The Positive Side of Stress

Life, by general consensus, is a complicated affair that can be tackled in as many ways as there are people. It is possible to cruise by it without worrying too much, blatantly ignoring aspects and factors that can cause abrupt changes in one’s life. On the other extreme, it is also possible to experience such levels of stress and anxiety that one is unable to find security only in certain areas of personal comfort. For others, life gets to them and they simply lose touch with reality itself, their mental imploding. Yet, all of the approaches that people have come up with to cope with life tend to be rooted firmly in stress. cga800.cz

The fact is, stress is a prevalent and natural component of life. Even during simpler, more idyllic times, there was always a certain level of pressure that people had to deal with. The triggers that cause states of extreme duress differ from person to person, mainly because people have different levels of tolerance for it. Some may find a certain level of pressure to be absolutely intolerable, while others would be able to get through it relatively unscathed. Perspective and perception, in this particular case, appears to be the key factor in determining how much stress a person can handle. However, regardless of how one views the pressures that modern life piles up on a person, it still has to be dealt with somehow. lefery crema

Complete avoidance of it is not the answer. Abandoning duty and ignoring things that cause stress would inevitably be a bad move. Stress, in smaller and more controlled amounts, can be used as a personal signal. It can act as a reminder that something needs to be done and certain situations need immediate attention, which can help someone in assessing his immediate and long-term priorities. So long as the cause of the problem is approached properly and the person doesn’t let the problem blow itself out of proper context, then a bit of pressure is not necessarily a negative thing. potenga

However, allowing the pressures of life to get to you is just as bad as simply ignoring them altogether. The human mind, while clearly a fine example of finely-tuned machinery, has limitations. Having too many things to do and not having enough time to do them can sometimes be seen as an example of poor time management, but for some people, having “too little time” means exactly that. Taking in too many tasks and attempting to multi-task beyond one’s mental ability to coordinate can lead to rapid burn-out for some people, and irreparable insanity in others. It is people and situations like these that give stress the “entirely negative” reputation that it has, with people taking the whole thing entirely out of proportion. lefery

In the end, stress is very similar to fear. Both are taken by modern society and culture in highly negative light, but both are components of the human psyche that are as integral to being human as love and happiness. Both can effectively cripple someone and prevent them from living, but only if the person allows that to happen. Both of the above need not be feared, so long as the person is capable of recognizing that moderate amounts can be used in a positive manner. Stress and fear, in and of themselves, are not positive, but like anger, can be used to point someone in the right direction. lefery forum

What is Atypical Depression?

Depression takes on many forms, which is one of the reasons it is so hard to diagnosis someone with this condition. One form of depression is called atypical depression. If you have this condition you may find yourself wanting to sleep all the time and overeating is a big problem. Many people become overweight with this condition because of these two symptoms combined. Your body may feel numb all over and many say they feel paralyzed and have no desire to do anything. Atypical depression is a major type of depression that can interfere and even ruin a person’s life. lefery

This type of depression normally starts to affect a person very early in life when they are young. It is hard to know someone has atypical depression because of what is called mood reactivity. This means that they can feel good sometimes and very sad at others. For example, when something good happens they seem normal and happy just like everyone else around them. However, later they are depressed, sad and lonely again very quickly. Another symptom of this condition is when a person’s arms and legs feel too heavy for their body and they hurt and feel tired all over.

It is believed that if left untreated atypical depression can cause more future problems than any other form of depression. Since all you want to do is sleep and eat its hard to gain any self respect or have any relationships professionally or personally. You tend to avoid people at all cost for fear of being rejected or humiliated. Atypical depression affects women more than men. Seventy percent of the people that have been diagnosed with this condition are women. If left untreated it can lead to other medical conditions that include panic attacks, avoidant personality disorders and social phobias.

It is very important that you tell your doctor exactly how you feel. It is the only way that he can diagnose you correctly. If you leave out anything such as wanting to sleep a lot, then you may be diagnosed with the typical type of depression instead of atypical depression. Even though the same treatment can be used for both types of depression it is important to know for sure which type you have to get the right combination of medications. If you think you may be suffering from atypical depression see your doctor as soon as possible. You can live a happy normal life once you realize why you feel the way you do and you get the right kind of help for this condition.

Free Resources for Therapists

More and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of alternative healing and medicine, as such the industry is huge and grows not only in the range of products and services, but also the number of clients and practitioners.
For many, the idea of alternative treatments are still a little “happy clappy” (and to be honest, some of them are for me too!) I have doubts about the authenticity of not only the treatments available, but also some of the practitioners licensed in those areas.
So, when, after a major operation my life took on a new twist, I found myself examining the ideas about “what else is out there.” The fact that we seem so heavily influenced by doctors in white coats who seem to have a god-like influence over our ability to get better or worse, suddenly did not seem quite so appealing.
For me, the answer came in the form of hypnosis. I wanted to learn how to improve myself in many different areas of my life and I wanted it to be easy! I thought about going to see a hypnotherapist, but to be honest the idea terrified me, as at that stage, I didn’t understand how it actually worked or what would happen. I guess you could say that I had heard a lot of the nonsense about what could go wrong and was feeling somewhat confused. So I decided to learn more about it, as much as I possibly could. Very soon this lead to me training in the field and setting up my own practice in which I could help others.
As I said earlier, alternative medicine is a big industry, and hypnotherapy is no exception. There are a lot of us around, offering a varying degree of excellent service. I think that one of the biggest challenges that a hypnotherapist faces in their role is getting to grips with the idea of using their boundless imagination- some of us are just more in tune with it than others. Some have linguistic challenges, and sometime your mind just goes blank!
That’s why, as a trainer of hypnosis and NLP, I have set up my website as not only a means of selling and advertising the accredited trainings that my company offers, but also as a resource for other NLPers and Hypnotherapists.
We have a wealth of free hypnotherapy scripts available on our website, and also some hypnosis scripts that you need to pay for. There are also advise e-books that can be purchased on the site, and if you too are a hypnotherapist selling your hypnosis scripts, we will happily add your scripts to our site and take a commission for any sales that you make. Just visit the site to begin your scripts collection so that you are ready to help your clients take on any problems that they have.

The Treatment of Depression

Depression (also called depressive illness or clinical depression) is a common condition, affecting up to 20% of the adult population in their life times. Many go untreated. Of those that do seek help, the GP is usually the first port of call. He or she will assess the severity of the symptoms and recommend the appropriate course of treatment.

Depression is commonly ranked in terms of severity – mild, moderate or severe. Severe cases are relatively rare and will usually be referred on to the local psychiatric teams. Mild and moderate cases common and will normally be treated by the GP, at least initially. Failure to improve in these cases may precipitate referral to specialist care for advice and treatment.

The treatments available for mild and moderate cases of depression fall into two main categories – drug treatments and “talking” treatments. GP’s commonly prescribe medications in the first instance. The reasons for this will be discussed towards the end of this article.

Antidepressant medications were first discovered (by chance) in the 1950’s and 60’s. Medications designed to be used for very different (physical) conditions were found to be effective in depressed patients. These first antidepressants, such as Amitryptilene and Imipramine, are called the Tri-Cyclic Antidepressants or TCAs (named after their chemical structure). Trials have shown them to be about 70% effective in relieving the symptoms of depression. The effect is not immediate, typically taking 4 to 6 weeks. This effectiveness is to be compared to the placebo tablets used in the trials. Placebos are non-active tablets given to patients to correct for the positive “psychological” effect of taking any tablet, whether the tablet is effective or not. The placebos (e.g. a sugar coated pill) are typically effective in 50% of cases! It is also worth noting that observation studies of depressed people show that around half improve “spontaneously” (i.e. without any treatment at all) after a short period.

So the TCAs are more effective than placebo’s. If you gave a TCA to ten depressed people, around seven would be improved after six weeks; giving a sugar pill to the same number, around five will be improved after the same time period.
Unfortunately, TCAs have significant side effects. Patients commonly feel sedated, put on weight, suffer dry mouth and constipation, and have slowed reflexes. Importantly, TCAs are very dangerous in overdose – a significant consideration in those patients who feel suicidal.

Over the ensuing decades, pharmaceutical companies in the area of antidepressants have conducted much research, and many new drugs have appeared on the market. The main focus has been on producing “cleaner” drugs, drugs that are effective but do not possess all the side effects of the TCAs. This has largely been a success. The newer drugs, such as the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) e.g. fluoxetine (Prozac), do indeed have less side effects. This appears due to their method of action – SSRIs effect only 1 or 2 of the brains neurotransmitters, the older drugs can affect 3 or 4. And they seem to be as effective as the TCAs – but they are not more effective. It is one of these newer antidepressants that GP’s typically prescribe for their patients. These drugs are amongst the most widely prescribed medications in the West.

But what of those who don’t improve – the 30% who don’t get better? Or those who suffer severe side effects? The GP may change the dose of the drug, or switch to an alternative drug, or refer the patient on to the psychiatric services. Other patients may not want to take medications for their psychological or emotional difficulties at all.

This group of patients would seem well served by the “talking therapies” such as counselling, psychotherapy, CBT and NLP. In mild and moderate cases of depression they seem at least as effective as antidepressants, and without the side effects. Further, through these therapies, patients are encouraged to examine their problems and difficulties in detail, allowing them to actively participate in their resolution rather than simply taking a tablet every day. Ideally this leads to the patient acquiring strategies and ways of coping with difficulties in their lives that will enable them to not only resolve these difficulties in the present but also prevent their re - occurrence in the future. Effective talking therapies have the potential to remove patients from recurrent cycles of depression. The drug treatments are effective for only as long as they are taken – potentially a lifetime.

Given that talking therapies are an effective treatment for depression and their lack of unpleasant side effects, why aren’t they offered more often by the GP? A big consideration here is cost – antidepressants are undoubtedly cheaper than employing a therapist. Secondly, it is quicker and easier for the GP to write a prescription for an antidepressant than it is to think and consider which therapy may best help the patient. Finally, there is huge economic interest in the prescribing of these medications. Pharmaceutical companies make huge sums of money from these drugs. They spend a considerable sum (more than they actually spend on researching and developing the drugs!) on advertising and promoting their particular brands to the medical profession. The GP is under both time and economic constraint, and a tablet billed as a “wonder cure” can be very appealing.

None of this is the fault of the GP. The NHS has well publicised money problems, and decisions about which treatments are cost-effective are constantly being made (the pharmaceutical industry lobbies these decision makers also). The result is the situation as it stands – drugs are prescribed, other therapies aren’t. This isn’t a situation exclusive to mental health – back pain and other injuries are typically treated with painkillers, when physiotherapy or a similar treatment may well be better for the patient.

Talking treatments for depression are generally not available on the NHS or, if they are, there is likely to be a lengthy waiting list. This is a result of economic decisions, not a shortage of trained practitioners. One has only to look in the phone book to see numerous highly qualified and experienced therapists ready to help. Unfortunately, the NHS’s priorities lie elsewhere.

Testing For Depression

In its lay use, the term “depression” is used to convey a whole range of emotional and psychological states – unhappiness, low mood, misery, apathy etc. Indeed, many use the term interchangeably with any and all of these words. The psychiatric profession uses the term “depression” in a more specific way. To differentiate the lay and psychiatric use, it may be useful to use the term “clinical depression” to denote the condition recognised by psychiatrists. This differentiation is significant for several reasons. To be “depressed” at times is to be human; to be “clinically depressed” is (to the psychiatrist) to be mentally unwell. It is for the clinically depressed that doctors and psychiatrists prescribe medication. Finally, it is on clinically depressed patients that these medications are trialled to determine efficacy.

To determine if a patient is clinically depressed, the psychiatrist will interview them face to face. Typically this interview lasts somewhere in the region of one hour (for an initial assessment – follow up interviews tend to be shorter). The majority of this interview will focus on the patient’s current symptoms (see below), the remaining time being used to look for so-called “risk factors” for clinical depression. Thus they will ask a number of questions covering areas such as the patients childhood, time at school, family life, occupational history, physical medical history, alcohol and other drug use, past psychological and emotional difficulties, and the patients current social situation (occupation, relationships etc). In addition, whilst talking with the patient, the psychiatrist will also be conducting a “mental state examination”. That is, they will be observing the language and behaviour of the patient (the tone, volume and speed of their speech, their dress and demeanour, the presence of any abnormal facial or bodily movements etc).

The diagnosis of “clinical depression” will be made on the basis of the patient’s current psychological and emotional symptoms – relevant symptoms are listed below.

1. Low or depressed mood.
2. Lowered energy levels and increased tiredness.
3. Lack of interest in and pleasure from usual activities (“apathy”).

Symptoms 1-3 are usually present in all cases of clinical depression. Other symptoms that are also frequently found include:

4. Lack of concentration.
5. Sleep disturbance (typically waking early in the morning).
6. Low self-confidence.
7. Hopelessness about the future.
8. Reduced appetite, often with associated weight loss.
9. Thoughts of suicide.
10. Feelings of guilt.

The symptoms will usually be present for at least two weeks for the diagnosis to be made. It is to be noted that these symptoms are typical of a depressive episode but are not exclusive. Some clinically depressed patients suffer from agitation and an inability to sit still, others will sleep excessively. Furthermore, the psychiatrist will often grade the diagnosis (mild/moderate/severe) depending on symptom severity.

The treatment prescribed for a clinically depressed patient will depend on their particular symptoms, their general health, their personal preferences and other factors. Typically, severe cases will be prescribed medication and will be monitored closely - some may require hospitalisation, particularly if suicidal. Moderate and mild cases are usually offered antidepressant medication and/or possibly some form of “talking therapy” (if it is available).

There is a wealth of information concerning antidepressants available from GP surgeries, mental health units, pharmacies, books and the Internet. As such, I will not discuss them further, save to say that they’re not everyone’s choice of treatment.

Many patients prefer the “talking therapies”. Such therapies vary enormously in their scope and intensity. The traditional psychotherapies (e.g. psychodynamic psychotherapy) can require a patient to attend weekly sessions for many years. Others, such as relationship or bereavement counselling, are less formal and much briefer (e.g. weekly sessions for six weeks). The last decade has seen a growing interest in the so-called “cognitive therapies” such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). These modern therapies have good evidence of effectiveness when compared to the older style talking treatments, and treatment periods are shorter. However, they are not “magical cures” and require significant effort and contribution from the patient – a case of “you get out what you put in”. Once the patient has mastered the techniques explained in the sessions they will be able to use them throughout their life, hopefully preventing any recurrence of their symptoms.

Depression and Mood Swings

Millions of women suffer from the hormonal imbalances of PMS and menopause. These imbalances cause physiological effects of heavy, irregular bleeding, sleeplessness, cramping, mood swings, hot flashes and depression, and countless other symptoms that inhibit a woman’s ability to function normally under fluctuating hormones. Most women have sought the help of over the counter drugs and prescription medication in order to alleviate these symptoms, putting themselves at risk for potential serious side effects from synthesized drugs. Interest in natural remedies has grown over recent years and more and more women are turning to plant-based products to regulate hormones and relieve symptoms of menopause and PMS. A combination of the most effective natural remedies for these symptoms gives women optimal relief without synthetic drugs or hormones.

Recent decades have proven that synthetic hormones and medications can prove more dangerous than beneficial. Every year popular medications and over the counter drugs are pulled from the shelves due to health risks and hormone replacement therapy has proven to cause severe health risks such as heart attacks and cancer. But women continue to search for relief from the symptoms of menopause and PMS. Many of these women have gone on and off hormonal therapy and medications, constantly searching for relief from hormonal symptoms as well as release from the side effects of prescription medications. Millions of women suffer from these side effects but, until lately, have had no other alternative to traditional synthesized medicine.

Thanks to the increase in interest of natural remedies, more and more doctors and scientists have discovered the beneficial results from patients using herbal and natural remedies. Dr. Kalyami Kumar OB/GYN began seeing severe health side effects from patients using hormone replacement therapy and began studying the benefits of some of these natural herbs. As a result, she discovered that a specific combination of black cohosh, red clover, wild yam, and soy provided women with the relief they so desperately needed without the dangerous side effects of traditional treatment.

A synergistic blend of these ingredients helps create hormone balances within the body and provide symptomatic relief for problems commonly associated with menopause and PMS. Estrogen, one of the major hormones associated with PMS and menopause, can cause severe cramping and bleeding when in excess. Balanced supplements, like those found in Estrosym, are designed to balance out the estrogen dominance with natural ingredients. For example, black cohosh binds to estrogen receptors and makes the body believe it is receiving and creating estrogen, providing an opportunity for the body’s own hormones to come into better balance. But, in order to maintain proper levels of progesterone and estrogen, women must incorporate wild yam, a supplement containing molecules that convert to progesterone and counteract the estrogen dominance in the blood. Wild yam also produces a calming effect, settling the moods of women while balancing the hormones associated with moodiness and anxiety. By balancing the hormones naturally, supplements provide relief from the bleeding, cramping, hot flashes and mood swings so commonly associated with hormone fluctuations.

Menopause and PMS cause stress and anxiety even without imbalanced hormones. Normal and abnormal fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone cause both physical and psychological stress, eventually resulting in both bodily and emotional discomfort. Dr. Kumar has created a means by which women can alleviate both the hormonal fluctuations and the symptoms commonly associated with these imbalances. A synergistic blend of supplements relieves heavy bleeding, cramping, hot flashes, moodiness, depression, sleeplessness, and even promotes bone health and collagen synthesis.

Diabetes Causes and Prevention

Diabetes is a disease that affects the body natural ability to change carbohydrates and sugars into energy. There is no known cause for the onset of diabetes. However, there are certain factors that place a person at higher risk of contracting diabetes.

The risk factors of diabetes can include:

  • A family history of diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Physical inactivity

Different Types/Different Causes of Diabetes

There are three main types of diabetes -type-1, type-2, and gestational. Type-1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and most often affects children and young adults. An autoimmune disease is one in which the body ability to fight infections is decreased causing the body to attack its own cells. In type-1 diabetes, the body often attacks the beta cells in the pancreas -the cells that produce insulin in the body. The main diabetes causes of type-1 diabetes are:

  • Infections with specific bacteria or viruses
  • Food-borne chemical toxins
  • Cows milk -an unidentified component in cow milk can trigger an autoimmune reaction in the body. Young infants who are given cow milk have a higher risk of contracting type-1 diabetes.

The main diabetes causes of type-2 diabetes are:

  • Increasing age
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Poor diet
  • The main diabetes causes of gestational diabetes are:
  • Hormones produced during pregnancy blocking actions of insulin
  • Mother body can’t produce enough insulin

Common Causes of Diabetes

There are some common diabetes causes that include genetic causes as well as environmental causes. The risk of diabetes is higher if there is a family history of diabetes. Environmental factors that can lead to the onset of diabetes include poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity, and stress. Diabetes is a disease that can be prevented -or controlled once a diagnosis has been made.

Prevention and Control in Diabetes

While the symptoms of diabetes are not life threatening, diabetes can lead to other more serious diseases and illnesses. People who have been diagnosed with diabetes are at a higher risk of diseases and illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, neuropathy and nerve damage, foot conditions, and blindness. It is extremely important to control your diabetes in order to avoid the onset of these more serious and sometimes life-threatening illnesses.

There are medications that can be used in the control of diabetes, as well as many natural remedies. However, the single most important aspect of a diabetic management plan is a healthy diet and exercise. A healthy diet should consist of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, carbohydrates in healthy portions, Omega-3 fatty acids, proteins in healthy portions, and fiber.

A healthy diet not only helps your overall health, but also can be a major factor in offsetting the symptoms of diabetes. The longer you can prevent the symptoms of diabetes, the longer you can decrease the risks of more serious illnesses associated with diabetes.

A regular exercise routine is also an important factor in the prevention and management of diabetes.

All parts of your body are designed to work together in order to sustain life. By keeping your muscles toned and your blood flowing correctly, you can help your body to fight off infections and your body will be able to help in managing the symptoms of many illnesses. Strong muscles in the abdomen are essential for helping your digestive system work normally.

A Long, Healthy Life

It is possible to live a long, healthy life. You can help ensure that your body will work properly for a long time by beginning a healthy diet and routing exercise program early in life. The old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” has real meaning.

By choosing to live a healthy lifestyle, you are choosing to consciously help your body fight of the symptoms of many illnesses and diseases. And, while some diseases are hereditary, such as diabetes, and you may still be at risk, by choosing to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you are helping your body become prepared to delay the onset of symptoms and to control the symptoms once they appear.

Diabetes, Depression, Sleep and Hypnosis - A Surprising Connection

“You cannot always control circumstances, but you can control your own thoughts.”

Discussed in this article:

1) The Sleep-Diabetes Connection.
2) Sleep and Depression–A Brief Overview
3) How A Hypnotist Can Help.

The Sleep-Diabetes Connection

“Declare the past, diagnose the present, foretell the future; practice these acts. As to diseases, make a habit of two things—to help, or at least to do no harm.” (1)

Unfortunately sometimes a solution to one problem creates another. This means that, in some cases, to help is to inadvertently invite harm. Doctors are faced with this dilemma everyday.

For example, if a diabetic patient is depressed then, anti-depressants may be one solution. The challenge is that anti-depressants and many other medications can cause insomnia. (2)

This brings us to this article’s main point: The ‘Hidden Condition’ that frustrates doctors and hurt diabetics—Sleep disorders.

Sleep disorders have been linked to exacerbating or even precipitating diabetes as well as depression.

Allow me to explain more fully: It is known that poor sleep robs people of their health in general. But, for diabetics, it can actually cause a worsening of their condition. In the 2001 annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association, a study was presented that warned that a chronic lack of sleep may cause far more serious problems than a tendency to get sleepy behind the wheel.

The study found that people who do not get enough sleep on a regular basis tend to become less sensitive to insulin over time. This can raise the risk of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. In fact, according to Bryce A. Mander, the study co-author, it turns out that chronic sleep deprivation–6.5 hours or less of sleep a night–has the same effect on insulin resistance (3) as aging.

Furthermore, according to the study director, Dr. Eve Van Cauter of the University of Chicago, healthy adults who averaged 316 minutes of sleep a night–about 5.2 hours–over 8 consecutive nights secreted 50% more insulin (4) than their more rested counterparts who averaged 477 minutes of sleep a night, or about 8 hours. As a result, “short sleepers” were 40% less sensitive to insulin.

What is fascinating is that the poor sleep/excess insulin (hyper-insulinemia) connection has not received the attention it deserves. Even the Mayo Clinic is apparently unaware of this connection. Please review the following definition of hyper-insulinemia given by the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER):

“The term hyper-insulinemia means abnormally high levels of insulin in your blood. It’s not a disease.

Instead, it may indicate an underlying problem that’s causing your pancreas to make and release too much insulin. Insulin helps regulate blood sugar.

Causes of hyperinsulinemia include:

ï‚· Insulin resistance. This occurs when your body doesn’t use insulin properly. Risk factors include a family history of insulin resistance, lack of activity, obesity and polycystic ovary syndrome.

ï‚· A tumor of the pancreas (insulinoma), which secretes excess insulin.

Hyper-insulinemia doesn’t cause signs or symptoms. But if it leads to abnormally low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), signs and symptoms may include sweating, weakness, slurred speech, confusion and seizures.

Hyper-insulinemia is often associated with type 2 diabetes” By Mayo Clinic staff —December 10, 2003″

Here is the challenge with the preceding information: It seems that it may not be fully accurate. This idea is put forth because the preceding Mayo definition states that:

(a) Hyper-insulinemia is not a disease and that

(b) Hyper-insulinemia has no signs.

Addressing the first point that hyper-insulinemia is not a disease:

Hyper-insulinemia is a now well recognized to be a predictor of diabetes. Also important to note is that excess insulin can cause or significantly contribute to the onset of heart disease and premature aging as well as diabetes.

Also bear in mind that insulin is a storage hormone produced by the body to lower blood sugar by sending it into the cells. Over time, excess blood sugar and insulin stresses the system and the cells become less responsive. This condition is known as insulin resistance.

Also note that in his best-selling book Protein Power, Dr. Michael Eades wrote:

“When insulin levels become too high… metabolic havoc ensues with elevated blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, diabetes, and obesity all trailing in its wake. These disorders are merely symptoms of a single more basic disturbance in metabolism, excess insulin and insulin resistance.”

It is also understood that excess insulin promotes smooth-muscle growth in blood vessel walls, which contributes to the formation of plaques. Artery walls become thickened and stiff, causing blood pressure to rise.

So, to classify hyper-insulinemia as a non-disease seems a bit short sighted when, if it was treated with more concern and urgency as a disease, then perhaps other disease states could be avoided.

Now, let’s look at the second point that hyper-insulinemia has no signs. Wouldn’t it make sense to think that perhaps it has symptoms and signs not yet recognized or associated? In my opinion, this condition does have plenty of symptoms: Low blood sugar reactions (moodiness, irritability, sweating, confusion, etc..), weight gain, elevated triglyceride and cholesterol levels.

And there are probably a host of other signs and symptoms that accompany excess insulin levels. The question to ask is Who is looking for them? The answer? Not too many people. Hence, no generally agreed upon signs or symptoms.

If nothing else, the preceding should challenge those who can, to seek to eliminate or validate the idea that hyper-insulinemia is indeed a health crisis of a significant degree and, that it’s treatment could have untold benefits.

Sleep and Depression–A Brief Overview

Poor sleep and depression form a very vicious circle.

It is well noted that poor sleep contributes to depression. During a webcast on August 21, 2003, James C. O’Brien, M.D., FCCP, ABSM stated that:

“During REM-stage sleep is where we learn situations and incorporate situations and deal with emotions that, unless we deal with it properly, will affect us in terms of our daytime functioning on a mental, emotional level.”

The point is that feelings of depression that can be caused just by poor sleep, can adversely affect a person’s ability to take proper care of their health. Hence, good sleep is especially important for diabetics because sadness or depression induced by poor sleep can have deleterious consequences never mind the actual physical problems noted earlier.

Health care workers should also note that according to the National Sleep Foundation 2002 Annual Sleep Survey, almost 74% of Americans do not get enough sleep each night. The survey also found that those with sleep problems are twice as likely to feel stressed and tired.

The preceding facts are pointed out to alert those who treat diabetics that:

(a) There is a very good chance that their diabetic patients are suffering from a sleep disorder and

(b) A sleep disorder can frustrate their attempts to treat their patients for diabetes.

Something else that may interest those who treat diabetics is that sleep apnea treatment can lower glucose levels in diabetics. (5)

How A Hypnotist Can Help

All the preceding information and discussion takes us to our next point. Now that it is recognized that good sleep is utterly essential as an adjunct treatment for diabetes and pre-diabetes, doesn’t it make sense that a non-medicated approach to good sleep for these conditions would be reasonable as an important, first effort treatment?

I state ‘first effort’ because the dictum, “First do no harm” would seem to indicate that drug therapy should be a second treatment approach because some drug medications can sometimes cause other problems.

So what is a safer, first approach treatment for good sleep? Hypnosis.

William S. Kroger, M.D., states in his book Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis that “Hypnosis effects improvement in acute cases of insomnia. Often a single session is effective in restoring the sleep cycle, particularly if auto-hypnosis has been taught on the initial visit.”

Karen Olness, M.D. and Daniel P. Kohen, M.D. in their book Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy With Children, note the following:

“Hurwitz, Mahowald, Schenck, Schulter, and Bundlie (1991) described the successful use of hypnosis in 27 adult patients with sleep terror disorders. Seventy-four percent reported much or very much improvement with the use and practice of self-hypnosis.”

Bear in mind that if you go to see a hypnotist for a diagnosed sleep disorder (or any other diagnosed medical condition) the hypnotist must have your doctor’s consent before treating you. In this referral, it must be clear that you have been cleared of any disorder that a hypnotist cannot or should not treat that may be causing your sleep problems.

As a final note: A hypnotist truly can make an enormous difference in a person’s quality of life and health simply by helping them to sleep better. If you have not been sleeping well and, it seems to be worsening other conditions than, at the very least try a hypnosis for better sleep CD. The are hundreds available on the internet.

Warm Regards,

C. Devin Hastings

“Speak well to yourself because your deep mind is always listening.”

REFERENCES:

(1) Hippocrates in his Epidemics, Bk. I, Sect. XI.

(2) National Sleep Foundation Sleeptionary TM About Insomnia.

(3) Insulin resistance is a major factor in most cases of diabetes. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body cannot properly utilize normal amounts of insulin.

(4) The more insulin a person’s pancreas has to produce, the more likely it is that eventually the beta cells that produce insulin in the pancreas, will break down.

(5) Archives of Internal Medicine–February 28th, 2205

Understanding Diabetes

To manage diabetes, it helps to understand how it affects your body. In healthy people, the body turns food into glucose (blood sugar) to use for energy. Insulin, produced by the pancreas, is the hormone responsible for shuttling glucose into the body’s cells where it is either used right away or stored for later use. With diabetes, however, high levels of glucose build up in the blood because either the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body can’t use the insulin it produces. Your treatment will depend on which problem you have.

Diabetes is broken down into three categories: type 1 or type 2 or gestational.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, usually leading to a total halt in insulin production. Insulin shots or the use an insulin pump to keep the blood glucose within normal range is a daily activity. Insulin - stimulates the entry of glucose into fat cells. Glucose is a simple sugar that normally enters the cells of liver, fat and muscle to be stored or converted into energy. Because insulin is one of the “major” hormones, it’s also impossible for your body to balance its “minor” hormones until your insulin metabolism is balanced first. Without insulin, blood glucose rises to dangerously high levels, if not treated it can lead to a coma or death. Type 1 most often occurs in children or young adults. Type 1 diabetes is usually referred to as insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes. Type 1 diabetes often appears suddenly. Knowing the symptoms of diabetes can help you determine what steps to take. Here are some of the symptoms:

  • High levels of sugar in the blood
  • High levels of sugar in the urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme hunger
  • Extreme thirst
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Nausea and vomiting

In type 2, the pancreas produces some insulin, but the body in unable to use it properly. This leads to high levels of glucose in the blood. Because people with type 2 diabetes are often overweight, treatment usually includes weight loss. Until recently, type 2 diabetes was called non-insulin dependent or adult-onset diabetes. Often, type 2 diabetes develops slowly, and symptoms are mild:

  • Increased thirst
  • More frequent urination
  • Edginess, fatigue, and nausea
  • Increased appetite accompanied by weight loss
  • Repeated or hard-to-heal infections (for example, skin, gum, vaginal, or bladder)
  • Blurred vision
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Dry, itchy skin

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy when blood glucose levels rise above average. After delivery, blood glucose usually returns to normal, though women who have gestational diabetes are at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes, if left uncontrolled can lead to high blood pressure or a large baby. Most pregnant women are routinely tested for the condition. If you test positive, your doctor and registered dietitian will work closely with you to keep your blood glucose under control.

For anyone with diabetes, it is encouraging to know that the future gets brighter every day for managing the disease. Ongoing research provides people with the most up-to-date information and successful treatment plans possible. Diabetes information along with good diabetes management will help your body to function closer to normal.

To help you feel confident in managing diabetes, you can obtain additional information on what it is, who is at risk, how it’s diagnosed, and how it’s treated. You can also get information on eating well with diabetes. You can learn the role of food in managing your blood sugar levels. You’ll also get the latest nutrition advice; tips for shopping, cooking, and eating out; and the basics of building a meal plan using food exchange tips from the American Diabetes Association and The American Dietetic Association.

Leptin: What It Is, and Why It May Be the Most Powerful “Tool” Against Diabetes

It’s well known that obesity and diabetes often go hand-in-hand. Over 60 million Americans are obese, a condition that makes it 20 to 40 times more likely that you’ll develop diabetes than someone of a healthy weight, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Even being overweight (as opposed to obese) increases your risk of type 2 diabetes seven-fold.

Still, while epidemic numbers of Americans–nearly 20 million–have diabetes, it is not known why some obese people develop diabetes, while others never do.

A Hormone Called Leptin

The protein hormone leptin–which comes from the Greek word for “thin,” leptos–may hold the key to unlocking some of this mystery. Derived from fat cells, defects in leptin signaling may lead to obesity, overeating and less energy expenditure.

According to metabolic specialist Ron Rosedale, M.D.:

“Leptin is the way that your fat stores speak to your brain to let your brain know how much energy is available and, very importantly, what to do with it. Studies have shown that leptin plays significant, if not primary, roles in heart disease, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, reproductive disorders, and perhaps the rate of aging itself.”

Further, a study on mice published in Cell Metabolism has revealed that leptin plays a role in regulating blood sugar, which it does via two brain-body pathways:

One that controls appetite and fat storage

One that tells the liver what to do with its glucose reserves

If the first pathway (the one involving appetite and fat storage) is disrupted, obesity is expected, which raises the risk of diabetes. However, the study found that both pathways may have to be disrupted in order for the body to lose control of insulin and blood sugar levels and develop diabetes.

“Taken together, our findings show there’s more to the obesity-diabetes link than the classic thinking that if you eat too much sugar, you’ll get fat and get diabetes and that if you don’t get diabetes, it’s only because you’re making more insulin to keep up with the sugar,” says senior author Martin G. Myers, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Michigan Medical School. “There’s something else contributing. Now the challenge is to find out what that is.”

Leptin’s Link to Fat and Diabetes

“If a person is getting too fat, the extra fat produces more leptin, which is supposed to tell an area of the brain in the hypothalamus that there is too much fat stored, more should not be stored, and the excess burned,” Rosedale says.

“Therefore, signals are sent to stop being hungry, to stop eating, to stop storing fat and to start burning some extra fat off. More recently, it has been found that leptin not only changes brain chemistry, but can also “rewire” these very important areas of the brain that control hunger and metabolism,” he continues.

In fact, it is also possible to become leptin-resistant. How this process occurs is the focus of much research, but Rosedale suggests that leptin-resistance is similar to insulin-resistance in that it occurs after being overexposed to high levels of the hormone. At this point, the body no longer responds to the hormone, much like you no longer notice a bad odor after being exposed to it for a while, Rosedale explained.

Much like high blood sugar levels result in surges in insulin, sugar metabolized in fat cells causes the fat to release surges in leptin. Over time, leptin-resistance may develop.

Can Leptin be Used to Help Lose Weight or Prevent Diabetes?

As it stands, leptin is still a mysterious hormone that researchers are trying to sort out. To put it simply, though, overweight people tend to have very low levels of leptin in their systems (they may have disruptions in leptin signaling or they may be leptin-resistant, for instance). And, studies have found that feeding leptin to overweight mice causes them to lose weight. This effect was not observed in humans, however.

For now, the best way to reduce your chances of diabetes and obesity (and other diseases like heart disease and accelerated aging), according to Rosedale, is to avoid surges in leptin (which can eventually make you leptin-resistant).

Eating the typical American diet, full of refined sugars and other processed foods, is a surefire way to cause surges in leptin. Focusing your diet on simple, mostly unprocessed foods like vegetables is currently the best way to reduce surges in leptin and leptin-resistance, Rosedale says.

So for now there is no magic leptin injection or pill to make you lose weight and prevent diabetes. The good old advice of eating a healthy diet, though, will help to keep your leptin levels normal, which is key to a healthy weight and life

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