Monday, December 9, 2013

Stiff-Person Syndrome Part 4 of 5

“How could running help people with SPS feel better?” is a common question. Your brain contains a sophisticated, internal pharmacy. Physical exercise triggers the brain’s own personal pharmacy to release a number of endogenous or internal chemicals that flood the brain and spinal cord. Endorphins, natural brain-body opiates, are more powerful than human-made exogenous (outside the body) substances. Adrenalin may be released by the challenge and exhilaration of running, which not only provides a boost of energy but also triggers the release of dopamine, the “feel-better” brain chemical. Other brain chemicals such as serotonin may be released as well. In combination, this cocktail of natural brain-body “medications” helps the individual feel better. Diagnosed with Stiff-Person Syndrome in 2007, this is what Shane James does when he runs. And yes, it helps him feel better. You, too, have your own internal pharmacy. Think of yourself as the pharmacist who releases drugs and other chemicals for use in your brain and body. You “release” these based on your lifestyle, behaviors, mindset, thoughts, and a whole host of other factors such as what you eat and drink and how much you sleep. . .

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