Brain- Health Hecommendations to Curb Compulsive Eating
According to neuropsychiatrist Daniel Amen, compulsive eating and binging may sometimes be symptoms of depression, fatigue, imbalance of blood sugars, chemical imbalance in the brain, such as reduced serotonin levels, or some combination of these factors. Amen (Amen & Routh 2004) has recently published several books on the interaction between brain chemicals and lifestyle. He writes that depression, compulsion and anxiety are sometimes the outward indicator of the brain’s activity dysfunctions caused by a number of factors, including exposure to toxic substances, genetics, stress, trauma, high fevers, head injuries, or poor diet, even though some of these risk factors may have occurred much earlier in the person’s life. If you suspect yourself of compulsive eating this may be associated with the brain chemistry malfunction, you may choose to recommend a complete neurological examination. You might also want to look at brain health recommendations.
- Get a complete physical examination. Ideally, the examination should include tests on blood sugars, lipids and cholesterol levels (via blood samples), and brain activity patterns (via brain imaging)
- take a daily multivitamin containing the complex vitamins at the dose recommended on the label.
- Take 1,000 milligrams of fish oil or omega 3 fatty acids daily.
- Eliminate alcohol, nicotine, and illegal drugs. All these substances have the potential to damage the brain and many aggravate existing brain problems and emotional difficulties.
- Limit exposure to toxic chemicals, such as pain spray, insecticides and so on.
- Studies show conclusive that an apt sleep affects hormone associated with mood and appetite and collates the weight gain. Get a hour of interrupted sleep each night. Avoid caffeine and stimulating activity late in the day. Drink milk (providing you are not lactose intolerant or allergenic to dairy products) or take melatonin (75 mg orally) at bedtime. Resting in a dark, quiet room may help with falling asleep. Do not take melatonin in combination with supplements containing magnesium or zinc.
- Switch to a diet high in protein, eat five or six small portions throughout the day.
- Choose complex carbohydrates (vegetables, fresh fruit, and whole grains) over processed foods containing refined sugars and simple carbohydrates (white bread, baked goods, pasta, white rice, and potatoes). Consult a nutritionist as needed.
- Take St John’s wor (for adults 600 mg in the morning and 300 mg before bed) St John’s wor is contraindicated for women who are taking birth control pills or are pregnant or breastfeeding. When taking St John’s worth, avoid food and beverages containing tyramine, such as Chianti wine, beer, aged cheese, chicken liver, chocolate, bananas and meet tenderizers. Avoid sun exposure. Caution St John’s wor may have adverse interactions with prescription anti-depressants, lithium, alcohol, birth control pills, cold and allergy drugs, flu medication, decongestants, protease inhibitors for HIV, amphetamines, and narcotic pain relievers. Always consult
- your doctor or pharmacist about the possible interactions between nutritional and herbal supplements and prescription or over-the-counter medication.
- L-tryptophan and5-HTP are nutritional supplements that may boost serotonin levels in the brain. The recommended dose for adults is 1,000 to 3,000 milligrams of L-tryptophan at bedtime and 5200 mg of 5-HTP three times a day, without food. L-tryptophan may have a adverse interaction with antidepressants, lithium and Ambien. Again, always consult your doctor or pharmacist about the possible interactions between nutritional and herbal supplements and prescriptions over-the-counter medication.
- Get adequate daily physical activities.
- Exposure to sunlight may also help, if you are not taking St John’s worth. The brain seems to respond well to natural light. Sun lights attracts vitamin D in the skin, which supports the brain’s production and tryptophan naturally owns tranquilizer. Just use sunscreen to protect the skin from UV rays.
- If you have sleep problems or depression, consult your doctor concerning value and possible side effects of prescription antidepressants and sleep enhancing medication.