Temple Maintenance – Brain Health
By Dr. Miguel Cruz
Last month we talked about our spiritual health and the necessity of spending time with God by reading and meditating on the word of God as part of a healthy lifestyle. I shared how I personally started on that path by getting up earlier in the morning in order to MAKE time for that to happen. Notice I said I had to MAKE the time instead of trying to find the time, finding the time will never happen. Life will make sure it fills every possible minute to keep you from spending that valuable time to “be still and know that I am God”.
This month I want to talk about brain health. Let me start with this statement from the “British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology”, 2013
The prevention of Dementias such as Alzheimer’s is a growing public health concern due to a lack of effective curative treatment. Current epidemiological data are in favor of a protective role of certain micronutrients.
The micronutrients mentioned above are vitamin supplements, herbal combinations and amino acids, most of which can be purchased at our health food store and doctors’ offices which specialize in natural health care. The reason this is important is that we can and MUST be taking control of our health and of our minds before it is too late. As the quote above states, we cannot go along as if nothing is happening and when it finally gets bad enough that everyone notices you go to the doctor expecting them to fix it for you. Hopefully, it’s not too late. Just visit any nursing home and see the result of waiting too long.
Nothing much has changed since 2013 except that the research is showing positive changes in people who are willing to help themselves and take control of their health.
Fundamentals of brain health
For our brain to be healthy we must have 3 key ingredients. Oxygen, a steady supply of blood sugar and stimulation. There is a relatively new term being used called brain plasticity. This refers to our brain’s ability to develop multiple channels of communication which continues as we age. The key to good brain function is to maintain communication channels (plasticity). The opposite of plasticity is brain degeneration. Plasticity is dependent on stimulation and a good chemical environment. Studies have shown that people with Alzheimer’s lesions had no symptoms when they remained mentally stimulated. Television does not stimulate the brain. Plasticity can improve at any age with a good environment. Mental stimulation can include brain games, puzzles, learning a new language or playing a musical instrument. So, the brain games you see advertised are capable of helping with stimulation.
Neurotransmitters – These are chemical messengers our neurons produce to communicate with each other. Inflammation, hormones and blood sugar can determine the health of neurotransmitter function. Neurons need oxygen, glucose, stimulation. Brain degeneration will happen if any one of these is compromised. Blood sugar is critical because it will also affect oxygen levels in the brain. (2 strikes) It has been my observation that many of the people we have tested have blood sugar problems. This hit home with me especially. When I had myself tested it was apparent that my blood sugar had been high for a while. I had no idea because I exercise regularly, and I thought I was eating well. It turns out my affinity for bread (even whole grain and sprouted grain) was part of my problem.
People with swings in blood sugar are often labeled as bi-polar and put on psychotropic drugs. Imagine having an unsteady gas supply to your car. It can and will alter moods. A high carb diet not only affects swings in blood sugar, but it promotes inflammation and brain degeneration. A diet with good combinations of proteins & Healthy FATS prevents blood sugar swings, energy crashes & inflammation.
Stress – The brain can adapt to stress giving the illusion that you may work well under stress. If the high stress goes unattended long enough, brain inflammation will overtake you leading to brain degeneration – crash – burnout – nervous breakdown. Taking the time regularly to “be still and know that I am God” is the best prevention I know of.
So, what can I do?
A regular blood workup is essential, but don’t just take your doctors word for the results, I recommend you get a copy of the labs and see for yourself. I am constantly having patients bring their labs from other offices and they were told everything is fine when it clearly was not. It seems some things are ignored unless you are having obvious symptoms. Remember the key is to catch this BEFORE you have symptoms.
A normal fasting glucose should be 70-100, but even better have your doctor order an A1c which gives you a number indicating the average blood sugar over 90 days. A CBC which is a normal part of routine labs will usually pick up any anemia. Keeping your brain stimulated is essential but will be up to you. I recommend many brain games available free on the internet.
2 books I recommend for further study are “Why Isn’t My Brain Working?” By Datis Kharazian and “The Brain That Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge
Email me with any questions you may have or for additional information. Chiromac2000@gmail.com
Dr. Miguel Cruz is in practice along with his wife of 35 years, Lesia Cruz who is a certified Integrative Nutritionist. They own Cruz Life Center in Burnsville NC.
Dr. Cruz is a licensed Chiropractor since 1981. When asked what he does for a living he explains that he helps people get out of pain and improve their overall health without the use of drugs or surgery. Something everyone seems to want but nobody seems to know how to get there.
Dr. Cruz accepted Jesus Christ in the summer of 1979 while in chiropractic school. He has since dedicated his life towards helping people grow in physical health and spiritual health.