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Sample Sidebar Module

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Mental Health Disorders

Mental health disorders are very common within the United States and they could be worsening due to more complex lifestyles that may include long work hours. There are numerous levels of mental health disorders that might start with problems such as generalized anxiety disorder. We can then move up the mental health ladder with panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. There are other medical conditions that may associate with these mental health disorders such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. It is clear from multiple studies, that people with undertreated or untreated depression or bipolar disorder have an approximate 45% increase occurence rate of heart attacks and strokes. To make matters worse, if depression has causation participation in heart attacks and strokes, the survival rate of the event significantly decreases. There is believed to be significant inreases levels of circulating adrenaline ("increased sympathetic tone") in the patient struggling with mental health disorders and it is the excessive levels of circulating adrenaline that allows for the firing of neurons that have no chemical content (i.e. a serotonergic neuron that lacks serotonin may receive a signal to fire up to 15 times before the circulating adrenaline shows up at the post-synaptic membrane exciting the neuron, albeit firing the neuron very inefficiently). There are multiple reasons for the lack of these chemicals within the various neurons but I like to group the problems into three primary categories: 1) substrate deficiencies (i.e. the lack of methylfolate caused by MTHFR genetic abnormality or in folic acid deficiency, Vitamin D deficiency, and Omega-3 deficiency), 2) lack of N3 sleep caused by sleep disorders (the purpose of sleep is to make brain chemicals and those chemicals are made during stages 3 and 4 [AKA N3 stage] of sleep), and 3) direct genetic causation of the mental health disorder itself. There are certainly environmental factors that correlate with mental health disorders as well such as that seen in post-traumatic stress disorder. Hormonal influence can furthermore effect mental health status such as menopause. Whatever the cause of the mental health disorder, the ultimate result is the increased circulating levels of adrenaline. Adrenaline (AKA epinephrine) is supposed to circulate in relatively low levels when everything is working normally with 3-4 minute periods of elevation of adrenaline seen during times of "fright and flight." It is believed that the prolonged elevations of circulating adrenaline causes a significant inflammatory response everywhere that blood vessels exist thus the treatment of mental health has to be a priority of cardiovascular risk reduction. This means that the psychiatric care of patients in the future will have to address the advanced cardiovascular biomarkers that includes looking at the MTHFR genetic abnormality (presence of this genetic abnormality causes decreased production of serotonin, melatonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine within the brain neurons), Vitamin D deficiency (causes decreased production of serotonin), and Omega-3 deficiency (causes decreased production of serotonin). Thorough psychiatric management of the future will have to include careful assessment for possible presence of one of the three main sleep disorders, obstructive sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and narcolepsy. When each of the substrate issues are identified and cared for along with all sleep disorders being addressed successfully, you can then assess the patients baseline mental health condition which would be there genetic predisposition. It is entirely likely that most all of your psychiatric medications will work much more effectively in the patients that possess adequate substrates and plenty of N3 sleep (at least 25% of their sleep time with an adequate amount of sleep time taken). Fixing these mental health disorders then leads to a more normal low level of circulating adrenaline (lessened sympathetic tone) thus eliminating the cause of the proinflammatory state.

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  • Straight To The Heart
  • Sam Fillingane, D.O.
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    Flowood MS, 39323
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