One of my fondest memories is of going to the library and coming away with new things to learn. Today, in my practice as a Functional Nutrition, there is always something new to learn and it still is exciting to me.
I recently have been diving deeper into underlying root causes of symptoms like anxiety, OCD, and depression. One of my colleagues, Bella Lindemann, (http://bellalindemann.com) has been helping me in my journey. While Bella lives in Australia, we met at a conference and I have been fascinated with her approach to gut health. She is a world traveler and specializes in gut issues related to travel.
When amino acids only bring some relief from symptoms, or, when they help but are inconsistent, I know I need to look deeper. Part of my assessment is weeding out gut issues, and then testing when necessary.
This past month I have seen "Lisa" finally make progress in her battle with anorexia. "Kara's" testing revealed the likely culprit behind her depression and extreme inflammation. And "Taylor" may have found the cause for her life-altering OCD.
The common thread with these clients was advanced testing. With "Lisa" we discovered some bad bacteria and yeast overgrowth. Once this was addressed, she was able to allow herself to gain some weight and her constant bloating stopped.
"Kara" could not tolerate any supplements for very long. She would have a great reaction and then a few days later experience an adverse reaction from the same supplement. Her diet was very clean, yet she was experiencing some gut symptoms and could not find relief from her constant depression. Her test results screamed "exposure" - likely to mold, and when I questioned her she mentioned she has had mold in her home the last few years.
And Taylor has built her life around her OCD symptoms. Because her symptoms were sudden onset at a very young age, further investigation revealed that they started after a "flu." Stool testing has given us two clues to likely causes to be an infection and bad bacteria.
The lesson for me has been to always dig deeper, and that has meant learning how to interpret new tests and follow new protocols. Of course, I still rely heavily on amino acids, improving a client's diet, and assessing for emotional needs.
If you still doubt the gut-brain connection, stay tuned, as much research is currently exploring this topic. I will keep you posted on my studies and conclusions working with clients with mental health symptoms.
I hope as the holidays are fast approaching that your health is in tip-top shape. If you are struggling, don't give up on searching for answers.
If you are a clinician, and want to learn more about my approach, visit my website www.nutritionistherapy.com or, sign up to be notified when my next training course is announced by clicking on the yellow bar at the top of this page and scrolling to the bottom.