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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

A Holistic Approach to Emotional Wellness

Aug 31, 2020 04:42PM ● By Ann Charlotte Valentin

123rf.com/ Olena Kachmar

Feeling emotionally unwell can stem from many different sources, such as hormones, the endocrine system, trauma and gut health, and can cause a variety of symptoms, many of which can be interrelated, including tiredness, stress, anxiety, heart palpitations, insomnia, weight gain and indigestion. 

Your hormones, including cortisol, and thyroid communicate with each other, and there is a delicate balance between them. If you are feeling anxious or stressed, you may be experiencing an increase in cortisol, which, in turn, affects your thyroid and other hormones. As a result of having too much cortisol, you may have too little progesterone. On the other hand, too much progesterone can contribute to an increase in blood sugar, while too much estrogen can cause a decrease in blood sugar. 

Think of it as having several scales in your body that are trying to balance between each other. If you put too much weight on one scale, the other scale may go up, creating an imbalance in your endocrine system. Estrogen alone controls more than 400 functions in your body, and when you experience a hormonal imbalance, you may feel weepy, anxious or angry, along with many other symptoms. However, hormones and your endocrine system are not the only factors that affect your emotional well-being.

Trauma that occurs in your own life or that is inherited through DNA can cause emotional upset. In an article published in the Biological Psychiatry journal, titled “Holocaust Exposure Induced Intergenerational Effects on FKBP5 Methylation,” researchers concluded that trauma can be passed down from earlier generations via DNA. It is important to understand where your stress and/or trauma is coming from. The endocrine system, emotional inheritance and predisposition to mental health concerns, and the microbiota in your gut all contribute to your emotional health.

We know that many of our neurotransmitters, such as GABA, serotonin and dopamine, are also created in the gut by gut bacteria; therefore, emotional well-being starts with making sure the gut flora and diet are optimal. By eating a healthy diet consisting of vegetables, preferably organic, as well as wild-caught fish and organic foul, you nourish your body. Stay away from empty carbs and prepackaged foods, as they are often not nutritious and end up spiking your blood sugar and causing a blood sugar crash. It is important to keep your blood sugar on an even keel to optimize your emotional health. Also, by drinking a lot of caffeinated products, you are only creating a roller coaster of emotions where you are typically on either end of the spectrum—highly caffeinated and jittery or experiencing a caffeine crash, causing you to feel tired and wanting more caffeine to keep going.

In addition to these factors, we also have to consider that we live in a fairly toxic world where many toxins can creep into our body unknowingly and cause a multitude of symptoms and wreak havoc with our gut flora, killing the good bacteria and keeping the bad bacteria. There are easy tests to check for your hormones, gut health, heavy metals and environmental toxins by using a home collection kit for saliva, urine or stool.

Dr. Ann Charlotte Valentin is a family physician and also has post-graduate education in bioidentical hormones, Koren Specific Technique, CranioSacral Therapy, Emotional Release Technique and BodyTalk. She also works as an evidential medium and spiritual educator. Valentin is currently offering telemedicine to patients that do not want to venture out to a clinic setting, and test kits are sent directly to patients’ homes. Her book Med School After Menopause, The Journey of My Soul is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. For more information, call 602-888-2320 or visit DrLotte.com.

 

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