ to it.
On the flip side, when hair tissue shows calcium excess (could be a loss or even biounavailable form of calcium excreted in the hair as well) the associated symptoms that may arise can be apathy, depression and even social withdrawal.
Calcium affects the cell membrane permeability, muscle contraction and nerve impulse conduction (along with a number of other functions). When it’s out of balance we can experience difficulty related to these key processes being impaired in the form of mood issues.
When the body is deficient in magnesium one can experience symptoms of anxiety, irritability and hyper-kinetic behavior. When a hair analysis shows hair tissue magnesium it often indicates that magnesium is being lost by the body vs. the body having too much. This actually results in a deficiency. Low hair tissue magnesium is often associated with anxiety, irritability, belligerence and a high-strung personality. Magnesium is SO critical. It’s essential for energy production, protein synthesis and it’s required for the activation of more enzymes than any other mineral in the body. It’s also sorely lacking in the modern day diet and soil.
When the body is deficient in sodium one can experience mental depression and apathy. In excess, nervousness and irritability would be more prevalent. Sodium is responsible for the regulation of cell membrane permeability. It is also a key adrenal gland mineral and is associated with the hormone aldosterone.
When the body is deficient in potassium this usually indicates exhausted adrenal glands and low blood sugar which can contribute to apathy and even anxiousness or irritability. In excess it can contribute to depression.
To top it off, when the ratios of Ca/Mg, Ca/K, Na/Mg or Na/K are out of balance we can see even more trends in mood, emotional and behavioral issues.
Just one example of what could happen, in the case of my youngest son (7 years old)….on his first hair test he had extremely elevated sodium, potassium and manganese paired with very low calcium, magnesium and zinc. The things that he struggled with were; volatile behaviors such as anger/rage (likely due to his way low magnesium and the sky high sodium/potassium indicating severe stress on the body), hyper behavior – an inability to sit still for any amount of time -lots of excess movement, easily distracted.
This caused the school to need to create an individualized education program for him since the classroom structure was not working for him. First grade was a rocky year for him in school. It required a lot of staff support and strategies to manage his volatile behavior in school. In addition, he struggled with many things in relation to communicating with his peers. For example, he would not be able to play a board game of any kind with anyone without getting angry and volatile if he didn’t win. Often, he would act like a victim and feel sorry for himself to the point of crying fits. (below is Christian at the beginning of the 2014 school year, being his silly self).
Before the hair test, we had made a lot of improvements but things were not moving forward enough. Once I saw his results I knew he was in far worse shape than I would have been able to determine without seeing his mineral status. Now, he is able to calm down more readily both at home and at school. He can be reasoned with and is more cooperative at school and at home for the most part. He has less fits and less moments of feeling like a victim. He feels better in so many ways and that is the best part of it all.
Where correcting your body’s biochemistry comes in…
This past year I started working with clients via Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. I also have been testing my own family on a regular basis to ensure everyone is getting the right minerals, supplements and diet that is right for their current biochemistry. My two younger boys were displaying AD/HD behaviors and it was impacting our family life and their school experience as well. I knew I needed to take further steps to help them both. The hair analysis was the turning point for us as a family and still continues to help us and guide me with insights to create a corrective/supportive plan for each family member.
As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner I’ve embarked on a journey, one where I aim to help others heal their moods by healing their bodies. Through my website here I’ve sought to teach how a properly prepared nutrient dense diet is the first step towards a calm mind. But it does not end there – diet is too random of an approach to restore numerous mineral imbalances and detox heavy metals from the body.
After spending years focused on a real food diet for my kids and still seeing health issues, namely mood/behavior issues I realized I needed to take the next step. Finding it very difficult to work with our current doctors and to afford more extensive testing I resorted to a simple hair tissue analysis. It’s easy to do, it’s non-invasive (no needles) and gives powerful insights into the body.
Once the hair test results come back I am now able to create a targeted game plan for myself, my kids and my clients. I can share a more focused look at the appropriate use of supplements and how to manage specific ailments – anywhere from depression, sleep issues to memory loss, PMS, ADD & ADHD. As well as work to reduce and eradicate of as many of those above listed symptoms as possible by restoring the body’s minerals.
The calm mind is satiated and nourished with the appropriate nutrients – many of us have ‘junk moods‘ due to ‘junk food‘ (and missing minerals) that cannot nourish our hungry minds the way only mineral rich whole foods and supplements can!
Find out more by clicking on the banner below, and consider getting started balancing your body today so you too can have a calm mind!
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