A social drink or an addiction?

Addiction and Epigenetics – An Inheritable Disease?

Why are humans drawn to a multitude of substances and behaviours?  

It has become increasingly apparent that chronic substance abuse involves adaptations that are both genetic and epigenetic affecting our brain reward circuitry its limbic and cognitive regions.  A growing amount of literature is emerging in the field of epigenetics related to addiction.

Epigenetics is the way in which lifestyle factors can turn on (and turn off) gene expression without changing the genes.

Epigenetic changes produce long-term “tags” that can form at a molecular level.  Epigenetic changes in DNA coordinate gene expression during brain development.  These epigenetic changes are dynamic during prenatal and perinatal periods.  This includes the father – his exposure to alcohol and drugs preconception has an effect on the developing foetus.  Both parents need to undergo a detoxification program prior to conception.

New research suggests the reason foetal exposure to alcohol increases the risk of drug taking later in life may be related to changes in chemicals the brain produces itself.  Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) cause cognitive and behavioural problems.

In addition to increased vulnerability of alcohol and other substance use disorders, FASD can lead to mental health conditions, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), depression, anxiety, and problems with impulse control.

Prenatal brain exposure to alcohol changes the way our brain responds to neurotransmitters making some areas more sensitive to the effects of drugs of abuse.  Therefore, later in life, a person needs much less of a drug to become addicted.

Many drugs are toxic to the brain causing structural and functional changes, leading not only to addiction but to other neurological damage.

The negative consequences of these neurotoxins are not limited to the brain, with other organs and systems also affected to varying degrees.  Affected organs other than the brain include lungs, liver, kidneys, stomach, bowels and skin.

 

“The simple truth is:  addiction is a chronic, progressive and potentially fatal yet treatable disease, much like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.  In other words, addicts are not bad people, they are sick people.  And they deserve empathetic and supportive treatment just like any other sick person.”  Robert Weiss

It’s all in the format – Zinc

As with all supplements, whether they be vitamins or minerals, quality and format are vital.  Our bodies only recognise natural forms of nutrients – synthetic, inexpensive forms cannot be used.  Many over-the-counter supplements are synthetic and, therefore, a waste of money.  Furthermore, it is important to always be assessed for nutritional deficiencies to ensure you…

Millions for drugs that don’t work

Perhaps we should all be appalled by how the pharmaceutical industry takes advantage of the sick, by offering solutions that are proven not to work, but cost a fortune and cripple the finances of individuals and entire governments. These same players will claim that holistic medicine is bogus and has no scientific basis, and position…

The Microbiome and Multiple Sclerosis

The following article was prepared by the Dr Clark Research Association, David P. Amrein The Importance of the Intestinal Flora on the example of Multiple Sclerosis I frequently write about the importance of the intestinal microbiome, because it is becoming ever more clear how important the intestinal flora is for human health. A recent TED Talk…

Is acidity making you sick?

How our lives have changed                                      100,000 generations:  hunters and gatherers                                            500 generations:   introduction of agriculture                                              10 generations:   industrial times                                                 2 generations:   eating highly processed foods While our lifestyles have changed, our genes do…

Brain Inflammation

Brain inflammation has been linked to long-term neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia, so it’s important to understand the link between diet and brain health. When it comes to your diet, how much attention do you pay to eating to keep your brain healthy? Diet and Brain Inflammation Continually eating the wrong things can lead to…

Mould & fungal toxins

Mycotoxins are some of the most prevalent toxins in the environment. Mycotoxins are metabolites produced by fungi like mould, which can infest buildings, vehicles, and foodstuffs. A majority of mycotoxin exposures are through food ingestion or airborne exposure. In the European Union, 20% of all grains harvested have been found to be contaminated with mycotoxins….

Mother Nature’s Healing Hands

The following article was written and submitted by Constance Ray.   Constance co-created RecoveryWell to offer a safe place where people can share their stories about addiction and substance abuse.  So that others can learn from them and benefit in their own lives.  Mother Nature’s Healing Hands Science has come a long way in helping us…

Eczema – how to avoid it

Eczema is increasingly common and makes children miserable – they don’t sleep well, they itch, they suffer and they become irritable. The good news is that it is generally treatable – if you stay away from foods and skin products that irritate your child’s skin, use good skin care, and support the immune system and…

Digestive Bitters

Digestive bitters have a long history of traditional use, but how exactly do they work?  Research explores how herbal bitters are able to stimulate our digestive secretions. Here are a number of theoretical models and the evidence behind them. However, bottom line is:  Bitter herbs work.  They help produce saliva which is the first biochemical…