Taking Back Power from Intrusive Thoughts in OCD

 A girl covering her face with her hand

All of us get irrational thoughts that run through our minds but are quickly forgotten, but for some, these thoughts don’t go away and continue to haunt the person. And once these unrealistic scenarios take hold, your stress levels can increase, resulting in other negative events attributed to this obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). And subsequently, if not treated, you can end up in a full blown panic.

Under normal circumstances, a bad thought may be from an event, but as time goes by, the person calms down and tries to manage it in a logical manner; however, there are people who remain obsessed for a longer period of time and feel hopeless even if there may be a resolution down the road. This irrational behavior is usually associated with abnormalities in the brain that exacerbates the situation; subsequently, prolonging worry and resulting in a hyper-emotional state of concern. 

If these episodes are continuous, a doctor’s care would be required and appropriate mediation considered. Such is the case with bi-polar people where continuous negative thoughts overwhelm their rational state of mind, making them unable to think clearly.

As their OCD continues, the obsessive worry amplifies to the point where they can exhibit loud, aggressive and irrational outbursts (mania); sometimes in the form of violence. But it may not stop there. The obsession can lead to high energy moods and can result in unrelated actions not associated with their initial triggered event; such as excessive spending, inordinate continous cleaning or other forms of obsessive behavior.

What starts as a regular morning can quickly devolve into harrowing dawn where a person begins ruminating over things that may not even be real. If you are a formally diagnosed OC person, then you must already know how the thought pattern works in OCD. But if you aren’t diagnosed yet, then you might not even realize that what you have is not normal and needs to be dealt with as early as possible.

In obsessive thinking, a person could be sitting idle or watching something, and out of nowhere, a negative thought such as ‘what if I killed my mom?’ would rear its head and take over the person’s mind. They would not be able to break free from the negative thought cycle and would start believing that they are capable of hurting their mom. From outside the OCD realm, a healthy minded person would think that intrusive thoughts are not real; they are only a creation of the mind, so why can’t a person just stop thinking about them?

Well, that’s precisely the pervasive nature of intrusive/obsessive thinking. The mind of a person with OCD fails to pick up on the invalidity of negative thought and ends up replaying it again and again. However, sometimes a person might be able to realize that an idea is entirely out of the realm of possibility, but they are still harassed by it. It happens because the prefix of ‘what if’ is too powerful for people who get intrusive thoughts, and as a result, they fail to dismiss even the most far-fetched ideas.  

Even though the hold of intrusive thoughts over a person’s life seems unrelenting, by following a few strategies, a person can develop the ability to counsel themselves when there is an onslaught of intrusive thoughts.

Here are a few strategies that an OC person can employ to take back control from obsessive thinking.

Record and Identify a Pattern

On the surface, an obsessive thought seems to show up without a trigger, but typically there is an underlying anxiety or fear that fuels it. That is, you may not realize that you have a deep-rooted fear or concern regarding an aspect of your life that can trigger your thoughts. Let’s consider an example to understand the pattern of obsessive thoughts better.

You are sitting one day, and it seems like a regular day, but then you are hit with a terrible thought that you may hurt your best friend. Now there is no apparent reason for you to think this way, but once the idea appears, that’s all you can think about. Instead of thinking about the intrusive thought, try to dig a little deeper and figure out what rational or irrational fear do you have that could possibly be fueling this thought. Many times when a person fears hurting their loved ones, it’s because they are afraid of losing them. You might find this concept hard to believe, but if you break down the thought pattern related to the idea of hurting a loved one, you’ll find the correlation between the thought and the fear of losing someone close to you.

The fear of losing a friend or family member can manifest as a negative thought, such as ‘what if I hurt my friend?’ When you are afraid of losing some you love, the worst-case scenario would be that you actually lose them. In OCD, a patient’s mind can trick them into thinking about their fears indirectly while making the thought even more dreadful than the actual concern.

Accept your Thoughts

The idea of accepting intrusive thoughts may seem counterintuitive, but it can help a person relax to a considerable extent. As Deepak Chopra says, ‘Thoughts are just fleeting mental images, they have no real consequences until you make them important.’

Since thoughts are just virtual segments of once imagination, accepting them can make them less intense. That is, your acceptance or repudiation isn’t going to make your thoughts any more or less real. They are not going to become a reality, so if you accept them instead of getting worked up about them, you can relax the mind.

When you tell your mind that you believe it, it will stop torturing you with horrifying images and ideas. TO better understand this concept think about how you tease a friend but then stop doing so when they stop getting riled up. You only tease a friend till they give you a reaction, the moment they stop reacting you stop provoking them. Similarly, when the thoughts in your brain fail to elicit a response from you, they will lose their power.

Explore Meditation

Intrusive thoughts alone are unsettling, but combined with negative emotions that they generate, they become even more distressing. While you try to take control over your thought process by recording and accepting your thoughts, start meditating to manage the emotions which come with obsessive thoughts. Meditating is excellent at calming down the mind and keeping negative emotions at bay. With that said, you cannot expect miracles to happen with just one round of meditation. Make sure you make meditation a part of your daily life if you want to see results.

Every day make time for yourself, sit alone, and focus on your breathing while relaxing music plays in the background. You might require some time to get into the groove of meditation, but slowly you’ll get the hang of it. Just make sure that you remain consistent and practice meditation regularly.

The Takeaway

Obsessive thoughts can be debilitating. Professional guidance can be helpful, but a sufferer has to do most of the heavy lifting themselves, so they should start challenging their ideas on their own right away. The sooner a person starts tackling their thoughts, the faster they’ll be able to break the cycle of negative thoughts.

Simple Ways to Tackle Stress and Depression – Part II

Did You Reach Your 10,000 Steps Today?

Graphicstock 052419 Woman on Treadmill Ah, the beauty of exercise! What can one say but only good things about this natural, physical full-body enhancement?

Workouts can stimulate just about every part of your body. But the organs that will love you most are your heart and your belly, however, don’t neglect what they can do for your brain and this is where we will focus our discussion today.

For stress reduction, you want to avoid the loss of neurons in the hippocampus. This is the area where learning, memory, and emotion reside.

Having anxiety can inhibit the natural progressive state of the assembly of your neurons, as well as the effective speed of connections between hippocampal cells.

Studies have shown that exercising, specifically aerobic workouts for a minimum of 20 minutes can promote healthy information processing and memory functions within the brain; thereby countering the diminishing loss of neurons when a person is under stress.

One person told us of her continuous anxiety, (due to personal issues she did not want to elaborate on). She would be stressed all day and had to take pills to sleep, but if there was one daily factor that gave her relief (at least for a while), it was exercise.

Feeling good after exercise is healthy and a valuable factor in stress reduction. In this article, we will not go into detail about all the benefits of exercise, but you can read more about it here. In short, it is a great natural way to keep your mind and body in shape. But remember, No pain, no gain. So put your all into it and watch your health steadily improve.

Can Learning Help Reduce Stress?

Let’s go back to the hippocampus. When two dendrites (the receiving end of neurons) get close together, electrical messages are transmitted from one neuron to the other. This is done through the contact points between the dendrites, called the synapse.  When you learn something new, you are growing topic-specific dendrites to connect neurons to particular synapses or said in another way, you are growing more neurons that communicate with each other so that the new information is intact.

The Anatomy of a Neuron
The Anatomy of a Neuron
As you continue to learn new things, you are growing new neurons. This can help counter the negative effects in the brain when under anxiety (as mentioned in the exercise section above), but another positive factor is the ‘feel-good feeling you get after knowing you have learned something new, so, from a cognitive standpoint, the more learning you can achieve, the healthier your mind will be.

Get a Massage!

Massages have been known to promote relaxation and help alleviate anxiety. But they are not cheap. If you cannot find one that fits your budget, try getting a partner who can do it for you.  For many people, this can work wonders, even for those who are not in stressful situations. Here is a video on how you can do it right.

Medical Assistance

Now we are getting into the heavy stuff, but also the most successful when it comes to helping people get relief from stress. Seeking the advice of a medical professional is commonplace for people with anxiety and depression and there is a correlation between the two, but we’ll focus on anxiety for now.

Therapy – A Positive First Step

One of the most common ailments that would cause someone to go to therapy is stress and the related problems that are associated with it. A counselor can help you manage your anxiety better than you are probably doing yourself. Having someone to talk to in privacy may be one of the most rewarding options for you, but for others, more assistance may be required, however, this would be a good start.

Medication

Pills on a tableAlways seek the advice of a medical professional before taking ANY medication.

Now we come to a path that many, many people pursue, and for good reason!

Prescription drugs can be a significant benefactor in managing your anxiety, as well as the subsequent negative effects it has on your body, but caution is highly recommended!

If you find yourself in constant anxiety, don’t go through it alone.

NOTE: A doctor or certified practitioner is the only one who can prescribe the appropriate medication for you!

There are so many drugs on the market and more are being tested. Some medical scientists are even studying the use of psychedelic drugs to help manage depression, but a physician needs to determine what would be best for you. You may be surprised how much better you could feel with the proper medication and respective dosage.

Case in point: A 45-year-old man lost his father to heart failure. For eleven months, the man blamed himself with the notion that he could have done things better while his father was in ailing condition, not realizing that guilt is a common issue for someone to feel when they lose a loved one; however, most of the time, it is completely unwarranted. “Why didn’t I do it this way” or “I could have done this differently” are common thoughts a guilty person may encounter. For many people who suffer guilt after a loss, the fact is that nothing would have been any different, and as they say “It is all in your head”. But in the mind of the person suffering from it, it was die-hard real.

The ongoing guilt and grief were causing this man to have episodes of depression and when not in depression, he would suffer from serious anxiety attacks. It wasn’t until he sought medical help that a prescription plan was provided to him and after a few weeks, his guilt began to dissipate to the point that one morning when he woke up and he felt entirely free of this feeling.

This happened because he was initially lacking the chemical serotonin in his brain, which caused him to think irrationally and once the proper medication was provided to him, his serotonin level increased to the point that his anxiety and depression were gone.

Referring to a popular metaphor, we can say that the man went from feeling that the glass was half-empty to the glass being half-full. In reality, this meant that he went from thinking negatively about how he could have done things better when aiding his father to think about all the great things he did for his dad.

If you plan to see your family doctor, you can visit him/her first who might be able to recommend some limited amounts of prescription drugs that could help you cope with a bad situation, but for the long term, it would best to seek the help of a therapist and/or a psychiatrist.

Therapists are great ‘listeners’ and can help you cope with your situation. Psychiatrists are medical professionals whose specialty is your mental health as opposed to your physical health. They will be able to diagnose your condition and prescribe the appropriate medications that could help you. Many people choose to see both a therapist and a psychiatrist. Helpguide.org is a great website for obtaining a lot of information on how to get the best therapy for your condition.

To go any deeper would be beyond the scope of this article, but we hope that these suggestions will help improve your state of mind toward the right direction to follow and live a more enjoyable and happier lifestyle.

Happy people jumping

Newly-Researched Factors that Might Increase the Risk of Dementia

Dementia Sign
Photo by 72soul – yayimages.com

Dementia is an umbrella term for all such instances where a person’s memory and ability of cognitive thinking gets severely damaged.

The effect of dementia is so severe that it can interrupt or halt the everyday activities of an individual. Statistics regarding the prevalence and healthcare expenses of this mental concern demonstrate the graveness of the matter.

According to World Alzheimer report, worldwide healthcare expenses on the treatment of different forms of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease will reach one trillion dollars this year. Statistics suggest that right now around five million people are living with dementia in the US and this number is projected to rocket to 14 million by 2050.

In the conventional healthcare domain, dementia is not considered as a preventable medical condition. Therefore, most of the healthcare expenditure exhausted in this domain goes to researching the underlying reasons which lead to this disease and to set out its prevention measure.

Due to the greater prevalence of dementia among our senior citizenry, many people think of it as a pitfall and unwanted consequence of aging. However, dementia can affect a person from any age group.

The fact that dementia is incurable makes it very vital to get oneself educated with all the factors that have been researched and studied for their role in increasing the chances of acquiring this mental illness in different forms.

Snoring

For many years, snoring was just considered as an annoying involuntary habit of a sleeping individual. However, studies are now associating it with Alzheimer’s disease as well. 

According to a study published in the journal SLEEP, obstructive sleep apnea (a principal cause of snoring in many cases) is linked to slowed cognitive functions and increased risks of developing dementia.

The researchers have further substantiated this claim by analyzing the spinal fluid of the patients participated in this case study. This analysis has shown that people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea go through molecular changes in their spinal fluid which might become a precursor for the development of dementia.

Thus, people suffering from excessive snoring and obstructive sleep apnea must focus on the treatment of their condition to limit the risks of dementia.

Diet Soda and Artificially-Sweetened Drinks

Use of soft drinks and other artificially processed drinks is detrimental to health in general. However, a research study from the previous year suggests that people with the high use of such drinks become more vulnerable to acquire dementia.

The study was conducted on more than 3,000 participants aged 45 and above who shared their lifestyle details to gauge the risk factor of getting this cognitive degenerative disease.

According to the study, people who have increased average intake of diet sodas become two to three times more vulnerable to acquire dementia. Even though the study is not conclusive, it shows that people who are already suffering from unhealthy physiological conditions, drinking diet sodas become more vulnerable to this mental health problem as well.

For that reason, it is important for our brain health to eat and live healthily.

Unhealthy Lifestyle and Behavior

Another interesting study has been conducted to identify the risk factors for dementia. A comprehensive piece of research suggests it might be possible that one-third cases of dementia are prompted by unhealthy lifestyles and behavioral choices.

For instance, the study has pointed out that hearing loss at a young age, social seclusion and lack of education after the 15 years stage can increase the chances of a person to suffer from dementia in later years.

Fruits and Vegetables
Of course, eating a healthy portion of fruits and vegetables is highly recommended as well as a good daily exercise routine.

All these mentioned conditions and situations have a strong connection with the brain. 

Calcium Supplements Can be Detrimental

Experts advise to not use nutritional supplements without any critical reason because scientific studies are constantly revealing harmful side effects of these OTC drugs. A study which underlines the detrimental effects of calcium supplements has established its link with dementia.

According to the study, people suffering from cerebrovascular diseases and have ever suffered from stroke become vulnerable to dementia with the administration of calcium supplements.

The study doesn’t provide a direct cause and effect of this phenomenon. However, it can be deduced that calcium can affect the supply of blood to the brain by altering the stiffness or contraction of vessels.

So, people who are already suffering from brain diseases must consult their physician prior to the administration of any nutritional supplement.

Compromised Cardiovascular Health

The field of medical science has already established a connection between the health of the cardiovascular system and the central nervous system through different studies.

A research study, which was presented at International Stroke Conference last year, suggested that health issues such as blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking, which affect the heart’s health, are also responsible for increasing the risk of dementia. So, it can be said that by keeping your heart healthy, you can simultaneously reduce the risk of dementia.

Less Amount of REM Sleep

REM (rapid eye movement) is a part of sleep cycle highlighted by increased brain activity. Therefore, most of the dreaming sequences occur during REM sleep. Now, science tells us that this dreaming phase of sleep can also protect our brain from the torment of dementia. According to a research study from the last year, older people with less amount of REM sleep become more susceptible to acquire dementia over an extended time period.

The study has only established a connection between reduced REM sleep and dementia instead of furnishing the binary of cause and effect. However, initial inferences of this study suggest that increased activity of the brain during sleep can help in rejuvenating the neuropathways that become fragile with aging and can lead to the onset of dementia.

Cranial Injuries

Severe repetitive and non-repetitive head injuries can also be one of the risk factors for dementia. Studies have concluded that people who suffered from a serious head injury in the past are 60 percent more at the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In Summary:

  • If you snore, find the cause. It might just be nothing (which is common) or may be the result of something that may need attention.
  • Soda tastes good, but for the most part, is not very healthy. Dring it sparingly if at all. 
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Have daily fruits and vegetables and exercise regularly.
  • Be wary of calcium supplements.
  • Make sure you are getting your 7-8 hours of good sleep.
  • If you acquire a head injury. Don’t manage it yourself. Seek treatment from a medical professional.
  • See your doctor on a regular basis.

It is always best to consult with your physician regarding this disease and any diseases in order to better prepare for your underlying health, now and in the future.

Dizziness and Vertigo Explained


image of dizzy person
Photo by wat cartoon – yayimages.com

Dizziness is a term used to describe the sense of feeling faint or unsteady. If you experience an augmented whirling sensation that makes it seem like your surroundings are spinning, that perception is called vertigo.

Both concepts are connected: dizziness refers to anything that makes a person feel like their head is spinning, while vertigo is a specific kind of dizziness, related to a medical condition. In a nutshell, dizziness is a broad but loose term which includes vertigo (spinning), disequilibrium (imbalance) and lightheadedness (presyncope). Additionally, vertigo can cause a person to nauseate and vomit profusely, which is indicative of a severe form of dizziness.

Mechanism of Dizziness

We can further delve into dizziness to comprehend the prospect. As mentioned before, dizziness can mean any number of likelihoods, such as lightheadedness, imbalance, or motion sickness. Regardless of what causes the sensation, all of the aforementioned perceptions are linked to balance or lack thereof.

A person’s sense of equilibrium is upheld by an intricate interaction between multiple factors of the nervous system in the body. These factors are listed below:

  • The inner ear, also known as the labyrinth, manages the directions of motion like forward, backward, side to side and up and down
  • The eyes also facilitate the directions of motion and track the body relative to space i.e. right side or left side
  • The joints, or more specifically the pressure receptors located in the spinal cord, enable the body to realize which part of the body is in contact with the ground
  • The proprioception or muscle sensory receptors inform which part of the body is immobile
  • The central nervous system i.e. the brain and spine, process the information and use it to support balance

In the event that the systems involved in this process give conflicting messages to the brain and spinal cord, the reaction is dizziness.

What Causes Dizziness

One of several sources of dizziness is when the brain fails to get sufficient blood flow. The consequence of this malfunction is an impression of lightheadedness. For example, some people are likely to experience this feeling if they are taking certain medications that have this side effect. The simple act of getting up quickly after lying down can incite this feeling.

Also, a chronic deficiency in blood circulation can also bring about dizziness. Arteriosclerosis or inflammation of the arteries is a frequent trait in patients suffering from ailments such as diabetes, cholesterol and high blood pressure.

In addition to defects in bodily functions, external determinants can also instigate dizziness. For instance, nicotine from tobacco or caffeine derived from coffee consumption are stimulants which can contract blood flow. Likewise, feelings of stress and trauma are also responsible for causing dizziness.

Neurological diseases are afflictions that affect the nerves that are connected to a person’s faculty of balance. Archetypes include multiple sclerosis and syphilis. Although there is less likelihood that such conditions can result in dizziness, it is known to happen in patients. Apprehension is yet another reason for dizziness. Hyperventilation is linked to the feeling as well. If a person does not breathe properly for long periods, dizziness is a potential outcome.

Reasons for Vertigo

One version of vertigo is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), a condition where there is a dramatic change in head position, such as looking up immediately. It lasts less than a minute and stops once the person is still. BPPV involves a displaced otolith entering the balance canals. It can typically last days or even weeks depending on the particular case.

Meniere’s disease, one of the most common vertigo disorders, is another predicament that encourages attacks of vertigo in individuals. However, patients suffering from this disease may experience enduring attacks, which can last hours at a stretch as well. Other symptoms include nausea and vomiting. Some patients acquire this illness after flying, as the change in air pressure severely affects them.

Yet another cause of vertigo is a migraine. In its simplest form, a migraine is a headache. However, patients who experience the plight of a migraine have excessive headaches sporadically. They range from mild to severe and can cause extraordinary discomfort when the severity increases. Augmented sensitivity brings about vertigo.

The Inner Ear

Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Infections are also a proponent of this disease, particularly those aimed at the inner ear. The ear’s nerve is connected directly to the brain, which are attacked by viruses. As a consequence, patients may have vertigo for days. Infections must be treated promptly since certain ailments like mastoiditis can actually obliterate a person’s ability to hear. Also, the ears play a critical role in promoting balance, which will also be eliminated under these circumstances.

An injury can also introduce vertigo to the equation, specifically those suffering from head wounds. A concussion or fractures are two cases where patients may suffer from debilitating vertigo. It is likely to be incapacitating and paralyzing for the patient. BBPV generally transpires in the aftermath of an injury. Moreover, allergies can also result in vertigo. If a person is allergic to pollen, it may incite an episode of vertigo.

Treatments

You should always get diagnosed by your physician first, but, in general, patients suffering from a bout of dizziness or vertigo can take different routes. The most common method is to medication. For instance, if a patient has Meniere’s disease, then specialists may prescribe medicines like water pills (diuretic).

Antihistamines such as meclizine (Antivert) and anticholinergics can curtail dizziness as well. Furthermore, medications meant for nausea and anxiety is also developed by pharmaceutical companies. Examples include diazepam (Valium) which is the go-to medicine when it comes to treating apprehension.

Other ways to alleviate dizziness and vertigo involve therapeutic measures. Head position maneuvers like the canalith technique can assuage victims of BPPV. The head is carefully positioned in order to make the patients comfortable. It is known to provide fast relief to patients.

Balance and psychotherapy are other means if patients use therapy as opposed to medication. The former involves learning exercises that improve your balance and gradually make you less susceptible to lapses in balance. It is also called vestibular rehabilitation. Also, the latter can be particularly useful for people who get anxiety attacks.

Regardless of the method(s) you use, consult with your doctor or medical professional before taking any medications. A doctor or certified practitioner are the only ones who can prescribe the appropriate medication for you!

How the Brain Affects Our Behavior – A Brief Overview

Illustration of the human brain

You may have heard in science class or in a casual conversation that we use only use 10% of our brain. People are often quoted saying “Imagine what you could achieve if you used the full capacity of your brain.” However, this is a myth that is even incorrectly attributed to scientists such as Albert Einstein.

Facts and Figures

While the exact percentage we use is not certified, the brain is a powerful and intricate organ which allows its host to perceive and control his/her functions. Its potency can be gleaned from the fact that certain individuals are blessed with an eidetic memory. This is known as the ability to vividly recount images and settings exactly as they were, almost with surgical precision.

Another interesting fact is that it is the largest brain in all vertebrates relative to its body size. This fantastic organ houses 86 billion neurons or nerve cells and are actually immune to pain, despite man’s ability to develop a headache.

Functions of the brain

No one will doubt that the brain is a marvel of evolution, so let’s delve into the discipline of biological psychology to better understand its principal functions. Biopsychology is the branch of psychology that studies the brain in relation to its central functions and how its neurotransmitters and other biological factors influence human behavior.

Brain Motor and Sensory Perception

The human brain is an integral component of the central nervous system, which also includes the spinal cord. It consists of nerve tissues that govern the activity of our bodies. The outer region of the brain is called the cerebral cortex. This informs the cognitive, sensations and emotions of a person, which is yet another reason why the brain is such a vital organ.

A fully functional brain consists of four main lobes, which are listed below:

      • Frontal lobe
        This portion enables humans to exhibit motor skills, express language, and perform cognition.
      • Occipital lobe
        The occipital lobe is responsible for translating visual mediums into discernible information.
      • Parietal lobe
        This is the part that involves the sensibilities of a person. The sense of pressure, touch, and pain are processed in this component of the human brain.
      • Temporal lobe
        The fourth and final sector of the brain is the temporal lobe, which interprets the sounds and languages we hear. It also handles the memory of the person.

Neurons

Neurons are highly specialized cells that are the fundamental building blocks of life. They receive and distribute information from one part of the body to another through neural pathways that are built as new information is acquired.

Neurotransmitters

The way information travels through the neural pathways is known as neurotransmission. Chemical messengers are involved in the transmission of signals from one cell to another. This is how we interpret data and as we concentrate on more information, the neurotransmitters build more pathways so that we can successfully process the new information.

Science suggests that there are more than a hundred cells that perform this act of transmission. We can highlight some of the pertinent neurotransmitters, their effects, and potential disorders they are linked with it.

      • Acetylcholine
        This is connected to memory, muscle movement, and the ability to learn. A shortage of acetylcholine may result in Alzheimer’s disease.
      • Dopamine
        Dopamine is intrinsically linked to the thought process and feelings of a person. A lack of dopamine has been known to cause Parkinson’s disease and Schizophrenia. In case of scarcity, doctors recommend drugs to induce greater activity in the brain.
      • Endorphins
        A commonly heard term is endorphins, which revolves around emotions and the sensation of agony a person feels. When an individual experiences apprehension, their body releases endorphins in response.

Link to the Endocrine system

Suffice it to say, the anatomy of the human body is vast and complex. Any given part of the body functions in tandem with several other parts to inform the behavior of a person. The central nervous system is strongly linked to the endocrine system. The endocrine system includes the hormones and glands which transmit these into the circulatory system.

A network of neurons enables the movement of signals from the brain to various parts of the human body. The nervous system is comprised of almost a trillion of these neurons. They represent an intricate and regulated network.

The nervous system interacts with the endocrine structure in the human body in different ways. The brain consists of a portion called the hypothalamus. It is significant because it connects both the nervous and endocrine systems respectively. It is a small collection of nuclei that essentially control behavior.

They can be found in the front of the brain, towards its base, and coordinate basic requirements of the body, such as hunger, thirst, sleep, and sex. Additionally, it also manages the emotional and stress-related responses in humans, thus underlining how crucial it is to the body. These are essentially the two main functions of the hypothalamus.

Facts and Figures

Whether concise or extensive, we have discussed many attributes of the brain and what functions they perform. Our deliberation has included the cerebral cortex, four lobes, and the hypothalamus as well. We can now focus on the remaining aspects of the human brain.

Cerebellum

First up is the cerebellum. Called the little brain informally, it receives signals from the ears, nerves, and auditory and visual systems. It makes up nearly a tenth of the entire size of the brain and also monitors a person’s motor movements such as posture and balance.

Limbic system

The limbic system is next. It includes regions like the amygdala, hippocampus, septal area, and parts of the limbic cortex. Together, they connect with the aforementioned constituents such as the cerebral cortex and hypothalamus.

Basal ganglia

Finally, the basal ganglia are a combination of nuclei that envelop the thalamus. These are also involved in the movements a person makes.

In conclusion, we can gather that the brain is an unbelievably intricate organ. However, its significance cannot be overstated. We only need to look at the number of parts of the brain that influences our movement or our feelings to know that this complex organ is actually a well-oiled machine.

Knowing Fibromyalgia Disease and its Causes

Fibromyalgia, also known as fibromyositis, is a disease that cause the patient to experience excruciating and self-migrating pain from head to toe. This means that the pain can migrate to any part of your body each day.

Patients who suffer from this disease wait for an average of five years before their ailment is accurately diagnosed by an MD, after they exclude any chances of it being a different disease. During this lengthy time period required by physicians to rule out other diseases, many patients do not receive any treatments and continue to suffer. A patient may also be at risk of suffering from other overlapping ailments that are equally or more painful.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

There are many symptoms of Fibromyalgia. The most common ones include anxiety, decreased energy, depression, chronic pain, spasms or muscle tightness, stiffness in muscles, extreme muscle pain after workouts, Irritable bowel syndrome, facial and jaw tenderness, migraines of tension related headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, moderate to severe fatigue, insomnia or agitated sleep, sensitivity to odor, bright lights, noise, medications, cold and certain foods, a feeling of swelling rather than actual swelling in the feet and hands, difficulty in concentrating, remembering and performing mental tasks that may be very simple (called fiber fog), abdominal pain, nausea, and bloating, numbness in face, arms, legs or feet and Irritable bladder.

Causes of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia’s underlying causes is still a debatable subject. Many researchers have studied this disease extensively and continue to do so in order to find one possible cause for the excruciatingly painful outcomes. However, most researchers believe that the brain’s central processing is to be blamed for its manifestation.

After conducting extensive studies to figure out and understand the basic mechanisms of fibromyalgia, researchers believe that it is actually caused by a disorder of central processing with neurotransmitter abnormalities. The reason why the disease causes such pain is due to unusual or irregular sensory dispensation in the nervous system.

Fibromyalgia treatment

Fibromyalgia requires adapting to new lifestyle, or rather improve it. People who are resistant to change and adjustments are likely to experience a greater amount of discomfort.

When a patient of fibromyalgia adapts and embraces change, they experience improvement in the way they function as well as the quality of their lives. Furthermore, many medications are used to treat fibromyalgia including anti-seizure medicines such as pregabalin and antidepressants such as fluoxetine or amitriptyline. Apart from personal adjustments and medications, doctors believe acupuncture to be an effective treatment of fibromyalgia. In fact, acupuncture is the most recognized treatment for the fibromyalgia. However, a lot of other therapies are conducted as well to help the patient recover.