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Brain Health: A Functional Medicine Perspective

By Dr. Michael Veselak, D.C.

Do you experience brain fog? Depression? Anxiety? Are you sleeping ok? Is it difficult focusing on tasks? Remembering names? Do you need coffee every morning or a few drinks at night? Are you wired and tired? Is your energy diminishing throughout out day?

You are not alone! In America we have an epidemic. One out of four adults have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. 20% of all children have some type of psychiatric disorder.

Over 40 million Americans have anxiety and 10 million have depression.

Alzheimer’s experts say will affect 50% of the population over the age of 85.

Brain Health is an important topic and one that needs to be discussed. We need to take a close look at how we have approached this and perhaps what we have been missing.

What I have found is that the focus needs to be on the whole person. The discovery that the brain in neuroplastic and can change is revolutionary. While I was in school this was regarded as impossible, but new connections can be made and the brain can be rewired.

More and more research suggests the importance of epigenetics, diet and lifestyle and its impact on our health. We have come to learn that the gut and brain are in constant communication with each other and gut health can influence brain health and brain health can influence gut health. Issues like hormone imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, food sensitivities and allergies, toxins, digestive and immune imbalances can all influence our mood, behavior, attention and attitude.

Functional medicine addresses the cause and looks at the whole body as an integrated system. Conventional medicine approaches the chronic issues slightly different. They focus on running tests to label it so they can provide medicine to treat it.

The focus should be about creating health not treating symptoms and disease. We address the “why” do they have a high CRP, Homocysteine or a positive ANA. It becomes much less about the label or diagnosis but more about the patients diet and lifestyle.

This approach is leading to the reversal of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Peripheral Neuropathy.

In our clinic we focus on individualized, personalized plans with emphasis on the whole body approach. We recommend labs that addresses the cause like the Dutch Hormone Test , Cyrex Labs or Organic Acids Test.

Along with our diet and lifestyle modifications we incorporate Neurofeedback which has proven to be an effective therapy for anxiety, depression and ADHD.

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