Health

How Is Serotonin Actually Linked to Chronic Disease

Have you ever been doing something you really enjoy, like spending time with a loved one or playing your favorite game and felt overwhelmed with happiness? Or maybe you’ve experienced the opposite, where you felt down for a few days or weeks? Have you had difficulty falling asleep? Or experienced stomach cramping and bloating after a meal?  If you’ve ever experienced one of these things, or all of them, you may think they have nothing in common. But, thanks to a hormone and neurotransmitter called serotonin, they actually have more in common and are more connected than you think.   What is Serotonin?  Serotonin is a neurotransmitter found in the brain and the gut. The body uses it to send messages between neurons, or nerve cells, throughout the body. The messages sent by this neurotransmitter are responsible for regulating mood and sleep, as well as appetite, digestion, and cognitive function.   It is often referred to as the “happy chemical” because it contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness, the scientific name for serotonin is 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT). It is mainly stored in a cluster of nuclei in the brain stem called Raphe nuclei. Serotonergic fibers are synthesized from the Raphe nuclei and …

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5 Things You Need to Know About Intermittent Fasting and Chronic Illness

Chronic fatigue. Muscle and joint pain. Gastrointestinal problems. Changes in weight. Headaches. Mood swings. Brain fog. All symptoms you may experience if you have a chronic illness, like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or chronic kidney disease. While most chronic illnesses don’t have a definitive cure, many experts agree that following an anti-inflammatory diet can help ease symptoms and even prevent a second chronic illness from developing. A recent study found that pro-inflammatory diets increase the risk of 27 chronic diseases and premature death. This study reviewed 15 meta-analyses investigating the association between the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DDI) and 38 health outcomes from 4 million people all over the world. Researchers compared the health outcomes of people who follow a pro-inflammatory diet with those who follow an anti-inflammatory diet. They found that those who followed a pro-inflammatory diet were more likely to develop heart disease, certain cancers, some autoimmune diseases, and depression. Following a diet that avoids inflammatory foods is one way to help reduce inflammation and improve health outcomes. But shifting the times you eat may help you feel even better. This type of eating plan, called intermittent fasting, has been shown to help reduce inflammation and even reverse some …

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7 Ways to Feel Confident About Being Your Own Health Advocate

When you’ve been experiencing new symptoms or symptoms that have continued to get worse, going to the doctor can be nerve-racking. You may have even been a victim of medical gaslighting that is causing you to avoid going to the doctor. Or maybe you are scared of sharing such personal information about yourself with a total stranger While it’s understandable to be wary of seeing a doctor, it’s important to feel comfortable and empowered to tell your doctor about what you are experiencing.  Because you know your body best, you play one of the most important roles in your health care. By advocating for your health and getting involved in the decision-making process, you can improve your health outcomes and reap many benefits. Be Your Own Health Advocate  Advocating for your own health can be intimidating and you may be unsure of where to start. Here are seven ways you start to can feel confident about advocating for your health. Educate yourself on your condition  Talking about your health to a stranger and sharing deeply personal information about how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally can be nerve-racking.  During a doctor’s appointment, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed with emotions as …

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