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How Can Hormones & Concussions Affect Your Brain?

Dr Daniel Amen and Tana Amen BSN RN On The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast

In this week of The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast, we are wrapping up our content from The End of Mental Illness 6-Week Live Class and Challenge. In this episode, Dr. Daniel and Tana Amen answer some important questions about concussions, hormones, and leaky gut, and then tell the story of how a disturbing event at their church led to a health revolution across the country.

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Daniel Amen, MD:

Welcome to the Brain Warrior’s Way podcast. I’m Dr. Daniel Amen.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

And I’m Tana Amen. In our podcast, we provide you with the tools you need to become a warrior for the health of your brain and body.

Daniel Amen, MD:

The Brain Warrior’s Way podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics, where we have been transforming lives for 30 years using tools like brain SPECT imaging to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit amenclinics.com.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

The Brain Warrior’s Way podcast is also brought to you by BrainMD, where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to brainmd.com.

Dr Daniel Amen:

Hi, this is Dr. Daniel Amen.

Tana Amen:

And I’m Tana Amen.

Dr Daniel Amen:

We’re so excited you’re with us. For this week’s series, what we’re doing is we’re playing the live class from The End of Mental Illness.

Tana Amen:

We wanted you to join us on this journey because we had such a good time in our class and the people who joined us just saw such incredible transformation that we wanted to share the challenge with our tribe. So we wanted to share this with you and we hope that you will join us in the challenge.

Dr Daniel Amen:

Tonight in our last class, we’re going to talk about how to make a massive difference. But before we get to it, I just want to tell you how beautiful you look.

Tana Amen:

Aw, thank you.

Dr Daniel Amen:

How happy I am you’re here because without you, I would have a mental illness.

Tana Amen:

Aw.

Dr Daniel Amen:

So I guess I should be nice to you.

Tana Amen:

You mean because you’d miss me or you mean because I would create one?

Dr Daniel Amen:

No. I would miss you.

Tana Amen:

Oh, just clarifying.

Dr Daniel Amen:

No, I’m not going to purposely do anything stupid because you make me happy. So what’s on your mind beautiful lady?

Tana Amen:

I just can’t believe we’re on week six. It’s like crazy. It’s already-

Dr Daniel Amen:

I know, it just like-

Tana Amen:

Flew by. So-

Dr Daniel Amen:

Let’s see if we can answer a couple of questions before we get into it. And one question I really like, can concussions disrupt the endocrine system, specifically hormonal imbalances that may cause panic attacks, anxiety, etc? I’m taking the supplements you recommend, adhere to a diet you suggest, and mindful of the ants. I have panic attacks at the end of every month for three days consecutively. So what a lot of people don’t know, and I write about this in The End of Mental Illness, which I’m hoping you pre-ordered, that concussions can damage the pituitary gland, which is the master hormone gland in your brain and just disrupt all of your hormones from estrogen, progesterone, thyroid, testosterone, DHEA, pregnenolone.

Dr Daniel Amen:

And measuring them and optimizing them can be really helpful. And I don’t know if you thought about this when I was reading it, that I wonder if her progesterone levels-

Tana Amen:

Oh yeah. Because cyclical dropping can also make it worse. So I was thinking about that too. Because yeah, that would really help-

Dr Daniel Amen:

And you take progesterone. Why?

Tana Amen:

Because I would end up on the six o’clock news.

Dr Daniel Amen:

Because [crosstalk [00:03:41].

Tana Amen:

I don’t need someone getting a video of me chasing small bunnies or something. I like this one. Please address neurotropics.

Dr Daniel Amen:

Okay, go ahead.

Tana Amen:

Well no, I want you to do it.

Dr Daniel Amen:

So neurotropics are just, they’re smart supplements. And that’s actually what BrainMD creates.

Tana Amen:

They make you smarter.

Dr Daniel Amen:

Smart supplements. So for example-

Tana Amen:

But they are brain targeted.

Dr Daniel Amen:

… we have Brain and Memory Power Boost, which works through six different mechanisms in the brain. It increases blood flow because it has gingko in it. It increases cell membrane communication with phosphatidylserine. It helps blood sugar stabilization with alpha-lipoic acid, mitochondrial energy with Acetyl-L-Carnitine, acetylcholine with Huperzine A. I mean, it’s just a very special supplement. Now there are things like Piracetam that have some studies showing that they’re helpful, but they’re very small studies and not very many of them. Neurotropic, another example, a medicine example would be Provigil or Nuvigil or Adderall or Ritalin.

Tana Amen:

Things that increase focus and performance.

Dr Daniel Amen:

And if you have ADD, I’m very much a fan of them, but if you don’t have ADD, it can actually ultimately make things worse over time. Let’s say two more. I’m wondering about leaky gut as a diagnosis. You want to tackle that?

Tana Amen:

Well, you can get leaky gut as a diagnosis if you go through a series of testing, but usually that’s not what people come in for. Usually they come in because they have all sorts of other symptoms. So brain fog, depression, they have GI issues, they’ve got diarrhea or bloating or gas or all sorts of other problems. And that’s the reason they come in. What ends up happening is if you go to a functional medicine doctor, they could test you for all kinds of things, including your gut function. But one of my favorite things is that when you are suffering from those types of things, we just put you on an elimination diet and most people start to feel better almost instantly. Because if your gut’s not working right, you’re not going to feel right. And most people’s guts, if their diet is poor, aren’t going to feel good.

Tana Amen:

And when we clean up their diet, they start to feel better. And it’s just the easiest way that we handle it is to just clean up their diet. And it’s not because… Here’s the big misconception.

Dr Daniel Amen:

Clean up their diet and probiotics like probrainbiotics can also-

Tana Amen:

Right. But here’s a big misconception. People are like, “Oh, this big extreme elimination diet that is going to be this big thing that I do just for a couple of weeks.” No, we actually, the way we do it is it’s really just cleaning up your diet in a way that we actually want you to eat that way pretty much most of the time.

Dr Daniel Amen:

We want you to detox all the time. I mean, why do you want to toxins in your body? Oh my goodness. So Sandy asked, “Can you still preorder the book?” Yes. “Can you still get a 50% coupon off anything at BrainMD one time if you pre-order the book? Yes. Endofmentalillness.com, you also get Tana’s cookbook, The 10 Day Brain Boost. You can watch six of our national public television specials for free. So many benefits by pre-ordering the book. Please do it before the book comes out next Tuesday.

Tana Amen:

Yeah. It’s not valid after that, correct? So it’s valid now.

Dr Daniel Amen:

Now you have after tonight’s class, we are going to announce the winners of… and let me just go through some of the gifts. They just said they emailed them to me. That if you tell us your story and we pick it, the grand prize is $5,000, so like physical money. Another grand prize is a full evaluation at Amen Clinics. A full evaluation. Two SPECT scans, our history meeting with the doctor, first followup visit, two winners a year’s supply of Brain and Body Power, which is valued at $1,200 each. 10 winners of Brain and Body Power, a month’s supply. 10 winners of an all access pass to Amen University, all of our classes there. 15 winners, year long subscriptions to Brain Fit Life. 25 winners of a signed copy, I’m going to assign them, of my new book, The End of Mental Illness.

Dr Daniel Amen:

10 Bright Mind Therapy Lamps, which are just amazing. And 10 Brain Health Revolution Master packages, which are $240 on public television.

Tana Amen:

I don’t remember us ever doing contests quite like this.

Dr Daniel Amen:

I mean, we want your stories and ultimately, what we want is you to live the message because if you live the message, you become a great messenger and you change not only yourself, but the other people in your life. So join the contest. Okay. Live from Canada. Thank you. So this week I want to talk about how do you make a massive difference? See if I can get [inaudible [00:09:36] turn this on. So here it was 10 years ago and I just finished writing, Change Your Brain, Change Your Body. My second book on the connection between physical health and mental health. And it was a Sunday morning and I was so happy because when you write a book, you just finished a book. I’m so proud of you. The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child, coming out January six 2021. Wow, I’m so proud of you.

Dr Daniel Amen:

And you, when you turned in the manuscript, you are really happy. I was like wow, that’s a lot of work. And it was a Sunday morning and we were going to go to church and as we went to Mariners Church here in Newport Beach, I said, “Why don’t you drop Chloe off at children’s church? I’ll save us seats.” And as I walked toward the sanctuary, this is an actual picture. I took a picture of the hundreds of donuts they had for sale and I’ve been going to church since I was four years old. I’d always seen the donuts, but that Sunday it just really made me mad because I’m going to church to get my soul fed, these people are trying to kill me. There is not one healthy thing about donuts.

Dr Daniel Amen:

And then right around the corner is bacon and sausage cooking on the grill and I’m mortified because I know these have nitrites in them. It’s bad fat. And I just shook my head. And before I walked in the sanctuary, I saw them cooking hundreds of hotdogs for after church and I felt like I’m in a fight. That’s why we call it the Brain Warrior’s Way and I just got punched and punched and punched. And as I sat down, the minister started talking about the Ice Cream Festival they had the night before and now I’m furious. I just I’m so unhappy that when Tana found me in church, I’m typing on my phone.

Tana Amen:

You were playing with the mistress.

Dr Daniel Amen:

I’m typing on my phone.

Tana Amen:

The mistress.

Dr Daniel Amen:

You gave me that look-

Tana Amen:

Get the mistress out of church.

Dr Daniel Amen:

… that only wives… nobody else in my life, nobody is allowed to give me this look. Give me the look. That was the look. And so I showed her what I was writing. Go to church and get donuts, bacon, sausage, hotdogs, ice cream. They have no idea they are sending people to heaven early. Save them then kill them. This is not the plan.

Tana Amen:

You got to let me say something at some point here. So it’s true, because we have been studying about this for a while. Now granted, several years before this, even we weren’t savvy to all the information about what food does to our bodies. So just to be fair, I get why churches do this. They do this as a way to bring people together because food brings people together. They just aren’t really aware and they’re finally starting to become aware. The problem is they’re not really getting on board as they’re becoming aware. But I’m not sure that the intention was to kill people. Let’s be clear.

Dr Daniel Amen:

But that’s what’s happening. Save them, then kill them. Do you know if you go to church in your 20s-

Tana Amen:

I know, you actually die early.

Dr Daniel Amen:

… that you… No, you don’t die early, but you’re more likely to be obese and diabetic in your middle age.

Tana Amen:

Which makes you die earlier. Hello?

Dr Daniel Amen:

So that Sunday I prayed. I do that. God would use me to change the culture of food at church. And while I’m praying this prayer, I’m thinking to myself, this is the dumbest prayer you ever pray. How’s that going to happen? But as you already know about me, I have an attitude problem. Growing up, my dad called me a Maverick and to him that was not a good thing. And so I just told God he had to deal with it, that’s my prayer. That mean, listen, don’t listen. This is my prayer. No lie. Two weeks later, Pastor Rick Warren from Saddleback Church called me and I had never met Pastor Warren. I mean, of course I knew who he was. He’s the senior pastor at one of the largest churches in the world.

Dr Daniel Amen:

They have 18 campuses, over 60,000 people come to church every Sunday. Their main campus is in South Orange County, but they also have one in the Philippines, they have one in Berlin, they have one in Hong Kong, one in Buenos Aires, and all over Southern California. And pastor Warren said that Sunday that I was saying the prayer, he had baptized 800 people. And he said about halfway through, his back started to hurt. He’s like, “Everybody is fat.” And then he said, “Well, I’m fat and I’m a terrible example to the church.” And he said, “Will you help me?” And I’m like, you had me from a low. I was like, “Oh my goodness, how exciting. I’m thrilled.” And together with Tana and our friend Mark Hyman, we created The Daniel Plan, which was a community based healthcare initiative.

Dr Daniel Amen:

The first week, January 15, 2011, 15,000 people signed up. The first year the results were just spectacular. Participants lost over 250,000 pounds. Better energy, focus, creativity, sleep, and mood reductions and stress, blood pressure, blood sugar, sexual dysfunction, which is always fun to talk about in church and many medications. I mean, it wasn’t just one of the highlights of our life helping them-

Tana Amen:

Oh, it was amazing. It was a huge undertaking and a lot, I mean, we’re still feeling the aftermath and the aftershocks of it. It’s pretty amazing.

Dr Daniel Amen:

Well, Pastor Warren and I and Mark Hyman went on to write New York Times number one bestselling book, The Daniel Plan. In 2015, it was named Christian book of the year. The Daniel Plan is done in thousands of communities, churches, synagogues, temples and mosques around the world. And it’s based on five pillars. Faith, why the heck do you care? We talked about purpose. Food, food is medicine or it’s poison. Fitness, you have to move. Focus, which was all about brain health. And friends, you get better together or you get sick together. And it just shows that intention, that prayer can lead to a revolution in health. You just have to stick with it.

Tana Amen:

And I really think the small group aspect of it was this, that that was the secret to the success. If you’re enjoying The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll always know when there’s a new episode. And while you’re at it, feel free to give us a review or five star rating as that helps others find the podcast.

If you’re considering coming to Amen Clinics or trying some of the brain healthy supplements from BrainMD, you can use the code podcast 10 to get a 10% discount on a full evaluation at amenclinics.com or a 10% discount on all supplements at brainmdhealth.com. For more information, give us a call at 855-978-1363.