Subscribe to Blog via Email
A sunflower picture from 2015 which I planted with my own hands, and it grew taller than me (not difficult), even taller than my garden fence (more difficult). Of course, I have to mention my wife Chris because she does infinitely more gardening than I do, and she would have nurtured the sunflower from start to finish after I planted it. Nonetheless, I still felt a remarkably close association with the outcome!
My most liked Facebook posts in 2020 (the year of COVID) related to plant and forest pictures and there is a reason flowers proved to be more popular than my other posts. Flowers, particularly with vibrant colour, stimulate our happiness hormones, including serotonin. Now, serotonin has a bad press in the Neuroendocrine Cancer world, but it’s a really important hormone for everyone. The most common functional tumours do oversecrete this hormone but that is a totally different effect because the happiness effect above comes from brain serotonin which is separate from the peripheral serotonin issues we know about. Moreover, every human being needs brain serotonin for normal function (including NET patients) and several other neurotransmitters; and they need them for many purposes. The others include dopamine, oxytocin. So, what’s the connection? When reading the 3 paragraphs below, remember, I’m talking about brain hormones, not the stuff NETs secrete – that’s a different issue.
Dopamine – Dopamine is triggered by the expectation of a reward. Flowers were a huge reward signal in the world our brain evolved in because they marked the coming of abundance after a hungry winter. Today we have enough to eat all year round so we don’t consciously link flowers with food. But the blossoming of a flower triggers the sense that something special is coming because it triggers dopamine. But bright colours in general seem to increase the special nature of flowers because they send out signals, even including nutritional value and feeling happier via the chemistry.
Oxytocin – This chemical is often called the “bonding hormone.” Oxytocin creates a nice feeling of social trust, whether romantic love, maternal attachment, or group solidarity. We all know how hard this feeling is to find, and how easily it can be lost. That’s why we’re so eager for ways to stimulate it. Flowers help here too because they convey a certain respect for both fragility and the care and attention needed to grow and sustain something.
Serotonin – last but not least. This chemical is often mentioned in the context of depression if levels are low, often treated by antidepressants, but research indicates that it’s also involved in a sense of pride that is not only involved in growing your own flowers but also in buying and receiving them, not forgetting admiring them from a distance (including in photographs), Flowers are known to stimulate the sense of pride that your brain is looking for. If you fail to stimulate your brain serotonin, you can feel bad.
For a more technical overview of Serotonin and Neuroendocrine Cancer – read my comprehensive overview – click here.
With that in mind, here’s a selection of flower photos (plus one or two other colour-associated themes) which proved to be quite popular on my Facebook page in 2020 (so far).
Thanks for reading.
I’m also active on Facebook. Like this page.
I’m also active on this Facebook page. Follow this page.
Also like this awareness page on Facebook.
Sign up for my newsletters – Click Here
My Diagnosis and Treatment History
Check out my online presentations
Check out my WEGO Health Awards
Like my new awareness page – click here or on the photo. (Like rather than follow please!)
Check out my Glossary of Terms – click here
Please Share this post for Neuroendocrine Cancer awareness and to help another patient
A spotlight on Chromogranin A
What is Chromogranin A? Chromogranin A (CgA) is an acidic protein released along with catecholamines from chromaffin cells and nerve terminals. This statement alone might
Neuroendocrine Cancer: Catch them early, not late!
Diagnosing Neuroendocrine Neoplasms (NENs). It’s no secret that Neuroendocrine Neoplasms (NENs) can be difficult to diagnose, particularly well differentiated slow growing types (NETs) which can
A spotlight on Rectal Neuroendocrine Neoplasms
What are Rectal NENs Rectal Neuroendocrine Neoplasms (NENs) (rNENs) account for approximately 1-2% of all primary cancers in the rectum. The other main cancer types
Clinical Trial: Novel Somatostatin Receptor Subtype 2 Antagonist Labelled With Terbium-161 (161Tb-DOTA-LM3) (Beta plus)
A new clinical trial post. What is Terbium-161 (161Tb-DOTA-LM3) (Beta plus). Terbium-161 is a radioactive substance. DOTA-LM3 is a novel somatostatin antagonist targeted using somatostatin
Repeat after me: Maria Menounos has Neuroendocrine Cancer
Like many people from outside USA, I don’t really know anything about Maria Menounos. For those in the same boat, let me confirm she is
Summary of April 2023 on RonnyAllan.NET
Summary of RonnyAllan.NET website activity in April 2023 The top 10 most read posts in April are included below as the main product of this summary
A spotlight on 5-HIAA
Background. It’s important to note that not every type of Neuroendocrine Neoplasm will get the same tests due to the heterogenous nature of this cancer type.
The NET Detectives
The NET Detectives is an awareness post. Detecting NETs In general, it’s probably true to say that Neuroendocrine Tumours (NETs) are difficult to diagnose. Some
Low FODMAPs – The NET Effect
Background Many people with NET have had issues prior to diagnosis and then continue to have similar issues after. For some it will be either
A cup of tea
I would also mention those who contributed to my “Tea Fund” which resides on PayPal. You don’t need a PayPal account as you can select a card but don’t forget to select the number of units first (i.e. 1 = £4, 2 = £8, 3 = £12, and so on), plus further on, tick a button to NOT create a PayPal account if you don’t need one. Clearly, if you have a PayPal account, the process is much simpler
Through your generosity, I am able to keep my sites running and provide various services for you. I have some ideas for 2023 but they are not detailed enough to make announcements yet.
This screenshot is from every single post on my website and depending on which machine you are using, it will either be top right of the post or at the bottom (my posts are often long, so scroll down!)