Previously I have spoken about the COMT enzyme and how it can play havoc with your hormone, oestrogen. 

This very same Gene and enzyme also break down your Dopamine and Adrenal hormones.

If you have inherited a ‘wonky gene’ and this enzyme is processing slowly, it will process your Dopamine and Adrenaline pathways slowly, this may lead to having symptoms of the particular neurotransmitters remaining longer in the system. 

Like anything, having too much of a good thing can be okay for a while but can soon swing the other way. You may be confident with energy, but then maybe workaholic, or have trouble with winding down and relaxing. 

Having too much of the activity of COMT enzyme will mean that the process works faster, clearing the adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine, then causing a lovely sense of calmness, being good-tempered, with no problems with sleep, and responding well to stress.  However, it may also show as having difficulty completing tasks, forgetfulness, low focus, lack of confidence.  There also are issues with peri and menopause due to low hormones as they are being cleared quickly.

There is another important gene and enzyme called MAO, MonoAmine Oxidase. 

This breaks down your Serotonin, which is your sleep hormone, Dopamine, reward hormone, and Adrenaline and Noradrenaline hormones.

If you have a fast MAO, it means that the enzyme is working faster, and it breaks down Serotonin quicker. Adequate Serotonin helps us feel happy, optimistic, and self-confident.  When we process this neuro-transmitter faster, we can have low self-esteem, little faith in ourselves, and can be depressed.

If you find yourself reaching for carbs to help you feel better, you may be self-medicating to lift your mood.  But what happens then of course on a physical level, is that you tend to abuse high sugar content foods and that comfort eating increases your insulin and sugar levels over time.

Serotonin then goes on to make Melatonin so if you have poor serotonin levels you will also have trouble with sleep.  Some people have a habit of having a snack before bed or even get up in the middle of the night to have something to eat because it helps them sleep.

Instead of replacing it with a Melatonin supplement, the best thing to do is to eat sensible amounts of protein during the day that will supply the necessary amino acids to make and stabilise your melatonin and serotonin.

Tryptophan is an essential protein nutrient for these to be made and when I say essential, it means that you have to eat it, to get it.  It is not something that the body can make.  So, you need to ensure you are eating good food sources of it like:

Chicken and Turkey, Beef, Pork, Tofu, Salmon, Soy Bean, Milk, Pumpkin Seeds, Oats, and Eggs are the highest-ranked sources.

The interesting thing is that you need niacin, (Vitamin B3) in the pathway for Glucose (sugar) metabolism and that if you are not getting your requirement of B3 through the diet, Tryptophan can also make B3 as a backup.

This MAO enzyme also is responsible for processing your Dopamine neurotransmitter, which gives you feelings of satisfaction, achievement, and feelings of euphoria after an adrenaline hit AND it is responsible for processing your Adrenaline and Noradrenaline which are used in your flight or fight situation and long-term stress along with COMT.

A slow MAO could see you having difficulties falling asleep, headaches, mood swings, have anxiety that lasts a while, and experience rage or be aggressive, and have trouble relaxing because you can’t get rid of the adrenaline and dopamine fast enough.

If you have a fast MAO then you may have some sort of addition, experience ADHD, have carb and sugar cravings, depression, fatigue, difficulty staying asleep, and feel flat because you are not keeping your dopamine and adrenaline

So, that’s a lot to take in, do you resonate with any of it?

The great thing is, these genes are able to be managed, and it comes down to balance and common sense. 

A good nutritional daily consumption of proteins and carbohydrates in the way of fresh and varied vegetables, and some fruits is ideal for balancing out these crazy enzymes as a great place to start.

If you’d like to know more, you are welcome to join my free membership on facebook. Thyroid, Metabolic, Hormone Harmony Hub. 

 

I’d love to see you there

 

Inspiring Wellness

 

Beth 

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