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The Relationship Between Addiction and Adrenal Fatigue

Addiction Causes Adrenal Fatigue

Addiction is a serious problem, addiction is the genesis of many health issues and it is even complicated to know that it is one of the wars that few people win. In the past addiction to drugs and other substances have been linked to myriads of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and other neurodegenerative disorders. This explains why addicts are not always on the good side of health, when a person is addicted to drugs and alcohol he will begin to feel sick, generally an addict is never in good health and that is why most of them may have certain strange behaviors such as irritability and even slurred speech. The reason for this is that when a person takes drugs that are rewarding in nature he will be compelled to increase the doses day by day so as to get the euphoric feeling they seek in drugs. Even the drugs that are used in pain management like the opiates have specified dosages beyond the patient will not only get addicted to the drug but will suffer other diseases that come with overdose of such drugs. Drugs of abuse majorly affect the neurotransmitter and this will be extended to the central nervous system (CNS) which is composed of the brain and the spinal cord. The brain is the engine that drives all the activities in the body of every human being but these drugs will interfere with chemical balances in the brain making it unable to perform normally. In some instance even the neurotransmitters that work to transmit signals so as to provoke certain necessary responses may get debilitated hence everything will be messed up. As expected when the neurotransmitters are affected and the entire nervous system is adversely altered then the proper coordination within the nervous system is tampered with and this is what causes a series of health complications.

Adrenal Fatigue

Recently researchers have shown that substance addiction may be linked to adrenal fatigue. Adrenal Fatigue refers to a stress-related condition that is suffered when the adrenal glands, hypothalamus and pituitary gland are functioning below their optimal level. Adrenal gland is the source of various neurotransmitters that are very vital in our nervous systems. These neurotransmitters include; cortisol, DHEA and epinephrine. These neurotransmitters are used to regulate your heart rate, immune system, energy storage and improve the general health and stability. When the adrenal glands have malfunctioned and fail to release these neurotransmitters in good amount then it will not be easy for any individual to have good health.  It is suspected that prolonged stress on the adrenal glands is what causes adrenal fatigue.

Some drugs of pleasure not only affect the dopamine but also the release of other neurotransmitters like adrenaline which is the fight or flight neurotransmitter. Even an addiction to caffeine does this. Ralph T. Golan, ND, in his book, Herbal Defense explains how using caffeine for prolonged periods can exhaust your adrenals:  “Caffeine forces your glands to secrete when they don’t have much left to give, and they have to keep digging deeper and deeper, making you more and more tired over time. And over the years, it takes more and more coffee to get the same result. Some people reach the point of drinking half a dozen or more cups of coffee to get the same result and it’s barely keeping them awake. That’s severe adrenal depletion.”

Role of adaptogens in addiction

Adaptogens are herbs that help in enhancing your immunity and ability to deal with stress, anxiety trauma, and even fatigue. Some adaptogens have been used as anti-aging herbs and have been found to have a capacity to rejuvenate the body and aid longevity. They also work to correct defects that the body is subjected to as a result of long term use of drugs of abuse.

Siberian Ginseng also known as Eleutherococcus senticosus root. This adaptogen is known for its ability to combat lack of appetite, correct insomnia, and improve memory. Siberian ginseng also increases mental alertness that is known to be lacking in those who have been addicted to substance use for quite a long time. This adaptogens also helps in healing nervous disorders and enhances energy. This adaptogens increases the body’s ability to adapt to metabolic stress and helps in recovery from substance abuse.

American Ginseng also known Panax quinquefolius root. American Ginseng is known to be a superior tonic herb with an immense ability to strengthen metabolism and the entire endocrine system. Like other species of Ginseng, the American ginseng also has adaptogenic properties, and is quite useful for the recovering addict. American Ginseng combines well with Siberian Ginseng and can be used together to heal an addict.

Adrenal Fatigue

Astragalus, also known as Astragalus membranaceous root. This adaptogens helps in promoting overall body function by strengthening digestion among other core benefits.  This herb can be used to help in restoring energy and balance the immune system in recovering addicts. It is good for some of the withdrawal symptoms of addiction like stress, colds and even chronic fatigue syndrome. It is also safe and be taken on a daily basis without it having negative side effects.

Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil. In the past this herb was used for treating such illnesses as stomach upsets and bronchitis. This herb has been found to be effective also in reducing stress that most addicts battle with. It has been found to reduce mental confusion that is common with most addicts using cannabis.

Here at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center we are committed to availing the best integrative approaches to treatment of diseases. We advocate for dietary as well as natural healing to diseases wherever possible. Visit as at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) will be of help.

Addiction Causes Adrenal Fatigue



Adipose Derived Stem Cells and Brain Regenerative Addiction

Adipose Derived Stem Cells for Brain Regenerative Addiction

Addiction to drugs is known for their adverse health effects. After using drugs for a long time a person’s health become deteriorated leading to myriads of complications. The part of the body that is the most adversely affected is the brain. The brain and the entire nervous system are subjected to lots of damage after a long use of drugs of abuse. The brain works together with the neurotransmitters to pass messages in order to initiate certain responses but after along use of drugs of abuse the coordination between them becomes altered. Neurotransmitters are very crucial in the nervous system. They are the chemicals that transmit messages from one nerve cell to another. Nerve cells are known as neurons. The nerve impulse travels from the first nerve cell through the axon, a single smooth body arising from the nerve cell to the axon terminal and the synaptic knobs. Each synaptic knob communicates with a dendrite or cell body of another neuron, and the synaptic knobs contain neurovesicles that store and release neurotransmitters. The synapse lies between the synaptic knob and the next cell. For the impulse to continue traveling across the synapse to reach the next cell, the synaptic knobs release the neurotransmitter into that space, and the next nerve cell is stimulated to pick up the impulse and continue it. An interference with the neurotransmitters can adversely affect the flow of message within the nervous system. After prolonged use of drugs they interfere with the harmonious flow of information from the brain to the rest of the body maiming its normal functions. There are myriads of neurotransmitters that are affected by prolonged use of drugs of pleasure.

Adipose Derived Stem Cells

Some of the neurotransmitters that are adversely affected during addiction

Dopamine is one of the neurotransmitters that are highly targeted by drugs of pleasure. Due to the ‘high’ feelings it is associated with, some people have called it the ‘bliss neurotransmitter’. It is responsible for good feeling, the euphoric feelings that drug addicts seek from various drugs of abuse. Dopamine has great influence on well-being, alertness, learning, creativity, attention and concentration. Levels of dopamine should be optimal in the brain since when the level of dopamine is low it can leave us craving food, sex or stimulation. When the dopamine level is too high it can cause addictive behaviors. It has been observed that patients who are put on medications to boost dopamine level especially the Parkinson’s patient, they will form an addictive behavior like gambling when the levels of dopamine shoots beyond the optimal level. Dopamine boosts the feelings of pleasure but when the levels are too high it may result in Paranoia or a suspicious personality. Dopamine is also released when there is high stress. Therefore the level of dopamine should be regulated to ensure sound health. This is where the functions of inhibitory neurotransmitters set in, however with influence of drugs this coordination between excitatory neurotransmitters and inhibitory neurotransmitters is maimed.

Some drugs of pleasure contain nicotine which influences mood, cognition, and body function by binding to and activating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) located on neurons in the brain. When activated by either nicotine or the endogenous neurotransmitter acetylcholine, the nAChR opens a channel that allows ions to pass through the neuron’s membrane from the exterior to the interior of the cell and trigger changes that activate the cell. When you take tobacco or other drug with nicotine the nicotine will have interactions with nAChRs and therefore any nicotine dependence treatment should focus on altering these interactions.

Nicotine produces rewarding effects by interacting with nAChRs on neurons in the brain’s mesolimbic reward system. This system comprises dopaminergic neurons that originate in the ventral tegmental area often shortened as VTA and release the neurotransmitter dopamine in regions involved in information processing, memory, and emotions, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc), hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Increases in dopamine levels within the mesolimbic system give rise to rewarding effects. Nicotine directly enhances dopamine levels in the mesolimbic system by interacting with nAChRs on the dopaminergic neurons and causing them to release more of the neurotransmitter. Nicotine also modulates dopamine release indirectly by binding to nAChRs located on excitatory glutamatergic and inhibitory gamma aminobutyric acid (GABAergic) neurons in the ventral tegmental area. These glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons originate from a number of brain areas, such as the NAc, hippocampus, PFC, amygdala, ventral pallidum, and pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus, and regulate the activity of dopaminergic neurons.

Adipose Derived Stem Cells

Using Adipose derived stem cells to restore the health of the brain

As explained above the brain chemistry is adversely altered after prolonged use of drugs of abuse and these calls for restoration and regeneration of the brain during addiction treatment. Today researchers have found that adipose derived stem cells can be used in regenerating and restoring the neurotransmitters that are affected during drug addiction. The stem cells can be used to create healthy cells in situations where drugs have damaged cells. This can be done by taking healthy stem cells and transplanting them into the nervous system through an IV. Through this doctors can cause changes in brain and body chemical compositions that offer a key to healing problems such as alcoholism and drug addiction. The healthy stem cells are capable of changing the chemical composition of our brains and how the brain works. When healthy stem cells are transplanted into the damaged brain area. In the case of drugs; the area of the brain that controls impulses and chemical reactions to substances they begin to rebuild that area without the previous cellular dysfunction. This means that brain functions that facilitate addiction will be done with.  Stem cells are the best remedy as they are new and have no mutations that therefore restore the affected areas to equilibrium and facilitating whole-body healing of the addict.

Here at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center we are committed to availing the best integrative approaches to treatment of diseases. We advocate for dietary as well as natural healing to diseases wherever possible. Visit as at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) will be of help.

Adipose Derived Stem Cells for Brain Regenerative Addiction



Striatum Methamphetamine Toxicity

Methamphetamine Toxicity in the Striatum

The striatum is a crucial part of the brain. This part of the brain plays very important roles but it can be adversely affected by the use of stimulants and other drugs of leisure. Substances such as cocaine and methamphetamine produce their primary effects inside the brain by boosting the presence of dopamine which is a neurotransmitting chemical that activates the pleasure-producing neurons contained within the limbic system. As stated above the limbic system includes the hippocampus, along with several other brain structures. According to the results of two separate studies published in 2008 in the Journal of Neuroscience and Biological Psychiatry, the presence of either cocaine or methamphetamine alters normal adult neurogenesis inside the hippocampus and damages this region’s ability replenish its neuron supply.  It is no longer news that methamphetamine intoxication causes long-lasting damage to dopamine nerve endings in the striatum. However the mechanisms underlying this neurotoxicity are not yet known but oxidative stress has been linked to it.



Microglia are the major antigen-presenting cells in brain and when activated, they secrete an array of factors that cause neuronal damage. Astoundingly, very little work has been directed at the study of microglial activation as part of the methamphetamine neurotoxic cascade. It has been report that methamphetamine activates microglia in a dose-related manner and along a time course that is coincident with dopamine nerve ending damage. Through tests done on mice scientists have discovered that prevention of methamphetamine toxicity by maintaining treated mice at low ambient temperature prevents drug-induced microglial activation. MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) not only damages dopamine nerve endings and cell bodies but also  causes extensive microglial activation in striatum as well as in the substantia nigra. Contrastingly, methamphetamine causes neither microglial activation in the substantia nigra nor dopamine cell body damage.

Dopamine transporter antagonists do not mimic the effect of methamphetamine on microglia. Hyperthermia, a prominent and dangerous clinical response to methamphetamine intoxication, has been also ruled out as the cause of microglial activation. Together, these data suggest that microglial activation represents an early step in methamphetamine-induced neurotoxicity. Other neurochemical effects resulting from methamphetamine-induced overflow of dopamine into the synapse, but which are not neurotoxic, do not play a role in this response.

Methamphetamine use on the rise despite effects

The use of methamphetamine has been on the rise despite the fact that it is a powerful stimulant drug that has adverse effects when abused as most people do. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime reported recently that abuse of amphetamines, including designer drugs such as methamphetamine and 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, now exceeds that of cocaine and heroin on a global scale. This presents no sign that its use will decline any soon. Past researchers were able to establish a fact that methamphetamine causes persistent reductions of function in dopamine nerve endings of animals and humans. Methamphetamine neurotoxicity has been under intense study for over 20 years, but still there is much that still remains to be learned about how this dangerous drug causes damage to dopamine nerve endings. The theory that revolves around oxidative stress has been at the top of the speculations. Drug-induced oxidative stress is an attractive construct that can account for many of the effects of methamphetamine on the dopamine nerve ending such as inhibition of tyrosine hydroxylase activity as well as reductions in the dopamine transporter and the vesicle monoamine transporter. This may even be an early event that leads eventually to methamphetamine-induced apoptosis. However, the source of the reactant species that mediate methamphetamine-induced damage is not known.


Due to their crucial roles they play in mediating the mediating damage to the nervous system, Microglia has attracted considerable attention. Immune like in many ways  these interesting cells become activated by damage and then transmigrate to sites of injury where they can secrete an array of factors  like cytokines, prostaglandins, nitric oxide, and superoxide that are known to have detrimental effects on neurons. However, the role of microglia in methamphetamine-induced damage to the dopamine system has received little attention. In 1994 a researcher, Bowyer and his colleagues noted for the first time that methamphetamine resulted in activation of microglia in striatum of treated rats. These investigators concluded that microglia were increased in response to nerve ending damage and were not apparently a cause of it.  Recently, another research was conducted to give an in-depth analysis of the effect of methamphetamine on striatal gene expression. Numerous genes linked to microglia were activated significantly within hours of methamphetamine intoxication, suggesting the possibility that microglial activation occurs earlier in the methamphetamine toxic cascade than previously thought.

Today there are researchers who are building on the initial analysis of methamphetamine and report the pharmacological characterization of microglial activation by methamphetamine in striatum. As mentioned before, striatum is an area dense in dopamine nerve endings and is known to be targeted for damage by methamphetamine. Microglial activation coincides with the onset of methamphetamine-induced damage in striatum and the extent of this effect is related to the degree of damage to dopamine nerve endings. Numerous nontoxic effects exerted by methamphetamine, such as inhibition of the DAT, increases in synaptic levels of dopamine, activation of D1 and/or D2 DA receptors, and hyperthermia, cannot explain methamphetamine-induced microglial activation.

Finally, this is still a dark area and there is need for more literature so as to establish the mechanism of methamphetamine toxicity on the striatum. Needless to say, Drug abuse, addiction and independence are problems that people grapple with every day. These problems need to be treated effectively through integrative medicine. Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) is an expert at this.  Call her on (843) 213-1480 for help.

Methamphetamine Toxicity in the Striatum



Natural Remedies for Insomnia Caused By Addiction

Use of Chamomile, HOPS, Passion Flower, Valerian Roots, Californian Poppy for Insomnia Caused By Addiction

According to National Sleep Foundation, insomnia is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even when a person has the chance to do so. People with insomnia can feel dissatisfied with their sleep and usually experience the symptoms of poor sleep that may deter them from enjoying healthy lifestyles. This disease can affect people of all ages but adults are the major victims.

This foundation further stresses that, sleep is essential for a person’s health and wellbeing. But still there are millions of people who do not get enough sleep and many suffer from lack of sleep. NSF conducted survey between 1999-2004 that revealed that at least 40 million Americans suffer from over 70 different sleep disorders and 60 percent of adults report having sleep problems a few nights a week or more. Most of those with these problems go undiagnosed and untreated. In addition, more than 40 percent of adults experience daytime sleepiness severe enough to interfere with their daily activities at least a few days each month – with 20 percent reporting problem sleepiness a few days a week or more. Furthermore, 69 percent of children experience one or more sleep problems a few nights or more during a week.


However insomnia can also be caused by addiction. And so far it is one of the serious symptoms of addiction. Drugs of abuse for example alcohol has been shown to interfere with normal sleep patterns since they disrupt particular neurotransmitters in the brain which control or regulate sleep. When these neurotransmitters are disrupted, disturbances can result. Small amounts of alcohol can cause early sedation or sleepiness, and is often used as a sedative. However, the use of alcohol as an effective sedative can be extremely misleading because the side effects that can result are usually even more harmful and detrimental to the natural sleep cycle. For instance, due to the natural elimination of alcohol from the body, arousal and sleep fragmentation can occur and the second half of the sleep period can be drastically interrupted. This is due to the fact that, although alcohol will cause sedation, it will also decrease rapid eye movement sleep in the first half of the night resulting in the rebound of rapid eye movement sleep later in the night.  Here are some of the natural ways through which addiction induced insomnia can be treated.

Passion flower

Passion flower is a good remedy for sleep disorders that had been previously got approved in the U.S as an over the counter sedative and sleep aid. However by this time its safety and effectiveness had not been approved and it was consequentially taken off market. This product can be used alone or in combination with other herbs to help cure insomnia that is induced by drug addiction. Some researchers opined that when passion flower tea is taken an hour before going to bed it may help to improve the quality of sleep. However there is still need for evidence to show it does all these effectively.

California poppy- also known as Eschscholzia californica, California poppy is a good remedy for sleep disorders. It works as a sedative and is known to promote sleep. Currently it can be found in different herbal remedies sold in the U.S for cure of insomnia, as relaxants and therapies for anxiety. Owing to its mild sedative and analgesic properties, it can be given safely to children. Clinical and laboratory work on California poppy has clearly demonstrated the plant’s sedative and anti-anxiety properties.  It has also been shown to improve both sleep latency and quality. You can use it solely or in combination with other herbs to help cure insomnia.

Hops – scientifically its known as Humulus lupulus

insomniaThe use of Hops dates back to early 1900s when Eclectic physicians used it as a sedative specifically for insomnia due to worry or nerve. This herb that is used as a major flavoring component of beer has been used for a long time to cure insomnia, nervousness, and restlessness. Hops pillows are sometimes used for mild insomnia. Having been used successfully in the past, trying it won’t hurt you.

Chamomile:  is scientifically known as Anthemis nobilis. This herb has been used as sedative for a long time and can be safely used with children as well as adults. In South America, Europe and Mexico chamomile tea is a common beverage that is honored for its effectiveness in curing such conditions as irritability, restlessness and insomnia both in children and adults. What’s more? Its oil can also be used in bathing waters to help soothe nerves. Its oil can also be used for massage. Chamomile is still one of the sought after sedatives with proven effectiveness.


Valerian: is scientifically known as Valeriana officinalis.  This is a common herb in the U.S where it is used widely for cure of insomnia restlessness and nervousness. This herb can reduce the time people take before falling asleep and is known to shorten sleep latency. When used it reduces chances of a person waking up in the night. As a herbal sedative, valerian has many benefits yet no known side effects that synthetic sedatives are loathed for. It can be used in combination with Hops, California poppy and chamomile among others.

These herbs are an excellent way to help you fight insomnia naturally. We at AWAREmed health and wellness center are dedicated to finding the best natural solutions to health problems. You can visit us at Myrtle Beach South Carolina where you will be attended to by Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) who has vast experience in integrative medicine for lifestyle diseases.

Use of Chamomile, HOPS, Passion Flower, Valerian Roots, Californian Poppy for Insomnia Caused By Addiction



Foods That Help Boost Serotonin Level

Foods That Raise Serotonin Level

Serotonin is one of the most important neurotransmitters in the brain. Serotonin helps in regulation of mood and sleep. According to recent research findings, when the level of serotonin is below optimum it can cause increased incidences  of aggressive behavior. Low serotonin levels have also been linked to anxiety and depression. If the recent research findings have to be believed which of course they are, then low serotonin levels are dangerous as it may lead to suicidal acts. In terms of dieting, making sure you’re not serotonin deficient is vital because serotonin triggers satiety after eating. Depressed serotonin levels is the likely reason why the vast majority of people cannot stay on a very low carbohydrate diet for the long term without feeling an unavoidable need to binge which may lead to more complex disorders. In the brain the production of neurotransmitter happens naturally without intervention of any other drug, however when you have used the drugs of abuse for some time they will lead to depletion in the levels of the brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. This therefore means that for healthy levels of serotonin to be achieved after use of drugs, there is need for replenishing and supplementing serotonin through diet. There are foods that are very helpful in raising the levels of serotonin . Here are some of them.


Fresh Vegetables

Fresh vegetables work in myriad ways to ensure good health. the greens are rich in various minerals and vitamins that go along way in boosting the levels of serotonin. some of the fresh vegetables that are actually beneficial in increasing the level of serotonin include Spinach which contains a substantial dose of folic acid. it  is also a wonderful source of the mineral magnesium, a natural anxiety combatant. Without enough magnesium in your diet, you may find it hard to concentrate in addition to being fatigued and irritable. other foods that are rich in magnesium and hence helpful in boosting levels of serotonin include; cacao, seaweed, bananas, orange, tree nuts, peanuts, whole grains, corn, cheese, eggs, milk, and white fish.

Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruits are rich in nutritional content. The fresh fruits are rich in vitamins that serve the purpose of rejuvenating the body and giving it a healing approach as well as protecting the body and restoring crucial neurotransmitters like the serotonin which therefore helps in ensuring good moods. fruits are rich in B3 vitamins. these fruits may include watermelon, peaches, bananas, cantaloupe, and avocado. Generally, the B vitamins are very essential in restoration of neurotransmitters especially after a period of long term use of drugs of pleasure that are known to disrupt the functions of the neurotransmitters.


An apple a day keeps the devil away is a common adage. The health benefits of apples are many and this explains why it is always recommended for patients. A compound found in apples called “quercetin’ is an antioxidant that studies have shown may not only help in the prevention of cancer but may also play an important role in the prevention of neurodegenerative disorders. the medicinal abilities of this compound is confounding. It also helps in boosting serotonin as well as dopamine levels.

 Herbs that Boost Serotonin Levels:

SerotoninSt. John’s wort -St. John’s wort is effective against mild to moderate depression, alleviates anxiety, insomnia, and irritability and eases pain. It increases the level of serotonin in the brain as well.

Dandelion– This herb is widely used in Europe as an excellent liver detoxifier and mild diuretic. It increases the flow of bile and encourages both the transformation and transportation of nutrients. It has been used historically to treat liver disorders, arthritis and gout. In the addict it will ease the transportation of nutrients in the body and restore energy in the cells as well as boost the level of serotonin.

Cannabis- though known for all the wrong reasons, cannabis has very high medicinal content, however it is highly addictive and that dictates that it be used in moderation as unregulated use can cause addiction. It works in a way that it increases the levels of excitatory neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.

Burdock– burdock has been used to treat other conditions ranging from arthritis to diabetes to hair loss, and it’s an active ingredient in some cancer treatments this herb is also good in resoring the levels of serotonin.

Ginseng–  contrary to what many people believe , ginseng does not only increase the level of serotonin in the body but also works in rejuvenating, restorative, boosts energy and vitality and is tonic to the brain. Ginseng is often prescribed for patients fighting depression which is a common symptom of withdrawal from drug use. This herb is a better therapy for those who are under physical, emotional, mental or spiritual stress as it is a very strong antidepressant and adaptogenic. Ginseng promotes strong nerves, sound sleep, improves memory, clear thinking and enhances concentration.

Use of drugs for along time causes damage to the neurotransmitters. apart from the foods and the herbs, you can also increase the level of serotonin by sunlight. Bright light increases the production of Serotonin in the body.  Basking in the sunlight can absolutely improve your mood and also soothe muscle aches. It is good to note that by increasing the level of serotonin in your body, you are setting good grounds for addiction treatment and recovery. However, these problems need to be treated effectively through integrative medicine. Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) is an expert at this.  Call her on (843) 213-1480 for help.

Foods That Raise Serotonin Level