Eoin Roe, Chiropractic
Call 087 958 2362
Many of the symptoms that people think are a normal part of aging are not. Symptoms like brain fog, fatigue, memory loss and depression are all common symptoms of brain inflammation and if you find you are developing some of these symptoms you should take notice and seek help to get to the bottom of them.
Our brains naturally produce cellular debris as a by-product of normal function and, if you have a healthy immune system and adequate levels of antioxidants in your system, this debris will be cleared away naturally in a process known as autophagy.
Unfortunately, modern lifestyles promote inflammation. Issues such as poor diets that are low in antioxidants, high in sugar and low in essential fats are problematic. Lack of sleep and exercise can all contribute to a build-up of debris and therefore inflammation.
These sorts of symptoms can be very worrying and often ignored: There is no scan or test you can do to assess brain inflammation – you have to rely on symptoms and looking at all the lifestyle factors that affect it.
Modern diets often promote symptoms of brain inflammation. Do you ever feel like you want to crash after eating lunch? Or crave sweets and caffeine in the afternoon – This is a sign that you have just eaten too much carbohydrate or sugar and have unstable blood sugar. Unstable blood sugar is very detrimental to brain health.
Your brain is a very energy hungry organ and is fuelled by blood glucose, using about 20 per cent of your calories every day. There has been positive research looking at ketogenic diets which have been shown to be anti-inflammatory. This approach also works well with intermittent fasting which promotes autophagy – your brain’s natural cleaning process. These are not easy things to do correctly so looking for some help with them is important.
Another important area to look at is removing inflammatory foods and healing any underlying gastrointestinal issues. Gluten can be a major trigger for these issues, as gluten is able to bind to TTg6 receptors in the brain.
Again, often overlooked or accepted as normal, but lack of sleep causes a lot of problems. Generally, the people who I help fall into two categories; those that can’t get to sleep and those who can’t stay asleep. When you are unable to get to sleep this is often because you are in fight or flight mode and you have too much catecholamines in your system. Those that wake in the middle of the night often do so because they have unstable blood sugar. Either way, disturbed sleep has an effect on autophagy and makes it more inefficient.
The benefits of exercise for both cardiovascular and metabolic health are clear, but the importance of movement for our brains is often overlooked. Doing sports, especially those that include coordination like tennis or football are especially good, however going for a walk and doing other things that require coordination like dancing, playing an instrument or knitting also have huge benefits for brain function.
There have been animal studies that do demonstrate that exercise helps to increase autophagy and it is generally accepted that exercise regulates and promotes a healthy immune system to clear away the debris in the brain caused by inflammation.
Eoin Roe is a Chiropractor and Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner based in Skibbereen. Please feel free to contact us through our website www.roehealth.ie or leave a message on 028 62081.