The Functional Medicine Approach To Treating Depression And Anxiety

Depression and anxiety affects over 40 million Americans and many more suffer from undocumented situational or seasonal depression. With the added stress of a global pandemic, many people’s lives have been rocked by illness, isolation and fear. More people than ever before are dealing with the debilitating effects of depression.

Many health experts believe that severe emotional issues can often be traced to problems with brain chemistry, but there are different approaches to finding the proper balance.

Traditional medicine is quick to use antidepressants to medicate and cover up symptoms, but this only prolongs symptoms and can allow these issues to come back, often worse than before.

Additionally, the side effects of antidepressants can lead to other health problems such as weight gain, interrupted or inadequate sleep, restlessness, decreased libido and loss of emotion.

The good news is that there are many natural options to help curb symptoms of depression and anxiety. Functional Medicine addresses the root cause of these symptoms to help patients restore peace and balance to their body. Here are a few ways to combat mild to moderate depression.

Take The Proper Nutritional Supplements

Vitamin D: Supplement at least 2000IU of D3 or 15-20 minutes of sunlight daily. Optimal serum levels of 25(OH) Vitamin D should be 50-80 ng/ml.

Probiotics: Unbalanced gut microbes can contribute to depression, anxiety and mood changes.

5HTP: Aid your body’s natural production of serotonin.  A few essential ingredients for production of this “happy neurotransmitter” are 5HTP 100-150mg, vitamin B6 10-25mg, and Magnesium Citramate 250-500mg at bedtime.

Methyl-folate and B12: Support healthy methylation. Typically,  patients benefit from sublingual methylcobalamin 2500-5000mcg and oral methyl-folate 1-5mg daily.

Use Photodynamic Laser Therapy

We’ve designed a specific Photodynamic Laser Therapy to help combat seasonal winter depression. This is not limited to helping kick the “Winter Blues”. This treatment gives patients an effective, natural option to relieve symptoms without any negative side effects.

We use the power of Blue and Yellow light to help boost your mood and lighten your mental load. The Blue Laser improves microcirculation by Nitrogen Oxide release, increases immune function and stem cell production, has strong anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects, accelerates wound healing and supports pain relief.

The Yellow Laser has antidepressant effects by enhancement of vitamin D and serotonin production, improves anxiety and panic attacks, is effective against chronic (viral) infections, has strong antibacterial effects, aids in detoxification, and has a positive influence on hormones and metabolism.

We pair this treatment with Riboflavin to help enhance the treatment and support “happy” and healthy mental function. Click here to read more about our Photodynamic Therapy treatments.

Address Food Allergies and Sensitivities

Reducing inflammation is key in curbing and reducing symptoms. Increased inflammation will prevent your body from healing. Have food allergy and sensitivity testing done. We use Vibrant America for our food allergy and sensitivity testing and see significant improvement in patients who know and understand how their body is reacting to certain food. This is a vital part of removing the root cause of inflammation to allow healing to begin.

Use Infrared Sauna Therapy

Experts have identified dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin as the neurochemicals that give us a sense of contentment, optimism, and the ability to experience happiness. Infrared saunas have been shown to optimize the production and reception of these natural antidepressants.

The infrared light produced by an infrared sauna penetrates several inches below the surface of the skin. This warming effect encourages the production of serotonin, oxytocin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. During periods of depression, individuals will often experience nervous tension and persistent agitation, making it difficult to truly experience a relaxed, zen-like state.

Our Infrared Sauna Therapy stimulates endorphin and oxytocin release. These are the chemicals we most often associate with peace and contentment. Click here to check out more information about our Infrared Sauna Therapy.

Try Intermittent Fasting

Going without food for periods of time can help to reduce inflammation and help the body to “reset”. This can be especially helpful since depression is considered a neuroinflammatory condition.

Talk with Someone You Trust

Cognitive behavior therapy was developed to treat depression and is still considered one of the most beneficial types of therapy for depression. The goal is to improve negative emotions by changing destructive thoughts and behaviors through developing personal and individual coping strategies for each person. In many cases, cognitive behavior therapy can be just as effective as medication.

At Kare Health & Wellness, we see many patients who struggle with debilitating anxiety and depression. Coupled with brain fog, fatigue, weight gain and hormone imbalances, life can feel too heavy to carry.

This is what normal feels like for too many people. Fortunately, there is hope and help through functional medicine that doesn’t include never-ending regiments of prescription medications.

We are dedicated to helping provide a safe space for patients to explore and address the root cause of their symptoms, to overcome their health challenges, and to break down the barriers of wellness.

Emerging science has helped to uncover common factors leading to depression and anxiety, but Functional Medicine is helping people overcome the effects. Don’t suffer alone.

Hope is here, and we are ready to help you uncover joy and happiness.

If you’d like to know more about how Kare Health & Wellness can help you uncover the root cause of your symptoms, connect with a New Patient Coordinator. Your questions, your concerns, your symptoms and your diagnosis are welcome here.

You can also click here to easily book your Photodynamic Therapy session or an infrared sauna session online.

Keri Sutton - RN, MSN, ANP-C, AGPCNP-BC

Keri is a Nurse Practitioner and founder at Kare Health & Wellness. Keri's pursuit of personal answers to her own health issues landed her in the top of Functional Medicine. As she utilized functional Medicine to get her own health and life back, she made it her life's work to bring this empowering form of healthcare to as many people as she can.

About Us

Our mission is to create a safe environment for our patients to share their story and be empowered to take control of their health.  We constantly challenge patients to think differently about their health. We never find contentment in simply being disease free. We want to help patients optimize their vitality of life so that they can strive for things that they thought were unattainable.

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