Functional medicine is an alternative form of medical care that tries to relate to gastrointestinal health, immune system function, hormones, diet and other environmental factors to treat certain conditions. Treatment plans are molded to fit the individual and detoxification and homeopathic treatments are used over medication. Since over 450 million people from around the world struggle with their mental health, it may be time to take a similar approach.
Feeling sadness or despair is bound to happen in everyone’s lives but chronic sadness is typically diagnosed as depression. What a typical doctor will fail to address are the environmental factors causing such sadness that may not even be related to a mental illness. Rushing into giving antidepressants may cause more harm than good and these drugs even amplify suicidal thoughts.
In the first place, there is an undeniable link between the gut and the brain and depression may be triggered by poor digestion or metabolism. In other cases, poor sleep, bad relationships, stressful jobs and other simple things in life wear us down more than we want to admit. Changing our lifestyles may be more effective at curing depression than relying on mind-altering substances.
Anxiety is another widespread issue in the world of mental health and is often packaged with other mental illnesses. A dietary factor may be the key to chronic anxiety since there may be a link between high cholesterol and anxiousness. With meat and rich foods being the staple of developed nations, it is no wonder why anxiety patients are so abundant.
Lack of nutritious whole foods will also trigger anxiety since the intake of B Vitamins, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E are associated with low anxiety levels. These essential vitamins may also prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, aiding with the aforementioned anxiety trigger.
The prevalence of bipolar disorder is shockingly high and can possibly lead to dangerous outbursts. This disorder can ruin lives of both sufferers and those around them and most patients will have it for most of their lives. Since doctors take the approach of sedating individuals or loading them with SSRI medications, patients never reach a resolution.
What should be considered is that there is a link between mental illness and inflammation, according to a study by Front Cell Neurosci. Treating inflammation is well known and easy to do. The avoidance of muscle meats and basing diets around plant foods will likely cause a huge reduction in inflammation in patients. A proper sleep schedule following the Circadian Rhythm, exercise, hydration, and a low-stress lifestyle also lowers inflammation.
Conventual medicine may indeed help some patients keep their symptoms at bay but is not reliable in the long run. The approach with functional medicine is to quash the root of one’s mental illness and it is often effective. Of course, there is no linear path during any sort of treatment plan and the short-term relief by medication only hinders progress.