Mood & Behavioral Disorders:
Disorders of mood and resulting behavior dysfunction can safely be called epidemic in today’s society. Medical practitioners are dispensing mood-altering drugs at record levels.
Experts and researchers from many fields offer many theories as to why the dramatic increase in the number of mood disorders. One of these theories cites nutritional deficiencies as evident in the current popularity of “fast food” restaurants. “Fast food” consumption is often blamed as a partial cause of our pervasive dysthymia, or low-grade depression.
Which nutrients are actually missing from the typical Western diet? What harmful toxins reach our food supply that can affect our day-to-day pleasure in life as well as our long-term health? How does a medical practitioner approach treatment of patients who come to the office with vague off-and-on complaints and ongoing loss of energy and interest in life?
One of the first steps is evaluation of gastrointestinal floral balance. In Dr. William Crook’s “The Yeast Connection Handbook” (1996), a group of doctors describes the “incurable” patient who is seeing an OB-GYN for vaginitis, an ENT for chronic ear and sinus inflammation, an internist for indigestion and bloating, a dermatologist for unusual skin rashes and a psychiatrist for irritability, lack of concentration, and depression. Often these patients are labeled psychosomatic and prescribed anti-depressants. The doctors point out that these patients may be experiencing chronic candidiasis or yeast overgrowth. Other organisms, bacteria or parasites, can also contribute to their symptoms. Imbalance of gut flora is known as dysbiosis, or “bad gut bugs”, referring to the trillions of tiny microorganisms humans carry in their GI tracts. Although women suffer these symptoms more often, men are not immune. The typical case is a young man who has been treated for acne with antibiotics, and may have such a strong reaction that he is no longer able to work. Although not as frequently diagnosed as psychosomatic, these male patients will shuffle from doctor to doctor without relief.
Testing with The Great Plains Laboratory, Inc. offers the practitioner the ability to identify underlying metabolic and toxic factors contributing to a patient’s symptoms of depression or other mood disorders.
The Organic Acids Test includes measure-ments of urine metabolites known to be produced by yeast or by dysbiotic bacteria. This test will indicate if candidiasis or overgrowth of Clostridia bacteria are playing a part in chronic conditions. Severe digestive symptoms suggest that a Comprehensive Stool Analysis should be added. The literature suggests that by-products of intestinal microflora may contribute to mood disorders and depression, and that an inflamed immune system affects the nervous system.
Several trace minerals are low in the western diet, but magnesium and zinc are the most important missing minerals (Metals Hair Test). Antioxidants and B-Vitamins as measured in the Organic Acids Test - Nutritional & Metabolic Profile will show underlying nutritional deficiencies.
Toxic Environmental Exposure
In Dr. Sherry Roger’s book “Detoxify or Die”, she brings together several decades of research from government databases on the health effects of environmental contaminants, especially toxic metals and organochlorine compounds, assessed in the Environmental Profile of the OrganoGold Panel.
Essential Fatty Acids
The unsaturated fatty acids found in fish and grass-fed meat and eggs, as well as some plant oils, are essential to the proper functioning of brain and nervous system. Fish oils are being used extensively for mood and behavior disorders. Most everyone on the “Standard American Diet” has the same deficiencies and excesses of fatty acids. The Essential Fatty Acids Test is useful to evaluate the adequacy of EFA supplementation and dietary changes.
Neurotransmitters & B-Vitamins
B-vitamins and minerals are necessary to synthesize neurotransmitter. The Organic Acids Test contains B-vitamin markers and metal testing includes essential minerals. The Amino Acids Test measures neurotransmitter precursors.
Hormone levels contribute hugely to mood and cognitive ability. Cholesterol is the basis of adrenal and sex hormones. Low cholesterol (Advanced Cholesterol Profile) may prevent the synthesis of adrenal and sex hormones. Thyroid hormone requires iodine, measured in the Metals Hair Test.
Food Allergy & Opiates
Studies support the theory that food/chemical allergies can contribute to symptoms of depression, schizophrenia, and other mental disorders. The IgG Food Allergy Test w/ Candida serves as a guide to food elimination/challenge diets. In addition, foods such as casein (milk) and gluten (wheat) are digested into opiates which can influence mood and cognitive ability (Gluten/Casein Peptides Test).
Immune dysfunction can have negative effects on mood and contribute to depression. Assessing overall immune function with the Immune Deficiency Profile, which also measures zinc, may point to underlying factors in mood disorders. The Streptococcus Antibodies Profile may indicate a disorder called PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections).