Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental illnesses in the United States. As people learn more about mental illness and it is becoming less stigmatized, more people seek out treatment. Given that the most common treatment methods for anxiety and depression consist of talk therapy and medications, many people are unaware of how functional medicine treats anxiety and depression.
Since functional medicine takes a holistic approach to treatment and seeks to uncover the root cause of whatever your issue may be, for some, how functional medicine treats anxiety and depression can be incredibly effective. Here’s what you need to know about some of the facts about how functional medicine treats anxiety and depression.
#1. It Looks At Root Causes
Functional medicine treats anxiety and depression by looking deep into your personal history, medical background, and factors such as your diet, your sleep, and your activity levels to uncover anything that could be either causing or worsening your anxiety and/or depression.
For some people, anxiety and depression are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, which medication helps treat, the same way medications treat other lifelong issues, such as heart disease.
For others, their anxiety or depression results from trauma or circumstantial factors. For instance, if you are stuck in a bad living situation, you likely have higher levels of anxiety and/or depression that can improve once you can find a way to improve your living situation.
While anxiety and depression can be a result of genetics, trauma, and life circumstances, they can also be caused by issues within your body, such as food intolerances, a sedentary lifestyle, and other underlying health issues.
Functional medicine treats anxiety and depression by not just looking at your symptoms, but rather, at the whole picture. Everyone is different, so is it any wonder that different people need different treatment methods in order to feel better because their anxiety and/or depression result from different things? By uncovering the root cause of your anxiety and/or depression, you can find the treatment method that works best for your specific needs and circumstances.
#2. Your Diet Matters
Americans are known for being very unhealthy. This is due to a large variety of factors, such as how easily accessible and cheap highly processed foods are in comparison to healthy options. There’s a fast food restaurant on every corner, but finding something good for you, like an acai bowl or a salad, isn’t anywhere near as easy, convenient, or cheap. Many people don’t know that your diet can play a huge role in your mental health.
One of the ways functional medicine treats anxiety and depression is by taking that into account and providing you with the knowledge you need to make the necessary changes that can help you feel better. For instance, your gut plays a huge role in your overall health, your mental health included. Did you know that serotonin, the neurotransmitter that helps you feel good and satisfied, is produced in your gut? No wonder that if you have poor gut health that can manifest in symptoms of anxiety and depression!
All sorts of different dietary issues can result in symptoms of anxiety and depression, from poor gut health to inflammation and more. Functional medicine treats anxiety and depression by looking at your diet and suggesting ways you can improve it for better mental and overall health. The healthier your diet and the better it is suited to your body’s specific needs, the less you need to worry about it contributing to worsened mental health.
#3. Bodies Need To Move
Another way functional medicine treats anxiety and depression is by analyzing your activity levels. For some people, they can be incredibly active and still suffer anxiety and depression. But for others, increasing activity levels can do wonders for their mental health. Many people who live sedentary lifestyles find that they suffer from worsened mental health. Regularly getting movement in can be an instant mood booster for a lot of people who suffer from anxiety and/or depression.
Depending on the root cause of your anxiety and depression, how much movement helps your mental health can vary. But there is no question that regularly moving your body and staying active helps your physical health, and can improve your mental health, too.
That is why one of the ways in which functional medicine treats anxiety and depression is by looking at how active a lifestyle you lead. The more you enjoy an activity, the easier it is to stay active. If you don’t like running, you can try dancing or weight-lifting or hiking or any other of the plethora of physical activities out there.
#4. Lack Of Sleep Can Worsen Mental Health Issues
Sleep is one of our bodies’ superpowers. It’s when our bodies get the chance to repair themselves and regenerate, as well as normalize your metabolism and hormone levels. That’s part of the reason why people who do not get enough sleep can struggle with issues like weight gain and trouble losing weight. Sleep impacts your mental health, too.
During sleep, your body gets rid of any inflammatory compounds which could damage your brain. If you don’t get enough sleep, you will have less energy than you would otherwise, which can impact your mood, especially if you regularly do not get enough sleep. Sleep problems can worsen symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Functional medicine looks at your sleep, as well as any and all factors surrounding it. If you are not sleeping well, functional medicine can help you find solutions to obtain better sleep. This can improve your overall mental health.
Want To Learn More About How Functional Medicine Treats Anxiety And Depression?
Life Health Medical Center provides functional medicine treatment for anxiety and depression. Every person is different, so is it any wonder that we personalize your treatment plan to you, to help you the best way we can? To learn more about how functional medicine treats anxiety and depression or to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.