Hay House Radio Episode Recap
- Episode Name: “Zap Brain Fog, Anxiety & Depression”
- Live Broadcast: February 20th, 2018 at 12:00 pm Pacific Time
Episode Summary Re-cap
We’ll discuss indigenous wisdom for modern brain health solutions!Fatigue, anxiety, depression and brain fog seem to be on the rise these days. If you are affected by any of these, you know they can get in the way of your life, relationships and work. Joining Heather is Board Certified Nutritional Consultant and Neurofeedback Specialist, Nora Gedgaudas. Nora will reveal natural solutions for improving brain health, including little-known tips from her time spent studying a family of wolves on the High Arctic tundra and exposure to the Inuit culture. We’ll discuss indigenous wisdom for modern brain health solutions! Special Guest: Nora Gedgaudas
Nora Gedgaudas is a board-certified nutritional consultant and a board-certified clinical neurofeedback specialist with over 20 years of clinical experience.
A recognized authority on ketogenic, ancestrally based nutrition, she is a popular speaker and educator and the author of the best selling book, Primal Body, Primal Mind, as well as Rethinking Fatigue.
Her newest book, Primal Fat Burner: Live Longer, Slow Aging, Super-Power Your Brain, and Save Your Life With A High Fat, Low-Carb Paleo Diet has been lauded by best selling author and journalist, Nina Teicholz as “a unique and profound contribution to the field
Nutrition Certification Program: Primal Restoration
Why are Brain Fog, Anxiety and Depression on the Rise?
My client Janie, came to me concerned about increasing levels of anxiety. “It started with depression, then brain fog, and now, I find myself more and more and more anxious,” she told me. “I feel like I won’t be able to remember anything. Small things feel like big deals to me now. I become overwhelmed and feel like everything is piling up on me. I feel like I can’t get anything done. Every day feels hard. I’m tired.”
Interestingly, I am hearing things like this more often these days. You know when I get the calls? When the brain fog, combined with fatigue sets in. Because at that point, my clients tell me they feel like they can no longer function or tolerate the symptoms.
This is especially important because lack of energy makes it difficult to feel motivated to take action. And brain fog makes it difficult to learn or follow a step-by-step process to heal. Everything feels overwhelming and confusing.
Can you identify with this? Or do you have a loved one who feels this way? Why is it becoming such a common experience?
Fatigue, anxiety, depression and brain fog are the rise these days. If you are affected by any of these, you know they can get in the way of your life, relationships and work.
Are Brain Fog, Anxiety and Depression Related to Alzheimer’s?
It’s important to note that depression, anxiety and brain fog have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other neurological disorders. This is not to cause alarm, but to enable us to dig deeper into what might be going on.
In 2013, Scientists at Bournemouth University found that there was a sharp rise in dementia and brain-health related deaths under the age of 74. When asked why, it was speculated that environment and lifestyle were largely behind this increase.
Why Are Neurological Disorders on the Rise?
Nora Gedgaudas explained the new research, which she called the cytokine model of depression. This research shows that the real culprit behind depression, anxiety, and brain fog is an inflammatory condition.
“Depression and anxiety are two sides of the same coin and this is how I always approach them,” Nora said.
Here’s Nora’s Checklist for Why Brain Fog, Anxiety and Depression – and therefore, Inflammation — are on the Rise:
- Junk food
- Chemical additives in food (e.g., MSG, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, trans fats, BHA, BHT, food dyes, etc.)
- Chronic dehydration
- Adrenal dysregulation
- Thyroid issues (90% related to autoimmune issues)
- Nutritional deficiencies (e.g., not eating enough foods with protein, zinc, magnesium, iron, iodine)
- Food sensitivities
- Autoimmune processes
- Blood sugar surges
- Chronic infections
- Seasonal Affective Disorder from lack of sunshine in the winter
- Poor digestion
- Poor health of gallbladder, pancreas
- SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth)
- Sleep disorders
- Stress (lifestyle-related, how you perceive your world, and environmental stressors)
- History of emotional trauma
If you have any of the above, you likely have some level of inflammation contributing to mood disorders. The key here is to recognize that it’s not “all in your head” and your brain is not broken. Instead, you could have a mood disorder secondary to another health issue, lifestyle habit, or environmental toxin. So it’s important to recognize what the contributors are so you can take your health into your own hands.
Solutions for Better Moods and Brain Health
Nora said that she spent years suffering from intractable depression and neurofeedback, combined with a healthy diet, were major keys for her recovery. Because of this, she developed a passion for both fields and studied them with great tenacity. One thing she mentioned is that while neurofeedback is an incredible tool for healing the brain, it bears mentioning that the best brain training protocol in the world can’t make up for a body deficient in nutrients that the brain needs for optimal health.
Here are solutions for better brain and body health:
#1 – Keep Your Blood Sugar Levels Stable
Blood sugar levels are inflammatory and related to depression, anxiety, brain fog, ability to sleep, decision-making and willpower. If you keep your blood sugar levels stable, you are more likely to feel calm, balanced, grounded and better able to make decisions or stick to goals. Low blood sugar levels can interrupt your sleep or have you waking up feeling angry, anxious or depressed. How you eat makes a huge difference in keeping your blood sugar levels stable. To learn more, read: Blood Sugar and Your Mental Health.
#2 – Eat Like Your Ancestors
Our ancestors were zero waste people who ate foods from the land and sea. Rotating healthy fats, especially high-quality animal fats, is also key for brain health. To learn which foods to choose to reduce brain fog, anxiety and depression, read Nora’s suggestions here.
#3 – Be Mindful of the Questions You Ask Yourself
We all see the world through the lens of our perception. If you wake up in the morning with low blood sugar, you may feel like crap and find you feel angry or depressed. This is how you will perceive the world because we humans like to attach meaning to how we feel. If you don’t feel well, you’ll attach meaning to it. Nora says that the quality of your life is based on the quality of the questions you ask yourself. Are you asking yourself why your life is so awful or what is contributing to the way you’re feeling about your life?
#4 – Keep A Food-Mood-Symptom Diary
In Chapter 5 of Loving Yourself to Great Health, you’ll find all the steps to create a food diary. In this diary, you track the food you eat and any mood symptoms or physical symptoms you have. You track your energy and sleep. You’re learning how food affects your unique body, so that you can find out what works best for you. This is a great way to become more intuitive about how to nourish yourself.
#5 – Focus On What You Can Control
There are many contributors to inflammation that are outside our control, like environmental pollution, electromagnetic fields (EMFs), and what the government or manufacturers are putting into food (e.g., glyphosate) and water (e.g., fluoride, chlorine). With these stressors, we can do our best, but they are pervasive. Aside from environmental advocacy and voting with our dollars, it can be much easier to focus on what we can control: the things we put into our bodies and minds. How we live our lives, what we commit to, whether we engage in self-care, how we eat, who we spend time with – these are all things we can largely control.
#6 – Get the Right Tests to See What’s Underlying Mood Disorders
Nora recommends Cyrex Laboratories for accurate testing. For our caller, who had Lyme, EBV, brain fog, chronic anxiety, insomnia, an intestinal virus and heavy metals, Nora recommended these tests: Food Sensitivity (arrays 3, 4, and 10), Environmental Compounds for heavy metals (array 11), and arrays 5, 12, and 22. She stressed that it’s important to work with a practitioner who knows which tests to order and just as importantly, knows how to interpret the tests.
If you have silver amalgam fillings, your mercury levels may be high. You may want to look into getting your amalgam fillings removed by a dentist certified and experienced in IAOMT (International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology) safe removal techniques.
#7 – Support Your Proprioception
I recommend a couple of tips for supporting proprioception, which is how your body knows where it is in space. When your gut health and brain health becomes compromised due to inflammation, you most certainly have an immune system issue. You have 50% of neurons and 70% of immunity in your gut, which is why gut health is so crucial to healthy immunity. Ongoing inflammation affects the blood brain barrier, which is why poor gut health contributes to depression, anxiety, other mood and memory issues, and brain fog.
As the immune system continues to fight the inflammation, it’s as if there’s so much chaos and static in the immune system that all the groups that must communicate to make it work are no longer communicating. At some point, this breakdown in communication affects how your body knows where it is in space – your proprioception.
This is yet another stressor in the body and brain. It’s also behind physical pain and injury, like falling, bones breaking, and even pain from rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, PMS, and digestive pain. Two easy ways to fix this are: (1) During the day, consider compression leggings or stockings, and (2) During the night, use a weighted blanket.
For compression, I’m suggesting the light compression at 12 – 15 mmHg, which feels comfortable and doesn’t squeeze the body (unless your doctor has told you to wear a higher level of compression). I like Solidea brand, such as Solidea Silver Wave Leggings and Solidea Red Wellness 70 Opaque tights. This light compression can support your circulation, lymph flow, and reduce pain and swelling. I’ve also found that they reduce the fatigue that energetically sensitive people feel after being in crowds or with toxic people.
Weighted blankets have been found to reduce anxiety and support a deeper sleep. They have been found effective for children with autism and sensory processing disorders (SPDs). Like compression, they remind the body where it is in space, which is very calming. I love my organic weighted blanket for sleep and my organic weighted lap pad for focusing on work and projects.
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Tune in Next Week
Tune in next week to 21st Century Medicine Woman, “The Naughty Nutritionist,” Dr. Kaayla Daniel, joins me to discuss the myths and truths about aging. We’ll cover what to eat, what to avoid, natural remedies, lifestyle solutions, and more to keep you feeling your best no matter what your age!
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