About Dr. Sachin Patel
Dr. Patel is a functional medicine practitioner, motivation speaker, author and wellness practice consultant. In this episode, Dr. Patel shares his functional medicine, lifestyle, dietary, and motivational strategies to help his clients achieve greatness through balanced biochemistry and answering their higher calling. We discuss how sleep, nutrition, and blood sugar can affect motivation and neurochemistry.
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03:41 Dr. Patel’s Journey: We can have the most profound protocols, but if our patients do not follow our recommendations, they will “fail”. It is the biology that fails the patient that leads to the lack of compliance. Dr. Patel’s protocols include a neurotransmitter assessment. Improved brain chemistry results in better compliance and better success following protocols.
05:20 Goal Setting: Motivation is like bathing. You have to do it every day. If we don’t focus on and understand our end goal, we cannot attract it into our lives and allow our brain to reverse engineer to solve the problem for us. Rewarding yourself is important so you get a burst of dopamine. Dr. Patel helps patients to understand what the goal is, understand how to accomplish the goal and then works on their biology to compliment what that goal and strategy is. These principles apply to all aspects of life. Imbalances can affect our parenting skills, our mood, how we interact with our children, and other interactions that impact our quality of life.
08:02 Motivation to Serve Others: The goal always has to be bigger than you. Dr. Patel’s mission is to keep as many people out of his practice as possible, educating people to stay healthy.
10:06 Success: Your goals can be as big as you want them to be. We need to know what our goals are and what we are willing to give up or gain to achieve them. A big part of being successful is knowing when to say “no”. Your success is a result of what you do, as well as what you do not do.
13:05 Achieving Balance: You need to recognize that you are burning the candle at both ends. Delegate the work that you do not want to do to someone who loves to do it. Find your genius. You want to spend as much time in your genius as possible. The book The E Myth by Michael Gerber talks about the 3 personalities within us: the entrepreneur, manager/accountant and the technician. You need to determine which is your strongest and create a team around you to compliment you. Have guidelines for your team, which help with the learning curve and continuity.
16:58 Increasing and Supporting Motivation: Dopamine is our get-stuff-done neurotransmitter. It helps us to initiate physical movement. It helps us focus and multitask. We are designed to be distracted by our environment. It requires dopamine to switch from one task to another and dopamine can become depleted by this flitting. Signs of dopamine depletion includes an inability to become motivated, a lack of concern for family members, feeling worthless and hopeless, and craving chocolate is a sign of dopamine deficiency. PEA, a compound in chocolate, is modulates dopamine levels in the brain.
18:53 What We Need to Make Dopamine: Vitamin B6, iron, tyrosine, and/or phenylalanine. We also need good blood sugar regulation. Our body releases catecholamine to raise blood sugar, depleting dopamine. Chronic stress depletes dopamine. Dopamine turns into epinephrine and norepinephrine to help us handle stress. Our neurotransmitters replenish themselves during sleep, so a lack of quality sleep can deplete dopamine. Dopamine production is highest in the morning.
19:59 Supporting Dopamine: Good sleep patterns, seeing a clinician who gets it, reducing stress, focusing on the tasks that you love doing, focusing on your higher calling, making sure you have good nutrients, addressing nutrient deficiencies, and address subclinical anemia to support dopamine. Serotonin also requires iron. Oxygenation of the brain is important. The brain requires oxygen as a cofactor to make dopamine. We are shallow breathers most of the day. Dr. Patel encourages his patients to do breathing exercises.
21:08 Shiny Object Syndrome: It is part of our biology and part of our survival mechanism to be distracted. We are not meant to sit or to focus for prolonged periods. We should try to work congruently with our biological state.
22:40 Exercise: The simple act of walking increases blood flow and oxygenation in the brain. It also increases endorphins and other neurochemicals. Walking is a good strategy for problem solving.
24:13 Diet and Digestion: Vegan or vegetarians may have an iron deficiency. Methylation is a big part of dopamine production. Methylation requires adequate stomach acid production. COMT enzyme breaks down our dopamine, also requiring adequate stomach acid, B12 and adequate amounts of magnesium.
25:47 Motivation Strategies: There is no set formula. A self-assessment questionnaire may help you identify potential problem areas. Genetic testing could be beneficial, telling us about our enzyme hardware and what supplements might help our biological state. In theory, motivational strategies work, but your biology may not support that. Work smarter, not harder.
30:41 Dr. Patel’s Favorite Nutrient: Anything that supports dopamine levels is at the top of Dr. Patel’s list. In addition, activated charcoal is great when he travels. It is challenging to ensure the quality of his food and his environment.
31:39 Dopamine Support Nutrients: Mucuna pruriens is similar to L-DOPA. It helps to modulate dopamine levels. Tyrosine and phenylalanine are the amino acid precursors for dopamine production. Iron and oxygenation are critical. Vitamin B-6 helps to convert L-DOPA into dopamine. Magnesium and acetylmethionine can help break down dopamine, preventing a buildup. They also help us to break down our catecholamine, so we do not have a bottleneck of dopamine.
32:11 Too Much Dopamine: People with too much dopamine tend to be schizophrenic or have psychotic behaviors. They also tend to be very aggressive. The ability to break down dopamine is important. We cannot control our genes, but we can control our environment and the cofactors that we put into our bodies to support our biology.
33:36 Dr. Patel’s Elevator Pitch: We have to change what we define as health and change what we want our health to do for us. Your health is your vehicle, not the destination. You can only see your doctor after you are sick. Part of the brilliance of our body is the resilience that we have. By the time symptoms appear, the system’s biology and our neurochemistry starts to fail. Your brain is the most powerful organ in the universe, but also the most sensitive. We need to teach people to protect and care for their brains.