limbic system impairment

Limbic System Impairment: Everything You Need To Know

Do you live in Ottawa? Are you looking to find out about Limbic System Impairment?

If so, you are in the right place.

Today, I will write about Limbic System Impairment and its role in chronic illness.

In This Article:

Let’s start by looking at what the Limbic System is.

What Is The Limbic System?

The Limbic System of the brain is made up of the Amygdala, Hippocampus, Hypothalamus and Thalamus.

“The Limbic System is involved in our behavioural and emotional responses, especially regarding behaviours we need for survival: feeding, reproduction and caring for our young, and fight or flight responses.”

Let’s look more closely at the Amygdala.

What Is The Amgdala?

The Amygdala is part of the brain’s Limbic system associated with emotional processing and memory association.

The Amygdala interprets images, sounds and even our biochemistry.

Based on these signals, it decides whether you are safe or not safe.

When it perceives danger, it sends a signal to the Hypothalamus.

In a chronic stress response, the Amygdala can start overreacting to incoming signals and sensory experiences, leading to Limbic System Impairment.

When Limbic System Impairment occurs, the Amygdala can no longer discern between a normal threat level, leading to nervous system dysregulation.

What Is Limbic System Impairment?

Limbic System Impairment is when the brain is stuck in an overreaction to stress/threat mode.

It is often the root cause behind why many chronic health conditions do not respond to orthodox and alternative treatments.

Your limbic system becomes over-reactive, creating stress responses as fuel or motivation to protect yourself.

This often occurs subconsciously, so we do not even have time to think about the reaction with our rational brain.

Sometimes, our limbic system tries to protect us from the past, like a past emotional trauma or infection.

The limbic system is also trying to control our future experiences.

Understanding this motivation of the Limbic system, which is just trying to protect you, often from which it is associating with from the past, is crucial to helping to break the Chronic Stress Response.

Let’s now look at how a chronic stress response is processed in your Limbic system.

How A Chronic Stress Response Is Processed In Your Limbic System

Your Hypothalamus is your Limbic System Command Centre.

It coordinates and controls many bodily functions.

It also manages your mind-body connection by communicating with the body via your Autonomic Nervous System (ANS).

Your Amygdala is responsible for processing emotions and memories associated with fear.

Your Hippocampus is responsible for learning and memory.

Let’s now look at what the ANS does.

What Does The ANS Do?

The ANS keeps the immune, digestive and endocrine systems functioning correctly.

There are two branches of the ANS: the Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic.

The Sympathetic branch acts like a “gas pedal on a car” and triggers the fight/flight response to stressors/threats in the body.

It provides energy to deal with the threat by producing C-A-N hormones.

The Parasympathetic branch acts like a “brake on a car” and triggers “rest and digest.”

It helps the body calm down and return to normal after the threat has been resolved.

The Parasympathetic branch produces D-O-S-E hormones and is regulated by the Vagus nerve.

Let’s examine how the Limbic System (BRAIN), ANS and Stress Response interact (Body)

How The Limbic System (BRAIN), ANS And Stress Response Interact (Body)

When the Amygdala gets over-reactive or in stress/threat mode, also known as Limbic System Impairment, it triggers the Hypothalamus.

The Hypothalamus then triggers the ANS, modulated by the Vagus nerve, to release C-A-N hormones, so your body is on high alert.

The body then sends stressful messages back to the Amygdala, and we get stuck in what is known as a Brain-Body Stress Cycle.

We must interrupt the stress signal in the Amygdala (Brain) and the ANS (Body) to stop the chronic stress loop for best results.

You must employ Top-Down (Brain) and Bottom-Up (Body) practices to achieve this.

Let’s now explain what happens when we get stuck in a Brain-Body Stress Cycle.

What Happens When We Get Stuck In A Brain-Body Stress Cycle?

When we get stuck in a Brain-Body Stress Cycle, our Limbic System becomes impaired and has a maladaptive stress response.

The Amygdala’s threat switch is stuck on, keeping you in fight/flight.

The longer this continues, the more things the Amygdala perceives as a threat, including foods, stress, toxins, infections, chemicals, EMF, etc.

The Brain and Body get stuck in a state of “I am not OK; I am not safe.”

When Limbic system Impairment occurs, this can lead to various health challenges.

Health Challenges Linked To A Limbic System Impairment

Some of the health challenges linked to Limbic System Impairment include:

  • Anxiety, panic and mood swings
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Brain Fog
  • Chemical, light, smell and EMF sensitivity
  • Difficulty with healing injuries.
  • Difficulty with pain processing
  • Digestive Issues
  • Dysautonomia
  • Food sensitivities
  • Immune dysregulation, e.g. Inability to effectively fight infection
  • Impaired detoxification

Now we know the symptoms, let’s look at the causes of Limbic System Impairment.

Causes Of Limbic System Impairment

Common causes of Limbic System Impairment include the following:

  • A chronic stress response that goes unmanaged.
  • Trauma history – mental, emotional and physical
  • Attachment and relationship issues
  • Head Injuries and concussions
  • Mold toxin exposure
  • Chemical exposure
  • Virus, Bacterial and other infections
  • Medical interventions and surgeries
  • Cultural stress and threat

How Can You Help Yourself?

You likely have a Limbic System Impairment if you have the above.

But what came first?

Was it the chronic illness or the nervous system dysregulation?

Rather than trying to figure out a cure for the chronic illness, you should concentrate on what you can change, namely your nervous system.

For example, if you have Lyme Disease, then rather than trying to find the correct protocol to kill the virus, why not calm your nervous system and immune system and allow your body to heal itself?

You can self-regulate your biology and change the function of your brain and nervous system.

This approach is no longer about figuring out your diagnosis.

This healing path is about taking responsibility to change the chronic stress response in your body and letting the universe take care of everything else.

Now It’s Over To You

Do you suffer from any conditions associated with a Limbic System Impairment?

What approaches have you used to fix your chronic health issues?

Leave me a comment below.

Do You Need Help?

If you need help, I suggest you book a free functional medicine discovery session with me to determine whether my functional medicine approach fits your needs.


The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply this information without first speaking with your doctor.

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