Inflammation and Mental Illness

January 30, 2020

GirlswithPlanetA new study was published that highlights the link between inflammation in the body and mental illness. This is an area that I have been focusing on clinically and in training to physicians and pharmacists for the past twelve years, referring to the condition as “Sickness Syndrome.” There is a very clear link between inflammation in the body and mental illness. Addressing inflammation with a clear plan alleviates many of the symptoms associated with it including depression, anxiety and OCD. For long lasting results, we have to treat the cause of these symptoms rather then masking them. It doesn’t mean psychiatric medications are not helpful, it means we need to broaden the treatment to address one of the underlying causes-inflammation.  I have been researching and working with several forms of glutathione in clinical practice as a simple and effective treatment for “neuroinflammation.” This is an exciting time in medicine, with wonderful discoveries and connections being made that will help children and adults to experience more freedom and to think more clearly. 

In health,

Dr. Gina


Dr. Gina Speaks on Advanced Approaches in Integrative Neurobiology

June 3, 2018

Dr. Gina just spoke at the Advanced Applications in Medical Practice conference in Scottsdale, AZ on the Advanced Brain Therapy program that she offers at Forever Ageless in Newport Beach, CA. Here are a few video clips from the conference. Call or email the office today to schedule and receive these same cutting edge treatments for improving cognitive health and treating mood disorders.

We look forward to seeing you soon and helping you to live your best life ever, with clarity, focus and happiness.

In health,

DrGina.com


It’s not all in your head — it’s in your gut, too

June 10, 2015

a new way to heal stress and anxietyA new study finds decreased social anxiety among young adults who eat fermented foods. Further evidence of the connection between the gut and mood disorders, and hope for a better alternative to addictive benzodiazepenes.

In health,
Dr. Gina


Gut Bacteria Impacts a Woman’s Brain Function

June 24, 2013

depressionNaturopathic medicine has known this for centuries but now there is some promising new research demonstrating that the health of the gut affects a woman’s brain, how she processes emotions and her response to stress.

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The Huffington Post (huffingtonpost.com) – Dietary Changes To Gut Bacteria Can Affect Brain Functioning, Study Suggests – (Monday, June 17, 2013)

Dietary changes to the bacteria living in our guts could have an impact on brain functioning, a new study suggests.

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that regularly eating yogurt with probiotics, which contain “good” bacteria, seems to affect brain functioning in women. They said the proof-of-concept study shows it is possible to impact brain functioning by altering gut bacteria through diet.

The study, published in the journal Gastroenterology, was funded by Danone Research, which is the research arm of Danone, a company that produces yogurt and other dairy products. Some of the study researchers are Danone employees, but they had no role in the interpretation or analysis of results. Researchers noted that past studies have shown a gut-brain connection in terms of the brain sending signals to the gut. But this new study shows that the gut could also send signals to the brain.

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I have published extensively on Sickness Syndrome, a condition I identified where inflammation in the body triggers inflammation in the brain that is a cause of depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges. One of our treatment strategies for Sickness Syndrome, depression and anxiety, involves testing for, and then treating bacterial imbalance in the gut.

In health,

Dr. Gina


Mounting Evidence: The Link Between Inflammation and Depression

December 29, 2012

Depression_Womannew study was just published in the Archives of General Psychiatry involving over 73,000 patients that points to the connection between inflammation in the body and depression.  I  identified this connection nearly 10 years ago, began publishing on it about six years ago, and coined the phrase “Sickness Syndrome” to help doctors to diagnose this prevalent cause for depression. I have been treating patients using this knowledge ever since.

It is time to take a new look at the underlying cause(s) of depression so that mainstream medicine can offer long lasting cures for this debilitating health challenge.

In health,

Dr. Gina


New Study Links Inflammation to Depression

October 22, 2012

A new study, albeit on mice, further points to the link between inflammation and depression. I began publishing on this topic  six years ago. In our medical office I see the real world connection between mood disorders like depression, and inflammation in the body. It is always a pleasure to watch patients as they heal from debilitating symptoms, when we address this underlying cause.

In health,

Dr. Gina


Breast Cancer Linked to Popular Antidepressant Medication

May 7, 2011

Bloomberg reported on a research study revealing a link between female cancers and antidepressant use.

Scientists should more closely examine whether antidepressant drugs increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, according to a researcher affiliated with Harvard University whose review of 61 studies suggested a link.

The risk of cancer increased 11 percent on average for patients taking the medicines, according to a report that analyzed previous data and was published in yesterday’s issue of the peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE. Read the full article by clicking here.

Preparing for a CME lecture (to air on PharmCon on June 9th, and categorized as live pharmacy hours for doctors) on  augmenting the side effects and risks associated with oral contraceptives and other synthetic hormones popular among women and teen-aged girls.  In addition to a significant increased risk in various cancers,  the synthetic hormones also decrease serotonin levels, further increasing the chance of a woman being prescribed anti-depressant medications which appear to further increase her risk of cancer!

A solution could be to take well researched immunomodulators like BRM4 if you take synthetic hormones, or to avoid these hormones if at all possible and turn to more natural options like Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy.

In health and healing,

-Dr. G


Sickness Syndrome Depression-The Link Between Seasonal Allergies, Inflammation and Depression

April 12, 2011

A recent article in the New York Times discusses several large studies that link seasonal allergies to  depression and anxiety. The cause is an increase in inflammatory cytokines that lower serotonin levels.  This is a classic example of Sickness Syndrome Depression, a condition identified years ago and finally gaining media attention.  We often see cases of wrongly diagnosed anxiety and depression at our practice where patients are prescribed antidepressant medications instead of being treated for Sickness Syndrome Depression. To learn more about the syndrome click here. One treatment that is not yet mentioned on the site but that we have recently been using successfully in practice to treat Sickness Syndrome Depression and other psychiatric illnesses with an inflammatory component is BRM4 by Daiwa Health Development– an immunomodulator that alters levels of inflammatory cytokines throughout the body. The effective dosage is 4 capsules three times per day for 4 weeks, and then 4 capsules per day thereafter.

In health and healing,

Dr. G


The Gut Brain Connection..Sickness Syndrome Discussed in Psychology Today

December 13, 2010

A new article published in the November/December issue of Psychology Today reveals that gastrointestinal disorders, like infection, inflammation, and IBS cause anxiety and depression, and that probiotics may replace prozac and Valium as drugs of choice for some psychiatric disorders like anxiety and depression.  This concept, first introduced over 5 years ago and referred to as Sickness Syndrome, is finally gaining the attention of popular media channels.

For those of you who are experiencing anxiety and depression, there are options available to you that go beyond masking symptoms and address at least one of the underlying causes of why you are feeling the way you do.  We see the success of naturopathic medicine in treating anxiety and depression in our medical practice everyday, and treating digestive health is often the first step.

In health and wellness,

Dr. G

 


Screening Teens for Depression..Not Necessarily in the Best Interest of American Teens

April 14, 2009

Abstract Silhouette PrayingAs evidenced by an article published this month in Pediatrics, there is a strong push by the US Government’s Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to encourage doctors to routinely screen ALL American teens for depression using subjective mental health screening questionnaires.   Unfortunately, this can very quickly lead to over-prescription of addictive psychotropic medications, some of which have been proven to increase risk of teenage suicide.  What is most interesting is that the screening methods that the USPSTF is recommending were at one time discouraged by the same task force, which discerned that there is no evidence that screening for suicide risk actually reduces suicide attempts or death.

Teens will typically be prescribed SSRI antidepressants unnecessarily as a consequence of widespread screening. SSRI antidepressant medications have been shown to be no more or only slightly more effective then placebo.  Additionally, these antidepressants carry the FDA’s strongest “Black Box” warning for increased risk of suicide among teens and young adults.

These medications are highly profitable in the US, bringing in approximately $286 Billion in ’07.

Watch this video for more info.

You can treat depression naturally. It is absolutely worth the time, money and energy to go that route first, before considering an antidepressant.   I see the most success in my practice when we use a variety of laboratory tests (e.g. blood amino acid & nutrient levels, Organic Acids, Food Allergy panels, as well as hormones) coupled with individualized treatment protocols aimed to work with the body’s unique and natural tendency to come to a state of balance, rather then forcing it to produce a single neurotransmitter, like serotonin, at the expense of overall health and well being.

It is time to re-focus our attention on doing what is in the best interest of the people (in this case US teens) and the planet.

Dr. G


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