Did you know that I love quizzes?
I hope you do so too! As I have prepared a quick quiz for you.
It just takes 30 seconds.
READY? SET! GO!
(Tick all that apply)
If you ticked any of the above, you are most likely to have a neurotransmitter imbalance that has led to unhealthy eating disorders such as cravings or emotional eating.
If you ticked several, it is most likely that your whole brain chemistry may be out of whack.
I guess you wonder now:
What neurotransmitter am I having trouble with, and what should I do about it?
Or you may say:
Neurotransmitter who, brain chemistry who?
What the heck does this have to do with my food cravings?
In this article, I will explain how neurotransmitters control our eating patterns and cravings, and how we can balance them.
Neurotransmitters are exactly what they sound like!
They are chemical messengers part of the brain chemistry. So essentially, they transmit information between neurons.
The body contains over 50 neurotransmitters that work in a variety of ways, including regulating our mood, bodily functions, hormones, communication between cells, and so much more.
Many neurotransmitters play an important role in emotional eating, cravings, and eating disorders.
Some of the major neurotransmitters related to eating and mood are listed below.
Dopamine is a unique neurotransmitter in that it is both inhibitory and excitatory.
Besides controlling the movements of the body, it also stimulates, arouses, and stimulates.
It also mediates our emotional and hormonal responses.
The gut produces serotonin, which mainly resides in the midbrain.
It regulates appetite, mood, sensory perception, cardiovascular function, and immune functions. It initiates sleep, elevates our pain threshold, and even modifies sexual behavior.
A deficiency can lead to depression, eating disorders, sleep disorders, chronic pain, anxiety, mood disorders, and aggression.
Taurine is the second most abundant neurotransmitter in the brain.
In addition to enhancing GABA’s effects, it regulates calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium concentrations in brain cells.
GABA is classified as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. This is one of the relaxing neurotransmitters!
Norepinephrine and Epinephrine
Norepinephrine and epinephrine are excitatory neurotransmitters.
The pleasure response involves them as well as intellectual performance and motor cortex functions.
They support learning, memory, and mood regulation.
They control the release of endocrine hormones that regulate metabolic activity such as sexual function, appetite, and energy use.
Histamine is an excitatory neurotransmitter that carries signals between nerves. It also regulates the function of other neurotransmitters.
With glutamate and GABA, glutamine is an amino acid. It is involved in calming activities in the body, including sleep, relaxation, and helping improve digestion.
Different issues may arise depending on the balance or imbalance of neurotransmitters and brain chemistry.
Here are a few samples to illustrate what can happen when some neurotransmitters are imbalanced:
Unfortunately, it is not easy to say:
I feel anxious, so I must be low in serotonin.
How to find out which neurotransmitters are out of balance
Part of our thorough and personalized way of helping our clients achieve results is by addressing the root cause of their issues like being overweight, health, or eating disorders.
To help our clients who struggle with food cravings, and eating or mood disorders.
We provide a questionnaire to find out where they fit and which lifestyle habits, foods, or supplements are needed to help balance the neurotransmitters.
Here is a short extract of our questionnaire:
- Feeling worried or fearful
- Panic attacks
- Stiff or tense muscles
- Feeling stressed and burned-out
- Craving carbs/alcohol/drugs for relaxation and calming
- Obsessive thoughts or behaviors
- Perfectionism or being overly controlling
- Digestive issues
- Insomnia or disturbed sleep
- Afternoon or evening cravings for carbs, alcohol, or drugs
- Depression and apathy
- Easily bored
- Lack of drive and low motivation
- Attention deficit disorder
- Craving carbs, alcohol, caffeine, or drugs for energy
- Crying or tearing up easily
- Eating to soothe your mood or comfort eating
- Loving certain foods, behaviors, drugs, or alcohol
- Craving a reward or numbing treat
Low Blood Sugar
- Crave sugar, starch, or alcohol any time during the day
- Irritable, shaky, headache – especially if too long between meals
- Intense cravings for sweets
- Lightheaded upon missing a meal
It is important to understand that more detailed research is required to determine which of YOUR neurotransmitters need to be balanced.
If you are interested to find out more about neurotransmitters and how else we can help you to improve cravings and emotional eating or other health concerns, feel free to sign up for a Food Freedom Consultation here
How to balance your brain chemistry and neurotransmitters
Identifying which neurotransmitters need balancing is the first step.
Here are some tips for getting started. Often we do this by supplementing with a specific amino acid that can help balance the deficiency.
Please keep in mind: Popping a supplement will not solve your issues.
A more holistic approach to adopting healthy lifestyles and eating habits is key to success.
Taking amino acids can help you kick-start your weight loss journey and overcome emotional eating*.
*As usual, always check with your healthcare provider to see if it is suitable for your health.
Here are a few samples of what can happen when you start working with us to balance your neurotransmitters.
- A low blood sugar level can trigger a craving for sugar if you haven’t eaten for a while, and glutamine on the tongue can help.
- If you supplement with GABA, you may alleviate stress-eating.
- If you eat sugar or carbs to feel happy (especially from late afternoon onwards), then low serotonin is likely to cause sugar cravings. Tryptophan may relieve anxiety and boost mood.
- If you eat sugar to get an energy boost which is most likely due to low levels of catecholamines. Tyrosine can stop those cravings and give you an energy and mood boost.
- You are likely an emotional eater or comfort eater due to low endorphins. DPA may help to stop comfort eating and also gives you a mood boost.
It is fascinating to learn how the brain and the body work together.
As more and more research goes into neurotransmitters, there are immediate steps we like to help our clients to implement so they can achieve their health goals faster.
What if you could overcome your cravings as easily as just putting a little glutamine onto your tongue?
Provided that low blood sugar is the root cause of your cravings, it will work – guaranteed.
The trick is to find out exactly which neurotransmitter you are low on.
For more information on addressing cravings, emotional eating, and other eating disorders, book a complimentary consultation now.
I can tell you how to address neurotransmitter imbalances and use targeted supplements and other tools to help you deal with emotional eating and cravings.
When working with us, we provide a thorough assessment to help our clients to address the root cause of their health or weight issues.
One of the many additional resources/bonuses we offer is a questionnaire to findout your neurotransmitter imbalances.