By Courtney Snyder, MD
Half of my work day is spent honing in on details. For each person I evaluate and treat, I’m considering multiple symptoms, lab data, contributing factors, and treatment interventions. Left unchecked, this amount of detail hurts my brain - figuratively and literally. This type of work might be considered “left brain“ and appealing to someone who is “undermethylated,” which I am.
The other half of my work day is involved with addressing how, from a spiritual perspective, we:
By spiritual, I mean our inner life. My writing and teaching about the intersection between neuroplasticity and spirituality is essentially about how we exercise those parts of the brain that relate to that inner work. Instead of honing in on details, this is about pulling back and looking at the bigger picture of our lives and our humanity. This right brain work feels good.
By Courtney Snyder
One of the challenges of writing blog posts that explore root causes of brain related symptoms is that what we are learning is constantly evolving. There's so much we still and will never know. Another challenge - everything is interconnected. The best I can do is to write about these root causes separately. While some contributing factors can occur in parallel, one condition is often leading to other downstream conditions that themselves contribute to things like depressed mood, anxiety, mood swings, brain fog/inattention and so forth.
Mold toxicity is a perfect example. It can contribute to Pyrrole Disorder due the stress it puts on the body. It can lead to elevated copper by overwhelming one of the antioxidants in the body that regulates copper. Because it interferes with the immune system, it can lead to a susceptibility to candida/yeast, Lyme and its co-infections. It also frequently worsens mast cell activation (see last post). I consider it a root of the roots. In my daily work, I find mold toxicity to be very common. Here’s why -
Courtney Snyder, MD
We’re not necessarily the same animal we once were. And, in many respects, especially when it comes to food, we’re increasingly different from one another. Describing a particular food (or nutrient) as “good” for you, depends on who “you” are. Due to our varied experiences, exposures (ie. to antibiotics, toxins, etc.) and genetics, we’re not all the same. The latest superfood may benefit some, but it may make others ill. Our complicated relationship with food can’t be discussed without considering inflammation, oxidative stress and epigenetics - the three exploding areas of medical research.
By Courtney Snyder, MD
...is ragus - an Aran Island's word for 'desire' or 'urge.’ The Aran Islands are off the west coast of Ireland and have little to do with this post, except maybe to help draw in unsuspecting readers.
Like me, you may wonder,... "Who really wants to read about the problems with sugar?"
Over these past four weeks, I considered many approaches:
I’d be inclusive and point out that despite great individual variability in how our bodies react to foods, science is showing that limiting or avoiding sugar makes good sense for...well...pretty much everyone.
I thought I’d be investigative - I’d give an excessive list of names for hidden sugar on food labels. I’d give examples of how much sugar is in “savory” foods - ie. 1/2 cup of tomato soup has 3 tsp. of sugar. For those into calculations, 4 grams = 1 tsp.
I'm a conventionally trained child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist. My current approach to health is both holistic (pertaining to the whole person) and functional (addressing the root causes of illness). I write this blog to share what I've learned.