You Can Fix Your Brain Book Summary - You Can Fix Your Brain Book explained in key points
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You Can Fix Your Brain summary

Dr. Tom O'Bryan

Just 1 Hour a Week to the Best Memory, Productivity, and Sleep You've Ever Had

(5 ratings)
19 mins

What is You Can Fix Your Brain about?

You Can Fix Your Brain (2018) is a step-by-step guide to improving cognitive function and overall brain health. Through dietary choices, environmental adjustments, and other health practices, you can reduce brain fog, enhance your memory, and increase your mental clarity.

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    You Can Fix Your Brain
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    Key idea 1 of 4

    Immunity, inflammation, and the brain

    What do dementia, depression, anxiety, and memory loss have in common? They’re all caused by runaway processes of inflammation and autoimmunity. Not only that, they can all be treated by finding and eliminating the underlying triggers. Let’s look at how this process works.

    The function of the immune system is, of course, to protect your body from foreign substances – harmful intruders impinging on your body. A well-functioning immune system can distinguish between your body's own cells and external threats, ensuring that only genuine dangers are targeted.

    But what happens when this system malfunctions? Autoimmunity is a condition in which the immune system mistakes your healthy cells as invaders and launches an attack against them.

    This leads to inflammation within the relevant cells and tissues and can even cause your immune system to destroy these cells if it believes they’re damaged.

    So where does all this begin? Often it starts because of the presence of foreign substances, environmental toxins, or foods to which either you have an individual sensitivity or which are simply unhealthy, in general.

    Unfortunately, the modern world exposes your body to many such slings and arrows. These insults can leave your immune system chronically triggered – constantly overactive. Brain symptoms like brain fog, memory issues, and even anxiety and depression, indicate that inflammation is happening in the brain, impeding its proper function.

    So how do these substances get into your brain in the first place? Let’s zoom out to the rest of your body. First, your gut. Your intestinal system has evolved to do a difficult and sensitive job – allowing you to absorb all of the nutrients that your body needs to keep running while blocking out what’s harmful or not needed.

    Your intestines have a semi-permeable mucous lining which acts as this filter. But in some people, the mucous lining becomes damaged and over-permeable, known as leaky-gut syndrome. A leaky gut lets through substances that it shouldn’t, like bacteria and toxins.

    But your body has another protective mechanism in place to protect the brain – the blood-brain barrier. Just like the intestinal lining, your blood-brain barrier is a kind of filter, allowing only those substances which are supposed to get across to enter – straining what gets through, like an ultra-fine cheesecloth. Your brain is sensitive and important, so this filter is even finer and more selective than the one in your gut, operating at the molecular level and blocking whatever’s not needed.

    But this filter, too, can become compromised – in what is referred to as a breach of the blood-brain barrier. Once that happens, the foreign substance is free to enter into your brain tissue. Your body then begins to initiate the immune response we discussed earlier. Brain tissue becomes inflamed and begins to lose function, resulting in slowly-worsening symptoms as the tissue becomes progressively damaged.

    For many people, the idea of damage to the brain is an especially scary prospect. One reason is the sense that this damage is truly permanent. Scientists used to believe that we had a fixed number of brain cells and once they were gone, they were gone forever. While your brain cells certainly are precious and merit your careful protection, newer science has shown that it’s possible for brain cells to regenerate. This gives some hope that it’s possible to restore brain function that’s been compromised – to heal the brain.

    But before we can, we need to address the underlying problems which resulted in damage. We have to eliminate leaky gut, restore the blood-brain barrier, and ultimately, eliminate the offending toxins that caused the problem in the first place.

    So how do we know if these dangerous autoimmune processes are present? We’ll cover that in the next section.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Tom O’Bryan is a writer, speaker, and practitioner specializing in gluten-related disorders. He’s practiced functional medicine for over 30 years and serves as adjunct professor at the Institute for Functional Medicine. He’s also the author of The Autoimmune Fix.

    Who should read You Can Fix Your Brain?

    • People who are experiencing brain fog or are having trouble concentrating
    • Those who wish to reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia
    • Anyone who wants to feel sharper and improve their mental function

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