So You Completed The Leptin Rx? What’s Next?

Once you have added the Leptin Rx to your paleo/primal template and you have successfully experienced all the “small wins” that I mentioned in the Leptin FAQ’s blog, what should you do next? If you recall reading the blog on how the leptin Rx works, it basically is a plan to make your gastrointestinal tract perform visceral exercises that it is not accustomed to performing, in order to cause neuroplastic changes in your hypothalamus’ arcuate nucleus. It uses the vagus nerve as the “stimulator” to send these new messages to the brain. After a period of time, the inflammation will slowly dissipate at the median eminence, and these afferent signals will force expression of certain genes that have been repressed since we were in utero. These genes and pathways are hardwired into our DNA at conception, and used until the child is 12-24 months old. After this time, they are not expressed any longer, because transgenerational epigenetics favors instead the use of the leptin receptor from an evolutionary perspective. This occurs because the leptin receptor in the arcuate nucleus is far more sensitive and accurate in accounting for electrons from food than was using older circadian and ultradian cycles that we used in uteri during morphogenesis. The human brain learns “what neural circuits” to use by repetitive firing. We have a saying in brain surgery, nerves that fire together wire together. This is the basis of the theory of Hebbian learning.

These exercises I told you about in the Leptin Rx signal hypothalamic neurons to adapt to these visceral responses to food in a new way, to sensitize the leptin receptor in order to account for electrons from food in precisely how it was designed to do by evolution. In essence, we are altering the genetic expression of the genes in our arcuate nucleus. I describe it to my patients as “performing brain surgery on them without using a blade.” The visceral responses to the Leptin Rx are transcribed by the vagus nerve, and this information is sent to the brain. This message is dramatically different than the one the patient is used to giving the leptin receptor, and the new message induces changes to the neuropeptides in the brainstem. After some time, (6-8 weeks for most) changes will be induced. These can be followed by the clinician or the patient. Those clinical signs are outlined in the Leptin FAQ blog post. In doing this, we force the neurons to see neurochemical signals that radically confuse the leptin receptor and the brain. The brain’s response to a signal it does not understand is to revert to an older known pathway or to learn a new way to tackle on old problem. I would suggest you watch How your brain re-learns from 2007 by Dr. VS Ramachandran in a TED talk. He exquisitely explains how this type of learning is stimulated in the brain for phantom limb pain and its treatment. One need not use expensive technology to induce gene expression. It is possible to do without an NIH grant too. It requires some synthesis of thought and experience. When you understand the essence of how the brain works, you just need to design a program and force it upon the brain to decipher what to do. That is the essence of the Leptin Rx reset.