Conventional medicine likes to label disorders, but often labels are meaningless. They tell us what disease we have, but they don’t say why we have it or even more importantly, how we can really treat it – other than prescribing a pill for every ill.
The emphasis on naming diseases is pervasive throughout medicine, and it is the single biggest obstacle to changing the way we do things and finding the answers to our health problems.
The truth is that two brain disorders, with two completely different names, might have a lot more in common than you might think.
To explain this, let me tell you about two of my patients, Sam and Christine.
Sam was diagnosed with autism at 22 months. He became disconnected and withdrawn and his family was eager for help. We found that Sam had high levels of antibodies to gluten, and he was allergic to dairy, eggs, yeast, soy, and over 20 other foods. He also had a leaky and inflamed gut and was suffering from many nutritional deficiencies including zinc, magnesium, vitamins A, B12, D, and omega 3 fats. Like many children with autism, he had trouble making energy in his cells or what we call mitochondria.
His amino acids, which are necessary for normal brain function and detoxification, were also depleted, and his body showed high levels of heavy metals including aluminum, lead, and arsenic. His sulfur and glutathione were low, and he also had trouble with a key biochemical function called methylation, which is required to make normal neurotransmitters and brain chemicals.
On top of all of that, he had very high levels of oxidative stress (also called free radical activity), including markers that showed his brain was inflamed. His brain and his body were on fire.
After almost a year of treating these issues and working closely with Sam, we saw remarkable improvements. He was verbally fluent and his body was functioning normally again.
Now I want to tell you about my patient named Christine. Christine was eighty and was experiencing severe memory loss and cognitive decline. Her family was obviously concerned, so she was put through hours of neuropsychological testing and found to have dementia.
Her neurologist did her best to comfort her but told her and her family there is no treatment truly effective to stop or reverse the progression of dementia. This is when her daughter brought her to see me.
We discovered a lot of subtle changes in her health that on their own wouldn’t explain dementia, but when added all together put a strain on her brain function. We corrected those problems which included low thyroid function, mercury toxicity, inflammation, and deficiencies in vitamins B6 and D, folate, coenzyme Q10, and omega-3 fats, and we also improved her overall diet.
Six months later, she had the extensive memory tests repeated. Her psychologist was surprised to report that her scores got better.
Did you notice any similarities between Sam and Christine? When we dug deep, we found that many of the insults that can lead to autism can also contribute to dementia. Things like nutritional deficiencies, heavy metal toxicity, and inflammation. These are just a few of the challenges that can lead to a broken brain and many other health conditions.
Rarely will you find a conventional doctor talking about the role of a leaky gut or heavy metal toxicity in regards to brain disorders.
We need to revolutionize the way we treat these diseases. This is why my team and I created the 8-part Broken Brain Docuseries. This docuseries goes through major brain disorders such as dementia, autism, depression, and much, much more; offering a different way to approach disease. You’ll hear from over 50 experts who will share the truth about our brains and how we can achieve optimal brain health.
In this docuseries, I’ll guide you through the 7 steps to an UltraMind. These are the steps that I used with both Sam and Christine during their treatment, and now I want to share them with you.
We’ll talk about how to tackle nutritional deficiencies, stress, and gut imbalances. We’ll also talk about how to boost your detoxification systems and how the quality of your relationships can impact your brain health. We’ll dive deep into a brain-healthy diet, and our experts will share their best tips for achieving a calm mind.
You don’t have to suffer from a broken brain anymore. Let’s fix this problem together. Join our movement by signing up for this free series and spread the word to your friends so we can all take back control of our brain health together.
And if you have questions about the brain, tweet me and use the hashtag #housecallwithdrhyman. Maybe next week I’ll make a house call to you.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD