Dr. Lori Horan Soule, ND, LAc

Soule Health Care

3526 SW Corbett

Portland OR, 97239


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Newsletter Archive

Weight Gain Anxiety and Insomnia Linked to Neurotransmitter Imbalances

September 29, 2011

Many of my new patients suffer from some degree of weight gain, fatigue, mood disorders, impaired sleep, and/or decreased mental focus. What do they all have in common? Neurotransmitter imbalance.

Neurotransmitters are naturally occurring chemicals within the brain that relay signals between the nerve cells and are required for proper brain and body function. Optimal health is reflected in a proper balance of neurotransmitters. Whether people are dealing with hectic schedules, abrasive situations or simple challenges that everyday life presents, they all have a common need for stress hardiness, physical stamina, and restorative sleep. All of these needs rely on proper neurotransmission. Consider Terry, who was depressed about being in a stagnant life situation, 40 pounds overweight, a restless sleeper, and fatigued. She had been treated with anti-depressants for 9 years, mostly the selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Paxil to boost her serotonin levels.

She had also tried a number of natural remedies, but none of these approaches lifted her depression for long, or gave her the impetus to change her stressors. Why? Because both the SSRIs and natural remedies don't address the fact that low serotonin is not the only cause of depression.

Symptoms like hers can be the result of inadequate levels of one or more neurotransmitters, not just serotonin. While deficient levels of neurotransmitters can lead to many clinical conditions, excessive levels of neurotransmitters can be equally problematic.

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