Addiction, cortisol level and signs of addiction

signs of addictionCortisol Levels Could Play Role in Relapse After Alcohol Abstinence

Why is it that some individuals can drink alcohol on a regular basis and never develop an addiction, while others may become addicted rather quickly? Researchers for years have pointed to differences in our genetics and hormone levels as contributing factors to determine whether or not a substance can become a problem.

In a recent Private MD Labs report, researchers are suggesting that those who struggle with alcohol addiction may want to look into cortisol testing. If this hormone level is too high, it could play a role in alcohol dependency.

University of Liverpool researchers have determined that alcoholics tend to have higher levels of cortisol in their systems. This stress hormone is normally associated with the response to stressful situations. It is now being suggested that chronically high levels may contribute to addiction.

Lead investigator Abi Rose noted that drinking and withdrawal from alcohol can contribute to cortisol functions. Rose suggests that cortisol dysfunction – which includes high levels generally observed when alcohol is withdrawn – may play a part in the high rates of relapses reported in alcohol dependent individuals, even several months after recovery.

The findings from this study could help in the development of drugs that will target elevated cortisol levels, which could help to significantly reduce the chances of any relapse among individuals recovering from alcoholism. Further research is suggested into this area to help promote potential treatments.


Connie’s comments:

Normal Cortisol level should be between 11-14 microgram/dL

Number of hours of sleep at night should be around 7 hours

C-reactive protein normal level should be 0.0 – 1.0 mg/dL

Mental fatigue , adrenal gland dysfunction and craving sweets

Crave sweets

Sugar increases our need for Vitamin B and C. Sugar robs the body of Vitamin B stores to handle nutrient-devoid sugar and adding  burden to the adrenal gland, which is responsible for blood sugar regulation.  The adrenals respond to sugar by putting out cortisol which leads to mineral deficiencies causing the body to dump minerals.

We crave for sugar or addicted to it resulting in blood sugar dysregulation, low adrenal function and yeast overgrowth or imbalance in gut bacteria.

Supplements and lifestyle change should include Vitamin B, C, minerals, HCL and pancreatic enzymes, oregano, L-glutamine, whole foods rich in fiber, probiotics , adequate sleep and less stressful lifestyle.

Adrenal fatigue and dysfunction

There are three main reasons for adrenal fatigue and dysfunction: emotional stress and poor diet.

Emotional stress, typically related to grief or loss

Poor diet: Eating too many carbs can disrupt cortisol and a certain group of corticosteroids (a blood pressure-stabilizing hormone), and the Standard American Diet is “a perfect recipe for destroying your adrenal glands,” Dr. Kalish warns.

One of the most important things that cortisol does is regulating secretory IgA in your gut.

What this means is that the immune response in your gut is controlled by cortisol.

Hence, if you’re stressed, the immune response in your gut suffers, the gut tissue becomes damaged, and good bacteria give way to bad bacteria, causing immune dysregulation that is centered in and around your gut.

Two important components to address this problem are to 1) regularly eat fermented foods, which will dramatically increase the beneficial bacteria in your body (which automatically will help decrease pathogenic bacteria), and 2) to eat a diet low in sugars and carbs, as that will also promote a healthy gut flora.

Source: Mental fatigue and adrenal gland dysfunction

Stress-induced arousal impairs long term memory

A University of Virginia study was conducted to determine if stress enhance or impair memory Consolidation.

Overall results provide consistent evidence that stress does not uniformly enhance memory consolidation. Although prior research has shown that stress during recall can interfere with memory, the current experiments obtained evidence of interference when stress was introduced after learning and participants had returned to baseline levels of arousal before recall. This is the first evidence of which the authors are aware that stress can actually impair consolidation of declarative memories. We tested several hypotheses for these effects, including those concerned with stimulus type, rehearsal, gender, hormonal influences (from menstrual cycle and oral contraceptive use), and opportunity for post-encoding processing. Nevertheless, we continued to obtain the same robust finding that stress-induced arousal impairs long term memory.

In each experiment, exposure to a stressor interfered with, rather than enhanced, long term memory for associated material.


Another was conducted to determine if chronic stress induces a hyporeactivity of the autonomic nervous system in response to acute mental stressor and impairs cognitive performance in business executives.

The study is the first to demonstrate a blunted reactivity of the ANS when male subjects with chronic psychological stress were subjected to an acute mental stressor, and this change could contribute to impairments in cognitive performance.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4373764/


Another study also demonstrated that it is better not to deal with two tasks at the same time when stressed since acute psychosocial stress reduces task shielding in dual-task performance.

Following successful stress induction, as indicated by increases in salivary α-amylase (sAA) and cortisol that reflect increases in sympathetic nervous system and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity, respectively, stressed individuals displayed reduced task shielding relative to controls. This result was further substantiated by a correlation between treatment-related increase in cortisol, but not sAA, and between-task interference, suggesting a potential role of the HPA stress response for the development of the observed effects. As an additional finding, when the volunteers were categorized with regard to their action-state orientation, their orientation did not interact with stress but did reveal generally increased between-task interference, and thus inferior task shielding, for state-oriented as compared to action-oriented individuals.


Connie’s comments: Chronic stress, experiencing stressors over a prolonged period of time, can result in a long-term drain on the body.


Nutrition and healing ways for complusiveness, trouble sleeping – supplements to boost Serotonin

  • 5HTP (natural sources)  +Green tea
  • Inositol
  • Saffron
  • L-tryptophan
  • St John’s Wort
  • Exercise
  • DHA Omega 3
  • Smart carbohydrate diet
  • Learn to remove or distance from worrying thoughts

Nutrition and healing ways for impulsiveness, prone to obesity – supplements to boost Dopamine

  • 5HTP (natural sources)  +Green tea
  • L-tyrosine
  • Rhodiola
  • Ginseng
  • Zinc
  • Ferritin

 

 

Antisocial personality disorder in 70% of prison inmates

Antisocial personality disorder

Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), also known as dissocial personality disorder (DPD) and sociopathy, is apersonality disorder, characterized by a pervasive pattern of disregard for, or violation of, the rights of others.

Prisoners

An international team of Finnish, American, British, and Swedish researchers examined data from the Finnish CRIME sample — a database of psychological tests and genetic material from 794 Finnish prisoners taken between 2010-2011.

The findings of this study cannot be implemented for any prediction purposes, or brought into courthouses to be given any legal weight.
Of the 794 prisoners, a full 568 screened positive for ASPD. By comparing that group’s genetic material to a large control sample from the general population, the researchers identified a number of genes that may play a role in at least some ASPD cases.

Hormones and neurotransmitters

Traumatic events can lead to a disruption of the standard development of the central nervous system, which can generate a release of hormones that can change normal patterns of development.[36] Aggressiveness and impulsivity are among the possible symptoms of ASPD. Testosterone is a hormone that plays an important role in aggressiveness in the brain.[37] For instance, criminals who have committed violent crimes tend to have higher levels of testosterone than the average person.[37] The effect of testosterone is counteracted by cortisol which facilitates the cognitive control on impulsive tendencies.[37]

One of the neurotransmitters that have been discussed in individuals with ASPD is serotonin, also known as 5HT.[36] A meta-analysis of 20 studies found significantly lower 5-HIAA levels (indicating lower serotonin levels), especially in those who are younger than 30 years of age.[38]

J.F.W. Deakin of University of Manchester‘s Neuroscience and Psychiatry Unit has discussed additional evidence of a connection between 5HT (serotonin) and ASPD. Deakin suggests that low cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of 5-HIAA, and hormone responses to 5HT, have displayed that the two main ascending 5HT pathways mediate adaptive responses to post and current conditions. He states that impairments in the posterior 5HT cells can lead to low mood functioning, as seen in patients with ASPD. It is important to note that the dysregulated serotonergic function may not be the sole feature that leads to ASPD but it is an aspect of a multifaceted relationship between biological and psychosocial factors.[citation needed]

While it has been shown that lower levels of serotonin may be associated with ASPD, there has also been evidence that decreased serotonin function is highly correlated with impulsiveness and aggression across a number of different experimental paradigms. Impulsivity is not only linked with irregularities in 5HT metabolism but may be the most essential psychopathological aspect linked with such dysfunction.[39] Correspondingly, the DSM classifies “impulsivity or failure to plan ahead” and “irritability and aggressiveness” as two of seven sub-criteria in category A of the diagnostic criteria of ASPD.[19]

Some studies have found a relationship between monoamine oxidase A and antisocial behavior, including conduct disorder and symptoms of adult ASPD, in maltreated children.[citation needed]

Head injuries

Researchers have linked physical head injuries with antisocial behavior.[40][41][42] Since the 1980s, scientists have associated traumatic brain injury, including damage to the prefrontal cortex, with an inability to make morally and socially acceptable decisions.[40][42] Children with early damage in the prefrontal cortex may never fully develop social or moral reasoning and become “psychopathic individuals … characterized by high levels of aggression and antisocial behavior performed without guilt or empathy for their victims.”[40][41] Additionally, damage to the amygdala may impair the ability of the prefrontal cortex to interpret feedback from the limbic system, which could result in uninhibited signals that manifest in violent and aggressive behavior.[40]

Family environment

Some studies suggest that the social and home environment has contributed to the development of antisocial behavior. The parents of these children have been shown to display antisocial behavior, which could be adopted by their children.

Source: Wiki

Cortisol, serotonin and depression: all stressed out?

The fact that patients with major depression exhibit decreased brain serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) function and elevated cortisol secretion has reached the status of textbook truism. More recent formulations have suggested that elevated cortisol levels, probably caused by stressful life events, may themselves lower brain 5-HT function and this in turn leads to the manifestation of the depressive state (see Dinan, 1994). This elegant proposal neatly ties abnormalities of cortisol secretion and 5-HT function into a causal chain in which cortisol is the key biological mediator through which life stress lowers brain 5-HT function, thereby causing depression in vulnerable individuals.

The importance, and occasional discomfort, of testing cherished beliefs is shown in a ground-breaking study from the Manchester University Department of Psychiatry published in this issue of the journal (Strickland et al, 2002). In a large group of women the authors found no evidence of increased salivary cortisol levels in those with depression or in the majority of those vulnerable to depression through adverse social or personal circumstances. Moreover, in women with depression, brain 5-HT function (as judged by the prolactin response to the 5-HT releasing agent, d-fenfluramine) was increased rather than diminished. These findings pose serious problems for hypotheses linking hypercortisolaemia with lowered brain 5-HT function and depression.

Source: http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/180/2/99


Massage therapy on cortisol and serotonin

In this article the positive effects of massage therapy on biochemistry are reviewed including decreased levels of cortisol and increased levels of serotonin and dopamine. The research reviewed includes studies on depression (including sex abuse and eating disorder studies), pain syndrome studies, research on auto-immune conditions (including asthma and chronic fatigue), immune studies (including HIV and breast cancer), and studies on the reduction of stress on the job, the stress of aging, and pregnancy stress. In studies in which cortisol was assayed either in saliva or in urine, significant decreases were noted in cortisol levels (averaging decreases 31%). In studies in which the activating neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine) were assayed in urine, an average increase of 28% was noted for serotonin and an average increase of 31% was noted for dopamine. These studies combined suggest the stress-alleviating effects (decreased cortisol) and the activating effects (increased serotonin and dopamine) of massage therapy on a variety of medical conditions and stressful experiences.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16162447

Correlation between cortisol level and serotonin uptake in patients with chronic stress and depression

In a recent study (Tafet, Toister-Achituv, & Shinitzky, 2001), we demonstrated that cortisol induces an increase in the expression of the gene coding for the serotonin transporter, associated with a subsequent elevation in the uptake of serotonin. This stimulatory effect, produced upon incubation with cortisol in vitro, was observed in peripheral blood lymphocytes from normal subjects. In the present work we investigated the cortisol-induced increase in serotonin uptake in lymphocytes from hypercortisolemic patients, including subjects with major depressive disorder (n = 8), and subjects with generalized anxiety disorder (n = 12), in comparison with a control group of normal healthy subjects (n = 8). A significant increase in serotonin uptake (+37% + 14, M + SD) was observed in the control group, whereas neither the generalized anxiety disorder nor the major depression group exhibited changes in serotonin uptake upon incubation with cortisol. It is likely that under chronic stress or depression, the capacity for increase in serotonin transporter has reached its limit due to the chronically elevated blood cortisol level.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12467090


Connie’s comments: A stressed baby can lead to personality disorder in adulthood. Nurture prevents many personality disorders.

prisonersusa-mental-health

Intermittent stress is ok but not prolonged stress, killing brain cells

New research from the University of California, Berkeley, reveals an upside to experiencing moderate levels of stress. But it also reinforces how important it is to keep stress under control. The study, led by post-doctoral fellow Elizabeth Kirby, found that the onset of stress entices the brain into growing new cells responsible for improved memory. However, this effect is only seen when stress is intermittent. As soon as the stress continues beyond a few moments into a prolonged state, it suppresses the brain’s ability to develop new cells.

“I think intermittent stressful events are probably what keeps the brain more alert, and you perform better when you are alert,” Kirby says. For animals, intermittent stress is the bulk of what they experience, in the form of physical threats in their immediate environment. Long ago, this was also the case for humans. As the human brain evolved and increased in complexity, we’ve developed the ability to worry and perseverate on events, which creates frequent experiences of prolonged stress.

Besides increasing your risk of heart disease, depression, and obesity, stress decreases your cognitive performance. Fortunately, though, unless a lion is chasing you, the bulk of your stress is subjective and under your control. Top performers have well-honed coping strategies that they employ under stressful circumstances. This lowers their stress levels regardless of what’s happening in their environment, ensuring that the stress they experience is intermittent and not prolonged.

While I’ve run across numerous effective strategies that successful people employ when faced with stress, what follows are ten of the best. Some of these strategies may seem obvious, but the real challenge lies in recognizing when you need to use them and having the wherewithal to actually do so in spite of your stress.

They Appreciate What They Have

Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the “right” thing to do. It also improves your mood, because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy, and physical well-being. It’s likely that lower levels of cortisol played a major role in this.

They Avoid Asking “What If?”

“What if?” statements throw fuel on the fire of stress and worry. Things can go in a million different directions, and the more time you spend worrying about the possibilities, the less time you’ll spend focusing on taking action that will calm you down and keep your stress under control. Calm people know that asking “what if? will only take them to a place they don’t want—or need—to go.

They Stay Positive

Positive thoughts help make stress intermittent by focusing your brain’s attention onto something that is completely stress-free. You have to give your wandering brain a little help by consciously selecting something positive to think about. Any positive thought will do to refocus your attention. When things are going well, and your mood is good, this is relatively easy. When things are going poorly, and your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, this can be a challenge. In these moments, think about your day and identify one positive thing that happened, no matter how small. If you can’t think of something from the current day, reflect on the previous day or even the previous week. Or perhaps you’re looking forward to an exciting event that you can focus your attention on. The point here is that you must have something positive that you’re ready to shift your attention to when your thoughts turn negative.

They Disconnect

Given the importance of keeping stress intermittent, it’s easy to see how taking regular time off the grid can help keep your stress under control. When you make yourself available to your work 24/7, you expose yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Forcing yourself offline and even—gulp!—turning off your phone gives your body a break from a constant source of stress. Studies have shown that something as simple as an email break can lower stress levels.

Technology enables constant communication and the expectation that you should be available 24/7. It is extremely difficult to enjoy a stress-free moment outside of work when an email that will change your train of thought and get you thinking (read: stressing) about work can drop onto your phone at any moment. If detaching yourself from work-related communication on weekday evenings is too big a challenge, then how about the weekend? Choose blocks of time where you cut the cord and go offline. You’ll be amazed at how refreshing these breaks are and how they reduce stress by putting a mental recharge into your weekly schedule. If you’re worried about the negative repercussions of taking this step, first try doing it at times when you’re unlikely to be contacted—maybe Sunday morning. As you grow more comfortable with it, and as your coworkers begin to accept the time you spend offline, gradually expand the amount of time you spend away from technology.

They Limit Their Caffeine Intake

Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight-or-flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re responding to a curt email. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyperaroused state of stress, your emotions overrun your behavior. The stress that caffeine creates is far from intermittent, as its long half-life ensures that it takes its sweet time working its way out of your body.

They Sleep

I’ve beaten this one to death over the years and can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams), so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present. Stressful projects often make you feel as if you have no time to sleep, but taking the time to get a decent night’s sleep is often the one thing keeping you from getting things under control.

They Squash Negative Self-Talk

A big step in managing stress involves stopping negative self-talk in its tracks. The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts. When you find yourself believing the negative and pessimistic things, your inner voice says, “It’s time to stop and write them down.” Literally stop what you’re doing and write down what you’re thinking. Once you’ve taken a moment to slow down the negative momentum of your thoughts, you will be more rational and clear-headed in evaluating their veracity.

You can bet that your statements aren’t true any time you use words like “never,” “worst,” “ever,” etc. If your statements still look like facts once they’re on paper, take them to a friend or colleague you trust and see if he or she agrees with you. Then the truth will surely come out. When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural threat tendency inflating the perceived frequency or severity of an event. Identifying and labeling your thoughts as thoughts by separating them from the facts will help you escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive new outlook.

They Reframe Their Perspective

Stress and worry are fueled by our own skewed perception of events. It’s easy to think that unrealistic deadlines, unforgiving bosses, and out-of-control traffic are the reasons we’re so stressed all the time. You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them. So before you spend too much time dwelling on something, take a minute to put the situation in perspective. If you aren’t sure when you need to do this, try looking for clues that your anxiety may not be proportional to the stressor. If you’re thinking in broad, sweeping statements such as “Everything is going wrong” or “Nothing will work out,” then you need to reframe the situation. A great way to correct this unproductive thought pattern is to list the specific things that actually are going wrong or not working out. Most likely you will come up with just some things—not everything—and the scope of these stressors will look much more limited than it initially appeared.

They Breathe

The easiest way to make stress intermittent lies in something that you have to do everyday anyway: breathing. The practice of being in the moment with your breathing will begin to train your brain to focus solely on the task at hand and get the stress monkey off your back. When you’re feeling stressed, take a couple of minutes to focus on your breathing. Close the door, put away all other distractions, and just sit in a chair and breathe. The goal is to spend the entire time focused only on your breathing, which will prevent your mind from wandering. Think about how it feels to breathe in and out. This sounds simple, but it’s hard to do for more than a minute or two. It’s all right if you get sidetracked by another thought; this is sure to happen at the beginning, and you just need to bring your focus back to your breathing. If staying focused on your breathing proves to be a real struggle, try counting each breath in and out until you get to 20, and then start again from 1. Don’t worry if you lose count; you can always just start over.

This task may seem too easy or even a little silly, but you’ll be surprised by how calm you feel afterward and how much easier it is to let go of distracting thoughts that otherwise seem to have lodged permanently inside your brain.

They Use Their Support System, receives more love

It’s tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To be calm and productive, you need to recognize your weaknesses and ask for help when you need it. This means tapping into your support system when a situation is challenging enough for you to feel overwhelmed. Everyone has someone at work and/or outside work who is on their team, rooting for them, and ready to help them get the best from a difficult situation. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Something as simple as talking about your worries will provide an outlet for your anxiety and stress and supply you with a new perspective on the situation. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation. Asking for help will mitigate your stress and strengthen your relationships with those you rely upon.

Hormonal and Chemical Balance and the signals from our bodies

Positive Negative Tests/Signs/Symptoms

DHEA, growth hormone, produced by the body, affected by cortisol hormones

For prevention of osteoporosis
schizophrenia, lupus, erectile dysfunction;
vegetables and fruits, wild yams, fish oil;
sleep; no stress
If not in balance,
facilitate aging, ovarian cancer, affects adrenals; stressful lifestyle
Low energy, hormonal imbalance, ages prematurely, poor skin health, and poor overall body health;
check with doctor and monitor body before supplementation; insomnia; lack of sleep

The table shown above tells us that each hormone in the body works in synergy or in balance with other hormones and chemicals in the body.  Our body shows signs and symptoms of deficiency through the health of our tissues, skins and organs.  Major diseases can be prevented with the balance of hormones and chemicals and imbalance can cause diseases such as cancer.

We can start by reducing stress and anxiety and then taking the proper nutrition.  And we should depend less on other unwanted chemicals, pollutants, toxins, and drugs.

A regular checkup with our doctor and laboratory results can provide early warning signals of how our body is coping as we age and when in diseased state.

Own your health, be the first to know what your body is telling you about your health. It is not late.

Connie Dello Buono

www.clubalthea.myshaklee.com

motherhealth@gmail.com

http://www.clubalthea.myrandf.com for anti-aging skin care

Crowdfunding for Motherhealth –> http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/413184/wdgi/3335495

———Now hiring financial consultants, work from home, in USA

Please join us on Saturdays 10-11am at 400 oyster pt blvd SSF ste 120 , be a business owner helping families and you then help yourself retire in 7yrs connie 408-854-1883 in USA motherhealth@gmail.com