Mental Health cannot be separated from physical health. When we treat mental health disorders without considering the underlying physical health and potential contributors to disease, we do a great disservice to our patients. Anxiety and depression are on rise, as well as other serious afflictions like Schizophrenia. Conventional psychiatric medications may be appropriate in some cases, but there is also a great potential to improve many mental health conditions through integrative medicine.
As an example, research has shown that individuals with Schizophrenia often have food sensitivities to dairy and wheat (gluten intolerance), as well as lithium and other mineral deficiencies. Lifestyle interventions addressing sleep, diet, exercise and stress management can contribute to a balanced program addressing mental health issues.
Evaluating patients using a Functional Medicine approach allows us to treat the whole person and all that may be contributing to their mental illness. Using appropriate diagnostics to determine underlying contributors to mental illness followed by an individualized treatment program can result in great improvement.
Every person struggling with a mental health disorder will have various reasons for their condition, but most can be helped through integrative medicine involving specialized nutritional supplements, dietary modification and lifestyle changes.