Trauma Recovery: Hot Topics in Mental Health

By | 2017-09-29T14:17:03+00:00 September 29th, 2017|

The field of mental health has been growing at an exceptional rate in the last several years! The knowledge and tools that are available today are very different than even 5 years ago!  

Use this to your advantage to take control of you or your child’s mental health in recovering from attachment trauma!  

Today is the first day of the 8th Annual Integrative Medicine for Mental Health Conference in Anaheim, CA. I want to share with you the major topics of this year’s conference. There might be items that you really relate to and look into for a fuller picture of you or your child’s mental health.

8th Annual Integrative Medicine for Mental Health Conference

This is a 4 day conference with a full day of speakers! There is a lot of exciting information being shared at this conference! I want to share the topics being addressed by this year’s speakers with a brief summary of each.  

Integrative Medicine for Mood and Anxiety Disorders – by Dr. James Greenblatt, MD

This is a discussion of the nutrients involved in the integrative therapy treatment of depression.  Macronutrients- amino acids and fatty acids -will be a focus, along with a discussion on the role of inflammation and dysbiosis.  

The role of micronutrients -vitamins and minerals- involved with the treatment of depression will be presented, with special focus on vitamins B12 and folate and trace minerals magnesium and zinc.  There is lots of research looking at how the deficiency of these nutrients relate to mood and anxiety disorders and how various medication treatments affect the deficiencies.  

Gut Bacteria and Mental Health – by Dr. William Shaw, PhD

Unusually high numbers of bacteria in the gut are frequently found in every type of neurological, mood and mental health disorder.  This includes depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, schizophrenia, autism and ADHD (hyperactivity).  The finding of Candida (yeast) and Clostridia (bacteria) is especially prevalent!  

There is also a fair amount of immune system activation or auto-immunity where the immune system is attacking its own brain cells.  This is often in response to Streptococcus bacteria that results in disorders of tics, obsessive compulsive disorder, autism and eating disorders.  

There are tests and nutritional treatments for each of these findings that have been very effective at restoring good mental health in kids and adults.  

Targeted Nutritional Interventions for Brain Health – by Dr. William Shaw, PhD

The brain is the most active organ in the human body and consumes more oxygen than any other organ.  Physically, the brain is made up of unsaturated fats, cholesterol and sulfur amino acids.  

Having any kind of nutritional deficiency is going to have a direct impact on the brain’s ability to function at its optimal performance.  

Some of the nutritional treatments that have been very effective in treating many types of mental health disorders include Cholesterol, Fatty Acids, Lithium, CDP-Choline, Carnitine, and Short-Chain Fatty Acids.

Thyroid and Its Effects on Mental Health – by Dr. Louis Cady, MD

The thyroid has a direct effect on the brain and its performance.  Having memory issues?  Feel like it is difficult to concentrate?  Having brain fog and would like to “turn on the lights” in your brain?  It may be your thyroid, and standard thyroid tests may not detect the imbalances that are affecting your memory and concentration.  

Thyroid hormone has also been used for head injury recovery and Alzheimer’s disease prevention, not just for memory and concentration.  

The Value of Organic Acids Testing – by Kurt Woeleer, DO

Organic Acids Testing is a urine test that looks at all the things your body is eliminating through the kidneys.  What your body is eliminating gives tremendous insight into what is going on in your body.

Yeast or bacteria overgrowth, especially Clostridia overgrowth, in the gut have been shown to play a large role in physical and mental health.  Imbalances in the yeast and bacteria will usually be able to be detected through looking at the urine.  

Oxalates are also an acid eliminated through the kidney that can tell us if anxiety and mood problems are a result of a genetic problem that changes how you can metabolize different foods.  Foods high in oxalates include things like spinach and almonds, but these healthy foods may actually be causing more problems because of your genetics.

The brain chemicals involved in mood are all acids that are excreted in your urine.  Levels of these chemicals compared to symptoms can guide treatment.

Thus, by looking at the urine, you can tell a lot about your gut health, metabolism and energy production and even brain chemistry.  

Neuroimaging and Mental Health – by Daniel Amen, MD

Dr. Amen presents his thousands of brain scans and how different mood disorders look in the brain.  

Addiction processes also change the brain that can be picked up on brain imaging which can help target treatment by knowing what parts of the brain are being affected.

Anxiety, OCD and Rage as Autoimmune Problems – by Kenneth Brock, MD

Mood and mental health disorders that have a rather quick onset or change likely have the immune system and inflammation as the cause of the change.  

The brain has a very active immune system to protect itself from outside toxins and threats, but sometimes the immune system turns on its own tissue.

As you can imagine, the immune system attacking different parts of the brain and nervous system will cause changes in the brain’s ability to function.  

Being able to identify whether the immune system is involved in mood and mental health symptoms will help to target therapy to reduce inflammation in the brain.  

Genetics in Mental Health – by Lauren Few, PhD

There are a number of genetics that affect mental health, but this talk focuses on genetics in ion channels involved with calcium that have been linked to bipolar, schizophrenia and depression.  

Many people are treated with anti-psychotics for having symptoms like bipolar or depression, but actually just have a treatable genetically-caused imbalance in their calcium channels in the brain.  

Many of the treatments that have been effective for people with these specific Calcium Channel Genetics include Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Lithium, Magnesium, and N-AcetylCysteine.  

By identifying the genetics and getting on the right treatment to bring things back into balance, people are able to live well and not need anti-psychotics and all the side effects that can come with those medications.  

Breaking the Cycle of Pain and Depression – by Gary Kaplan, DO

Chronic pain and depression usually come as a powerful duo.  Sleep disorders would be the third player with pain and depression, and understanding the underlying pathways and why they run together.  

Inflammation in the brain is actually the underlying cause of these three disorders, so treating the inflammation rather than focusing on each of those disorders as completely separate processes allows effective treatment and return to optimal health.

Environmental Toxins Changes Brain Chemistry – by Rick Sponaugle, MD

Many types of environmental and industrial toxins affect both the brain and the immune system.  

Imbalances and poor immune system as a result of toxins has been proven to cause brain fog, memory loss, poor concentration, and other neurological and mood problems.

New Understandings of OCD – by Suruchi Chandra, MD

Emerging research shows a close relationship between obsessive and compulsive behaviors and the gastrointestinal system including the gut bacteria and immune system.

Mold and Mycotoxins – by Mark Filidei, DO

Mold and fungus are becoming more prevalent in our homes, schools and work environments.  

Not all molds are toxic, and some may just cause respiratory, but some molds make what are called “mycotoxins.”

Mycotoxins are toxic to the energy production systems in our body and to our brain.  

The presence of mold toxins in the body can be tested and ruled out as a cause of mood and mental health problems.  If it is present, it can be treated.  

Nutritional Approaches to Dealing with Head Injuries – by Michael Lewis, MD

Over 3 million concussion and head injuries occur each year and millions live with the consequences of those injuries without realizing that they are or that they can do something about it!

Omega-3 Fatty acids is one therapy, though there are other nutritional interventions to use for brain health with a history of a head injury.  

The Effect of Food Allergies on Mental Health – by William Shaw, PhD

Food sensitivities and allergies are reactions by the body and the immune system to different foods or compounds in the food.  

Food sensitivities and allergies have now been shown to affect schizophrenia, autism, bipolar depression, and attention deficit with hyperactivity.  

There are different types of testing, and knowing which test to use to pick up all possible types of sensitivities and allergies is important.

Other Topics:

Genetic Testing for Neuropsychiatric Disorders – by William Shaw, PhD

Old of Mold in Triggering Psychiatric Symptoms – by Mary Ackerley, MD


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