GABA, GABA, Doo, Part 4
We’re going to get into GABA in this article. I’m sorry I veered a bit last time, but it seemed like the perfect time to bring in that subject regarding viruses and Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue. It affects quite a few people and most think they simply have to put up with it. There are doctors who can help.
What that article really showed is that even when we eat correctly and drink the right fluids, we can still get sick. However, I will also state that my getting ill was probably a long time in the making. Even though I had a virus in my system (yet dormant prior to the start of its activity), it was my poor health over the years that likely allowed it to come to the fore. There is a direct connection to that.
In article #2 in this series, we spoke of glutamate and how it needs to be kept in proper balance in our systems. When we have too much glutamate, all manner of negative side effects can occur. Too much glutamate over time will result in cell death. You don’t want this because you want cells in your system to remain alive and viable. They cannot help you if they become corrupted and/or die.
We also mentioned that our neurotransmitters – whether they are GABA, glutamate, or something else – are created in our guts. If we do not have healthy guts, neurotransmitters will not be created, nor will existing ones work properly. The gut is also referred to as our “biome.” Think of a greenhouse where plants are grown. It could be miserably hot or cold outside that greenhouse but as long as the temperature and conditions inside the greenhouse are ideal for plant growth, plants will grow and flourish. It is the same with our guts.
God made us to have both good and bad bacteria (flora), in our guts. Things need to be kept in balance. Taking prescription drugs, drinking too much alcohol, sugar, eating overly processed foods, and more can and will disrupt our natural gut health and put things out of balance. We must do all that we can to get and keep things balanced. The big food companies that produce all of our processed foods are not interested in our health. They simply want to sell product. It’s how they survive and employ millions of people. It’s also how their owners and shareholders become exceedingly wealthy off the backs of employees and consumers. But the cost is our health.
No worries though, because if you become ill by what you eat and drink, Big Pharma is right there to provide you with prescription medication to deal with your symptoms. Please understand that I am not opposed to all prescription medication. I am not even opposed to western medicine categorically. I am opposed to the way too many western doctors do not think holistically and are very quick to dispense prescriptions like candy. That, to me, is true quackery because all these drugs do is treat symptoms (and make Big Pharma owners very wealthy).
Imagine if you saw someone drinking a bottle of liquid and you knew it had a percentage of poison in it. As they drank it, they became “inebriated” from the poison. They offered you some. You would turn it down, certainly. You would probably go so far as to tell them that what they were drinking had poison in it and they should stop drinking it immediately. They might look at you, laugh a bit, and tell you how good it tastes, while they kept drinking it. You know they are killing themselves but they don’t see it that way. What can you do? Nothing. You’ve warned them and they have free will.
You will find that the more you know about health, your gut, supplements and the like, the fewer people there are who are interested in knowing about those things too, unless of course, they’ve also traveled their own journey toward good health. It’s because we are brainwashed here in the west to automatically go to the doctor and trust him/her. They see us in their office for 10 to 20 minutes, they may order a few tests, and generally prescribe something that will deal with the “issue” (symptom). Going to a naturopath in America is frowned upon. People look askance at you like you’re going to visit a witch doctor who cuts the head off a chicken and sprinkles its blood on you and around the room, chanting and dancing as they go. What can you do with people who think like that? Nothing.
But let’s move on and talk about GABA.
GABA, which is short for gamma-aminobutyric acid, is your primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. Its primary role is to calm the brain, slow things down and relax you. One of the ways that it assists in this process is by increasing alpha wave production. It is also vital in speech and language. GABA puts the pause or space between words when you speak. The brain uses it to support sensory integration. Without adequate GABA production, our conversations would consist of lots of run on sentences, slurred speech or loss of speech, and we would have trouble with comprehending language. (Emphasis in original)
Did you notice that GABA is your primary inhibitory neurotransmitter? Without this one, we would have a difficult time calming our brains/bodies down. But of course, as the quote notes, that’s not all it does. It helps you speak. There is thought to be a direct link in some people on the Autism Spectrum who evidence a lack of speech and the amount or presence of GABA in the brain.
But where do you think GABA is created? Yes, in our guts and it has a function there as well.
Your gastrointestinal tract is packed with GABA receptors and it is critical for contraction of the bowel. Insufficient levels can result in abdominal pain, constipation, and impaired transit. It also supports healthy levels of IgA, (antibodies that protect your gut and other mucous linings from harmful invaders) which means it contributes to immune health.
Are you getting the picture that if you fail at taking care of your health, it will be disastrous? Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually, your immune system will start to break down and will be unable to keep track and tabs on all the things that are starting to go wrong in your system. It would be like using the dirtiest gasoline you can find to fill your tank or never-changing your oil. Eventually, your car’s engine will start to break down and even stop working altogether. There are enough normal maintenance issues with any vehicle but the last thing you want is to have to replace your engine because you didn’t put the right fuel into it and didn’t change the oil regularly.
Our bodies can be seen in the exact same way. What we put into them will determine good or bad health. It’s really that simple and it’s the place everyone can and should start. There are so many things you can change about what you eat and drink before you ever choose to purchase even one supplement or decide whether or not to visit a good naturopath. By the way, a quick word on naturopathics.
I use a naturopath in California and we have sessions via Skype. Any testing that she wants me to have (blood, saliva, etc.) is sent directly to me and then sent back (after blood is drawn, etc.) to the lab for results. The results are sent directly to her and then we chat about it. California has stringent requirements for naturopaths and not all states do. If you choose to utilize the services of one, do some serious checking before you choose one. I do the same with a medical doctor (or dentist), as well. Just because they have a license to practice medicine doesn’t mean they are going to be a great doctor. They went to school, passed all the tests and now they can practice medicine…on you.
What happens when you don’t have enough GABA in your system?
- anxiety and panic disorders
- aggressive behavior
- decreased eye-contact and anti-social behavior
- attention deficit
- problems with eye-focusing (like that seen in autistic children when both eyes are focused inward towards the nose or waver back and forth in a horizontal or vertical movement)
- chronic pain syndromes
- may also contribute to GERD as it is needed to help regulate the lower part of the esophagus
- drug addiction
- cravings for sugar and carbs
Regarding sugar and carbs, “…these substances will temporarily and artificially increase GABA, so one is unconsciously drawn to them. However, these substances also deplete neurotransmitters, so they will perpetuate the problem.”
Take a look at that list again. Which ones are almost always automatically treated with prescription drugs by medical doctors? I count at least 8, but possibly all of them. Yet, the root of the problem could very well be low GABA, something medical doctors cannot see or necessarily test for, so they give you something that provides relief of symptoms only. Normally though, these drugs simply mask the symptoms artificially without really doing anything good for you. But you feel better, right? For a while and definitely not in the long run.
We’ll be back next time to talk more about GABA and how glutamate and GABA work together to keep your brain and body in balance.
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