Anxiety and depression are extremely common symptoms that we see. When these problems are not situational, we look for metabolic imbalance in brain function.
There are two chemical pathways that control these functions. The GABA pathway makes neurotransmitters that prevent anxiety and the Serotonin pathway makes neurotransmitters to prevent depression.
There are four necessary steps to make these neurotransmitters:
- It is necessary for proteins to break down to amino acids, which are the essential building blocks of the neurotransmitters. Frequently, we find that patients aren’t ingesting enough protein. Our rule of thumb is to eat 1 gram of protein for every kilogram of body weight.
- We also find that protein is often not broken down into amino acids. If you eat protein, but don’t digest it, it’s as if you didn’t eat the protein at all. This is easy to determine with a simple urine test. The most common cause of this problem is the consumption of too much sugar, which depletes vitamin B1, a nutrient necessary for the production of stomach acid.
Restoring the ability to digest not only helps brain function but affects the health of the entire body. We see this problem in about two thirds of patients that come through our office.
- Problems in the small intestine caused by dysbiosis and leaky gut affect the absorption of nutrients from the small intestine into the blood stream. Dysbiosis can be rectified with good quality, high potency probiotics. A leaky gut requires avoiding certain irritating foods and medications, as well as taking nutritional supplements such as glutamine to heal the small intestine lining.
- Conversion of the nutrients into the needed neurotransmitters in the brain is the final step. Lacking any one of the essential precursors to neurotransmitters (vitamins and minerals) will limit production and cause neurotransmitter levels to be inadequate.
If you suspect that you are having metabolic problems with anxiety or depression, call our office at 704-837-2420 to arrange a no charge initial consultation.