The Mind body connection

Epi 17: The Mind-Body Connection

July 26, 2019

We will talk about the Mind-body connection, how our body literally has immune-to-brain circuits. We will also talk about a law that will require pharmaceutical companies to include prices in TV ads.

US Pharmaceuticals 

The global pharmaceuticals market was worth $934.8 billion in 2017.

The Trump administration will begin requiring drug makers to include their sticker prices in TV ads — and those updates could hit the airwaves as soon as this year. This will apply to any drugs that cost more than $35 for a month’s supply.


The drug industry spent more than $5.5 billion on advertising in 2017 according to United States Department of Health and Human Services


Drug prices are still increasing. While growth in spending on drugs has slowed in recent years, total national spending continues to grow. Americans spend more than anyone else in the world. The average person spends $1,025 per year on medication—an inflation-adjusted increase of elevenfold since 1960.


Something we notice is how doctors push Xarelto vs. Coumadin as a blood thinner. Price difference? Xarelto is around $451.91 vs. Coumadin is around $4. 


Here’s a simple chart to compare the 3 drugs.  The bottom line: Coumadin is the safest choice, as long as a patient is able to go in for a simple blood test on a regular basis.  Isn’t it worth the inconvenience to avoid paralysis or bleeding to death?

Pradaxa

Xarelto

Coumadin

Prevents clotting for those with atrial fibrillation

Yes

Yes

Yes

A reliable way to save the patient if the drug causes the patient to bleed to death

Yes

No

Yes

Dietary Restrictions (Must monitor vitamin K intake)

No

No

Yes

Requires routine blood monitoring/testing

No

No

Yes

Risk of permanent paralysis

Yes

Yes

No

Vasculitis (Inflammation of the blood vessels)

Yes

Yes

No

Approved for pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, and venous thrombosis

No

Yes

Yes



Mind-Body Connection

The average person has approximately 60,000 thoughts every day, and although that seems like a lot, Stanford researcher Dr. Fred Luskin has found that a staggering 90% of those thoughts are repetitive. Think about that: 9 out of 10 of your thoughts are ones you have over and over again. How unoriginal! What’s worse, for many people, these thoughts are not only repetitive but negative.


Repetitive, incessant, negative thoughts are stressful, no doubt about it, and over time they can trigger a prolonged cycle of chronic stress that can be seriously damaging to overall health.


In recent years, science has begun to recognize the powerful connections through which emotional, spiritual, and behavioral factors can directly affect health outcomes.


The beliefs you hold about yourself and the world, your emotions, your memories, and your habits all can influence mental and physical health. These connections between what is going on in your mind and heart, and what is happening in your body, form the psycho-emotional roots of health and disease. Let’s take a closer look.


"We have a complete, bidirectional immune-to-brain circuit"


The Impact of Vibration

Thoughts and emotions also carry vibrations that impact your biochemical, cellular, and overall physiological state. At a physical level, the body is made up of atoms and water, which are in a constant state of motion. The type of movement or frequency at which atoms within a cell vibrate creates a form of wave energy that influences their structure and function.

Science demonstrates that thoughts, words, and feelings can change the crystal structure of water and cells, which can change their function. Positive, kind, and inspiring thoughts and emotions vibrate in harmony with your cells since they share a similar frequency that allows them to function optimally.


Maier and his colleagues find that if they stress animals--by socially isolating them or giving them electrical shock--they see massive increases in interleukin-1 in the hippocampus.


"Stress and infection activate overlapping neural circuits that critically involve interleukin-1 as a mediator."


Stress is another form of infection," he said. "And the consequences of stress are mediated by the activation of circuits that actually evolved to defend against infection."


Depression and cognition

Understanding this dual-function circuitry may help psychologists better understand depression, said Maier. In fact, depressed mood produces all the same behavior changes as both the sickness and stress responses--changes that conserve energy and keep people out of harm's way. In some sense, it could be thought of as a highly efficient circuit for triggering these adaptive changes.

 

Different ways the Mind-Body Connection Affects Your Body

  • Behavioral: When you hear stories of recently past away individuals dying soon after their partner are common. These tales are not just apocryphal. A study that followed 95,647 recently widowed individuals found that during the first week after bereavement, mortality was twice the expected rate.
  • The gut: It is now well established that there is a strong association between sustained stressful life events and the onset of symptoms in functional gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome. 
  • Cancer: We as health professionals working with cancer patients know too well that a patient's mindset on the outcome and social support can hugely impact the outcome of their disease
  • HIV: Studies have found significant evidence that elevated levels of stress and diminished social support accelerates the progression of HIV infection.
  • Wound healing: the speed at which a surgical patient heals has been linked to psychological factors. For instance, increased levels of fear or distress before surgery have been associated with worse outcomes, including longer stays in the hospital, more postoperative complications and higher rates of re-hospitalization.

How Our Body Responds to Stress

Think about that video with the person sitting down with one hand on the table and the other hand on his lap with a fake hand on the table. There is a paper in between both hands and the individual is looking straight. The researcher then takes a chopping knife and cuts off the fake hand. The person has a startle response because the mind thinks that was his hand. Your body produced a similar stress response as if your hand did really get cut off. 


Different mental inputs lead to the same physiological responses. That plays a big role in the stress response. It doesn't matter what your stressor is if it's financial, emotional, physical, or any kind of stress, it all leads to the same physiological response. 


One study found that psychological stress actually suppresses immunity and increases inflammation. Stress can also be a trigger for autoimmune problems. Research from 2001 revealed that patients with Graves’ disease had more stressful life events before their diagnosis compared to control groups.


Kiecolt-Glaser et al., (1984)

Aim: To investigate whether the stress of important examinations has an effect on the functioning of the immune system


This was a natural experiment. The researchers took blood samples from 75 first-year medical students (49 males and 26 females), all of whom were volunteers. 


Blood samples were taken: (a) one month before their final examinations (relatively low stress), and (b) during the examinations (high stress)


Immune functioning was assessed by measuring T cell activity in the blood samples.


The students were also given questionnaires to assess psychological variables such as life events and loneliness.


Findings: The blood sample taken from the first group (before the exam) contained more t-cells compared with blood samples taken during the exams.


Health problems can occur if the stress response goes on for too long or becomes chronic, such as when the source of stress is constant, or if the response continues after the danger has subsided. With chronic stress, those same life-saving responses in your body can suppress immune, digestive, sleep, and reproductive systems, which may cause them to stop working normally.


Different people may feel stress in different ways. For example, some people experience mainly digestive symptoms, while others may have headaches, sleeplessness, sadness, anger or irritability. People under chronic stress are prone to more frequent and severe viral infections, such as the flu or common cold.


Routine stress may be the hardest type of stress to notice at first. Because the source of stress tends to be more constant than in cases of acute or traumatic stress, the body gets no clear signal to return to normal functioning. Over time, continued strain on your body from routine stress may contribute to serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other illnesses, as well as mental disorders like depression or anxiety.


So you hear a lot of this mind over matter and how important it is. A good place to look at this is athletes. Mike Tyson credits psychology and his mental strength in becoming the boxer he was. He’s probably not the best role model outside of the ring, but inside and in his prime, he broke down every single boxer that entered that ring. Cus D’amato, Mike Tyson's teacher and trainer molded him into becoming the fighter he was. Cus would speak to Mike about fear: “Your mind is not your friend Mike, I hope you know that. You have to fight with your mind, control it”.


Mike was taught that before a fight, his mind would create imaginations that his opponent looks bigger than him and more confident. “But when the bell rings, and you come into contact with each other, suddenly your opponent seems like everybody else because now your imagination has dissipated. The fight itself is the only reality that matters. You have to learn to impose your will and take control over that reality”. Mike Tyson fought bigger and stronger guys but he won the mental game. 

Tyson admitted “I beat most of my opponents before the fight even started”

All that training carried him right to his life goal: he became the heavyweight champion of the world aged just 20 years old.

Sources

 https://www.simplypsychology.org/stress-immune.html

https://www.apa.org/monitor/dec01/anewtake

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305921.php



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