Colorado’s Struggle with Mental Health and Substance Use

Physical and Mental Health

The physical and mental health connection is real which is why functional medicine is more needed now than ever.  One in eight Denver residents is clinically depressed and 70 percent aren’t getting treatment, a new study from Denver Public Health says.  Studies show that some of the biggest challenges to Colorado residents are mental health and substance use. Mental health challenges affect child, adolescent, and adult populations and are linked to behavioral, emotional and substance abuse disorders.

Physical and mental health go hand-in-hand, which is why integrated, functional medicine addresses both. Functional Medicine testing and health screenings can help patients discover if there are any underlying chemical instigators involved. Learn treatment options to help with your self-care and social and emotional functioning.

What is Functional Medicine?

The Institute for Functional Medicine describes functional medicine as: “…a systems biology–based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease.”

“A diagnosis can be the result of more than one cause. For example, depression can be caused by many different factors, including inflammation. Likewise, a cause such as inflammation may lead to a number of different diagnoses, including depression. The precise manifestation of each cause depends on the individual’s genes, environment, and lifestyle, and only treatments that address the right cause will have lasting benefit beyond symptom suppression.”

Functional medicine evaluates individual genomic makeup, taking into account all influences in our environment that play a role in disease development. We are not the pure expression of our gene pool, no, we are far more complex than that.

A functional medicine test includes a thorough discussion of personal health history and lifestyle. In our first visit we will create a timeline of your health history.

What Physical Health Conditions Trigger Mental Health Issues?

Have you ever stopped to think about your emotional challenges long enough to consider that there may actually be a biological reason for them? Physical health affects mental health and vice versa. As was mentioned above, inflammation is one trigger for depression.

“A clear distinction is often made between ‘mind’ and ‘body’. But when considering mental health and physical health, the two should not be thought of as separate,” says MentalHealth.org.

Several physical health problems share symptoms with mental health conditions, which often leads to misdiagnosis. Studies have found that physical health conditions may be the underlying cause of mental health symptoms in 25% of patients receiving psychiatric care.

Depression and anxiety are the two most common mental health conditions that are linked to physical health problems.

Functional Medicine Initial Screening

To help support your physical and mental health goals, our comprehensive screening process for patients focuses on the following key categories that impact wellness:

  • Food. What you eat, how you fuel, has a direct relationship with disease triggers and outcomes.
  • Inhabitants. Infections and toxins (heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, Biphenyls) can invade your body and become difficult to eliminate on your own. Know what inhabits you. Our testing also looks for hidden sources of infection.
  • Nutritional Needs & Deficiencies. Nutrition is key for fueling your body’s innate healing abilities. Many of us become nutritionally depleted due to stress, infection or a toxic burden.
  • Digestion. Cultivating a healthy gut is the foundation to a healthy body. If digestion is not complete, we lack the proper tools to breakdown and absorb the vital nutrients from our food.
  • Hormonal Imbalance. Hormone regulation involves 3 categories: Sex, Thyroid and Adrenals. Making sure hormone levels are balanced is essential for feeling good and keeping your immune system effective.
  • Energy Production. Making sure your mitochondria are functioning and firing properly can ensure that your body is processing energy correctly. Mitochondria are the power house in the cell and sustain life.
  • Lifestyle Choices. Sleep habits, stress management and social health all impact your overall wellness.
  • Metabolic Highways. This screening ensures that your metabolic highways are free and operational for the nutrients that need to travel through them to the areas of your body that need them. Genetics, your diet,  the health of your gut and environmental exposures all influence how cluttered your highways remain.
  • Methylation. Methylation is a biochemical process where chemicals are added to proteins, DNA, or other molecules to support proper body functionality. Know how your environment and genes affect your methylation. If your body is not properly performing methylation, it can be diagnosed by increased levels of homocysteine, an amino acid by-product. One of the main risks from high levels of homocysteine is coronary artery disease.
  • Detoxification. This process allows your body to rid itself of harmful toxins and open your metabolic highways for better nutrient absorption.

Improve Your Physical and Mental Health with a Functional Medicine Test 

Learn how you can benefit from functional medicine today by calling 970-631-8286 and discover how healthy you are on a biochemical, molecular level. Learn strategies and tips to balance your body physically, mentally and emotionally so you can have what you need for total body wellness.