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Healing from Within: Revolutionizing Mental Health Treatment with Functional and Integrative Medicine


In the realm of healthcare, treating mental health issues is not merely about addressing symptoms. It‘s about understanding the complex interplay of biological, psychological, and social factors that contribute to mental health. While conventional medicine often focuses on symptom management through medications and therapy, functional and integrative medicine takes a more comprehensive approach, aiming to identify and address the root causes of mental health issues. 

What Are the Underlying Causes of Mental Health Disorders?

While the specific causes can vary greatly from person to person, functional and integrative medicine providers may consider the following factors when assessing mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), attention-deficit disorder (ADD), and more. 

  • Gut Health Imbalances: The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in producing neurotransmitters and regulating inflammation, both of which influence mood and mental health. Imbalances in gut bacteria, often due to poor diet, stress, antibiotics, or other medications, can contribute to poor mental health. 


  • Hormonal Imbalances: Hormones play a significant role in regulating mood, and imbalances in hormones such as cortisol, thyroid hormones, and sex hormones can contribute to mental health issues. This is especially true for women entering perimenopause and men entering andropause. Stress, age, adrenal dysfunction, thyroid disorders can all contribute to hormone dysfunction. 


  • Nutritional Deficiencies: Poor diet lacking essential nutrients can impact brain function and mood regulation. Deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and amino acids have been linked to mental health disorders.


  • Inflammation: Chronic inflammation from stress, diet, environmental toxins and underlying health issues can disrupt normal brain function and cause neuroinflammation leading to depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.


  • Toxic Exposures: Exposure to environmental toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides, mold, and chemicals found in everyday products can impact brain function causing cognitive impairments, mood disturbances and behavioral changes.


  • Chronic Stress and Trauma: Chronic stress, unresolved trauma, and adverse childhood experiences can have long-lasting effects on mental health including increased inflammation, changes in the brain structure and function and disruptions in neurotransmitter balance.


  • Genetic Predisposition: While genetics alone do not determine mental health outcomes, certain genetic variations can predispose individuals to conditions like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Functional medicine doctors may assess genetic factors to better understand a patient’s risk profile and tailor treatment accordingly.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Sleep, exercise, social connections, and stress management all play vital roles in mental health. Poor lifestyle habits such as lack of sleep, sedentary behavior, social isolation, and high stress levels can exacerbate mental health issues. 

How Does Functional and Integrative Medicine Treat Mental Health?

Functional and integrative medicine views the body as an interconnected system, recognizing that imbalances in one area can manifest as symptoms elsewhere. It essentially treats the whole person – not just their symptoms.  


Rather than simply prescribing antidepressants, functional medicine practitioners work to identify and correct these underlying issues, restoring balance to the body and mind to promote overall well-being and resilience.


Balancing Hormones


Functional medicine identifies and addresses hormone imbalances through advanced testing and personalized treatment plans, which may include hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) – both shown to help regulate neurotransmitter activity, enhance cognition, and improve mood stability.  


Gut Health Optimization


The gut is often referred to as the “second brain” because gut microbes produce neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine and GABA which are essential for regulating mood, sleep and the stress response. Forum Health addresses gut health through dietary changes, probiotics, and other interventions to promote a healthy microbiome.  


Brain Neurotransmitter Restoration


When the messengers in your brain are out of balance, mental health symptoms start to appear. Forum Health’s medically supervised BrainRx program focuses on replenishing four of your brain’s most important neurotransmitters, dopamine, endorphins, serotonin and GABA, alongside expert health coaching and nutraceuticals.  


Nutritional Support


Diet plays a crucial role in mental health, and functional medicine providers often recommend dietary change to support mood regulation. This may involve reducing processed foods, sugar, and caffeine while increasing intake of whole foods rich in nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and magnesium. Forum Health offers diet and nutrition coaching to help keep you accountable, support your health goals and maximize your results. 


PEMF Therapy


 Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy uses tesla coils to create a magnetic field around your body and stimulate cell health. It’s highly effective in reducing inflammation – a cause of mental health disorders – and helps the body to relax. 


Guided Visualization


 Forum Health uses BrainTap technology, also known as brainwave training or brain tapping, to produce the relaxing benefits of meditation with greater ease. BrainTap audio sessions combine sound, music and spoken words to encourage positive visualization. 


Ketamine-Assisted Therapy


Ketamine is a safe, legal medication that temporarily alters sensory perception, promotes a sense of calm and openness and softens the ego to expedite the healing process. 


Stress Reduction Techniques


Chronic stress is a major contributor to depression, and integrative medicine emphasizes stress reduction techniques such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises. These practices can help regulate the stress response and promote emotional resilience. 


Overall, the key to any mental health treatment plan is individualized care that addresses the underlying causes of your symptoms rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. 


The expert providers at Forum Health are committed to helping you achieve your goals, find relief and empower you towards your journey of health and healing.  


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Schedule your 15 minute health advisor call today.