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Effects of addiction on the hypothalamus area

Effects of addiction on the hypothalamus area: Stress regulation and withdrawal

Effects of addiction on the hypothalamus area

Effects of addiction on the hypothalamus area is not only dangerous to the brain but the effects can also spread through other organs of the body

One of the areas of the brain that can easily be affected by effects of substance abuse is the hypothalamus area. This is the part of the brain that is responsible for several duties including controlling of the body temperature, hunger, thirst, and sleep. Owing to these functions, the hypothalamus is equally playing a key role in how we respond to stress. According to the experts at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center which is one of the leading pioneers in natural and holistic addiction treatment, we cannot effectively talk about addiction without the mention one stress. Doctor Dalal Akoury MD and also the founder of this facility agree that stress regulation is highly relevant to our understanding of addiction. And that is why we want to explore further into details the effects of addiction on the hypothalamus area of the brain even as we also look the stress regulation and withdrawal. It is therefore important to note that when an individual experiences stress, the hypothalamus releases chemicals known as hormones. It is these hormones that allows’ the brain and the body to respond to that stress. Unlike neurotransmitters (which are chemicals limited to the brain) hormones travel throughout the body via the blood system. It therefore means that hormones can exert an effect on other body systems as well. When these chemical hormones operate in the brain, we refer to them as neuromodulators. These hormones (neuromodulators) can act just like neurotransmitters in the brain. Like neurotransmitters, they have their own receptors associated with them.

Effects of addiction on the hypothalamus area: Stress the motivator of relapse

From our studies, it is obvious that stress is a well-known relapse trigger to all users of drugs. It capable of prompt powerful cravings in addicted persons I can therefore say almost with certainty that majority of us in one way or another have come across someone who struggled with an addiction and tried to quitting but ultimately relapsed when they became stressed out. Doctor Akoury says that under normal circumstances, at the beginning periods of recovery withdrawal symptoms often create stress and the vicious cycle continues. It is however very important to appreciate that stress will always prompts the addictive use, while efforts to discontinue use prompt stress. During withdrawal, these stress hormones are elevated. Even though stress levels are high, the brain’s anti-stress neuromodulators appear to decrease, as do dopamine and serotonin in the nucleus accumbens. This suggests that withdrawal affected the reward system (evidenced by decreasing dopamine and serotonin). At the same time, withdrawal activates the stress and anxiety systems. This “1-2 punch” heightens the negative experience of withdrawal. This prompts people to seek relief via the addictive substance or activity (i.e., relapse).

In summary, the neurotransmitter pathways associated with the amygdala and the hypothalamus play a crucial role in sustaining the addiction process and this occurs thorough:

  • The negative emotional memory that is associated with drug withdrawal
  • The positive emotional memory that is associated with drug cues
  • The disruption that occurs to stress regulation
  • The pleasurable relief from withdrawal symptoms that occurs by resuming drug use or addictive activities

Effects of addiction on the hypothalamus area: The brain also helps to reverse addiction

There’s no doubt that addiction is wreaking havoc on the brain. That is the naked truth that addiction causing significant chemical, structural, and molecular changes that quite literally hijack the brain. However, treatment can reverse or counteract these effects. Besides, as the recovery process proceeds, the brain continues to heal. And even though it is true that many changes do occur in the brain after addiction takes hold. Nonetheless, we must also remember that the brain is a dynamic and ever-changing system. Changes to the brain’s neuronal circuits, chemistry, and structures powerfully drive the addiction forward. However, a strong motivation to change, can just as powerfully counter these changes. People can learn new coping skills. They can practice behavioral modification techniques. These efforts will counter those damaging changes.

Abstinence from addictive substances or activities can lead to a reversal of many physical changes that occurred during addiction. Combination therapies (medications plus psychotherapy) help the recovery process by managing the physiological effects of addiction and withdrawal. Cognitive-behavioral treatments work to mend and repair the psychological impact of addiction. Doctor Akoury says that from this discussion, it should come out clearly that the brain is quite amazing. Like for instance it has the capacity to control its own physiology and is highly adaptive. Each behavioral step we make forward has a beneficial physiological effect on the brain. Therefore a sincere effort to change behavior is a powerful tool that mends the damaged brain. It therefore means that when we change our behaviors by finding new healthy outlets for satisfying cravings, we succeed in correcting the damaged brain functions. These positive changes form new memory and behavioral circuits in the brain that strengthen and reinforce recovery efforts. Yes, the brain has changed because of the addictive process. Nevertheless, even people with severe addiction problems succeed in overcoming their addictions. Many do so without any outside help. Motivation is one of the key.

Effects of addiction on the hypothalamus area: The Psychology of Addiction and Recovery

We have introduced the Bio-Psycho-Social-Spiritual (BPSS) model of addiction. We will use this model to answer the question “How do people get addicted?” So far, we have reviewed the biological reasons people can get addicted. The biological portion of the BPSS model considers addiction a brain disease with biological, chemical, and genetic roots.

We now turn our attention to the psychological portion of the BPSS model. The psychological portion of the BPSS model views addiction in different ways. It is important to note that people may get addicted to whatever they are addicted to through various means including the following:

  • It could be as a result of learning the habit from others
  • People may find recovery difficult because of the way they think about things.
  • They may also lack good problem-solving skills.
  • Addiction may occur as a means of coping with uncomfortable feelings.
  • Addiction could also develop because of a personality defect or mental disorder.
  • Addiction may be due to developmental immaturity.

We will explore the psychological factors that affect addiction and recovery in due course however, even if addiction originated because of some biological process, it is important to note that recovery from addiction requires people to become motivated to make significant changes. Psychology is a science that studies what motivates people to behave in certain ways. Therefore people can improve the quality of their lives by learning new behaviors and changing old thought patterns. People can also benefit from increasing their maturity, and improving their copings skills. Finally to get these full benefits, it is only fair for you to consult with the experts at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under the professional guidance of doctor Dalal Akoury today to free yourself from all the effects of addiction on the hypothalamus area of your brain and all other organs of your body today.

Effects of addiction on the hypothalamus area: Stress regulation and withdrawal

 

 

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Herbs For Pain and Addiction Treatment

Use of Jamaican Dogwood, Valerian, Wood Betony, Yellow Jasmine in Pain and Addiction Treatment

Addiction is still one of the major problems that we are still living with today. Though known for its devastating effects, addiction has still remained when of the many menaces that our youths as well as the older generation alike are still glued to. However there is a bitter reality that you need to be aware of, a reality that none of your already addicted friends will let you know of; the journey to addiction treatment and recovery is that which is not easily won. There are serious hurdles that you shall have to meet along the way as you fight on to reach the greener side of life where the chains of addiction are broken. Just like any other disease there are myriads of ways through which the treatment of addiction can be effected. one is through pharmaceutical ways of treatment and the other through natural ways of treatment that may at times be used alongside the orthodox ways of treatment or as an assortment of various herbs and a special choice of diets that helps restore the damage of drugs on the addict and hence making it possible for the addict to be treated of the illness. On the other hand when pharmaceuticals are used for treating drug addiction the doctors will mostly use a substitute of your drug to satisfy your craving for the drug of abuse you are addicted to. Though this may present a short term solution it still doesn’t let you be free from the drug as you will still continue using a substance that is thought to be less addictive and not so dangerous. However the reality is that this kind of treatment does not address the brain imbalances that an addict suffers after a long term use of a certain drug.

Addiction Treatment

As we have seen in previous articles the part of the body that is adversely affected by addiction to drug abuse is the nervous system. The neurotransmitters like the dopamine and the other crucial ones are literally damaged after a prolonged use of drugs. this therefore calls for a treatment option that will not only focus on ending the craving that addicts have for their substance of abuse but to help restore the whole person back to what he or she was before he got into drug use that has since chained him or her. Most pharmaceutical drugs do not consider this but mostly gear towards treating the symptoms of addiction like depression and anxiety that is normally done with sedatives while the underlying problem; the damage to the nervous system, is left unchanged. Through the years there have been different alternatives to addiction that have since come up and have been found to be effective. An example of these alternative therapies that have shown hope to addicts is the use of stem cell therapy that aims at restoring the damage caused by drugs. Despite the effectiveness of some of these alternatives the use of herbs in addiction treatment is yet to be scrapped off, this is solely because of the effectiveness of some herbs in treating addiction. Here are some of the herbs that can be used to help in the addiction treatment and recovery.

Jamaican Dogwood

Jamaican dogwood is mostly used for pain. It has sedative effect, reduces muscle spasm and cools nerve pain. It also reduces inflammations. It has often been the top choice for relieving nerve pain and it has been proved to be powerful in pain management.  It is derived from the bark of the dogwood tree, and can be taken in capsule or tincture forms as well as a tea from the bark’s powder.  Though known for pain management it can contribute in help with addiction as when used it helps to calm down the nerves and relive an addict off the withdrawal effects like depression and anxiety that most of the times can lead to relapse. However beneficial it is it can be potentially dangerous when used for self-medication. It is therefore safe to use it with instructions from an integrative addiction doctor as it is irritant and can cause numbness, tremors, salivation, and sweating.

Wood Betony

Wood Betony

This herb is commonly found in Europe. This plant is rich in medicinal properties. To begin with the fresh, undried leaf of wood betony is a natural pain reliever. This analgesic is good for addiction as it helps in calming the nerves as well as fighting some common symptoms of addiction like depression anxiety and insomnia.

Valeria

Valeria has great sedation properties. As have been revealed by past literature, Valeria has great influence on the cerebro-spinal system. In a recovering addict this herb can be used to promote nerve relaxation and sleep. Insomnia is a common symptom that most addicts battle with, with valerian a recovering addict can be helped evade the grave effects of insomnia and anxiety. It does this by exerting an influence quieting and soothing in its nature upon the brain and nervous system. Other herbs that have been found to be helpful in the journey of addiction treatment and recovery are; Yellow Jasmine, St. Johns worts and chamomile among others

Finally, Here at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center we are committed to availing help to addicts by availing some of the most integrative approaches to healing an addict. We advocate for natural healing to all kinds of addiction. Call on Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for help.

Use of Jamaican Dogwood, Valerian, Wood Betony, Yellow Jasmine in Pain and Addiction Treatment

 

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Nicotine Addiction in Females

Role Of Progesterone In Nicotine Addiction In Females

Nicotine addictionProgesterone is a found in good quantities in women and is often thought of as a female hormone. this hormone is important for the regulation of ovulation and menstruation. however current research findings have indicated that this hormone has a role in inhibiting nicotine addiction.

today many people are using drugs with nicotine content and nicohtine addiction is on the rise. it has been causing death that could rather be prevented especially in the developed countries. this stimulant is used by all genders and is appreciated for a feel of high sensation and relaxation after sometime but researchers have noted that women and teen girls appear to be more vulnerable on certain aspects of nicotine addiction compared with men and boys. However the mechanism of gender differences in nicotine addiction is not yet clear, but there is evidence that endorses the suggestion that progesterone may protect females against nicotine addiction unlike estrogen that some researchers have linked to enhanced vulnerability in females to nicotine addiction. Therefore, progesterone may have therapeutic use for nicotine addiction, especially in female smokers. Researchers are working to establish the reason for this gender variation in nicotine addiction and the discovery will provide a greater understanding of the role of progesterone in nicotine addiction. this is important not only from a treatment purposes but also from a prevention perspective. The changes in hormones in the body of women such as those that occur at adolescence and during pregnancy and following birth. The changes in hormones that are also caused by hormonal manipulation like using methods of hormonal birth control may all contribute to changes in vulnerability to nicotine addiction.

Here, we will explore in reference to recent evidences from clinical studies how progesterone affects the health of a woman in relation to nicotine addiction. Depending on the data already availed from past researches we will find out the effects of progesterone during the initiation stage and even during the later stages of nicotine addiction process as a potential relapse prevention treatment.

Several studies have indicated that in spite of the public knowledge that nicotine addiction can be dangerous to one’s health, tobacco use has been on the rise especially on young women and teens. In a 2007 study results on National Survey on Drug Use research done by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration often shortened as SAHMSA found that Females aged 12–17 are also more likely than males initiate smoking. It has also been found out that women take shorter time to develop tobacco dependence syndrome after their initial use of tobacco.

Similar reports of enhanced vulnerability in females versus males have been reported among adult smokers. For example, among adults (18 years and over), although more men than women smoke, women take less time to become dependent after initial use, report shorter and less frequent abstinence periods and smoke for longer periods of time in their lives compared with men with the median cessation age of 33 years for males versus 37 years for females. This finding was reported by a research done by Pierce and Gilpin in 1996 in a study titled: How long will today’s adolescent smoker be addicted to cigarettes?

Of all the studies that have been available on tobacco use it has been found that women are more vulnerable to nicotine addiction as they also appear to respond less favorably to smoking cessation treatments.

Donny and Clark study on rats

A preclinical study on rats done by Donny and Clark with other researchers provided information that is Consistent with the above findings. In preclinical studies, adolescent and adult female rats showed faster acquisition of intravenous nicotine self-administration and higher break points on a progressive-ratio schedule compared with adolescent and adult males. Similarly, female mice showed a greater preference for nicotine in a two-bottle choice task compared with male mice indicating greater sensitivity of females to nicotine’s reinforcing effects. These studies point to important gender differences in initiation and maintenance of nicotine use that may contribute to smaller gains in curbing nicotine addiction in women.

Progesterone and GABA receptors

Several research findings point out that Progesterone and its metabolites interact with multiple neurotransmitter receptors including GABA, glycine, sigma1, kainate, serotonin3, and nicotinic cholinergic receptors. However, most relevant for nicotine addiction are interactions with GABA. Progesterone’s active metabolites, pregnanolone and allopregnanolone, have positive modulatory effects on GABA receptors which enhance GABAergic transmission. GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain and has significant influence on multiple central nervous system (CNS) function. The positive modulatory effects of progesterone metabolites on the GABA receptors have been proposed to weaken drug reward. Remarkably, the effects of progesterone and its metabolites on GABAergic signaling vary with menstrual cycle phase and at hormone transition phases including during adolescence and during pregnancy. For instance, during puberty, allopreganolone’s effects on GABAergic transmission are opposite to those seen before and after puberty with results showing a reduction in GABAergic transmission.

nicotine addictionIt has also been reported that progesterone also affects signaling at nicotinic receptors. Specifically, both progesterone and allopregnanolone are negative modulators of the α4β2 nicotinic receptors. Progesterone has also been reported to increase mRNA expression of α5 nicotinic receptors.

Despite the research findings that have been published on this issue, the available literature is still insufficient to anchor a strong decision on the use of progesterone hormone in fighting nicotine addiction. Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Center is an expert in integrative medicine for addiction. Call her on (843) 213-1480 for help.

Role Of Progesterone In Nicotine Addiction In Females

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Progesterone And Nicotine Addiction

Research Shows Progesterone Influences Nicotine Addiction in Women

Nicotine addictionNicotine is a common substance in certain drugs. In fact we interact with nicotine most of the time without even stopping to think that it is really an addictive substance. Nicotine can be found in tea but again the level of nicotine will be different depending on which drug you are using. However nicotine has always been associated with tobacco and this is because it forms a bigger content of tobacco. Unknown to many, nicotine is the addictive substance in the tobacco and so should be avoided as much as other drug contents that are often considered more dangerous. Today, Nicotine addiction is on the rise and it continues to be the main cause of preventable death in developed countries. Despite of use of tobacco by people of all genders, it has been found that women and teen girls appear to be more vulnerable on certain aspects of nicotine addiction compared with men and boys. While the mechanism of gender differences in nicotine addiction is not yet clear, evidence suggests that while estrogen may underlie enhanced vulnerability in females, progesterone may protect females. Thus, progesterone may have therapeutic use for tobacco addiction, especially in female smokers. Researchers are working to establish the reason for this gender variation in nicotine addiction and the revelation will pose a greater understanding of the role of progesterone in nicotine addiction is important not only from a treatment purposes but also from a prevention perspective. The changes in hormones in the body of women such as those that occur at adolescence and during pregnancy and following birth. The changes in hormones that are also caused by hormonal manipulation like using methods of hormonal birth control may all contribute to changes in vulnerability to nicotine addiction.

In this article we will explore in reference to recent evidences from clinical studies how progesterone affects the health of a woman in relation to nicotine addiction. Depending on the data already availed from past researches we will find out the effects of progesterone during the initiation stage and even during the later stages of nicotine addiction process as a potential relapse prevention treatment.

Several studies have indicated that in spite of the public knowledge that nicotine addiction can be dangerous to one’s health, tobacco use has been on the rise especially on young women and teens. In a 2007 study results on National Survey on Drug Use research done by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration often shortened as SAHMSA found that Females aged 12–17 are also more likely than males initiate smoking. It has also been found out that women take shorter time to develop tobacco dependence syndrome after their initial use of tobacco.

Similar reports of enhanced vulnerability in females versus males have been reported among adult smokers. For example, among adults (18 years and over), although more men than women smoke, women take less time to become dependent after initial use, report shorter and less frequent abstinence periods and smoke for longer periods of time in their lives compared with men with the median cessation age of 33 years for males versus 37 years for females. This finding was reported by a research done by Pierce and Gilpin in 1996 in a study titled: How long will today’s adolescent smoker be addicted to cigarettes?

Of all the studies that have been available on tobacco use it has been found that women are more vulnerable to nicotine addiction as they also appear to respond less favorably to smoking cessation treatments.

Preclinical studies on rats

A preclinical study on rats done by Donny and Clark with other researchers provided information that is Consistent with the above findings. In preclinical studies, adolescent and adult female rats showed faster acquisition of intravenous nicotine self-administration and higher break points on a progressive-ratio schedule compared with adolescent and adult males. Similarly, female mice showed a greater preference for nicotine in a two-bottle choice task compared with male mice indicating greater sensitivity of females to nicotine’s reinforcing effects. These studies point to important gender differences in initiation and maintenance of nicotine use that may contribute to smaller gains in curbing nicotine addiction in women.

Progesterone interacts with GABA receptors

Nicotine addictionSeveral research findings point out that Progesterone and its metabolites interact with multiple neurotransmitter receptors including GABA, glycine, sigma1, kainate, serotonin3, and nicotinic cholinergic receptors. However, most relevant for nicotine addiction are interactions with GABA. Progesterone’s active metabolites, pregnanolone and allopregnanolone, have positive modulatory effects on GABA receptors which enhance GABAergic transmission. GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain and has significant influence on multiple central nervous system (CNS) function. The positive modulatory effects of progesterone metabolites on the GABA receptors have been proposed to weaken drug reward. Remarkably, the effects of progesterone and its metabolites on GABAergic signaling vary with menstrual cycle phase and at hormone transition phases including during adolescence and during pregnancy. For instance, during puberty, allopreganolone’s effects on GABAergic transmission are opposite to those seen before and after puberty with results showing a reduction in GABAergic transmission.

It has also been reported that progesterone also affects signaling at nicotinic receptors. Specifically, both progesterone and allopregnanolone are negative modulators of the α4β2 nicotinic receptors. Progesterone has also been reported to increase mRNA expression of α5 nicotinic receptors.

In conclusion

Progesterone may avail a skeleton for nicotine treatment in women but more research need to be done on this issue so as the potential of nicotine addiction with progesterone can be examined. Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Center is an expert in integrative medicine for addiction. Call her on (843) 213-1480 for help.

Research Shows Progesterone Influences Nicotine Addiction in Women

 

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