In this episode of The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast, Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen dive into some of our listener questions to give you the answers you need to get your brain and body right. This episode tackles such topics as brain types, help for focus, and taking supplements before and after general anesthesia for a surgery. If you’d like Daniel and Tana to answer your question in an episode, be sure to visit brainwarriorswaypodcast.com to submit.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Welcome to the Brain Warrior's Way podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: 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.
Dr. Daniel Amen: 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: 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: Welcome back. Questions and answers. So you have questions, we hope we're going to have answers.
Tana Amen: What have we got?
Dr. Daniel Amen: "Hi, Dr. Daniel and Tana Amen. I would like to ask you two questions." This is from [Natty 00:00:01:14]. "I tend to be slow in processing reading texts. I was wondering what supplement do you recommend that can help improve cognitive performance; quick thinking for university students?"
Two of ours that I like, I Like Focus and Energy a lot. It has green tea, ginseng, ginko... not ginko. Rhodiola and ashwagandha. And it really can help people with focus, and also like Brain and Memory Power Boost. Both of those are good. And I like Brain Boost On The Go. If I get sort of sleepy in the afternoon, Brain Boost On The Go 100% of the time for me picks me out.
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Dr. Daniel Amen: The second question. "What supplements are helpful to take before and after surgery to help protect the brain from the damaging effects of anesthesia?"
Tana Amen: Oh, that's a good one.
Dr. Daniel Amen: That's a great question.
Tana Amen: So the interesting thing about that one, is they recommend you stop taking most of the ones that are really good for you. You have to stop them for a while, so take them as long as you can before. Stop taking some of them, and then you have to start taking them as soon as you can after surgery.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Yeah. So the ones I like, Brain and Memory Power Boost, or our Bright Minds Powder, which actually has all the nutrients you need except omega-3 fatty acids. And they'll probably not want you to take omega-3s right before-
Tana Amen: Not in the doses that most of us take them.
Dr. Daniel Amen: ... surgery, but you know, two or three days afterwards, they're fine to restart. But I like our Bright Minds Powder.
Tana Amen: Supplements that most doctors won't want you taking before surgery are things like fish oil, ginko, vitamin E. There's a of them. There's a big list. Anything that thins the blood or coats the cells. But you can take them up to... usually a week, sometimes two weeks before surgery. And then, after surgery you want to really ramp it up so you get back on track.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Another question from Matthew. "Can your brain type change over time? The reason I ask is because I took it about three months ago and was a type 11, which is sort of like over-focused and anxious. And now I'm a type one, which is balanced, when I took it again." Good for you. I would say you're going in the right direction, for sure.
Tana Amen: So my question is, what have you been doing? You must be doing something right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Hopefully, you're listening to the Brain Warrior's Way podcast.
Tana Amen: And so, to answer that, yes, it can change if you're doing something different. Obviously, if you've hit your head, it's going to change in a negative way. If you're doing all the right things, and you're eating correctly, and sleeping, and meditating and taking your supplements, it's going to change in a positive way.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And that was Matthew from Salt Lake, Utah. This is from Catherine from Rollo, North Dakota. We have a lot of folks in North Dakota. From Catherine, "I would love to get your feedback on bulimia. My sister has struggled with this disorder for about six years and has just now finally gone to a doctor for a prescription to help with her anxiety, which accompanies it. I am unsure how to help other than being supportive and saying we'll try again tomorrow. I haven't found many good resources online to offer assistance either."
Bulimia is an impulsive-compulsive disorder. People compulsively eat or sometimes exercise, but there's also an impulsive component because they don't want to do it, and they give in to behavior they don't want to do and find that they can't stop. What we see is high activity in the basal ganglion cingulate; they get stuck on it, and low activity in a part of their frontal lobe, so they have trouble controlling their behavior.
One of my favorite bulimia stories is of a woman that actually had it under control and then worked all day, didn't have time to eat, went out to a bar with her friends and had nachos. And then alcohol. So it was alcohol and then nachos. And the reason she binged on the nachos, even though she didn't want to, she didn't eat all day. So she went to the bar with low blood flow, low blood sugar, which goes with low blood flow. And then she had a drink which lowered her frontal lobes further, causing her to eat the nachos. Then she couldn't stop. And then she made herself throw up.
And so, whenever someone has a relapse, I want you to be curious about what happened, never furious and judgmental. And as we sort of took it apart, we went, "Oh, you have to eat three times a day to manage your blood sugar, and without the alcohol." The alcohol was the trigger event for her.
Tana Amen: I have a question. Because you know how you say depression is not one thing? My thought is wouldn't that be the same with something like eating disorders, especially something like bulimia? Because one thing I know from different women I've known that have it, they described it very differently. For some women, it's something they... it's a behavior they can't stop and it has to do with their body image. For other women, it's not as much about their body image. It's more about, like what she described, an anxiety control. It's like a pressure cooker building and they're releasing that pressure. They're releasing that anxiety. And I know even for myself, when I was young and I started to feel that build of pressure, that build of anxiety, I found exercise. And I had a doctor tell me I was an exercise bulimic. I'm like, "A what? I'm a what?" Because I wasn't purging, but he's like, "You are purging. You're purging through exercise."
My question is can it be different through...
Dr. Daniel Amen: Absolutely. And that's why you have to look. If you don't look, you don't know.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So we hope you've really liked this week. We're going to answer more of your questions coming up, so go to brainwarriorswaypodcast.com and leave reviews. We love those. Leave questions. And you know, some of you may notice, we actually changed the format of the podcast a bit when you give us your feedback in a kind way. Also, you know, what did you learn in this podcast? Post it on any of your social media sites. Thanks for listening.
Tana Amen: 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.
Dr. Daniel Amen: 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.