Depression and anxiety are often treated in conventional medicine with medication, and sometimes this is all that is needed. But what if there were more to consider when it comes to mood disorders? This is where functional medicine shines. As functional medicine providers, we ask a lot of questions- often about the past and how it relates to the present. We also ask about what other symptoms might go along with your depression and anxiety flares or occurrences. When did you start feeling this way? How does your body feel? Did any illnesses, traumas or medications precipitate the mood symptoms? Has any blood, urine or microbiome testing been done?
We want to see the whole picture so we can work on the whole picture. Depression and anxiety can be linked to many other things- dysfunctions in the HPA axis (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis), microbiome disruptions, female or male hormone imbalances, micronutrient deficiencies, HPT axis (hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid) dysfunction or even inflammation! Through varied testing- that can involve both conventional, insurance covered blood tests and functional medicine tests we can unpeel the layers and get to the root and assist in lasting change. The treatment plan may still involve conventional medicines like SSRI’s or anti-anxiolytics but it will also involve diet and lifestyle changes, behavioral technique changes, and possibly some nutraceuticals, all based on what we find in our exam, interview and testing.
Here are some helpful links and resources to help you if you are experiencing depression or anxiety:
- https://www.sonima.com/meditation/mantras/- this link gives some good ideas for mantras to help shift thought patterns; or try these mantras https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12637/14-mantras-to-help-you-build-positive-selftalk.html
- https://drhyman.com/blog/2015/09/18/6-strategies-to-eliminate-depression/- in this post Dr. Mark Hyman talks about his struggles and how functional medicine can help
Here are some of the tests we referenced above:
- https://dutchtest.com/- female or male hormone testing including organic acid testing and a very thorough cortisol analysis
- https://www.gdx.net/product/nutreval-fmv-nutritional-test-blood-urine- a thorough test that examines micronutrient/macronutrient, fatty acids, neurotransmitter markers and even heavy metals testing
- https://www.diagnosticsolutionslab.com/tests/gi-map all of these tests assess microbiome and inflammation, imbalance in the gut that can contribute to mood issues
other labs that are often covered by insurance: crp, tsh/free t3/free t4, cmp, even various vitamin/mineral levels that can help us when looking at the whole picture