GABA, GABA, Doo, Part 1
Yes, this series is going to be just slightly off the beaten path where Christianity, spirituality, the Bible, and daily living are concerned. However, I believe it has much to do with our daily walk and the working out of our faith in real-time. I cannot emphasize enough how important the subject is to everyone that we’ll be discussing. Most people don’t even realize its true importance. In fact, in spite of what I have already learned, I have yet a great deal to learn.
Is it possible for the authentic (not professing) Christian to study God’s Word, pray daily/often, and even want to do the right thing, yet come up short just as often? Is it possible that what is frequently seen as a spiritual malaise in a person who tends to fail at exhibiting the attributes a loving Christian, has root in something that is actually physiological instead of spiritual, but impacts the spiritual?
In other words, have you been frustrated with aspects of your Christianity that simply do not appear to exist in great measure or with any prolonged consistency, and you believe this is a spiritual problem as opposed to possibly being a physiological one? I believe this is a very real underlying problem for many Christians, myself included.
Though I firmly believe our individual dates with death are predetermined, we can spend our interim years in good health or in bad. If we are in good health, we will live our lives appreciating what we have and certainly, if we are Christians, we will live lives that are more able to benefit others simply because we won’t be so focused on ourselves.
Illnesses, feelings of malaise, lack of energy, and a host of other very real things can cause us to focus on ourselves. If we live our years out in bad health, we may tend to live lives that are filled with unnecessary misery that might have been avoided had we done things differently. At least one of the keys is in how we take care of our bodies – what we eat and what we drink. The more we know, the more we can flourish. Granted, there are things we are born with due to our genetic profile, but there are many things we can do to compensate for any difficulties with our genes. I will use myself as an example in this series.
Before I really get started, I’d like to make a very important disclaimer. I am not a physician. I have no medical training. I am not recommending any specific line of supplementation nor am I intending to provide any medical advice to anyone. At the most, what I am doing is providing some measure of insight into what scientists understand about how our bodies work and what our brains need to adequately function. What I present in this series is based on personal experimentation, knowledge, and the effects of it for me.
My absolute goal is whet your appetite so that you also can begin the learning process. I hope that reading through this particular series will cause you to dig, to find qualified sources and individuals who might be able to help you sift through the tremendous amount of information out there so that you can get to know yourself better and how your body works. If you suffer from certain symptoms mentioned in this series, I would encourage you to seek out people – whether in the medical or the nature path field – who might be in a position to help determine what ails you and how you might recover from those ailments. You may have no recognizable ailment, but you simply feel “off.” There are ways to help yourself. Again, nothing in this series should be understood to be a blanket prognosis or recommendation for any person by me. I draw from my own experiences and if you benefit from that knowledge, wonderful.
There are some who faithfully avoid naturopathic doctors. They have been taught that these people are quacks and use New Age techniques. I’m sure some do, but this should not translate to a blanket observation for all naturopathic individuals. Do you ever see a medical doctor? Do you know for a fact that every doctor you see is a devout Christian? Is it possible some are atheists, Buddhists, Muslim, or other? Do you not see them based on that? There are brilliant people in the area of medicine who, unfortunately for them, are simply not Christian. Yet, you would not avoid seeing them if they really knew what they were doing medically, would you? You must seek out advice and information with both eyes open. I will be quoting from at least one source who has tremendously good advice, but she also veers off into the area of “meditation” and “Mindfulness.” I stop there, but I don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.
One individual on a social network has built a ministry around helping people become more aware of the New Age and its techniques. That’s a good thing. Unfortunately, of late, he has gone to making blanket generalizations for all naturopathic practitioners as being New Age. This is not a good thing and the trouble with this line of thinking is that others who take what he teaches as gospel will avoid seeking any type of alternative medicine as being “anti-God” because he makes a determined New Age connection with all of it, including supplements. You will have to make your own decision here, but I would encourage you to do as much research and study as possible so that you – and not someone else – are able to make an informed decision. That goes for what I write here about my own experiences. You are responsible for your own decisions. Choose wisely.
David said, “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well,” (Psalm 139:13-14). This particular Psalm is a testament to God’s power, His authority, His creativity, His unmatched brilliance, and His sovereignty. We know so very little about our bodies and life itself (in spite of what we do know). If we knew more, we might live differently. However, so many go through life eating the way they eat, drinking the way they drink, and essentially ingesting things that ultimately take its toll on our systems. This does not even take into account our genetic profiles that leave us susceptible to many diseases, problems, and physiological difficulties, all of which lead to a sort of spiritual malaise or depletion.
As David states, our bodies are wonderfully made and it takes tremendous knowledge to even begin to understand them. While I believe there is great merit in seeking out medical doctors for certain specific ailments, it disturbs me that most of these doctors all too often, reach for their prescription pads as their first response. Moreover, they do not look at human beings from a “holistic” perspective. What I mean by that is that they if you go in for high blood pressure, you are apt to be given a prescription for specific medications that are designed to reduce blood pressure. That is the drug’s purpose. In the end though, the drug given merely treats a symptom with the underlying root cause likely ignored. Too many medical doctors today are not equipped to seek out the root of the problem. We have specialists in every field, but rarely to those specialties cross over into other areas. The heart works within my body. It is therefore interconnected and cannot simply be treated as a separate and distinct organ. Other things must be considered.
For instance, inflammation and pain can increase blood pressure. If the inflammation is in your soft tissue (like it is with Fibromyalgia), that is not something that doctors can see. They won’t notice it and if you tell them, they may simply prescribe a pain medication, which will create more problems for you even though it masks the pain. Since the pain dissipates, you think the problem is solved. It’s not. It’s simply hidden.
I’ve read more and more books and articles from people within the medical field that indicate that much of what ails us starts with what we eat. If we fix this area, then many of the symptoms we experience (of ill-health) will go away. This is not always the case obviously because of genetics, which varies from person to person. It is important though to understand that there are things that are absolutely in our control and things that are beyond our control.
Let me introduce this whole topic by noting that scientists and doctors have discovered that the brain contains and uses “several hundred different types of chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) that act as communication agents between different brain cells. These chemical messengers are molecular substances that can affect mood, appetite, anxiety, sleep, heart rate, temperature, aggression, fear and many other psychological and physical occurrences.”
However, among these, there are three main categories of neurotransmitters:
- Biogenic amine neurotransmitter (relationship to psychological disturbances)
- Serotonin, Norepinephrine, Epinephrine, Dopamine, Histamine, Acetylcholine (are six of the main neurotransmitters in this category)
- Peptide neurotransmitters (associated with mediation of the perception of pain, stimulation of the appetite, regulation of mood and other multiple functions), and
- Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a fairly new neurotransmitter discovery
- Amino acid neurotransmitters (the main players in the neurotransmission process)
Some note that there are FOUR main neurotransmitters in the brain. They are Serotonin, Acetylcholine, GABA, and Dopamine. If you concern yourself with only these four, you’ll be well on your way to understanding how your brain works and what you can do to ensure that things work well continuously.
Each category of neurotransmitter has a specific job. It is understood that neurotransmitters work together so you can imagine how critical it is that they all work well and are not hampered in their individual and corporate jobs in the brain. When things are not in sync, depending upon the exact neurotransmitter that is compromised, the following things can result (not a complete list):
- Biogenics: mood, appetite, anxiety, sleep, heart rate, temperature, aggression, fear and many other psychological and physical occurrences
- Peptides: mediation of the perception of pain, stimulation of the appetite, regulation of mood and other multiple functions, schizophrenia, eating disorders, Huntington’s disease, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease
- Amino Acids: work to keep all neurotransmitters flowing properly; it is how brain cells communicate with one another
Here is the very first and by far, the most important thing you should know about neurotransmitters. They are created in our guts, not our brains. They are used by our brains but they are not created there. It all starts in our guts.
Knowing this then, the very next question you should be asking yourself is this: how healthy is my gut?
If you are a Christian especially, you need to realize and comprehend that as Paul tells us our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), we need to treat it as such! This is so important, I cannot emphasize it enough. What we put into our bodies, whether food or drink will deplete or replete our neurotransmitters. The depletion of them will create all manner of illness and malaise. The repletion of them will help make and keep us healthy.
We’ll pick it up from here next time. Between now and then, write down the things that you normally eat or drink without even thinking about it.
Entry filed under: Agenda 21, christianity, eternity, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation. Tags: Acetylcholine, dopamine, GABA, glutamate, gut, gut flora, gut health, leaky gut, neurotransmitters, norephinephrine, seratonin.