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November, 2021 2 Comments

Psychological disorders and the relationship with brain hormones: III

Part 3

The most significant brain hormone is undoubtedly Serotonin

Psychological disorders and the relationship with brain hormones (neurotransmitters) made by your gut is significant. A very important (brain) hormone is serotonin. Your sleep, your eating habits, your general mood and your sexual behavior is partly determined by serotonin. But also the communication between the brain halves is determined by the right amount of serotonin. You are a happy and contented person when you have enough serotonin, being short can cause many changes in you. Your sleep changes, you can get cravings for carbohydrates, you can become aggressive or irritable, but also depression is very common. 

As mentioned in Part 2, serotonin is not only produced in the brain but also 90% in the gut. The relationship between a healthy gut and a healthy brain is therefore easily established. It is very often the case that people with psychological problems have an incorrect gut microbiome, but also a leaky gut.

A lot or the right amount of dopamine makes you a happy person

A lot of dopamine, or the right amount, makes you a happy person. You have a lot of energy, and you are good at manifesting. You know what you want, and you can create it. For these reasons, it is a very important substance for determining your character. Dopamine gives you a nice and pleasant feeling, but it also gives you strength and is released during activities that you enjoy. Read our article about a young man with a meth addiction

Unfortunately, this is also why drugs are so addictive, because drugs release a lot of dopamine. Drugs give a euphoric feeling, and this is how you always want to feel. Dopamine is also produced in the intestines by 50%. You know the well-known butterflies in the stomach, that is the dopamine that is released in the intestines 🙂 A shortage of dopamine causes an immediate depression and great fatigue, which is also the reason why drug addicts immediately take another dose. After the euphoric feeling, the depression that follows becomes more and more unmanageable for them. That’s why Crystal Meth is so immense addictive, it gives an enormous high and a terrible low. Dopamine also plays a major role in Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia.

Melatonin is our sleep hormone, and insulin regulates our blood sugars

When it gets dark, more melatonin is produced. It is a very important hormone for good sleep and your biorhythm. Melatonin is also largely produced in the intestines. It is also a good antioxidant, especially for the intestines, and suppresses inflammation. That is why it is so true that when someone has intestinal problems, sleep problems also occur.

Insulin plays a significant role in controlling blood sugar. For example, it ensures that the cells absorb the glucose. Constantly eating too many fast carbohydrates and sugars can increase the level of insulin in the blood so much, that cells become insensitive to insulin. This is a situation called insulin resistance and is seen as a precursor to diabetes. The free glucose is then stored in fats (visceral fats), which are very difficult to break down. 

Insulin is also active in the brain and plays a significant role there in memory and is anti-inflammatory. Unfortunately, when insulin, as well as other substances in the body, is chronically too high, it is too low in the brain. Do you know the feeling of sudden brain fatigue, often with blurred vision? Then you literally have too little glucose in the brain. Type 3 diabetes is a fairly new term and another name for Alzheimer’s disease! 

So when there is low insulin and there is insulin resistance, this can have major consequences for the brain, memory and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it is very important that we leave the fast carbohydrates and sugars in our diet as much as possible to prevent these serious symptoms. It is very wise to eat low-carb or ketogenic foods together with intermittent fasting. But we will write more about that in another article.

Our appetite is also determined by the hormone Cholecystokinin or CCK

This is a hormone that is produced in the small intestine, CCK indicates that you are full. It is a well-known brain hormone, also the most common, and has a major role in eating disorders. It also influences your mood and the creation of anxiety disorders.  There are so many more hormones and substances that influence the way the brain works. For this article, too much and too extensive information.

Endorphins and exorphins are important to mention

The brain works a lot with a reward system in the form of endorphins. This is the happiness-inducing substance that is released after you have been jogging, for example, or have done any other sport that uses up a lot of energy. Endorphins also suppress pain, and you often hear athletes talk about the point when they can put aside their own pains by simply carrying on. This is the moment when the endorphins take over and relieve the pain. Endorphins are the body’s own opiate-like substances, but their effect can be blocked by exorphins in food. These exorphins mimic the action of the endorphins, only the effect is much less, and they block the release of the body’s own endorphins. 

When eating exorphin-rich food, the substance dopamine is also released, and so a person can develop an addiction to sugar- and fat-rich food (exorphin-rich). Exorphin addiction manifests itself in the excessive consumption of wheat, gluten, sugar, cheese, all milk products, soy and spinach, but also alcohol. Think of a pizza, it contains at least gluten, wheat and cheese, so an overload of exorphins. Biscuits contain milk products, wheat, gluten and sugar. After eating this overload of exorphins, you feel good for a while, only to become tired and depressed again. This makes you quickly reach for exorphin-rich foods again. In the United States, the term “exorphin junkie” is commonplace. 

Exorphins from food give rise to many complaints

Exorphins also hinder communication between nerve cells and cause many complaints such as fatigue, memory loss, addictions, lack of focus and depression. For example, ADHD patients have an overload of exorphins in their brains. 

This also has to do with the intestinal microbiome because the DPP-IV enzyme is made by the microbiome. This enzyme is intended to render exorphins in food harmless, but unfortunately it does not work sufficiently well if the intestinal microbiome does not function properly. And so the circle is closed again.

In this article we have explained as much as possible the relationship between the gut and the functioning of the psyche. However, it is so much more extensive. Unfortunately for such an article it is too much information. This article is only meant to make you ask more critical questions when you visit your psychiatrist or your GP. So that these specialists also have to think differently about your treatment. Everything described above is scientifically researched and proven. It is way about time that these specialists develop other interventions in the treatment of psychological disorders

Think Wise, Think Different


2 responses to “Psychological disorders and the relationship with brain hormones: III”

  1. Promila Singh says:

    Very informative article.

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