Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health conditions, affecting millions of people worldwide. While conventional treatments such as medication and therapy are widely utilized, an increasing number of individuals are seeking alternative and holistic approaches to manage their anxiety. Functional Medicine, offers a comprehensive toolkit of strategies for addressing the root causes of anxiety and promoting overall well-being. In this article, we will explore various approaches in Functional Medicine for Anxiety that can be effective in treating anxiety.
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is a patient-centered and systems-oriented approach to healthcare that seeks to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal health and well-being. Unlike the traditional disease-centered model, functional medicine focuses on finding the root causes of diseases and fixing them.
Functional medicine practitioners spend significant time with their patients, listening to their histories and exploring the complex web of factors that contribute to their health concerns.
Through a combination of advanced diagnostic testing, personalized treatment plans, and an emphasis on patient education and empowerment, functional medicine seeks to restore balance and optimize the body’s inherent healing mechanisms. By addressing the root causes rather than merely managing symptoms, functional medicine offers a holistic and integrative approach to managing anxiety and promoting overall well-being.
Functional Medicine Doctor – Phoenix
Are you looking for a trusted Functional Medicine doctor in Phoenix?Would you like to become a Functional Medicine patient in our office? The first step in working with Dr. Kilcup is filling our the Functional Medicine history form HERE. Patients get discounted prices for recommended tests and personalized testing and treatment plans. When you are finished filling out the form Dr. Kilcup will go over your history and prepare a plan to move forward. In order to get to the root of the problem, most patients need advanced functional medicine testing. Dr. Kilcup will explain the tests you need and answer any questions you have.
We work with patients both in-person locally in Phoenix, Arizona and globally over the phone.
Functional Medicine: Anxiety
Addressing Nutritional Imbalances
Nutrition plays a crucial role in mental health, and imbalances in key nutrients can contribute to anxiety symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners often assess and correct nutritional deficiencies, such as omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, B vitamins, and zinc, which are essential for optimal brain function and mood regulation.
You may think that you’re eating well, but the Standard American Diet (SAD) has gained notoriety for its negative impact on health and overall well-being. This diet is characterized by high consumption of processed foods, refined sugars, unhealthy fats, and low intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The SAD poses several problems that contribute to poor health outcomes.
Firstly, the SAD is typically low in essential nutrients and high in empty calories. This imbalance can lead to nutrient deficiencies, which play a role in various health issues, including weakened immune function and impaired mental health. Additionally, the high intake of refined sugars and unhealthy fats can contribute to weight gain, obesity, and related conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Furthermore, the SAD promotes chronic inflammation within the body. Processed foods and unhealthy fats found in this diet are often laden with artificial additives, preservatives, and trans fats, which can trigger an inflammatory response. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a range of health problems, including autoimmune diseases, digestive disorders, and even mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.
Good tests for this are the MRT Food Sensitivities and Organic Acids. You can get testing like this from our website, or by becoming a patient HERE!
The gut-brain connection is increasingly recognized as a significant factor in mental health. Imbalances in the gut microbiome can impact neurotransmitter production and contribute to anxiety. Functional medicine approaches focus on optimizing gut health through dietary changes, probiotic supplementation, and addressing conditions like leaky gut syndrome.
Leaky Gut and Anxiety
The gut plays a significant role in our overall well-being, and its impact on anxiety cannot be overlooked. One crucial connection between the gut and anxiety is through a condition called leaky gut. Leaky gut occurs when the intestinal lining becomes permeable. This allows undigested food particles, toxins, and bacteria to leak into the bloodstream. This triggers an immune response, leading to inflammation throughout the body, including the brain. Research has shown that individuals with leaky gut are more likely to experience symptoms of anxiety. Gut infections, food sensitivities, and the Standard American Diet (SAD) are common causes of leaky gut. By addressing these underlying issues, we can support gut health and potentially alleviate anxiety symptoms.
The Inflamed Gut and Inflamed Brain Connection
Another important link between the gut and anxiety lies in the connection between an inflamed gut and an inflamed brain. When the gut is inflamed, it can release pro-inflammatory substances that can reach the brain through various pathways. This inflammation in the brain can disrupt normal neurotransmitter function, leading to imbalances that contribute to anxiety. Moreover, the inflamed gut can also trigger systemic inflammation, which further exacerbates anxiety symptoms. By addressing gut inflammation through dietary modifications, lifestyle changes, and targeted supplements, we can reduce the inflammatory response in both the gut and the brain, providing relief from anxiety.
Neurotransmitter Production in the Gut and Anxiety
We often associate neurotransmitter production with the brain, but the gut also plays a huge role in neurotransmitter production. In fact, approximately 95% of serotonin, a neurotransmitter commonly associated with mood regulation, is produced in the gut. Serotonin plays a crucial role in maintaining a balanced mood and promoting feelings of well-being. Disruptions in gut health, such as imbalances in gut bacteria or inflammation, can negatively impact serotonin production and lead to anxiety symptoms. We can positively influence anxiety levels and promote overall mental wellness by optimizing gut health and supporting the production of neurotransmitters in the gut.
By recognizing the intricate connection between the gut and anxiety, we can adopt a comprehensive approach to address the root causes of anxiety symptoms. By focusing on gut health through addressing leaky gut, reducing inflammation, and supporting neurotransmitter production, we can potentially alleviate anxiety and enhance overall well-being. If you’re looking for personalized guidance in optimizing your gut health to support anxiety management, I’m here to help.
Tests like the Gi-Map, Organic Acids, MRT food sensitivities, and Cyrex Leaky Gut test are all great for seeing how your gut is doing. You can get testing like this from our website, or by becoming a patient HERE!
Chronic inflammation has been linked to anxiety and other mental health disorders. Functional medicine emphasizes identifying and addressing the root causes of inflammation. Factors can include poor diet, food sensitivities, environmental toxins, and chronic stress. By reducing inflammation in the body, anxiety symptoms may be alleviated.
If you want to know if you’re dealing with over inflammation, the GPL-TOX, Gi-Map and MRT tests would all be a good option. The GPL-TOX tests for non-metal toxins, which can disrupt your body. You can get testing like this from our website, or by becoming a patient HERE!
Supporting Neurotransmitter Balance
Neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and GABA play a critical role in regulating mood and anxiety levels. Functional medicine practitioners may use targeted nutritional supplementation or amino acid therapy to support healthy neurotransmitter production and balance. Read more about how you are impacted by your neurotransmitters HERE in my article.
The best test for this is the Neurotransmitters test. You can get testing like this from our website, or by becoming a patient HERE!
Identifying and Addressing Hormonal Imbalances
Hormonal imbalances, such as adrenal dysfunction and thyroid disorders, can contribute to anxiety symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners assess hormonal status and work to restore balance through lifestyle modifications, targeted supplementation, and other interventions.
The best tests for these are Neurohormones, where you can check your Neurotransmitter and Hormone levels. You can get testing like this from our website, or by becoming a patient HERE!
Stress Management Techniques
Chronic stress is a significant contributor to anxiety. Functional medicine emphasizes stress reduction and the incorporation of stress management techniques. Techniques like mindfulness meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, and adequate sleep can all be recommended to support overall mental well-being. Read more about how toxic emotions can destroy your health, HERE in my article.
Environmental toxins can have a detrimental impact on mental health and contribute to anxiety. Functional medicine approaches may include supporting the body’s natural detoxification processes through dietary changes, targeted supplementation, and lifestyle modifications.
Functional Medicine Approaches for Treating Anxiety
In conclusion, functional medicine offers a comprehensive and personalized approach to treating anxiety. By addressing underlying imbalances, optimizing nutrition, managing stress, and supporting overall well-being, functional medicine can provide individuals with effective tools to manage anxiety symptoms and improve their quality of life.
Functional Medicine Doctor – Phoenix
Are you interested in becoming a patient at our office for Functional Medicine? The initial stage of working with Dr. Kilcup involves completing our Functional Medicine history form, accessible HERE. As a patient, you will benefit from discounted prices on recommended tests, as well as personalized testing and treatment plans. Once you have finished filling out the form, Dr. Kilcup will thoroughly review your history and develop a tailored plan for your progress. To address the underlying causes effectively, advanced functional medicine testing is often necessary for most patients. Dr. Kilcup will provide explanations regarding the required tests and will be available to answer any inquiries you may have.
What Additional Options are there for Anxiety Treatment?
In addition to regular Functional Medicine testing and treatment, there are two other amazing therapies I recommend. Both of these therapies are proven to work and are non-invasive. I believe in these therapies so much, that I have invested in bringing them here to my office to help my own patients.
Red Light Therapy
RLT has no side effects, is cost-effective, and is super easy to do! This safe, non-invasive treatment only takes 10-15 minutes a day. Read more about all the wonderful benefits of Red Light and how it helps anxiety HERE.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
HBOT involves breathing 100% (pure) oxygen while in a special space called a hyperbaric chamber. The air pressure inside is raised to a level that is higher than normal air pressure. The increased air pressure in the chamber helps the lungs collect more oxygen.
This additional oxygen helps boost your body tremendously. Read more about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy HERE.