You probably read last week that Michelle Obama acknowledged she’d been experiencing what she described as low-grade depression. You may have wondered aloud, as I did, how anyone who sees what’s going on in the world could avoid it. Many of us are feeling hopeless or anxious, ruminating about where this is all going, eating […]
How Many Women With PMS Does It Take To Screw In A Light Bulb?
(Snarl your answer) “JUST ONE! ME! HEY, BUDDY–YOU GOT SOME SORT OF PROBLEM WITH THAT?!” Ah, PMS. Even if you don’t ever want a baby let’s see if we can fix things so you don’t have to put up with this crap for 30 years. I can write about PMS, and over the years have […]
Out Of Whack Hormones
“My hormones are out of whack!” That’s the single most common sentence I hear from my patients. It can come from a 25-year-old with irregular periods and industrial-strength PMS whose energy has gone down the tubes. Or from a 45-year-old (on the threshold of pre-menopause) who continues to gain weight even though she’s eating less […]
My Favorite Herb: St. John’s Wort
It’s really annoying the way the pharmaceutical industry snookered US physicians over the herbal antidepressant St. John’s wort. If only the profession had been just a little skeptical of an article that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) a while back we might not be as up to our bellybuttons in […]
Are You The Canary in Our Coal Mine?
The canary in the coal mine had its literal origins in the mining industry. In order to test for toxic gases, miners would lower a caged canary into a mine shaft. Bringing up a dead songbird meant humans wouldn’t be descending that shaft. The metaphor remains apt because, even today, some of us are the […]
The Anxiety in Your Gut
Posted 01/17/2012 “That gut feeling.” We’ve all experienced it, but we may have difficulty describing the sensation. We sense or “know” something internally, feeling butterflies in our stomach, almost as if our entire intestinal tract were a second brain, low on reflective skills but high on intuitive ones. During the past decade an incredible amount […]
Fibromyalgia Explained: Why the Pain?
To understand fibromyalgia and why so many doctors tell their fibro patients, “All your tests are normal,” you need to think about serotonin, the brain chemical that acts as a buffer against stress.
Women, Baseball Bats, Men, and Serotonin
One morning a couple weeks ago, I opened the Chicago Sun-Times to see photos of two accomplished young women who’d been beaten unconscious by a man with an aluminum baseball bat. They’d both been admitted to an intensive care unit. The perps were tracked down when they used one of the victim’s credit cards to buy gas.
High Blood Pressure
One of the most common reasons people give for coming to our practice is to see if there’s “something other than all these pills” they’ve been prescribed for a medical problem. I frequently hear sentences such as, “I read the side effects of this drug and think: but those are the symptoms I’m being treated for,” or “I take all these pills and I feel pretty much the same.”
Holiday Stress Rx: Ten Tips
December is a stressful month, especially for women and despite all the holiday cheer.
Some of you might be thinking “But he’s Jewish–what does he know about Christmas stress?” Here are my credentials: I’ve been married for many years to a Christian woman and I’ve watched as she and our extended family become fried by the stress during every holiday season. Also, my patients tell me the holidays stress them, period.
Q&A: Tanning Beds to Boost Vitamin D and Serotonin?
Click here for the original post. Q: You write a lot about how sunshine increases vitamin D and serotonin. Do you recommend using a tanning bed or booth to accomplish this? A: Short answer: No. Longer answer: You shouldn’t be using ultraviolet tanning salons for anything. A World Health Organization position paper on tanning beds […]
A SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) Time of Year
Although H1N1 along with our annual “regular flu” are rightfully grabbing the headlines these days, now that it’s October we need to brace ourselves for the annual epidemic of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
The Upside of Low Serotonin
A new patient visited our center recently, writing on our intake form “need to get my serotonin higher.” She’d read The Triple Whammy Cure and felt that she’d been making progress on her own. However, she was still mildly depressed, craved carbs, and had low energy. If you’ve read my book, you all know the rest.
Women in the Asylum
Posted 06/09/2009 I’d wanted to see The Walls, the new play now having its world premiere at Steppenwolf Garage Theatre, for both personal and professional reasons. Chicago playwright Lisa Dillman and the members of Rivendell Theatre Ensemble have created a dramatic and troubling work about women as victims of involuntary psychiatric hospital admission, once called […]
Oprah: Poster Child for My Book, The Triple Whammy Cure
Click here for the Health Tip link. It comes with being a doctor, I suppose. I just can’t keep myself from reading about illnesses of the rich and famous. So when I saw Oprah’s name linked with the words “depressed,” “overweight,” and “thyroid,” I had to explore further. You can read about her major health […]
Your Brain: Maybe You’re Depressed
Depression is the result of low levels of the stress-buffering brain chemical serotonin trying, but failing, to protect you against assaults of unchecked stress.
The same holds true for similar disorders, like anxiety, fatigue, and fibromyalgia.
Fast Food Favorites: Chickpeas
Chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans–read more about them here) are a potential meal in a can. Plus, they’re one of the truly good carbohydrates. Because they’re taken up slowly and steadily by your body, they have a stabilizing effect your blood sugar and your mood, keeping you energized and elevating your feel-good serotonin.
Wintertime Blues: 10 Steps to Turn Them Around
The wintertime blues, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), usually begin when the days get shorter and the sky clouds over into perpetual gray. Many people with SAD dread late autumn because the clocks move back an hour and, in a single day, autumn twilight becomes dark night.
Advances in Fibromyalgia: Part 2
Doctors like me who work with many fibromyalgia (and chronic fatigue) patients try a variety of alternative approaches. These make perfect sense physiologically because they address the root cause of fibro, rather than supplying yet another painkiller (like Lyrica).
Advances in Fibromyalgia
As readers of my book The Triple Whammy Cure know, fibromyalgia is essentially a response by your body to unchecked stress, generally occurring (or returning) when your stress level exceeds the protective effect of your serotonin. You suffer that stress and your muscles tighten up and stay that way, hurting more and more. That’s fibromyalgia