The UltraMind Solution: Fix Your Broken Brain by Healing Your Body First

Overview

A hidden epidemic races around the globe — we can't see it or touch it, which makes it so dangerous.

The invisible epidemic has led to the suffering of millions who spend billions on drugs, only to find they don't work.

This is an epidemic of broken brains.

"Broken brains" go by many names — depression, anxiety, memory loss, brain fog, attention deficit disorder, autism, and dementia, to name a few — and show ...

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Overview

A hidden epidemic races around the globe — we can't see it or touch it, which makes it so dangerous.

The invisible epidemic has led to the suffering of millions who spend billions on drugs, only to find they don't work.

This is an epidemic of broken brains.

"Broken brains" go by many names — depression, anxiety, memory loss, brain fog, attention deficit disorder, autism, and dementia, to name a few — and show up in radically different ways from person to person, making each seem like a separate problem.

But the truth is that these "diagnoses" are all the result of a few basic problems with our biology. Pinpoint these biological problems, fix them, and let your body's natural healing intelligence take over to repair your brain. Now you can experience an UltraMind — one that is highly focused and able to pay attention at will, with a strong, reliable memory and a mood that is calm, confident, in control, and in good spirits.

We have all heard of the mind-body connection or how our thoughts affect the health of our body. But the reverse is far more powerful: what you do to your body, your basic biology, has a profound effect on your brain.

Have you ever experienced instant clarity after exercise? Alertness after drinking coffee? A mental crash after popping candy? Does your brain inexplicably slow down during stress, while multitasking, or when meeting a deadline? Each is an example of how what we do to our bodies — whether through nutrition, sleep, exercise, or stress — has a dramatic effect on our brains.

Conventional treatments don't help, or provide only slight benefit, because they just manage symptoms rather than deal with — and heal — the underlying problem. And just as brain problems all stem from the same root causes, they all have the same solution — The UltraMind Solution.

Our ancient genes interact with our environment to create systemic imbalances that affect our brains. Correct those imbalances — most caused by nutritional deficiencies, allergens, infections, toxins, and stress — and you can achieve optimum mental health without drugs or psychotherapy.

The UltraMind Solution is the future of medicine, the culmination of the last twenty years of research on what makes the brain happy, focused, and calm; research that has uncovered a few simple factors that explain why things go wrong and how to fix them.

Don't wait for this revolution in medicine to trickle into your doctor's office: it usually takes research twenty years to move from the lab to the patient. The answers are here, right now, in The UltraMind Solution.

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  • Mark Hyman, M.D.
    Mark Hyman, M.D.  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
You or your doctor might call it "depression," "memory loss," "brain fog," "anxiety," "attention deficit disorder," or even "autism" or "dementia." Author Mark Hyman, a physician himself, calls it an epidemic of broken brains. While other MDs prescribe drugs, Dr. Hyman urges patients to correct the real imbalances that are responsible for these maladies: nutritional deficiencies, allergens, infections, toxins, and stress. The UltraMind Solution pinpoints individual biological problems and offers practical instructions to fix them.
From the Publisher
"Dr. Hyman's brilliant new book shows us that the emotional resilience and mental clarity we all seek is within our grasp. You too can unleash the body's hidden ability to dramatically improve mood, memory, and thinking speed." — Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., author of YOU: The Owner's Manual

"The UltraMind Solution is an amazing book that will help you today. It is packed with practical information to help you heal your body and enhance your brain." — Daniel G. Amen, M.D., author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Life

"For the past thirty years, I've studied how comprehensive lifestyle change can prevent and reverse many chronic illnesses. Now, Dr. Hyman shows how to prevent and often reverse mood and brain disorders by addressing their underlying causes. Highly recommended." — Dean Ornish, M.D., clinical professor of medicine, University of California, San Francisco, and author of Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease and The Spectrum

"If you suffer from anxiety, depression, memory loss, or attention problems, the help you need is right here — in UltraMind. Mark Hyman's approach is right on the mark." — Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of The Wisdom of Menopause

Publishers Weekly

From his own account, stress and mercury poisoning transformed Lenox, Mass., physician Hyman (UltraMetabolism) from a physical and mental titan to a depressed, anxious chronic fatigue sufferer. His journey to health included visits to a TCM practitioner and a Hawaiian naturopath. Here he cites the main culprits of his and other serious, now epidemic, conditions (mood disorders, Alzheimer's disease, ADHD, autism, etc.): 21st-century lifestyles, dangerous environmental toxins and genetic liabilities. Hyman contends that psychiatrists and neurologists prescribe cognitive therapy and medication, but do not address the physical damage causing brain dysfunction. His program to balance seven key body systems consists of a gluten- and dairy-free diet; 30 minutes of daily walking and morning and evening self-care rituals. Quizzes help readers determine their weaknesses and whether to follow the basic plan, optimize it or seek medical intervention. Hyman thoroughly explains each body system; the impact of poor diet, stress and environment; the best foods and supplements; and ways to detoxify and activate the body's own healing mechanisms. An online companion guide offers additional advice (for example, a more vigorous physical training regime, brain exercises and ways to ease detoxification side effects and constipation), as well as allergy-free recipes. (Jan.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

According to Hyman (UltraMetabolism), ADD, depression, and autism, among other disorders, are the body's response to poor nutrition, lack of nutrients, and exposure to toxins, and here he promotes his holistic "seven keys" approach to restoring health. Hyman's narration is animated and engaging; however, the numerous charts, graphs, and lists appearing in the print edition are omitted here. Consider current interest in this topic and the popularity of similar titles, and purchase where demand warrants. [The Scribner hc, a New York Times best seller, was recommended as a "discretionary purchase for larger consumer health collections," LJ11/1/08; more info at www.ultrawellness.com.-Ed.]
—Risa Getman

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416549710
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 12/30/2008
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Hyman, M.D., is the editor in chief of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, the most prestigious journal in the field of integrative medicine. After ten years as co-medical director at Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires, he is now in private practice in Lenox, Massachusetts. He is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Ultraprevention. His websites are www.drhyman.com and www.ultrametabolism.com.

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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

BROKEN BRAINS

A Twenty-first Century Epidemic

Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.

— ALBERT VON SZENT-GYÖRGYI NAGYRAPOLT, 1937 Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine, the scientist who isolated vitamin C

Your brain is broken. You know it. You feel it. You hide it. You fear it. You have been touched by an epidemic. It deprives children of their future, the elderly of their past, and adults of their present.

No one is talking about this invisible epidemic. Yet it's the leading cause of disability, affects 1.1 billion people worldwide — one in six children, one in two elderly — and will cripple one in four people during their lifetime.

I am talking about the epidemic of broken brains.

We refer to our "broken brains" by many names — depression, anxiety, memory loss, brain fog, attention deficit disorder or ADD, autism, and dementia to name a few.

This epidemic of brain breakdown shows up in radically different ways from person to person so that they all seem like separate problems. But the truth is that they are all manifestations of a few common underlying root causes.

These seemingly different disorders are all really the same problem — imbalances in the seven keys to UltraWellness.

Conventional treatments don't help, make things worse, or provide only slight benefit.

That's because conventional treatments use the wrong model to heal these disorders.

There is another way to fix your broken brain, and it is not what you have heard or might think.

Just as brain problems all stem from the same root causes, they all have the same solution — The UltraMind Solution.

I know this as both doctor and patient. My own brain broke one beautiful late August day in 1996. I became disoriented and terrified and descended into a spiral of helplessness and hopelessness.

Let me tell you my story.

My Broken Brain

Learning, thinking, and speaking were always easy for me. My brain never failed me. In college, I learned thousands of Chinese characters. In medical school, the intricate patterns and names of our anatomy — the bones, muscles, organs, vessels, and nerves — mapped effortlessly into my mind, and the complex pathways of physiology and biochemistry were clear after one lecture and reading my notes.

I ran four miles every day to medical school. I took detailed notes in my classes, able to simultaneously listen to, remember, and write down nearly every word my professors spoke.

At the end of the day I ran back again to my apartment, did yoga for an hour, ate a freshly prepared whole-foods meal, and studied without distraction or loss of focus for three hours every night. Then I crawled into bed, fell peacefully asleep within five minutes, and slept deeply for seven hours.

The next day I got up and did it all over again.

That rhythmic life broke down, as it does for all physicians in training, when I entered the hospital and started pushing my body and mind beyond their limits with regular thirty-six-hour shifts on top of an occasional sixty-hour shift (Friday morning to Monday evening!).

When I went to practice as a small-town family doctor in Idaho, I worked a shortened schedule of only eighty hours a week, seeing thirty patients a day, delivering babies, and working in the emergency room.

From Idaho, I went to work in China for a year, breathing in the coal-soaked, mercury-laden air, before I landed back in Massachusetts, working a crazy schedule of shifts in an inner-city emergency room.

Then suddenly (or so it appeared at the time), my brain broke — along the with rest of my body.

Sitting with patients, I often couldn't remember what they had just said, or where I was in eliciting their story. I tried to take careful notes and keep track, but I couldn't focus on conversations, couldn't remember anyone's name. I started taking pictures and writing down personal details about my patients to serve as my peripheral memory so I wouldn't embarrass myself the next time I spoke to them.

During lectures I had to give as part of my job, I would get lost in the middle of a sentence and had to ask the audience what I had just said. When I read a book, I had to go over passages again and again just to glean any meaning. At night, I read my children bedtime stories but had to robotically mouth the words, because I couldn't simultaneously read aloud and understand what I read.

Sleep eluded me. Exhausted and bone weary, I would lie down in bed at night and remain sleepless for hours. After finally drifting off, I would wake the next morning feeling as if I had never slept.

Depression and anxiety, which I had never known before, became constant companions.

At times I felt I couldn't go on any longer. My capacity for pleasure and laughter faded into a distant memory.

The worse my body felt, the worse my brain functioned. If my stomach was bloated and swollen and I had diarrhea, I couldn't think or sleep. If my tongue was inflamed or my eyes swollen and red, I became depressed. If my muscles ached and twitched, I couldn't focus. If I felt bone-weary fatigue, I would forget what I was saying or why I had just walked into a room.

Some doctors said I was depressed and recommended antidepressants. Psychiatrists suggested antianxiety drugs. My family doctor prescribed sleeping medication. A neurologist told me I had ADD and I needed stimulants. Others said I had chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. All I knew was that my brain was broken, my focus gone, my mood depressed, my memory fleeting, and my body wasn't working.

All at once, I couldn't pay attention, remember, or experience joy and happiness. It was as if I had suddenly "contracted" three terrible diseases — attention deficit disorder, depression, and dementia. How could my brain have failed me? The part of me that was strongest suddenly became my weakest link. What had happened?

What I experienced was extreme and I hid it from the rest of the world, except for a very few close friends. I faked it and pulled myself through each day.

But after that summer day in August when my brain broke, weary and fighting brain fog, I began searching for answers.

Piece by piece, cell by cell, body system by body system, I discovered the source of my broken brain. By combing through the literature, consulting with dozens of scientists and doctors, and experimenting with my body and mind, I slowly put myself back together.

It wasn't one thing that broke my brain. It was everything piled higher and higher until my brain and body couldn't take anymore. It seemed sudden but was the end of a long series of exposures to toxins, stress, and a strange infection.

The trail led back to mercury poisoning from living in Beijing, China, breathing in raw coal used to heat homes for 10 million people, eating endless childhood tuna-fish sandwiches, and having a mouthful of "silver" or mercury fillings. I was also missing a key gene needed to detoxify all this mercury, which compounded the problem. I found out about this later through careful testing.

Years of sleepless nights delivering babies and working in the emergency room

destroyed my body's rhythms, which I tried to bolster with quadruple espressos, giant-size chocolate chip cookies, and mountains of Chunky Monkey ice cream (I reasoned that was healthy because of the bananas and walnuts!).

Then one late summer day in 1996 I ate or drank something up in a wilderness camp in Maine that infected my gut. That was the straw that broke the camel's back.

This book is the story of my healing. It is also the story of the discoveries I made that hold the answer to our current epidemic of broken brains. It offers a solution to your suffering just as it did to mine.

How many of you feel what I felt, at least to some degree?

• Maybe you fear losing your job because you're tired, unfocused, inattentive, and your memory is failing so you can't properly perform your tasks at work.

• Do you feel depressed, hopeless, disconnected, and disengaged from your life?

• Do you see your relationships breaking down because you are mentally and emotionally absent or numb?

• Perhaps you struggle to focus so you can help your children with their homework and guide them through life, but feel sure you aren't living up to your duties as a parent.

• Do you lie awake at night, tormented by the grief and pain of living half a life, and then worry about how you will find a way to wake up early in the morning just so you can get your kids to school?

• Do you forget to meet friends or go to appointments, and then can't figure out how in the world you forgot?

If so, you aren't alone. You have been affected by the broken brain epidemic, a terrifying and life-threatening chronic illness that has been largely unaddressed by the medical community, leaving millions of people to suffer alone, trapped in their deteriorating minds.

Our Looming Silent Epidemic of Broken Brains

Obesity is obvious. You can't hide it. But mental illness and memory loss are suffered silently, hidden from view. Yet they touch nearly everyone either directly or indirectly; personally or through family members and friends.

Our broken brains cause many problems — anxiety, depression, bipolar disease, personality disorders, eating disorders, addictions, obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit disorder, autism, Asperger's, learning difficulties, and dyslexia.

Broken brains take many shapes, including psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and mania, as well as all the neurodegenerative diseases of aging, especially Alzheimer's, dementia, and Parkinson's disease.

In addition, there are brain dysfunctions that fall on the lighter side of

the broken brain continuum. While many psychiatrists and neurologists wouldn't qualify these problems as treatable diseases, they still cause unnecessary suffering for many. These include chronic stress, lack of focus, poor concentration, brain fog, anger, mood swings, sleep problems, or just feeling a bit anxious or depressed most of the time.

Broken brains show up in two major ways: psychiatric disorders — problems that most blame on emotional trauma — and neurological disorders — problems most consider to be caused by neurological impairment, not emotional malfunctioning.

Whether you suffer from a psychiatric disorder like depression or a neurological disorder like Alzheimer's, the simple fact is this...

Our brains don't work well.

We suffer from bouts of depression that darken our days and make our lives feel empty and meaningless. We have irrational fears that torment us day in and day out. We live under the constant pressure of stress that never seems to cease. We lose our grip on reality. We can't focus at work. We can't remember what we are taught in school. And our memories just get worse and worse every day.

Because they are so pervasive, broken brains are one of the primary issues keeping many in today's society from being optimally healthy and feeling vitally alive — an experience I call UltraWellness, which is something you are going to learn how to achieve in this book.

If you think this isn't a serious problem or it only affects a few people, think again.

• Psychiatric disorders affect 26 percent of our adult population or more than 60 million Americans.

• More than 20 percent of children have some type of psychiatric disorder.

• More than 40 million people have anxiety.

• More than 20 million people have depression.

• One in ten Americans takes an antidepressant.

• The use of antidepressants has tripled in the last decade.

• In 2006, expenditures on antidepressants soared to over $1.9 billion.

• Psychiatric disorders like depression and anxiety are expensive. They are among the top five most costly medical conditions, including heart disease, cancer, trauma, and lung disorders. The cost to our health-care system exceeds $200 billion a year, which is over 12 percent of total health-care spending.

• Alzheimer's disease will affect 30 percent (and some experts say 50 percent) of people over eighty-five years old, which is the fastest-growing segment of the population. It will affect 16 million people by 2050.

• Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a label we now give 8.7 percent of children between the ages of eight and fifteen.

• More than 8 million, or one in ten, children now take stimulant medications like methylphenidate (Ritalin).

• Autism rates have increased from 3 in 10,000 children to 1 in 166 children — an elevenfold increase — over the last decade.

• Learning disabilities affect between 5 and 10 percent of school-age children.

• The indirect costs of all these broken brains to society are mammoth. They include loss of productivity at school, home, or in the workplace, accounting for a loss of over $80 billion a year.

There is something wrong with this picture. Nearly one in three of us suffers from a broken brain. Is this a normal part of the human condition?

No. It isn't.

The problem is that we've been looking for answers to these problems in the wrong places — in the corners of our past, in the chemical "imbalances" in our brains, in the latest drug or therapeutic approach.

This is especially true of psychiatry and neurology, the two specialties that typically treat "brain disorders."

Neurologists and psychiatrists focus on treating your brain using medications or psychotherapy. In fact, most psychiatrists and neurologists focus solely on their favorite organ, the brain, and ignore the rest of the body.

But what if the cure for brain disorders is outside the brain? What if mood, memory, attention and behavior problems, and most other "brain diseases" have their root cause in the rest of the body — in treatable imbalances in the body's key systems? What if they are not localized in the brain? If this is true, it would mean our whole approach to dealing with brain disorders is completely backward.

Indeed, it is.

Why Traditional Neurology and Psychiatry Typically Don't Work

Psychiatry has its roots in the notion that previous life experiences or traumas control mood and behavior. This is the legacy of Sigmund Freud — that all mental illness is the result of childhood experiences.

Yet only about 10 percent of us are nutritionally, metabolically, and biochemically balanced enough to fully benefit from psychotherapy.

What's more, years of psychoanalysis or therapy will not reverse the depression that comes from profound omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies, a lack of vitamin B12, a low-functioning thyroid, or chronic mercury toxicity.

Certainly, if the body is back in balance, working with the emotional and spiritual dimensions of our suffering is critical and necessary. But it is a very hard road to follow without addressing how our genes, diet, and environment interact to change our brain chemistry and detract from the optimal function and balance of our body and mind.

If you have a significant biological imbalance, psychotherapy is a distraction and a waste of time.

And many of us suffer from biological imbalances...

Sensing this, modern psychiatry has moved into an elaborate attempt to control brain chemistry with drugs, as if all mental illness were a brain chemistry imbalance and all we have to do is match the right drug (or drugs) to the mental illness.

Is Depression a Prozac Deficiency?

Is this the answer to our epidemic of broken brains — more and better medication? Do we really need more antidepressants, stimulants, antipsychotics, and memory medications?

Are we defectively designed so that we cannot be happy, or concentrate or remember things, without pills? Is depression a Prozac deficiency? Is ADHD a Ritalin deficiency? Is Alzheimer's an Aricept deficiency?

I think not.

Yet the use of these drugs is skyrocketing. Psychiatric or psychotropic medications are the number-two selling class of prescription drugs, after cholesterol medication. And the rate of increase in the use of psychiatric medications in the last decade is meteoric (such as a 1,000 percent increase in the use of stimulant medication in children).

If treatments like these were completely effective and free of side effects, I would welcome them to provide relief from suffering for millions. But they do not work well (or at all) for many.

Let's take the example of antidepressants.

Most patients who take antidepressants either don't respond or have only a partial response. In fact, success is considered a 50 percent improvement in half the symptoms. And this minimal result is achieved in less than half the patients taking these medications.

That's a pretty dismal record. It's made worse by the fact that 86 percent of those who do find some relief from their symptoms have one or more side effects, including sexual dysfunction, fatigue, insomnia, loss of mental abilities, nausea, and weight gain!

No wonder half of the people who try antidepressants quit after four months.

A recent study in The New England Journal of Medicine discovered that drug companies selectively published studies on antidepressants. They published nearly all the studies that showed benefit and almost none of the studies that showed they don't work.

This kind of underreporting warps our view, leading us to think that antidepressants (and other psychiatric medications) do work when they don't. This hiding of the real and complete data on antidepressants has fueled the tremendous growth we have seen in psychiatric medications.

The problem is actually worse than it sounds because the positive studies hardly show benefit in the first place. In double-blind studies of antidepressants (where people are given either the medication or a sugar pill) 40 percent of people taking a sugar pill got better, while only 60 percent taking the actual drug had improvement in their symptoms. Looking at it another way — 80 percent of people get better with just a sugar pill.

I'll admit, the approach is half right. Chemical imbalances lead to problems. But the real question that manipulating brain chemicals with drugs begs is never asked...

Why are those chemicals out of balance in the first place and how do we get them back to their natural state of balance?

These drugs don't cure the problem. They cover over the symptoms.

To cure the epidemic of broken brains we have to ask a new set of questions:

• How do we find the cause of this epidemic?

• Are we defectively designed, or is it our toxic environment, our nutrient-depleted diet, and our unremitting stress affecting our sensitive brains? Is it the result of imbalances in our body?

• Are more drugs really the answer, or is there a way to address the underlying causes of this epidemic so that we can regain our mental (and physical) health and live whole, functional, fulfilling lives?

There is an answer to brain problems, but it's not more drugs or psychotherapy. Although these tools can be a helpful bridge during your recovery from a broken brain, they won't provide long-term solutions.

The secret that promises to help us fix our broken brains lies in an unlikely place, a place modern medicine has mostly ignored.

The answer lies in our body.

Copyright © 2009 by Hyman Enterprises, LLC

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Table of Contents

Introduction to The UltraMind Solution

Preface

Introduction: How to Use This Book

Part I: The Accidental Psychiatrist's Approach to the Epidemic of Broken Brains

Chapter 1: Broken Brains: A Twenty-first Century Epidemic

Chapter 2: The Accidental Psychiatrist: Finding the Body-Mind Connection

Chapter 3: The Myths of Psychiatry and Neurology

Chapter 4: Why You Are Suffering from Brain Damage: Learning How to Protect Your Brain

Part II: The Seven Keys to UltraWellness

Chapter 5: Your Mood and Brain Power Are Not All in Your Head: The Seven Keys to UltraWellness

Chapter 6: Key #1: Optimize Nutrition — The Key to Mental Health and Brain Health

Chapter 7: Key #2: Balance Your Hormones

Chapter 8: Key #3: Cool Off Inflammation

Chapter 9: Key #4: Fix Your Digestion

Chapter 10: Key #5: Enhance Detoxification

Chapter 11: Key #6: Boost Energy Metabolism

Chapter 12: Key #7: Calm Your Mind

Part III: The UltraMind Solution

Chapter 13: The Six-Week Basic Brain-Boosting Program for Everyone: A Simple Approach to Optimal Brain Function and Health

Chapter 14: Eating Right for Your Brain: A Science-Based, Whole-Foods Approach to Eating — Food as Medicine

Chapter 15: Tuning Up Your Brain Chemistry with Supplements

Chapter 16: The UltraMind Lifestyle: Exercise, Relax, Sleep, and Train Your Brain

Chapter 17: Living Clean and Green

Chapter 18: The Preparation Week: Preparing Your Body and Mind for the Goodness to Come

Chapter 19: The UltraMind Solution: Boosting Your Brain Power for Life

Chapter 20: What to Do When the Six Weeks Are Over: Achieve an UltraMind for Life

Part IV: Balancing the Seven Keys and Optimizing the Plan

Chapter 21: Creating an UltraMind: Balance the Seven Keys to UltraWellness and Optimize the Six-Week Plan

Chapter 22: Key #1: Optimize Nutrition

Chapter 23: Key #2: Balance Your Hormones

Chapter 24: Key #3: Cool Off Inflammation

Chapter 25: Key #4: Fix Your Digestion

Chapter 26: Key #5: Enhance Detoxification

Chapter 27: Key #6: Boost Energy Metabolism

Chapter 28: Key #7: Calm Your Mind

Special Considerations

Conclusion

Acknowledgments

Resources

Notes

Index

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  • Posted January 7, 2009

    This book will change your life--give it a try!!!

    I was a bit skeptical that simply changing what I ate and making a few other lifestyle modifications could really make me feel better, but I was at the point that I would try ANYTHING! I definitely recommend this book to anyone who feels they are living in a "brain fog" as I was!<BR/><BR/>I am a physician who works in a fast-paced emergency department. I was always in the top of my class, from valedictorian of high school to one of 12 in a college class of 1200 with a 4.0 GPA! Throughout medical school, I felt the ease at which I learned lagging behind others. During residency and into practice, I noticed that I gradually became less motivated to do anything other than get up and go to work--just early enough to shower and change-then come back home, go to sleep, and wake up and do the same thing the next day. I had little motivation to exercise as I had in the past (1 hour cardio daily through my 2nd year of med school) or do any other activities I once enjoyed. I noticed both short- and long-term memory problems. I stuttered when I tried to explain results and plans of care to patients, and they looked at me like I was the one who needed to be in the hospital bed, not them! I felt stressed with every shift, could not finish my notes in a timely manner, could not organize my thoughts, and had difficulty making decisions. At home I was chronically tired, apathetic, bordering clinical depression. I had dry skin, chronic itching skin after showering, and my hair fell out in large quantities each time I showered or brushed it. I was not happy; in fact, I was miserable and felt like my life was falling apart around me.<BR/><BR/>After just one week on this plan, my husband commented that my skin looked better; after 2 weeks my mom said the same thing! I slowly began to realize I no longer stuttered at work and I was rarely, if ever, stressed, no matter how busy we were. My memory has improved as well, and I am able to handle more patients at work and not forget what I am doing. I became more motivated to do things around the home and outside of work in general. And, although I am not heavy, I lost 6 pounds after just 4 weeks on the plan, something I have not been able to do on any diet plan--and I wasn't even trying to lose weight!<BR/><BR/>Initially after reading the dietary guidelines, I thought, "What am I going to eat?" as my diet before consisted of ice cream, chocolate, bread, yogurt, plenty of artificial sweetener, and an occasional fruit or vegetable. My husband and I went to numerous local health food stores and found one I was particularly fond of. Whenever I ran out of ideas for what to eat, I went to that store and found plenty of things to eat! My husband initially was VERY skeptical about this whole thing, but as he read about organic foods and the dangers of conventional meats, he encouraged me even more.<BR/><BR/>I began this plan over the holidays, which I anticipated would be difficult, but after letting my family know and telling them I would bring my own food, my mother questioned what I could eat and made special food just for me. Of course, everyone else wanted to eat it too but she wouldn't let them! It eventually became a big joke, and my family teased me about not being able to eat the homemade bread or desserts they were eating, but I really didn't care because I felt so much better.<BR/><BR/>This book is a must read for anyone looking for some amazing changes to their body and mind!

    18 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 7, 2009

    Progress towards the UltraMind!

    [[ASIN:1416549714 The UltraMind Solution: Fix Your Broken Brain by Healing Your Body First]]<BR/><BR/>I was fortunate to have been selected to participate in the beta test of the UltraMind Solution. I found the book easy to read and follow. Checklists and tests made it easy to determine what was best for me. I experienced positive changes despite the challenges of oral surgery, illness, ice storms with no electricity for a week, and acquiring a new job which meant a major move after 24 years in our home. I'm convinced my ability to deal effectively with all these challenges is directly related to the dietary changes I made as a result of following the UltraMind solution program. Normally I would have felt terribly overwhelmed but this time I was able to rise to each challenge and meet it comfortably. My mind is clearer than it's been for a long time. I've been able to catch up on work despite falling behind due to the surgery and subsequent illness. I never felt hungry or deprived. I usually gain weight over the winter holidays but this year I managed to lose 10 pounds without really trying, simply by making healthier food choices and exercising regularly. Now that life is settling down some I'm sure my mind will improve even more as I'm better able to focus on the program. It is a lifestyle, and a wonderful one at that!

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    What might you fix?

    Psychologists and psychiatrists know that your mental state is influenced by your body as well as your mind. There are many treatments beyond psychotropic (mind-active) drugs and therapy that are helpful components in the treatment of depression, anxiety, ADD and what some people call a general "brain fog." Author Mark Hyman, a physician himself, calls it an epidemic of broken brains. While other MDs prescribe drugs, Dr. Hyman urges patients to correct the "real" imbalances that are responsible for these maladies: nutritional deficiencies, allergens, infections, toxins, and stress.<BR/><BR/>Hyman thoroughly explains each body system; the impact of poor diet, stress and environment; the best foods and supplements; and ways to detoxify and activate the body's own healing mechanisms. An online companion guide offers additional advice (for example, a more vigorous physical training regime, brain exercises and ways to ease detoxification side effects and constipation) that is pretty darn useful for those who are motivated to go the extra mile, as well as allergy-free recipes.<BR/><BR/>His program to balance seven key body systems won't appeal to everyone, as it consists of a gluten- and dairy-free diet, 30 minutes of daily walking and the rigorous application of morning and evening self-care rituals. Quizzes in the book help you determine your weaknesses and whether to follow the basic plan, optimize it or seek medical intervention.<BR/><BR/>Hyman contends that mental health practitioners do not address the physical damage causing brain dysfunction. While this statement is inaccurate and Hyman's remedies won't "cure" you of most diagnosable mental maladies, there is real value in learning about the things you CAN control. That is, understanding how your diet, allergens you are exposed to, how much and how you exercise, etc. influence your mental state is valuable information that most of us know far too little about. People will gravitate to this book because they hear that it will "cure" this and that. Even though the strategies in the book are unlikely to cure you of anything, they are useful to understand and apply in your life as many will alleviate real symptoms of real conditions.<BR/><BR/>Another book I strongly recommend because it has been very helpful to me in both understanding myself and managing my emotions is The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Wow. Made me think about a lot of things! Great Resource

    This is really interesting. Several key areas, a 6 week plan, information about supplements, food types, a lot of things I wanted to know about all in one well put together book. I am going to use the information in this book and it makes me feel like I have a good reference for a lot of things that I wasn't sure how to do (take probiotics...). This is a book to get for sure if you want to help your brain by improving your body. Really interesting.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    This book and program will heal your brain and change your life!

    The information in the book UltraMind Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman, backed by sound scientific evidence, is eye-opening. Everyone knows that sugar is ¿bad¿ for you, but I had no idea to what extent until I read the UltraMind Solution. Sugar has actually been implicated in the progression of Alzheimer¿s which is now being referred to as Type III diabetes. It was just as amazing to learn how the proper nutrition and supplements can help slow the progression of and even reverse symptoms associated with anything from ¿brain fog¿ to ADHD, Autism, and Parkinson¿s Disease. Dr. Hyman stresses that because each person is biochemically and genetically unique, that doctors need to treat the individual instead of the disease. This is the science of nutrigenomics that Dr. Hyman explains in detail in his book.<BR/>I have recently participated in the 6-week program outlined in UltraMind Solution. As difficult as it sounds: eating only organic whole foods, eliminating gluten, dairy and sugar for 6 weeks, I can personally report that it was not difficult in the least and no one is more surprised than myself. (I¿m a self-described sugar-addict). In fact, I had no cravings and absolutely no hunger while on the program. I think the hardest thing for me was taking the supplements. Everyone will have different supplement needs. I just happen to need quite a few. I suffered from chronic fatigue, sinus infections, irritability and low stamina to name just a few. But now, I have so much more energy. The fog has lifted. I¿m more alert and I feel better than I have in years. As a bonus, I¿ve even lost 10 pounds. For me, this is more than just a 6-week program. My husband and children will be adopting it as well. It has absolutely changed my life and I have no desire to go back to my old way of eating and living. It¿s the best gift I could ever give to myself and to my family. And (not to sound cliché) but if you give this program a chance, it could very possibly change your life too.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The UltraMind Solution

    I have found this book to be just in time for our changing view points on the issues of Health. I found this book to be an easy read for a novice in the areas of health and the human body; how it functions. from the brain to the bottom of your feet. The fact that what you put in your body is what you get out of your body. 'The UltraMind Soulution explains how what you do for your body, will effect your Brain, ( fit body-amazing brain)
    This is really common sense, the norm in the past has been to SEPARATE the brain from the rest of the body,eg. "He has a mental illness", this has been the norm for a shocking period of time. We do not separate the heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, or even toenails!
    Why on earth have we not realized that the brain is an organ, it needs proper nourishment or it WILL malfunction. These bodies of ours is an amazing complex system, each part is connected to the whole.
    Dr. Hyman has covered this beautifully in his book. To the reader, once you get the basics, you can cross reference anywhere to suit your needs. The insights are such a help and allow for comfort,support and references for simple concerns to major health and functional disorders.
    For those who are concerned about their environment ( which should be everyone), Dr. Hyman gives an indepth look at the toxins in our lives that some may not have even concidered.
    I really could go on further as i was very excited about all that i learned, and can only conclude the following, if you care about yourself or a loved one or starting a family PLEASE check this inovative Book. NFox

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Exceptional and Useful Guide

    This is one of those books that you need to keep next to you and refer to again and again. Not only is it exceptionally useful, it's written in a way that non-science readers will find interesting and straightforward. Like another highly recommended book, "Thinking Your Way to Better Health" by Dr. Andrew Goliszek, this one links mind and body, which is really the only way to treat illness effectively and stay healthy. Read both and you may never need a doctor again.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2009

    Exciting concept

    I'm very interested in health, nutrition, and longevity with vitality, so this book was fascinating to me. Although I'd read a lot already about nutrition, particularly, I'd never fully realized the impact that food, and food allergies have on the immune system. It was an eye-opener to realize that the immune system is in the gut, and that the wrong foods can lead to inflammation, which leads directly to disease.
    Having had several family members suffer with auto-immune disease, it was revealing to read about the link between gluten and those diseases. I particularly recommend this book to anybody suffering from celiac or other immune disorders, and to parents of children on the Autism spectrum. Dr. Hyman's evidence is solid, and worth a look.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2009

    Outstanding and Timely Essential Information-A Big Wake-Up Call for ALL!

    I not only read the book but had the extra incentive to actually follow the recommendations (as I was in the BETA test)--and I can say it really works! Like anything worth doing it needs to be done right to be working best for you--but it is so easy the way Dr Hyman explains everything so anyone can understand. He has layed it out simply--you have to "just do it" like Nike says! It is amazing how soon you can start to feel a difference---really guys--Dr Hyman;s info is priceless and will change your life! I have tons of energy now and my mind is very clear--no more fog! Just start--baby steps--but just start!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2009

    Makes sense to me

    My wife and I are 5 weeks into the initial 6 week program that the good doctor prescribes. Results are impressive. I've been able to get off of one daily prescription and cut another down by 50%. Energy level is up while stress level is down. Bad habits like lots of diet soda are history. It takes a lot of preparation to start the course, from finding the right vitamins and supplements to getting sources for the right foods to eat. We in America are so used to letting others decide what we eat that taking back our own diets is a challenge. Try finding hormone free beef in a gluten free roll with a pesticide free apple for a meal on the road.

    The best line in the book is that doctors need to start treating patients with lifestyle changes first, not another pill.

    If you or someone in your family has ongoing health issues that aren't being corrected properly by medication, or you are tired of being on medication, you owe it to yourself and your family to read this book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

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    My new health bible!

    As a traditionally trained RN who has lost faith and trust in the "traditional" medical paradigm this book is a great resource and overview of what i have been learning and coming to believe over the last 15 years. The power to heal and be healthy is our responsiblity not our doctors. The problem I have with most doctors is that they just try to find a diagnosis that fits so they can throw a drug at you or 2 or 3. They never ask why you are having these symptoms. After being on every known med for migraines in my 30's I was introduced to the concept of food allergies and supplementation. The freedom from debilitating weekly migraines was a miracle for me and my young family. Thus began my journey into nutrition and functional medicine. I became a certified nutritional consultant and i feel i do more for my patients now then I ever did as an ICU nurse when it was too late. The premise of this book is simple and the foundation of my practice and all integrative practitioners who use the functional medicine model in their practice. What do you need to remove in your body to be healthy (toxic metals-HUGE undiagnosed problem, lyme disease, food allergies, leaky gut, toxic foods ) and what do you need to add for your body to thrive. ( organic whole diet, exercise, detoxification heavy metals, remove food allergens etc. )
    I love when he says if you had a tack in your foot and you took pain meds to mask the symptoms at the end of the day you still have a tack in your foot. This book is not for you if you hand over your health to your doctor without asking but "why?" If you want to really find out how to be healthy check out this book and then find a doctor of naturopath or a MD trained in the concept of functional medicine to be on your health team, but you must never hand your health of yourself or your family to another person.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2009

    EASY TO GET HEALTHY

    This was easy to follow. I was able to follow the meal planning very well. I took the list of foods that were helpful for me to the store with me. I also added just ½ hour a day of walking and exercising into my schedule and it has made a difference. I have lost 14 pounds and did not count calories. I ate when I was hungry and ate very well. My brain seems more alive and I am able to concentrate better. I also seem to be able to discuss with others without going into a ¿senior moment¿.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    I CAN THINK CLEARLY AGAIN!!!

    I recently left an extremely stressful job. I was so overloaded that I was losing my memory. I had brain fog and often had what I called ¿stupid days¿ or ¿stupid weeks¿ where my brain just wouldn¿t function. Also, my mother has the genetic form of Alzheimer¿s. Since this affects women more, I needed to do what I could now to try to prevent it. Dr. Hyman gave me answers to the questions I had with this book. <BR/><BR/>Before I started the six-week program, I wasn¿t exercising and had gotten away from eating the way I should. I commute a long way to work, leaving the house very early. I put in a busy day, and then have a long drive home. By the time I get home, exercise and cooking a good meal have been far from anything I could or would do. Interval training is great because in a short period of time I can get the good metabolism-boosting exercise I need. I¿ve been able to find quick and easy recipes to fix that help me follow the program and that satisfy my husband, who is not on this program, plus I can eat at most restaurants without problem. After four weeks, I found I¿d lost 10 pounds! I feel better and more importantly, I think better! I have more energy and I get more refreshing sleep! <BR/><BR/>I¿ve read all of Dr. Hyman¿s books and wondered if this book might repeat information. It doesn¿t! If you have issues with brain fog and excess stress and need to do some things now to be healthier later, read this book, follow the program, and you¿ll find that you too can be renewed and revitalized!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Holidays Were Easy!

    By following the principles of the Ultra Mind Solution, the holidays were a pleasure this year. I was able to resist the high fat and sugar loaded goodies that confronted me everywhere I turned. My food cravings have vanished and I could easily say ¿no thanks¿ to the cookies, candy, and other Christmas delights. <BR/> Before Ultra Mind Solution, I was irritable, had constant sinus congestion, frequent heartburn, and craved carbohydrates and sweets. I was able to eat sensibly during the day but at night I ate nonstop from dinner until I went to bed. Healthy foods did not satisfy these cravings, only sugary carbohydrates. These cravings have disappeared and I continue to be amazed at how calm I am. <BR/> The Ultra Mind Solution has changed my life. I no longer suffer with a stuffy nose, I have more energy, and for the first time I no longer have food cravings. I have come to realize that food was making me sick and how much better I feel following the principles of Ultra Mind Solution. An added bonus is the weight is coming off without dieting. Thank you Dr. Hyman!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Pulls together many disciplines

    I've been reading everything I can find on quantum physics, healing methods, physiology, nutrition, mental illness/brain disorders, and the mind/body connection, even some ecology, for over a decade. This book comes along and pulls together the highlights necessary for optimal health. I've shared concepts from this book with some of my doctors who have been unsuccessful at correctly diagnosing or treating me. Most are too close-minded to even discuss it just because it's available to the general public, even though they see improvement in my lab tests. This is not a diet book though weight improves as a side effect. It is a healing lifestyle change for the whole person not just the brain.

    Most of the book is spent teaching sound background material. Dr Hyman discusses the mindset and flaws in the general medical profession's diagnostic procedures which don't go deep enough to find the real problems, treatment which masks symptoms and creates more problems rather that effecting healing, and the sound applicable science behind the different areas of change which need to be made. Throughout the book he references a website for further information which gives access to an even larger companion book and a 16 page synopsis available for printing and other helpful resources.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2009

    this book is awesome !

    I was diagnosed in 2005 with Fibromyalgia.I had a great doctor who helped me with the supplements, sleep and stress. however he never really went into great depth about the reasons i should do these things. during and after the reading of UltraMind everything made sense . it was explained nicely in the book. my doctor has moved overseas, but i can continue my recovery using the ultramind book as my guide. this is your life, and the effort and commitment you put into it, only 6 weeks, is yours for the taking!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Compelling, but overwhelming

    I'm sure the last thing Dr. Hyman expected was for readers to feel depressed after reading his book, but it left me with an overwhelming sense of sadness. So much of what he says makes complete sense: depression isn't a deficiency of Prozac, or, without giving our bodies proper building blocks they cannot function well. I found the checklists to be a great way to help understand where I need to initially focus my attention. Also, the explanations about supplements and why we need them were extremely helpful. But the reality for me was that by the time I got to the end... "The Solution," I had to sit back and acknowlege that I just don't have the time or inclination to manage such a huge leap.

    Our world is loaded with toxins, preservatives and processed ingredients. Try though I might to feed my family well I am constantly challenged due to the pace we are forced to maintain. To eliminate every packaged or frozen item in my home and try to shop and cook for six people almost brought me to tears. Heck, it's taken me almost four months just to eliminate HFCS from our home!

    My solution at this point is to keep reading all of the positive reviews out there and to know that it is indeed possible to rise to the challenge. Someday, I hope to be able to join those ranks. In the meantime, I have settled on ensuring that my family takes the supplements they need, constantly strive to buy fresh and local foods (prepared simply) and serve enough where no one misses the bread basket! While we are all active, I also purchased a treadmill for those days when exercising proves to be too difficult to manage -- there are no more excuses now, and I find that even the kids use it on rainy days.

    I am also looking into food sensitivity testing, and hope to determine a simpler way to find specific categories to avoid. Elimination diets make a lot of sense, but without being able to see if my kids "cheat" while away from the house, I am unwilling to expend such an effort. This fact saddened me. It shouldn't be difficult to do the right thing by your family. I'm willing to drive 25 minutes to an organic grocery store, I'm willing to take time to shop at our local Farmer's Markets, I read labels and cook or prepare almost all of my family's meals, but the idea of eliminating gluten, dairy, sugar, anything packaged (and on, and on) is daunting. Maybe after a couple of months of better supplementation my energy will increase and I'll be able to take it on, but I'm just not there yet.

    Kudos to those of you who feel so much better. I do believe it's the path we all need to take, and your example will help those of us who are overwhelmed at the prospect.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    Worth a Try

    Very interesting take on how to help some very debilitating illnesses. It's worth a try to see if it works.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Absolutely helpful

    Changing the way we eat in the American world we live in, is nearly impossible. Dr. Mark Hyman provides some excellent tools to asisst in this actual physical process, but also the education to help in the ongoing struggle. I really appreciate the supplemental materials and the ability to print off additional quizzes to share with others. I have written in this book and tagged multiple pages. It will be a book that I will continue to use.

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  • Posted August 6, 2009

    This book changed my life!

    I lost 17 pounds the first month, found then removed what was causing my brain fog, depression, & anxiety, feel amazing now, and am continuing to lose weight!

    In my case, when I cut out corn products (high fructose corn syrup = the ubiquitous devil!), wheat, and most sugar from my diet, I lost 7 pounds in the first week! That combined with exercise, supplements, & forcing myself to relax has really transformed my world!

    He uses a lot of technical jargon that could slow down and be a put off for most people, but is necessary to fully understand why you need to do what he suggests... which provides motivation for you to do it! Although, I have no idea how accurate his research is, he does provide an over abundance of citations for the curious.

    Don't buy the supplements on his site though! They are waaaaay overpriced. I found supplement options at my local co-op that was 1/5 the price and work very well.

    If you suffer from brain fog, anxiety, and/or depression, you should REALLY read this book! He also talks about how some of his methods have dramatic results with autistic and ADHD children. If you have a child with these diagnoses, you may find some help here where traditional medicine hasn't been able to help.

    His bit about gadgets that "attract" electromagnetic radiation, EMR, is technically incorrect [EVERYTHING with mass in the universe emits EMR and can absorb it, but nothing "attracts" EMR]. For the lay person, this doesn't matter; the message is still probably a good one... stop using your cell phone so much!

    All in all, this is one of the most helpful books that I have ever read!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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