The current medical system bases the diagnosis of mental health illnesses on the symptoms of the patients in conventional medicine, addressing the symptoms of the disease is the primary concern of psychiatric treatment. However, these medications will only tackle the symptoms and not the real underlying causes of the imbalance. More often symptoms will come back the moment patient stops taking medication and the patient is left to deal with the side effects of having taken this medication for a prolonged period and return of symptoms with vengeance!
Therefore a longer-lasting solution to this is to address the underlying cause of mental health issues like anxiety, depression, mood swings, bipolar disorders, etc…
Underlying issues can be:
1. Leaky Gut : Damaged gut lining leads to leaking of food products, bacterias, viruses and other toxins, which incite an immune reaction and if these immune cells start attacking brain cells or neurotransmitters one starts to feel anxious depressed irritable and brain fogged, etc…
2. Heavy metal accumulation: Accumulation of undesired heavy metals ( Cadmium, Lead, Mercury, Aluminum, Barium Arsenic, etc) can cause imbalances in the brain function, these can be due to environmental pollutants or cigarette smoking.
3. Nutritional deficiencies: It has been clearly seen to alleviate many mental health issues with the help of various minerals and vitamins, which a person may get deficient in, Magnesium, Omega 3 are some of them.
4. Hormone imbalances: Deficiency of various hormones can lead to mental health disorders and therefore keeping hormones under balance is one important key to prevent and reverse these mental health disorders.
5. Lack of sleep
6. Lack of physical activity
7. Drug abuse such as excessive alcohol intake
8. Latent infections, such as Candida, Lyme, EBV or Parasitic infestations.
As we can see above functional medicine is emerging as a new approach to treat mental health issues, the focus is on the underlying causes of the illness rather than alleviating symptoms temporarily. This holistic approach involves the assessment of clinical imbalances through the patient’s medical history, physical examination and laboratory tests. Functional medicine also views the genetic makeup of a patient and environmental factors such as diet, physical activities, traumatic experiences, and exposure to toxic substances. And in order to fully understand the condition of a patient, functional medicine also looks at the psychological, spiritual and social elements that influence the patient’s health.