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Mental Illness Alternative Health Treatment Plan From Naturopathic Doctor Part 3
This is Part 3 of a story that outlines an alternative health mental illness treatment plan. Please read Part 1 and Part 2 about my friend Stacy’s experience with bipolar and anxiety mental illness. Part 1 is about Stacy’s stay in a mental illness treatment facility. Part 2 is about healthy tips I suggested for her to get better until she could find a good naturopathic doctor (ND).
Stacy feels better after trying my suggestions and is now seeing a ND to help her completely wean off of the Lithium prescription. She gave me a copy of what the ND prescribed. The plan was in depth with a nutrition and supplement plan. Since Stacy has been on the plan, she only takes a small dosage of medication, feels energetic and like her normal self.
What is a Naturopathic Doctor?
A naturopathic doctor (ND) practices medicine that integrates natural and scientific methods to heal patients. A ND focuses on eliminating the cause of illness and having good nutrition to achieve good health. The ND degree includes educational training of medical and clinical sciences, similar to the training of a medical doctor.
Testing For the Alternative Health Mental Illness Treatment Plan
Stacy’s doctor explained that chemical, hormone or nutritional imbalances can affect the mind and cause depression. He worked with his on-staff nutritionist and ran several blood tests including a nutrition response test and homocysteine test (which tests for folate–a form of B vitamin and B12), and found her to be low in several key vitamins, especially B6. Being low in B6 isn’t good for the brain. It’s needed to make serotonin and norepinephrine which are chemicals that control emotions, wakefulness, sleep and stress. Learn more about brain chemistry and depression here . I know another friend diagnosed with anxiety disorder that knows this first hand. Her herbalist prescribed a B vitamin complex formula (contains all types of B vitamins) and her anxiety got better in two weeks.
Stacy’s doctor changed her diet and recommended high dosages of amino acids and vitamins to treat her bipolar disorder.
Side note: Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and form neurotransmitters. Without the right levels of amino acids the brain will not function properly. Examples of amino acids: Tyrosine, L –tryptophan, L-Taurine, 5-HTP, glycine, GABA, etc. I won’t delve too much into this. Talking about amino acids and how they work in the body is a lot of information that would make for another post by itself, which I will do in several weeks. I have a tendency to go overboard with information and don’t want to give a full blown chemistry lesson and get away from the main focus of this post. (Yes, I’m a science geek. LOL!) Here’s medical research about amino acids treating bipolar mental illness.
What is listed below is NOT the complete list of what Stacy takes or the exact dosages since I don’t want people suffering from mental illness to read this, and self-medicate without the supervision of a ND or**integrative medical doctor (IMD). (Often doctors utilize a nutritionist to help with treatment.) Please note that high dosages are needed to have a therapeutic effect. You MUST be treated by a ND or integrative medical doctor and get tested so a customized plan can be put together. Dosing is built up slowly over several weeks or months and this differs person to person, (based on genes and ability to absorb nutrients.)
** An integrative medical doctor (IMD) is a medical doctor that focuses on the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), to achieve healing and optimal health. An IMD uses a combination of traditional medicine and alternative therapies to treat patients
The Alternative Health Mental Illness Treatment Plan From the ND (partial treatment list)
Griffonia Simplicifolia extract. This extract comes from a West African shrub that contains the amino acid 5-HTP, which builds serotonin levels. A proper serotonin level is needed for the brain to produce a good mood. Stacy takes more than 700 mg a day. It’s also an appetite depressant and helps with sleep.
Omega 3 fatty acids. (Fish oil and evening primrose oil), helps calm down emotions. She takes 10 grams of cod liver oil every day.
Vitamin D and D3 (cholecalciferol). The best source for vitamin D is direct sunshine from going outside for 20 minutes. Sunshine activates vitamin D within the body. Small amounts are in tuna, mackerel, sardines, and herring. If you can’t get outside then you need to supplement with D3. Stacy goes outside every day and takes more than 2000 IU D3 in supplement form.
Folate/Folic Acid Folate is found in foods like broccoli, okra, asparagus, bananas, melons, lemons, mushrooms, beef liver, orange juice, and tomato juice. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate and is part of B vitamin complex formulas. Stacy drinks 8 ounces of fresh, organic broccoli, carrot and lemon juice every day. She also takes a B complex formula.
B12 This vitamin is found in meat and certain fermented foods. The best way to take this is as an oral supplement sublingually. Injections are preferred by many alternative health care doctors. Stacy gets a B12 shot twice a week.
Side note: Earlier, I mentioned B complex formula. Many people I know that have panic attacks or generalized anxiety disorder, take this supplement to get the entire range of B vitamins needed for a healthy brain. They reported having better sleep, less anxiety, less panic attacks, and being calmer in social settings.
List of B Vitamins in B Complex Formula
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (niacin or niacinamide)
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride)
- Vitamin B7 (biotin)(vitamin H)
- Vitamin B9 (folic acid)
- Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)
Stacy is now happy with her health and continues to keep her diet healthy and take all the recommended supplements suggested by the ND. Her hope is to be completely off of the Lithium drug which may happen in time. But if not, she’s still better off than where she first started. My purpose in writing these three articles is to show many treatment options available to mentally ill people that don’t include only taking prescription drugs. I hope this is helpful and encourages those with a mental illness to seek help from an experienced alternative health specialist. And, if you have friends and family with a mental illness, please encourage them to consider other treatment options besides taking prescription drugs.