Doctor Maya Blog

Are you low in Magnesium? The missing link in mental health.

May 15, 2018
by Dr. Maya Sarkisyan

It is surprising to me how many people I test for nutrient deficiency are low in magnesium. The micronutrient test is one of the favorites in my clinic, and the results of it generally clearly correlate with my patient’s symptoms.

Magnesium is one of these minerals that is involved in so many biochemical reactions that it makes it extremely important not only for physical health but also for the emotional.

It is crucially important in DNA translation, production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and others.
The correct levels of it are essential for functioning and regeneration of bones, heart, and brain, and it has to be present in every cell of your body.

Let’s see what are the factors that affect your magnesium deficiency, and why it is so important to restore it for your mental and emotional health?
The first thing my patients report after being on the right kind of magnesium (yes, there are many different kinds – for different symptoms) is they are in the better mood and better energy levels.

It helps to treat depression and ADHD, along with some essential dietary changes.

It is known that most magnesium in the body is stored in the skeletal and other body tissues, and only slightly more then !% is in the blood, so your regular whole blood test is not going to give you a reliable number. I always suspect magnesium deficiency if symptoms include anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and constipation.
I also select different types of magnesium for different system presented.

WHAT CAUSES MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY

Stress

Physical and emotional stress drain the body of magnesium. Especially chronic stress. When you are stressed your cortisol levels go up, and it requires sufficient levels of magnesium to respond to stress and calm it down. When you are in a state ofchronic stress, you need higher levels of magnesium. In fact, you need to evaluate what is stressing you and make changes in the way you respond to the stressor or do something to eliminate that stressor if possible.

Agricultural practices

Magnesium is supposed to be found abundantly in whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, leafy greens, and some other foods. And it’s not happening anymore.
There are much supporting evidence that plants are now low in magnesium due to soil mineral depletion.
Soil needs to be rotated and taken care of to regenerate in minerals. Also, the toxic pesticides and other chemicals are also stored in the ground.

Processed Foods 

Magnesium is found in bran and germ of the grains. When grains are being commercially refined these parts are gone along with all the nutrients they contain. Processed foods pose many health dangers due to a high concentration of chemical elements.

Nutrition

Diet rich in fat, sugar, salt, synthetic vitamin D, phosphates, protein, and supplemented calcium is not only is deficient in magnesium but increases the need for magnesium in the body.
So does the intake of alcohol, caffeine, and soft drinks.

Medication

Magnesium deficiency has been linked to atherosclerosis, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis and others, and yet many medications deplete magnesium.
Examples are antacids, acid-blockers, some antibiotics, anticonvulsants, diuretics, blood pressure medication, corticosteroids, cholesterol agents, an osteoporosis medication, and many others.

THE MISSING LINK TO YOUR MIND

There is overwhelming research linking levels of magnesium with neurotransmitters and cortisol. It plays a crucial role in creating neurotransmitters and supporting their action. For example, magnesium interacts with GABA receptors to help you relax and keeps glutamate within health levels. It regulates both serotonin and dopamine for your balanced mood, attention, focus, concentration, and clear mind.

Your central nervous system needs high levels of magnesium to function properly, and when it’s deficient, I see many issues such as difficulty with memory and concentration, depression, anxiety, fatigue, emotional instability, irritability, insomnia, migraines, headaches, constipation, fibromyalgia, and many others.

Fortunately, studies show that magnesium repletion—restoring normal levels of the mineral—produces positive changes in body aches disappearing, muscles relaxing, better mood and cognition, healthy eating behavior, healthy stress responses, better quality of sleep.

If you are an adult and experiencing or been diagnosed with depression, it is almost always a good idea to supplement with 450 mg of magnesium daily – at meals and bedtime. I like NeuroMag or magnesium glycinate, and you can find my favorite brands here in my pharmacy under the Cognitive Health category. You will need to create an account to see my favorites in dispensory (and your information will be accessible only to me accordig to patient privacy regulations.)

Along with magnesium, you need to take: vitamin D3 to increase the cellular uptake of the mineral and B6 to help magnesium accumulate in cells. I recommend B-Complex rather than single B6.
An organic form such as glycinate or citrate improves absorption by protecting the mineral from antagonists in the digestive tract.
Taking it with health that includes carbs, with improves absorption of the mineral.
I collected them all under the Cognitive Health in my pharmacy, and you can get them all at the same time:

THE DAILY DOSE:

  • NeuroMag or Magnesium glycinate – 450 mg in divided doses
  • D3/K2 liquid – 5,000 mg
  • B complex – 1-2/morning

The chances are you will start feeling better in a couple of weeks. It takes time to restore magnesium levels. You need to keep taking it because, unfortunately, we cannot anymore rely on food sources to provide us with adequate nutrients.

The good news is that we have access to pharmaceutical grade organic and clean sources of nutrients in capsules and liquid form.

Rotating your daily regimen every few months provides you with much healthier, happier you!

 

References: James Greenblatt, M, Chief Medical Officer at Walden Behavioral Care in Waltham, MD

Is Broccoli Good For You?

April 26, 2018
by Dr. Maya Sarkisyan

Your immune system protects you from dangers that are coming from outside and trying to disrupt the functioning of your body. It will give you signals, so you understand something is off. These signals can look and feel like anything you consider to be physical symptoms of distress.

For example, when you catch a virus, the reaction to it can range from the rush to fever to dizziness, depending what kind of virus it is. And when your immune system is weakened for whatever reason and cannot effectively protect you, bacteria and viruses that lay dormant in your body can activate and create a serious chronic health condition.

You need to eat to survive, and typically there is no way around it. The food goes into you and has to undergo a series of modifications to become nutrients your body needs.

But if this food, rather then providing you with vital nutrients, irritates your intestinal lining and disrupts your immune system, you need to know it and do something about it. The faster you know it – the better chances you have to heal your body.

The immune system response is your body’s way of letting you know that you may be intolerant or sensitive to certain foods. A reaction to food is an abnormal response in the gastrointestinal tract that can occur for different reasons. The common misconception is that if you are tested positive for particular food sensitivity, it’s for life. And unless the reaction is an anaphylactic shock, like a peanut allergy, the intestinal lining can heal, and the immune system will react to that food appropriately.

Sometimes there may not be enough of a particular enzyme to digest a particular food correctly. Other times, the immune system creates antibodies to proteins in specific foods.
When the immune system reacts to food in this way, it can lead to inflammation and irritation of the intestine when eaten. Food allergies are distinct from food sensitivities.

What is the food sensitivity?

Allergies can result in life-threatening reactions. Sensitivities result in milder symptoms such as diarrhea, gas or bloating but also create inflammation that drives many pathologies and prevents improvement.

Symptoms associated with food sensitivities:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Constipation
  • Gas or bloating
  • Poor absorption of valuable vitamins and minerals
  • Gastro esophageal reflux
  • Hives, rash, eczema, or edema
  • Joint pain and inflammation
  • Headache or migraine
  • Decreased immune function
  • Diarrhea or soft stool

There are a few different technologies to detect allergies and sensitivities. You might be familiar with the skin prick test measuring the reaction a person has to a particular substance. There are recent tests that are similar to the skin prick, but it’s a blood serum test that makes it much safer because it doesn’t expose a person to these antigens potentially causing a severe reaction. The serum test is also more sensitive and therefore more accurate.

This blood test analyzes the serum levels of IgG, IgG4, IgE antibodies, and a compliment protein for different food antigens identifying major food groups and foods with these groups. It accurately detects where specific food is located on the scale of severity of the immune system reaction.

So, to the question “Is broccoli good for me?” the answer is: “It depends”.

When you have your results along with the schedule of a rotational diet, you can revisit your daily nutrition, stay away from significant irritants, and temporarily stay away from any irritants until your intestinal lining is healed. If you have any symptoms, they will start clearing out.
In fact, a quality of your life will get better when your immune system is regulated and at peace.

Doctor’s Secrets to Lose Weight and live a Healthy Life

November 11, 2017
by Dr. Maya Sarkisyan

Your Body is a miraculous system of chemical reactions that are going on 24/7. If you don’t believe me, look into Gray’s Anatomy book or Physiology 101. It is mind-blowing. Your body will continue to keep you alive until it cannot anymore. It will give you all sorts of warnings, blow whistles (for real), knock you down (you know what I mean), and refuse to stay up for another minute (remember that time?).

Instinctively we know how to take care of ourselves, but the majority of what’s really going on in self-care is dictated by our upbringing and social habits.  For example:

  • You know that cleaning up your plate full of food is not good for you because you already been full third way to there. But mother’s/grandmother’s/father’s/etc. voice in your head says: “You got to clean your plate. There are children in Africa dying from hunger” (By the way, it doesn’t make any sense, it would make sense if you would send your plate to Africa to feed these children. But somehow you feel guilty of being un-deservingly lucky.) And you shove that food down your own throat.
  • You are at the bar at 11 pm and know that drinking the third martini is not going to help you get up in the morning and work out. But it is expected of you by your friends/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/neighbors/etc. So you order that third glass. 

You know it’s not good for you but you do it anyway. All these beliefs and habits that don’t really belong to you, you inherited from somebody else, and in some cases invented all by yourself to reach some important goal – all of them create a heavy weight holding you down. It manifests in the physical overweight body, in mental fogginess, in low energy, in anxiety, and in million other yucky symptoms you rather not have. Take your pick.

We are here to help you change that and condition your mind and body for the best performance possible. You don’t have any more time to waste  – the world is full of opportunities and wonders, and you can get them by having your health in the most optimal condition.

The successful weight loss and health maintenance consist of:

  • Dietary support of the body’s detoxification processes, hormone balancing, and weight stabilizing
  • Elimination of toxins through detoxification pathways
  • Lifestyle practices that support healthy body and success-oriented peaceful mind

In the future blog posts, I will share with you more about each component of the above, because each component is it’s own world and has to be taken care of.

But the most important message here is that all these components got to be put together in a coordinated system and phases. I believe in science and natural medicine. They are not mutually exclusive – quite the opposite.

Science is your guide to knowing what to be corrected naturally.

Some of the components include dietary changes based on science and common sense. If you are a proponent of personal approach – then meal plans can be based on the results of your blood tests. We can identify your food sensitivities and nutritional deficiencies to create the most optimal plan for your individual situation. It can be customized.

Your nutrition can be customized even further to match the DNA genetic requirements of your body. You can have a complete lifestyle plan for many components of your life to match your genomics profile.  It is your truly Custom Lifestyle Plan to stick to.

Highlights of the Approach:

  • Establishing a healthy diet supporting your lifestyle and your life goals.
  • Creating an easy to maintain System for self-care – physically and emotionally.
  • Lifestyle strategies to establish and use through different stages of your life.
  • Find and use Mind conditioning tools to your overall success.
  • Get educated on nutrition, successful mindset, and healthy habits.

And the most important of all – get overall invested in your health and happiness. And then you can create health and happiness for others who are near and dear to you.

How to get Out of The Mental Daze

October 19, 2017
by Dr. Maya Sarkisyan

We live in a daze of information. I have a feeling that we always lived in some daze created by somebody, or something influencing our minds, our free will, etc. Shamans call it “domestication,” science calls it “adaptation,” I call it “forgetting who you are.” Since we are born, somebody is telling us what to do and what to think – starting with our parents (well-meaning or not).

Whenever I do deep neuro-emotional repatterning work with my patients I observe deep roots of any obstacles tracing into childhood years.

And it is practically always in response to something with people who are so essential to us, their reactions – not only to our actions, but also to their environment, and even more importantly – to what is going on in their minds.

We learn to adapt, we get in the habit of guessing what is in the other person’s mind, and we learn to second-guess ourselves.

Hey, if, for example, your family is telling you (since you were born) that you are a future lawyer, you might believe in it on your deepest level. You will try on all the personal and professional qualities of all the lawyers you know in person or virtually. Some of these qualities might not agree with you, so you will try to either adapt or to change them to your personality.

After all, there is no choice – in your subconscious mind. And if the dissonance is overwhelming – you break out of that “lawyer” spell and do your own thing. Do you still carry an emotional charge about it?

Look at our rebellious teenagers! What are they doing? They are finding their way in the world despite fashion-person-hands-womandirectives and subliminal messages from their parents and the society. The stronger these messages are – the stronger the rebellion will be. They are learning to navigate the world of tumbler and bitcoins – the uncharted territory for most of us.

If you think our kids don’t have a discipline, and this is why we cannot understand what they are doing – think again. Look around you – we all are swimming in the ocean of conflicting powerful and fast-changing information dissolving every rule and every border there is.

Every concept that was installed in our minds years ago, and in turn we introduced (consciously or not) in our babies’ minds is now under subliminal revision from that ocean of information. Our kids are trying to find who they are. It looks like they are failing – to us – with our limited perception. I hope they will succeed. I know – they will.

But back to us – adults.

If you are trying to understand who you are and what you should do (big surprise! – you are doing it and so everybody else with IQ > 80) –  you got to look at your immediate environment and take an inventory.

  • Where do you live?
  • With whom do you live?
  • What do you do every day?
  • Who are the people you are communicating with?
  • Why are you communicating with any of them?
  • Do you like these people and why?
  • Why are you communicating with people you don’t like? Hmm?
  • What are the rules in your daily life?
  • What are the rules in your mind?
  • Do these sets of rules match?
  • What are your future rules – the rules of your fantasy happy life?
  • If you don’t know where you are, you will not know how to get to your destination.
  • Oh wait, do you know your destination?
  • Have you clearly defined where you are going?

Are you an Aimless Wanderer?

If being an aimless wanderer is what you enjoy, then you don’t have to define any start point or destination. But then don’t blame yourself or anybody else for not getting what you want. It might be a period in life for that – weeks, years, as much as it requires and it might be what the person needs at that point.

There is only one rule for aimless wanderers – a strong faith that nothing is up to them, that they have no control in their life at all. They completely surrender. The best place to do it is a monastery, but perhaps there are other possibilities. It’s not as easy as it seems to be.

Whether we want it or not, there are rules in our society, and the more virtual world information borders dissolve, the more universal these external rules become. However, our internal rules stay the same as we are reluctant to change that fast. Our DNA process doesn’t evolve so quickly. It’s trying to make adjustments, and in working extra hard its making mistakes in repairs of broken links. Literally.

Do you see where the growing conflict is?

So, now more then ever, if you are feeling dissatisfied, you have to take the inventory above. It’s not a Ph.D. program; it’s a short something you have to do every few months – again, due to the ever-changing external environment. It changes our present coordinates, and we got to recalculate again.

Last year you thought you are in that specific place and surrounded by such and such – on your immediate and global levels. Now – it looks like you are in the same physical place but everything changed around you – your body, meaning of things and concepts, people’s behaviors, new ways of doing things, technology, beliefs, etc.

Soon the drones will be carrying Amazon packages to your door, that you will be paying for with bitcoins. You see what I mean? Wait, what is a bitcoin!?!

If you honestly look around, you are in the different place altogether from what you fantasized. It can be disorienting. What if something you believed for many years is not true anymore – and you have the perfect evidence. You will need to change your beliefs, but your entire world is based on these beliefs, you spent years in building your world.

It might be painful even to think about it, leave alone to change it.

I have to tell you an important piece of information. This situation I just described is a major cause of serious health conditions. Any conflict festering in your mind is so dangerous that it must be dealt with as soon as possible.

So, if for years you cannot lose those stubborn 10-15 lbs, suffering from chronic fatigue, adrenal insufficiency, depression, anxiety, insomnia, etc. – you might be searching for an answer in places that don’t have that answer.

People are showing up at my clinic, desperate and hopeless, telling me how conventional medicine failed them, and how they believe in holistic approach now. And asking right after: What herb should I take to heal myself, can I buy it on Amazon, and how many acupuncture sessions it will take to be healthy again.

This mindset is not going to work. Not in health, not in life, nowhere. We have to do something with that mindset because the life as I see it – is going to be even more different really soon.

I have always been a sort of a visionary, and I still like what I see in the future with all the challenges, disappointments, revolutions, and the new society. I’m doing the work that’s desperately needed – preparing the global platform for more people to learn the mindset, skills, and tools to change their lives and to be happy in the new society that is forming.

If even one person can do it – you can do it too. Take the inventory!

How to Find a Good Doctor

October 11, 2017
by Dr. Maya Sarkisyan

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I have to start with a disclaimer. This is a sensitive topic, and our opinions might not match. So my view on this comes from my clinical work with my patients, their stories, their pain, and suffering.

In our modern time, people turned to alternative medicine when they already tried and failed at everything else conventional medical. And in many occasions previously been misdiagnosed, operated on for no good reason, given dozens of pharmaceutical prescription medication, and so on.

It is emotionally challenging to listen to people suffering from a sense of betrayal by their well-recommended doctors.

Yes, I believe people suffer even more from betrayal then from the actual pain when they are misled by highly trained medical professionals who took upon themselves the highest authority to decide how to influence the patient into aggressive surgical or pain management plan.

Agreed, sometimes it saves lives and necessary. However, I have personally seen many patients who didn’t have to undergo aggressive surgical procedures based on vague diagnostic results. Others were put on a pain management drug treatment indefinite program. And often people experience both – unnecessary surgery – more pain –  indefinite pain management program.

Don’t you think it is a nightmare for somebody to be told by the end of long and painful treatment that they will never be pain and drug-free?

When these people make it to my clinic, broken physically and emotionally, they expect a one-session miracle. And I want to say: “Where were you before you went under the knife? Why didn’t you explore non-invasive, non-medicated option when it just started happening with you?”. I don’t say it because it will not change anything. But the treatment plan becomes more challenging than it could be. However neuro-emotional work often provides fast results even in challenging cases.

You got to realize that any, absolutely any surgery changes everything in the body. If you have surgery in one part of the spine, the other part will start having issues. If you took the organ out – other organs would have to compensate for that. If you have a facelift – one side of your face might heal differently then the other, and your face might be asymmetric or inflamed.

So, how to find a good doctor?

Some doctors take care of the body. You go to them with pain, flu, broken bones, yearly checkup, etc.

Some doctors take care of the mind. You go to them with mental and emotional problems.

But this is the puzzle – as body and mind are not separate, just as your physical stomach and the spasm in your stomach from stress are not independent of each other. Just as your physical heart and heart palpitation you have from intense emotions are not separate.

  • You have got to find a doctor who takes care of your body and your mind together. And if you are lucky – checking on the condition of your spirit as well.
  • Your doctor has to be kind and listening to you. If he/she is not kind – it’s a big red flag. Would you marry somebody who verbally abuses and belittles you? Some people do, but it’s a topic for another article.

I don’t know why some people choose a profession of helping others and become unkind and inattentive to their patients. If anything, a medical profession made me more human then ever before.

It is not a rocket science for any doctor (MDs, DOs, etc.) to get educated in the functional and holistic medicine. It takes time and lots of money. It requires personal sacrifices – of time, relationships, resources, and many others.  I (along with some other doctors I know and love) invest most of my resources on my education in the latest clinical diagnostics, studying genetic analysis (rapidly developing field), and more holistic medicine. I believe I have a responsibility to my patients (and to people who will come to my clinic for days to come ) to get knowledgeable in 360 degrees approach to their overall health. And so every doctor has that responsibility. At least a little bit.

Many years ago I was a successful computer programmer working for Wall St markets, and I was very computer-like, so I didn’t understand people that much. But after getting a medical degree and learning the intricate connection of mind-body-spirit, the amazing miracle of a human body, internal chemical balance, the brain, the way emotions affect the physical body – wow, that made me very human. That made me compassionate.

So I think I know what a good doctor is. 

  • He/she is knowledgeable, reputable, have a license to practice, has all the credentials.
  • He/she has to offer alternatives, to be knowledgeable about other options, about the latest research in functional medicine, alternative medicine, mind-body connection.
  • He/she takes time to listen to all your concerns (by active listening), asks you lots of seemingly unrelated questions about your life, takes time to explain to you everything so you clearly understand, to look you in the eyes and make a connection with real you. It’s hard to not care about a patient after we feel that connection.

Try this. Go to the mirror and make an eye connection with your reflection, and see how long you can hold your own gaze. At some point, you will connect to yourself, and you will care. You will see the pain, suffering, hope, fear, love – all the gamut of emotions, and you will care. It will not be easy to do, by the way, if you are one of us – regular modern people.

So your doctor has to care. Otherwise, all is lost. You cannot trust a person who doesn’t care. It has to be personal for him/her. You have to matter to him/her. Really matter.

Then you know – you matter. Then you can trust your doctor with your life.

If you can take only one bag…

September 28, 2017
by Dr. Maya Sarkisyan

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One rainy day I happened to be climbing the trekking route to Mt. Everest base camp, and this particular day was especially hard. It was raining most of the day and trail was really steep and slippery.

Also, I had no idea when we get to the next stop and what to expect. Everything important to me at that moment was inside my backpack protected by a plastic cover. And I realized – only a few more things in life were important to me in addition to these few belongings.

Perhaps I needed a little bigger backpack for things. The rest of importance was of people surrounding me, supporting me, helping each other get to the top. If I missed something from my backpack, somebody would always have it to cover me. On that track, I got a valuable lesson in relationships and importance.

I love my luxuries. I like fine dining, international travel, expensive clothes, luxury cars. I didn’t have a privileged childhood and everything I have I worked hard for. There been a time things kept me feeling safe like nothing bad can happen to me… But things are not about that at all.

I believe we often (subconsciously) surround ourselves with things to define us. If you have that purse it means you are …, if you wear that fur coat it means you are with … and so on.

Maybe you disagree, but it’s what came to me after seeing hundreds of clients, and after my own life-changing events. And I still love my luxuries, but the attitude towards them has changed.

Everything carries information. Everything you touch, breathe, eat, drink, see transfer some information to you. That’s why people love beautiful things – they see a pleasant information. When you start perceiving things on a deeper level, you get access to different information. Not all of that information is good for you – be careful. If you pay attention you can actually feel what takes your energy away, and what makes your energy increase.

My father is a hoarder, less now than before. I love my father, he is awesome, and he taught me a lot. He also couldn’t let go of anything (thankfully we didn’t have much to start with). I think he was afraid of losing parts of him he was missing – the happy moments associated with different times. My father is also very creative – he can invent new things, and create virtual worlds for himself and others – in many ways. I think, perhaps, physical clutter kept him grounded and connected to the reality.

Do you think your things keep you connected to your past and ideas about how things should be?

Every moment you are changing so rapidly – everything in you is changing, and the world around you is changing too. If you could perceive it fully you could lose your mind, so the brain safety mechanisms are in place to change your perception of time. You actually feel almost no movement, and sense almost no change. Your brain works this way to keep you safe. Perhaps too safe…

When you free up a space to look around you (externally as well as internally), you will see new possibilities, new ideas, new people. You will feel the world changing. It maybe is scary, but fear is only in your mind – nobody died from throwing away an old shirt or chipped cup or even the well-deserved trophy.

You will not suffer from stopping believing that old crap about yourself. You know better. But some of these beliefs are tied to things you surround yourself with – so you got to let them go.

De-cluttering your home is probably one of the most emotionally challenging things you can do in your entire life! We develop intense emotional attachments to our home surrounding, mostly because we need to feel safe and secure at home. Paradoxically enough, many things in our home not even remotely making us feel safe. We have things that subconsciously bring painful memories, regrets, longing for the past, and reminders of failure.

I’m a big proponent of minimalism, as I think better when there is no clutter. I tried clutter, it worked for me, then I tried to get rid of everything, and it worked even better.

If you want to make a change in your life, your environment got to be a part of it; there is no way around it. If you want to be lighter – weight-wise and emotionally, you got to be lighter with your material goods. You got to identify what is important, really important.

So, material goods are necessary, but you got to choose wisely and retain a few.

The human relationships are far more important.

Remember that when you are clearing your clutter.