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Welcome to the website for Jim Chialtas, L.Ac., and Laurel Acupuncture Clinic of Functional Medicine, located in San Diego.
Click on the tabs above to learn more about what Functional Medicine is, and about many of the health concerns I specialize in. Or scroll down for my blog. You might find it helpful to use the labels in the lower right column to find topics that interest you.
In addition to seeing clients privately in my clinic, I also offer many of the same services remotely to US residents. Please feel free to contact me to set up a consultation or appointment. Thank you!
I'm Leaking From Where Now? - Part 2
Much like the way that it sounds, leaky brain syndrome is a situation where the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) has become compromised and substances that are not meant to cross this barrier are able to pass either in or out unchecked. This barrier was discovered in the 19th century by the bacteriologist Ehrlich. He found that when he injected animals with staining chemicals every part of the animal took the stain but the brain. And subsequently when he injected the stain directly into the central nervous system nothing outside the brain took the color. The scientist therefore demonstrated that there was something that was stopping the transport of chemicals into and out of the brain. And this was for a good reason. The brain is of course a highly important organ for every function in our body and needs a high level of protection from harmful substances. When this barrier system becomes compromised the brain becomes susceptible to damage by invading substances and pathogens. The bottom line is you want a nice and tight, non-leaky blood-brain-barrier!
There is now current research that demonstrates to us the things that can both help and hurt this barrier system. Just several of the ones that harm the barrier should sound familiar to many of you. I see them in my practice all of the time. Increased oxidation due to free radical exposure, elevated Homocysteine (also a heart disease risk), stress of any kind (physical, mental/emotional, chemical), alcohol, and elevated blood sugar all work to destroy the BBB. If there is any one thing that I see the most of it is poor blood sugar regulation. Controlling all of these things as well as taking in Alpha-Lipoic Acid, antioxidants and simply using your brain all work to help maintain and rebuild the BBB.
This all becomes very important when considering the treatment and better yet, the prevention of many of the modern medical problems facing our society today. Loss of BBB integrity has been linked to several disease processes including meningitis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease. These studies can be found in highly respected medical journals like the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Neurotoxicology, Journal of Leukocyte Biology, Brain Research and more.
If you are interested in seeing if you might have a leaky brain condition there is a simple field test that you can perform on yourself. At the health food store you can purchase a supplement called GABA. GABA is a neurotransmitter found in the brain which elicits a relaxed state. People who are low in GABA tend to have anxiety type disorders. This substance should not be able to cross the BBB. (Which makes you wonder why it is being sold at all!) The test is to take 1000mg of GABA and see if you feel any enhanced state of relaxation. If you do then this substance has crossed the BBB and you have a “leaky brain!” Bad news. You need to fix that pronto! Oral GABA should not induce relaxation. If it does I can help you with this.
Believe me, there are a lot of things out there that if they get into your brain can lead to serious damage. Our brains are not supposed to have foreign substances in contact with it so when that happens the response is severe. Quite literally our immune system can go on a killing spree in a last ditch effort to save our brain from damage and in doing so will wipe out everything in its path including brain tissue! Counter productive, yes, but it is what we have, and it is good to know about.
Don’t let this happen to you. There are simple steps that you can take to protect yourself from a leaky brain. I am happy to be your guide in proper brain health. This is seriously one area of medicine both mainstream and alternative alike that is consistently overlooked time and time again. And in the meantime neurological disorders are continuously on the rise. Call to day for a consultation and request a free Brain Health Questioner.