By Michael Biamonte CCN.
Depression, anxiety and many other mental disorders are a medical condition that has both physical (biochemical) and emotional causes and consequences. These condition are not only characterized by feelings of low mood, loss of interest, worthlessness and guilt, but it can also include body aches, difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping, weight fluctuations, or low libido. Depression can occur in many different severities ranging from mild sadness/loss of interest, to suicidal thoughts/actions but depression always has an underlying biochemical aspect. This is because when one becomes depressed, the thought or state of being so alters that neurotransmitters in the body and vice a versa. Altering the neurotransmitters can make on depressed.
It is now understood that a host of chronic biochemical and metabolic imbalances can contribute to depression, anxiety and many other mental conditions. Chronic inflammation affects mood by altering brain chemicals and hormones. Root causes of inflammation (infections, allergies, or hypersensitivities) should be investigated as part of your healthcare practitioner’s standard depression evaluation. Changes in hormones due to age and stress also play a role in depression. Ones diet and blood sugar levels have been implicated in depression since the early 1960’s. More progressive health care practitioners now know from observations made in treating their patients that any of the following conditions alone or in combination can contribute to what were once thought as strictly psychiatric disorders.
INFLAMMATION: There can be many causes of inflammation in the body that directly effects the brain and the nervous system. Any of the items listed below can be direct causes of this inflammation.
ALLERGIES: Over the last 40 years Allergies have been understood in a much more comprehensive manner, far beyond the sniffles and sneezing that occurs with hay fever or the swollen lips of a food allergy. We now know that allergies are responsible for a considerable amount of inflammation that can effect the brain and therefore effect emotions. There can be as many as 6 different manifestations of allergies that occur in the body over a 24 hour period. Modern allergy testing such as Alcat testing can determine hidden allergies and how they may be affecting one.
HORMONE AND NEUROTRANSMITTER IMBALANCES: These are the messengers of the body’s nervous system and brain. Inflammation causes them to fail in their job of communication with different sections of your body. Hormones and Neurotransmitters are the regulators of moods, energy, relaxation and sleep. They can become deficient in the body if the body lacks the raw materials to make them. Toxic metals and food additives can also block them. Many people who suffer from depression of anxiety are merely experiencing the natural shift in their hormone levels from aging. These people do not need psychotropic drugs. They simply need an adjustment in their diet, vitamins and life style to balance this change.
DEFICIENCIES: The body forms neurotransmitters and hormones from the food we eat. Proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals help form the hormones that regulate are moods, sleep etc. Also it will be found that many individual nutrients cause depression, and mental upset when they are deficient. Examples of this would be Vitamins B1, B3, B6, Biotin, Folic acid and B12.. Carl Curt Pfeiffer, M.D., Ph.D.
TOXIC METALS: In the last 30 years the effects of toxic metals on behavior have been well documented. Copper, Mercury, Arsenic, Aluminum all can have serious effects on the brain and mental function. Hundreds of thousands of people detoxified these metallic poisons from their bodies and have emerged much healthier both mentally and physically.
ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS: This area would be know as “sick building syndrome”. This is where molds and fungus grow in hidden areas of the home or work place and emit toxins that make people tired, depressed and physically ill. Not everyone in the environment will react the same way. This is what makes the condition more elusive and difficult to understand. Those who have undiagnosed autoimmune problems will be most affected.
CHRONIC INFECTIONS: Such as Lyme disease, Mono, EBV, Candidiasis, and many other effect people mentally because these infection cause inflammation of the brain and nervous system and also emit toxins that directly effect the nervous system.
It is very common for people with depression to take antidepressant therapies recommended by their doctor. Commonly prescribed medications for depression work by altering brain signaling via neurotransmitter modulation. These treatments often fail and often can make the patient worse. Ultimately they are not addressing the true underlying cause of depression. Assessment of neurotransmitters involved in depression can be helpful in understanding the true and actual imbalances between hormones and neurotransmitters, which can contribute to depression.
Assessment of neurotransmitter levels can provide valuable information about the status of the nervous system and its interaction with other systems in the body. The immune system can be evaluated in a number of ways to identify the presence and cause of inflammation or other root causes of depression. Once the biochemical abnormalities contributing to the depression are identified, a personalized treatment approach can be undertaken. This personalized approach could be thought of as a space age biochemical analysis of an individual that will pinpoint imbalances in his body chemistry that were never before possible.
The Illusive Chemical Imbalance!
For many years Psychiatry has talked about the patient having a chemical imbalance. Their drug treatments where justified in that they corrected these chemical imbalances. However when did you ever hear of a patient undergoing tests in order to isolate his chemical imbalance so that the correct treatment could be used? The answer is never! Instead what the patient experiences is a trail period where they are put on different drugs that the doctor as been tutored on by the drug rep or salesman in an attempt to correct his chemical imbalance.
In the field of alternative medicine, we have now evolved to the degree that we can actually determine the chemical imbalances in the body that lead to many mental disorders.
Who to Look For?
In modern times alternative practitioners may be ND’s, Chiropractors or MD’s who take advantage and utilize modern testing. Look for a doctor who tests for allergies, chronic infections, toxic metals and chemicals, deficiencies, hormones and neurotransmitters etc. These tests give the doctor an exact blue print of your body’s biochemistry so that they can identify “Causes”. The modern approach does not include experimenting with different drugs that have dangerous side effects on patients. It does not include shock or insulin therapy. It is based in actual science and empirical knowledge born of the 21st century and also passed down through thousands of years by Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, Homeopathy and Naturopathy.
To find a practitioner, you may contact:
Neurotransmitter and Hormone Testing
1. Neuroscience Labs
73 280th St.
Osceola, WI 54020
Toll Free: (888) 342-7272
2. Sabre Sciences
2233 Faraday Ave #K
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Phone: (760) 448-2750
Toxic Metal Testing
1. Trace Elements, Inc.
4501 Sunbelt Drive
Addison, Texas 75001
Toll Free: (800) 824-2314
Phone: (972) 250-6410
Fax: (972) 248-4896
2. Doctors Data inc.
3755 Illinois Avenue
St. Charles, IL 60174-2420
Toll Free: (800) 323-2784
852 South Military Trail
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442
Toll Free: (800) US ALCAT (872-5228)
Phone: (954) 426-2304
Fax: (954) 428-8676
63 Zillicoa St
Asheville, North Carolina 28801
Toll Free: (800) 522-4762
Phone: (828) 253-0621
- Trace Elements by David W. Watts
- Pfeiffer C (1988). Nutrition and Mental Illness
- Pfeiffer C (January 1976). Mental and Elemental Nutrients
- Hoffer Abram (1962). Niacin therapy in psychiatry
- Russell L. Blaylock Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills Health Press, 1994.