Tag Archives: AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center

The-Gut-Brain-Skin-Microbiota Axis

Understanding GBSM: The Gut-Brain-Skin-Microbiota Axis

GBM Axis: Gut-Brain-Skin-Microbiota Axis – The Symphony of Survivorship vs Environment

The Gut-Brain-Skin-Microbiota Axis is just one of the fascinating (but often ignored) medical subjects that will be discussed at the upcoming Integrative Addiction Conference in Austin, Texas during August 2016.  Should you be interested in finding out more about the GBSM or GBM Axis and its relation to physical, mental and emotional disease and addiction, be sure to book your space by following our link – https://www.awaremed.com/integrativeaddictionconference/

A small list of some of the subject matter that will be discussed by leading experts in their fields, include

  • How gut changes the brain
  • Why addiction treatment requires gut treatment
  • Restoring the gut heals addiction
  • Gut neurotransmitters – connection and addiction
  • Reset gut microbiota – reset sanity
  • Brain-gut addiction

When our intestines are in perfect balance – the GBSM or GBM Axis, results in a symphony of beautiful balance and health that ensures our survival.  But this symphony is deeply affected by our internal and external environments and how we react and relate to these on a moment-to-moment basis.  The key to health therefore lies in our bacterial environment – primarily that of our intestines.

The-Gut-Brain-Skin-Microbiota Axis

Microbiota is the word used to refer to a community of bacteria.  These communities encompass a myriad of bacteria and microscopic organisms in their various forms and capabilities, positive and negative that occupy every conceivable area within and around us.  From the depths of the frozen tundra and oceans, to our deserts, swamps and rain forests, these microorganisms also live within and on their human hosts. They are so prolific that more than a thousand different varieties have been found in a single human sample. Their proliferation bears testimony to their adaptive and often symbiotic nature with humans and recent studies of genome sequencing indicate that we share up to a third of our genes with other life forms and some 37% with these bacterial communities.

Many of these bacteria share our bodies on a mutually beneficial basis.  Pro- and prebiotics are an example of the “good” bacteria that occupy our gut space.  These living organisms promote our health by metabolizing complex lipids and polysaccharides for optimal nutritional absorption.  They protect our gut health by warding off harmful bacteria, neutralizing carcinogens, drugs, managing motility of our intestines and affecting our visceral perception (an internal understanding that operates independently of our consciousness level).  These endosymbionts are also successful in working with the guts “nervous system” to provide feedback to the central nervous system.  This feedback is crucial to maintaining balance within our system, including the development of our immunity.  Once it was recognized that microbiota in our intestines played such a significant role in our health that included a sophisticated signaling process, the idea of the Gut-Brain-Skin-Microbiota Axis – or GBSM Axis was born.

Our health and survival are reliant on these powerful, yet infinitesimal life forms as they affect both vegetative and cognitive functions of our central nervous systems (CNS).  The reverse is also true with the CNS affecting development and composition of these microbiota.  This symbiotic relationship is so powerful that any imbalance of power in this environment can lead to the development of metabolic, emotional and mental diseases.

The importance of this GBSM Axis is emphasized by the results of recent studies that show how these bacterial communities affect our immune systems, higher cognitive function and socialization and social structures at a psychological level in relation to sexual behavior, our choice of a partner and our levels of social perception and more.

The super highway feedback system between gut microbiota and the CNS involves the immune, endocrine and neural pathways, thus forming the MGB Axis.  When under extreme stress, our brains may influence the balance of gut bacteria through the hypothalamus-pituitary and adrenal glands – the HPA axis.  This axis manages cortisol levels that affect immune cells on a local basis and systemically in the gut.  The HPA axis regulates inflammatory responses to injuries from a neuronal perspective by producing catecholamine production.  This feedback system leads to balance – or homeostasis.  A disorder such as stress will therefore affect this balance and lead to allergic reactions, inflammatory disorders, disease and a predisposition to infection.  Cortisol can also change intestinal permeability and barrier functionality and contribute to the imbalance of “good” bacteria.  The reverse is also true where pre- and probiotics can change cytokine levels that may affect brain function.  The afferent branch of the vagus nerve and regulation of systemic tryptophan, the precursor to the serotonin transmitter, are also both strongly involved in carrying messages of gut microbiota to the brain.

 GBSM Axis

Studies conducted suggest that gut microbiota levels also have a strong effect on brain function in terms of anxiety, cognitive dysfunction, depression, emotions, motivation, memory formation, affective behaviors, decision making and emotional arousal.  This is supported by studies conducted on the insular cortex and related networks in the brain.

Our intestines are an extensive network of neurons that are often referred to as our second brain.  So intelligent is this system and so crucial is it to our health, but yet so often overlooked.  It is little wonder that more research is being directed to the GBM Axis as a source of a vast majority of diseases that are thought to be related to stress.  Our stress levels have a direct influence on the health of our gut environment that affect not only our physiological, but also our mental and emotional health and functions.  This enteric nervous system has over 100 million neurons in the nine meters of its length that it is often referred to as a second brain.  A “brain” that contains more neurons than either the spinal cord or the nervous system with 90% of the information transmitted by the vagus nerve involved in the relay of information from the gut to the brain – rather than the reverse.  It behooves us then to find out more about its functioning to ensure that this environment remains a symphony of health as opposed to an environment of deadly disease or addiction.


The Integrative Approach to Behavioral Addiction

Introducing the Integrative Approach to Behavioral Addiction

Behavioral Addictions:Addictions can come in many forms. For many, it is harder to not eat that cheeseburger than it is to not smoke that cigarette or drink that beer. For others it may be harder to not consistently use sex as a therapy. Yet and still, others may have the hardest time not placing a bet on their favorite prizefighter. Regardless of the category, the person may or may not fall under these three areas constitute behavioral addictions. The upcoming Integrative Addiction Conference being held in Austin, Texas covers these topics and many others.

behavioral AddictionThere are a number of ways to potentially treat behavioral addictions. Some approaches may look to study extensively the genetics of the person and then decide the best approach to treatment that way. Others may focus on sociological and/or psychological factors. In essence, the distinction being made here is that of nature versus nurture. However, much like the great philosopher Aristotle said, the best approach to a person’s behavior would be one that understands thoroughly not one or the other, but rather, both of the areas. It is not nature or nurture – it is nature and nurture. The true cultivation of a human being and their habits is derived from both the people we were born as, as well as from the things we learn and the habits we acquire from our teachers and peers. These are simplifications alluding to the age old anthropological debate, but this should be understood as a mere analogy. An integrative approach to behavioral addiction then, is one that takes in to consideration both genetic or neurological data while also considering an individual’s unique social and psychological environment.

 Check out the Integrative Addiction Conference Being Held In Austin, Texas

 Modern medicine, then, coupled with psychological treatment should both play a role in a successful integrative approach to behavioral addiction. In fact, this traditional dichotomy, even when combined, is still outdated. It really should not stop there. An integrative approach to behavioral addiction can be taken in the most literal of terms. Thus a successful integrative approach to behavioral addiction should be multifaceted, incorporating a number or potential treatment styles. According to the integrated approach philosophy this is essential to maintain function and successfully treat addiction and recovery. The ideal therapy should incorporate a number of approaches such as neurological, social, communal, psychological, or familial factors. This is the basic idea behind the integrative approach to behavioral addiction.

The multifaceted and nuanced approach may bother some used to more cut and dry or traditional methods and approaches to behavioral therapy, but these integrated methods to not exist without justification. Quantitative and qualitative data informs such approaches. As human beings, we most often want to simplify things or put them in categories for our own convenience. In many instances, the underlying reality operating before us that is life is actually more complex than our natural capacities or inclinations want it to be.

For this reason, there is a general trend across various disciplines, academic and professional, that look to incorporate the most multifaceted approaches possible. Rather than relying only on medical data to provide research on depression pills, psychological information is understood to create a more informed outlook. Rather than looking only to the field of Archaeology to understand a given artifact, the field of History is referenced to better understand the social significance of the artifact. As opposed to only referencing empirical physical sciences and quantifier logic to write a contemporary analytic philosophy paper, the poetry of Goethe is referenced and adds perspective to a given metaphysics or epistemology by separating from the leaves and branches and showing us the trees and forest. The general professional and academic trend then is one of being multidiscipline, or multifaceted in approach. The former dichotomies of treatment then should no longer bind us and in fact, most evidence tends to point against them, at least in the most absolute and confining sense of the dichotomy.

Behavioral addiction

What we do know, however, is that the decisions that we make on a daily basis indubitably change the person who we become. This is why a more multifaceted and integrated approach is most likely the most logically sound and effective one. It allows us to take into consideration all of the individual’s unique factors when formulating a treatment plan. If someone is struggling greatly with food, it is important not only what his or her genetic predisposition is, but also what available food is around their everyday environment. Even further, why is it the case that this food is what is available? What are the current socio/economic conditions of the area the person is in? What other hurdles might be getting in the way or discouraging recovery? If there are any, what are the negative influences? Are they people? Are they activities? These are all potential things to consider if we want to have an integrated approach to behavioral addiction.

Similar questions (yet specific to each addiction) should be asked for both gambling and sex addictions as well. The complex physical, psychological, and social factors tend to determine an individual’s behavior. Because of this, an integrated approach to treating these addictive behaviors is a potentially successful and complete one.

The best way to learn all about the integrated approach to behavioral addiction is to attend the upcoming Integrative Addiction Conference being held in Austin, Texas.


Dealing with the minds perception about cocaine addiction

Dealing with the minds perception about cocaine addiction: Coping with craving of cocaine (part two)

Dealing with the minds perception about cocaine addiction

In our part one of this series of articles about the cognitive behavioral approach of treating addiction, we had highlighted some of the areas to focus on as listed below and we were able to explore on the first one i.e. understanding craving. You can actually make reference on that as we progress but for the purpose of this article we want to continue from where we left and see how best we can describe craving which is one of the biggest elements when it comes to solving the problem of addiction. Our team of experts from the home of addiction solutions (AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center) under the able leadership of doctor Dalal Akoury who is also the founder of the facility, we want to explore on the possibilities of dealing with the minds perception about cocaine addiction with a view of finding lasting solutions to the scourge of addiction.

Dealing with the minds perception about cocaine addiction: Describing craving

Having understood what cravings is our next point would be to get the essential sense of the patients’ experience of craving. This can be very broad and may include having the knowledge about the following information.

What is craving like for you? – Doctor Akoury says that cravings or urges as it is commonly known is experienced in many different of ways by different patients. Like for instance an individual could say, the experience is primarily somatic that is to say, a patient would just get a feeling in the stomach or the heart races or just start smelling the element being craved for. For others, craving is experienced more cognitively; like for example one would say that “I need it now” or “I can’t get it out of my head” or “It calls on me.” Or it may be experienced effectively; for example, “I get nervous” or “I’m bored.” Depending on your individual experience, it is important that when seeking for help, you let your therapist know your experience with craving, this way they will be able to get to the roots of the problem and offer solutions effectively.

Are you bothered by craving? – There is tremendous variability in the level and intensity of craving reported by patients. For some, achieving and maintaining control over craving will be a principal treatment goal and take several weeks to achieve. Other patients deny they experience any craving. Gentle exploration with patients who deny any craving especially those who continue to use cocaine often reveals that they misinterpret a variety of experiences or simply ignore craving when it occurs until they suddenly find themselves using. Other, abstinent patients, who deny they experience any craving often, when asked, admit to intense fears about relapsing.

How long does craving last for you? – In this journey doctor Akoury says that to make the point about the duration and nature of craving, it is often very important for professionals to point out to their patients that they have rarely let themselves experience an episode of craving without giving in to it.

How do you try to cope with it? – Getting a sense of the coping strategies used by patients will help the therapist identify their characteristic coping styles and select appropriate coping strategies.

Dealing with the minds perception about cocaine addiction: Identifying triggers

The next point to focus on would be the identification of the triggers to the substance of abuse. It is important that therapists should work very closely with their patients to develop a comprehensive list of their own triggers. Some patients become overwhelmed when asked to identify cues. From experience doctor Akoury says that when handling addicts, you will notice that someone may even associate breathing with cocaine use. Again, it may be most helpful therefore to concentrate on identifying the craving and cues that have been most problematic to the patient in recent weeks. This should commence immediately during the therapy session and this should include self-monitoring of craving so that patients can begin to identify new and more subtle cues as they arise.

Dealing with the minds perception about cocaine addiction: Avoiding cues

When considering the avoidance of cues it is always advisable that you keep in mind the general strategy of “recognize, avoid, and cope.” These strategies are particularly applicable to craving for all substances and not necessarily cocaine. Doctor Akoury says that real experts would first identify the patients’ most problematic cues then make an exploration of the degree to which some of those could be avoided. This will come with certain sacrifices including breaking ties or reducing contact with individuals who use or supply you with cocaine, getting rid of paraphernalia, staying out of bars or other places where cocaine is used, or no longer carrying money, as in the following example:

Finally in dealing with the minds perception about cocaine addiction one needs not to let any stone unturned. I am saying this because we are all aware that cocaine is an illegal substance but other substances like alcohol which are legal can form a perfect avenue for the consumption of cocaine without being noticed. Besides that the ability to pay for the substance is another point of consideration. When the financial strength allows users to access cocaine could easily form a solution in an alcoholic drink. Therefore experts from AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center recommends that for any meaningful treatment to be realized, therapists and other professionals in the line of substance abuse must spend considerable time exploring the relationship between alcohol and cocaine with patients who use them together to such an extent that alcohol becomes a powerful cocaine cue. Specific strategies to reduce, or preferably, stop alcohol use should be explored. We appreciate that doing this may not be easy for many people and that is why doctor Akoury will be readily available on call for you to schedule for an appointment so that any pending or unclear issues relating to addiction can be attended to professionally.

Dealing with the minds perception about cocaine addiction: Coping with craving of cocaine (part two)


Alcohol kills

Points of action when faced with alcoholism

Points of action when faced with alcoholism: How can I avoid drinking?


Points of action when faced with alcoholism will help you make the right decision towards your ultimate addiction recovery from your alcoholism problem.

Our children often find it very difficult to say no when offered a drink by their friends and this is not doing them any good in the fight against addiction. That is why it has become necessary for us at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center to share with us some few points of action when faced with alcoholism and even other substances. Before we get to that, it will interest you to note that AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center is the brain child of doctor Dalal Akoury who is also the MD, President and founder of the same. Doctor Dalal Akoury is a veteran addiction expert who has offered quality and relentless addiction treatment to millions of people across the globe and is still delivering real time solutions to people to date. If you, your child or any one you know is struggling with any kind of addiction, then you can consult with her today by scheduling for an appointment right away. Otherwise for the young people we appreciate that if you are keeping friends who drinking or using drugs are, you may be willing and desiring to let go the drink but their influence won’t let you. That is why we are tailoring this article to suit your individual situation as follows.

Doctor Akoury agrees that even though you inner-self may be saying No, it can be very hard to say “no, thanks” boldly and openly. This happens because we always want to safeguard our relationships and to avoid the risk of feeling rejected or being left out. Even with those challenges, it is still important to stand firm and say no and stick to your No, this can be done in several different strategies. Like for instance you may want to turn down alcohol work for different people without letting them see you as being difficult or distancing yourself from them. For this reason, some people will find it helpful to say no without giving an explanation while others may think that detailing their reasons works better e.g. (“sorry I’m not into drinking,” “sorry I ‘am sitting an exam tomorrow,” sorry I am taking part in a very important game tomorrow,” or “my parents died from drinking and I am not following their footsteps” these are some of the example you can give and still remain relevant to your friends.

Besides the above points, If you still find it difficult to say no to your friends when they offer you alcohol, you can as well shift the blame to your parents or another adult for your refusal by saying that “I am sorry my parents are coming to pick me up soon,” “I ‘am sorry I have already gotten in serious trouble for drinking once with the authorities and I can’t do it again,” or “better still you may say that “my coach would kill me if I drink before the game,” these are some of the better ways of communicating your refusal to your friend and because they too (teen) experience the same challenges, they will surely excuse you without any form of victimization.

Points of action when faced with alcoholism: Marry making and outings

Marry making and outings are serious threats to sinking into alcoholism and therefore it is important that as an individual, each time you’re going to a party where alcoholic drinks will be served, it is important that you up your game plan by coming up with a working strategy towards escape in advance. You and a friend can develop a signal for when it’s time to leave. Besides that you can also make sure that you have plans to do something besides just hanging out in someone’s basement drinking beer all night. Plan a trip to the movies, the mall, a concert, or a sports event. You might also organize your friends into a volleyball, bowling, or softball team any activity that gets you moving. Self-esteem is a factor to consider it therefore means that girls or guys who have strong self-esteem are less likely to become problem drinkers than people with low self-esteem.

Points of action when faced with alcoholism: Where you can get help from?

If you think you have a drinking problem, getting help as soon as possible is very necessary. The best approach is to talk to an adult you trust. If you can’t approach your parents, talk to your doctor, school counselor, clergy member, aunt, or uncle. It can be hard for some people to talk to adults about these issues, but a supportive person in a position to help can refer students to a drug and alcohol counselor for evaluation and treatment. In some states, this treatment is completely confidential. After assessing a teen’s problem, a counselor may recommend a brief stay in rehab or outpatient treatment. These treatment centers help a person gradually overcome the physical and psychological dependence on alcohol.

Points of action when faced with alcoholism: What if I’m concerned about someone else’s drinking?

Because we owe one another the duty of care we must show concern to our friends who are strongly into alcohol and drugs. It is normal to be living in a home with one or both parents who are abusing alcohol and not just parents even other relatives. This can be annoying and in the process may make you angry, scared, and depressed. Even though this is a possibility it is important to appreciate that many people can’t control their drinking without help and that is why we all must show concern because alcoholism is an illness that needs to be treated just like other illnesses. One important point about alcoholism is that people with drinking problems many at times can’t stop drinking until they are ready to admit that they have a problem that needs to be sorted out professionally. During this period of denial, many family members and loved ones have a feeling of depressed and helpless. However the good news is that we have experts at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under the able leadership of doctor Dalal Akoury who can help you get well in the most human way with a lot of dignity and high standard of confidentiality. All you need to do is to schedule for an appointment with doctor Akoury and you will have your life back and live it to the fullest.

Points of action when faced with alcoholism: How can I avoid drinking?






Accessibility to alcohol a hindrance to recovery

Accessibility to alcohol a hindrance to recovery: Why shouldn’t i drink?

accessibility to alcohol

Accessibility to alcohol is one of the most significant motivation to being addicted to alcohol

The prevalence of alcohol addiction has been necessitated by easy accessibility to alcohol which is posing a serious threat to treatment and recovery process. You will not be surprised to note that certain streets in a given capital city of a state are literally littered with alcohol joints e.g. pubs and entertainment spots. Our authorities have continually license more business directly engaging in the sales and production of alcohol in order to increase revenues for development. They do so because they have noted that the addictiveness of this product and so even if taxes were to be increased as a means of putting in some control, people will still buy to quench their thirst. It is because of this background that we at the home of addiction experts (AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center) under the able leadership of doctor Dalal Akoury have resolved to make a difference by posting very informative articles on this link to the public’s consumption so that this problem can be brought to manageable levels. Therefore we want to scrutinize how accessibility to alcohol a hindrance to recovery in this article. We therefore want to request you to stay with us on the link and together let us educate one another on the best possible ways of eradicating this scourge from our societies.

According to the experts from AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center, it is worrying that even though it’s illegal to buy alcohol in most states globally including in the United States until the age of 21, most teens and young children can still get access to this product (alcohol). We must therefore be very careful about the decisions we make concerning our usage (drinking) of alcohol. What we do affects our children greatly in the future like for instance if you stock alcohol in your refrigerator, the message you are passing to the teens is that this is a good substance and can be consumed at will after all food and drinks for family use or consumption are always kept in our refrigerators. When your children become the messengers each time you want supply of your substance whether it is alcohol, cigarette or any other substance, the children are registering real tangible points about the use and abuse of these stuff. Dear friend this is very dangerous not just for your family but to the whole society and beyond. Have you ever hard the phrase “charity begins at home?” when good things begins from home the society benefits in the same way when bad things bins from our homes the society suffers. This we can stop, prevent and avoid by choosing to do the right things with our children. Now back to our point of discussion having listen to the over view it is important to appreciate that besides the mentioned, there are several other consequences for drinking some may include:

Accessibility to alcohol a hindrance to recovery: Heavy penalty and severe punishment

The authorities in every institutions and states are putting stringent measures to curb this unbecoming habit in our young generation and therefore teens that drink will always rub shoulders with the law enforcer agencies and be arrested. Besides that they (teens) are likely to involve themselves into some unwanted behaviors and conducts like fighting, committing various kinds of crime, and even end up into suicide. There are very prevalent occurrences in teens that drink when compared to those who do not drink or do drugs. Alongside all these individuals who drink will in many cases also have problems in their social and academic lives, and remember that drinking can once ability to concentrate in his or her studies and the consequences of this is dismal performance in their grades, career, sports or any other activity they participate in. this nor normally happens because of poor coordination by the brain when it is under the influence of alcohol and substances.

Accessibility to alcohol a hindrance to recovery: Displaying actions of stupidity

The good impression according to the users of alcohol is that drinking is cool and life’s fulfilling, this is a serious misinformation because the moment the alcohol takes effect on the nervous system, the whole situation changes and what was perceived to be cool and fulfilling (drinking alcohol) all over sudden create shame and embarrassment. I strongly believe that you have meet people decently dressed on their way to drinking joints and a few hours later you meet them in very disturbing and pathetic situations. That is why we say that drinking can make people do very stupid or embarrassing things including throwing up or peeing on themselves in total disregard of their surroundings. Besides the stupid actions, drinking also gives people bad breath, and no one enjoys a hangover even to those who feel that they can’t do without the touch of the bottle. Displaying actions of stupidity can be avoided if only we can chose to seek for help in good time. Before things get out of hand to the point of regrets, you can schedule for an appointment with doctor Dalal Akoury today and together with her team of experts all your concerns about alcohol addiction and the general aspect of substance abuse will be addressed professionally.

Accessibility to alcohol a hindrance to recovery: The health risks of Alcohol consumption

When we talk about the health risk involving misuse of alcohol, you can be rest assured that it is not going to the first time you are hearing this. The consequences of misuse of alcohol have been preached since time immemorial yet our young people are still into this harmful habit. There is no doubt that individuals who drink alcohol age, gender and race not withstanding are more likely to be sexually active and eventually engages into having unsafe or unprotected sex. We are all privy to the consequences of such action which may include but not limited to unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases which can be very fatal to the point of death. Besides that doctor Akoury is registering that the risk of injuring one’s yourself, maybe even fatally, is higher especially when you’re under the influence of alcohol. Shocking as it may sound, it has been established that about one half of all drowning death cases among people are actually related to alcohol use. There is therefore no doubt that the use of alcohol is in itself going to greatly increase the chance of people or users of alcohol to be involved in a car crash, homicide, or suicide. All this fatalities can be brought to manageable levels by taking immediate actions of getting help from the right professionals like doctor Dalal Akoury MD, President and founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center.

Finally as we bring this discussion to an end, there are also nutritional effects that come with alcohol consumptions. Like for instance, our young people are most likely to get fat or have health problems if they are consistently abusing alcohol. According to one of the studies conducted by the University of Washington it was established that people who regularly had five or more drinks in a row starting at age 13 were much more likely to be overweight or have high blood pressure by age 24 than their non-drinking peers. People who continue drinking heavily well into adulthood risk damaging their organs, such as the liver, heart, and brain. These findings can be very scary but you can chose to correct that by scheduling for an appointment with doctor Dalal Akoury a veteran addiction expert of several decades today so that all your concerns can be addressed professionally and adequately.

Accessibility to alcohol a hindrance to recovery: Why shouldn’t i drink?