Suffering from anxiety and depression is disruptive to one’s physical health, as well as to their relationships and work life. The most common conventional treatment, which focuses on the symptoms, is to prescribe SSRI’s for depression and benzodiazepines for anxiety and its related symptom of insomnia. Unfortunately, benzodiazepines and anti-depressants further the brain imbalance of neurotransmitters…the medications actually add another layer to the disease. There are alternative treatments for anxiety and depression that are widely used and effective.
When going to a naturopathic physician, the focus is on finding the CAUSE of the mental/emotional imbalance. The areas that should be looked at include:
1. Lifestyle – how much of your daily life is stimulating to the brain? (coffee, sugar, sugar substitutes, inflammatory foods, TV, technology)
2. Neurotransmitters – Serotonin and GABA are calming. Glutamate, Adrenaline, Dopamine and Norepinephrine are exciting to the nervous system. Through a 24 hour urine test, we can measure these imbalances and treat them with specific supplements
3. Digestive Health – Imbalances in the microbiome produces bacterial metabolites that cross the blood brain barrier. More and more research is validating the “Gut-Brain” connection and it is vital to treat this first.
4. Genetic pathways – DNA testing and gene therapy is a cutting edge way to treat the underlying cause of oxidative stress which results in low cellular energy and deficient neurotransmitter production. Oxidative stress can also cause the overproduction of neuro stimulating metabolites such as Glutamate.
5. Microbial infections – New research is coming out about Lyme’s Disease and it’s relationship to mental health disorders. Patients who get treated for previously undiagnosed or chronic Lyme Disease find that their moods stabilize. Naturopathic medicine offers treatments outside of the conventional model, which can only treat the acute infection with antibiotics. It is necessary to treat the long term sequela and autoimmune response to help patients with chronic Lyme disease.
6. Mental outlook – According to Viktor Frankl in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, one’s attitude can make or break your day. Once the physical imbalances are treated, we offer ideas on how to cultivate a daily positive outlook on life.
Once the cause is determined, the appropriate treatment can be implemented. By treating the cause(s) of disease, the symptoms resolve themselves and the use of chemical substances that have side effects and addiction properties may be reduced or alleviated.
Call 480-535-7868 to schedule your initial appointment.