Anxiety, Stress and Root Cause Medicine
If you are suffering from anxiety or stress and come to visit us at the clinic, our first step is to perform an extensive history and in-depth physical exam. During the history and exam, you will learn how Root Cause Medicine works and that your body has a reason for creating your symptoms of anxiety and stress. That sounds obvious, but what is less obvious is the reason why.
How we identify the root cause of your anxiety or stress and get rid of it is what makes Root Cause Medicine so very different from conventional drug-focused medicine.
What is different about Root Cause Medicine is that we do not mask your anxiety and stress with drugs but rather attack it at its root. This approach gives us an 85% success rate of eradicating your anxiety and stress symptoms.
The most common response we hear from patients is that the root cause approach makes sense and they wonder why more doctors do not offer it. Once we explain this method to you, you will be excited to begin a program.
Statistics regarding anxiety and stress
The National Institute of Mental Health states anxiety disorders affect 18% of adults in the U.S. but more current estimates state that closer to 30% of U.S. adults are afflicted with anxiety when you consider the number of individuals who don’t seek help or are misdiagnosed.
Anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion each year.
According to the World Health Organization, mental disorders in developed countries account for more disability than any other group of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease.
The lifetime prevalence of mental illness in the U.S. was around 50%.
It is estimated 43% of North Americans take mood altering prescriptions regularly. Paxil and Zoloft, two of the most popular anti-anxiety medications ranked in the top 10 of all medications prescribed in the U.S. with sales totaling $5 billion.
Anxiety disorders are twice as common as clinical depression.
A 2017 report from the American Institute of Stress cites numerous studies revealing job stress to be the major source of stress for American adults. Its incidence has escalated over the past few decades.
The price tag of job stress is over $300 billion per year.
Anxiety and stress are very common
Anxiety, stress, and mood swings are common problems. In fact, of all the problems new patients present with, these rank 4th, only after pain, digestive problems (including overweight) and headaches.
As practitioners of Root Cause Medicine, symptoms such as anxiety and stress are interesting because often, they can be the result of a problem rather than the cause. It can be difficult at times to make the determination of cause vs. effect because anxiety, stress and mood swings can be disabling and overwhelming for you.
Conventional medicine treats these symptoms liberally with drugs. The problem with such drugs, beyond their life-threatening side effects, is they do not get to the underlying root cause of your problem. If you ask your doctor how long he or she expects you to take the psychiatric medication, you will often hear you might need it forever.
I well remember a gentleman, a highly intelligent engineer, who came to us seeking weight loss. He never mentioned his anxiety, mood swings, depression, or bipolar disorder. Once we began our root cause program, he began to feel better. He returned to his psychiatrist and explained that he was getting healthier, feeling much better mentally, and was wondering if he could begin to taper down on some of the 7 psychiatric medications he was on. Yes, he was on 7 different medications for his “mental diseases”.
His psychiatrist refused to even entertain such a notion and explained to the patient he would be on these medications for the rest of his life. The patient then relayed this conversation to us, and we were able to begin the tapering process. As you can imagine, 7 different medications took a while. But through addressing the true root cause of his problem, a problem that was affecting his brain and nervous system, we were, over the course of many months, able to wean him off each and every one of his 7 different psychiatric medications.
Has he sustained this improvement in his health? Yes. He keeps in touch on occasion, and at our last meeting, several years after completing his program, he was still taking no medication and feeling great.
Is this an unusual scenario? Not at all. We regularly wean patients off psychiatric drugs once the actual root cause of their symptoms has been addressed.
Another problem I see, almost daily with new patients, is they have been prescribed psychiatric medication for stress, anxiety, depression, or PTSD, when they do not believe they need it. This may sound odd to you, but I assure you it is extremely common. Or maybe it does not sound at all odd because you have experienced this personally.
Patients relay that upon seeing their primary care physician or a specialist, they are “diagnosed” with anxiety, depression, or PTSD and handed a prescription. Their response to me is very often: “I don’t feel depressed or anxious. I told my doctor that, but they gave me the prescription anyway.”
It is not only distressing to know how many people are being prescribed dangerous psychiatric medications who do not need them, but it is equally distressing that the true root cause of their problem remains undiagnosed and untreated.
Do some people have anxiety or mood swings as their primary symptom? Absolutely. Does that mean they need psychiatric medication? No. Studies reveal, year after year, that such medications do not cure anything, placebos work as well, and the risk of dangerous side effects outweighs potential benefits.
If you are reading this and you take such a drug and feel better, I am not negating that you do. What I am saying is this: in our experience, once the true root cause of your anxiety, depression stress or mood swings is discovered, the likelihood of being able to get weaned of the medication is quite good.
Conventional Medicine considers the cause as unknown
Root Cause Medicine knows there are many causes underlying anxiety, depression, and stress.
Conventional medicine differs however and has this to say:
WebMD: The cause of anxiety disorders is unknown. They go on to say “many of these disorders are caused by a combination of factors, including changes in the brain and environmental stress”.
Mayo Clinic is similarly vague: “The causes of anxiety disorders aren’t fully understood. Life experiences appear to trigger anxiety disorders in people who are already prone to anxiety. Inherited traits also can be a factor.”
How do you feel about being told you have a health condition for which there is no known cause? It is a bit discouraging, to say the least. Especially when it is a problem that impacts you day in and day out, affecting your very ability to function in life.
Anxiety, depression, and stress can affect your interactions with friends, family, coworkers and impact your ability to achieve your goals in life.
Here at Root Cause Medical Clinics we are not in agreement there is no cause, in fact, quite the contrary. Below you will see a list of potential causes, all of which can be addressed naturally. I am happy to say we have excellent success treating anxiety, depression, stress, and mood swings utilizing Root Cause Medicine. Our program is highly effective and utilizes no dangerous psychiatric drugs.
Root Cause Medicine isolates the cause of your anxiety and stress
In Root Cause Medicine, we have found many conditions play a role in the causation of anxiety, stress, and depression. They include:
- Adrenal exhaustion
- Thyroid imbalance
- Foot sensitivities
- Malabsorption/ Maldigestion
- Leaky gut
- Hiatal hernia
- Hormonal imbalance
- Autoimmune disease
If you wish to know more specifics regarding how each of the above affects mood, I have gone into further detail below.
if you are overly tired, your mood will reflect it, but the mood change tends to be a secondary reaction to the actual cause of the fatigue rather than the primary cause. To learn what the root cause medicine does for fatigue, you can read more about it here.
when the adrenal gland, your stress gland, malfunctions, it affects mood, your stress response and hormonal balance.
the thyroid is part of the system that makes hormones, directly affecting mood and anxiety levels. The thyroid does not need to be diseased for it to affect your sex hormones, mood, and stress levels. Root Cause Medicine looks at your thyroid more sensitively and can rebalance it before any disease process has occurred.
food is fuel as well as information. If you are eating a food you react to you, will often feel it in your nervous system and brain before you will experience any digestive problems. That may sound counter intuitive I know. You would think a food reaction would manifest itself in the digestive tract first and exclusively. It makes sense, but it is not accurate. Having food sensitivities is common and will often have an effect upon your mood, stress levels and emotions as the first symptom.
Malabsorption / Maldigestion
the digestive tract is responsible for turning what you eat into viable fuel. Fuel that feeds the 10 trillion cells of the body. These cells reside everywhere, including your brain. If malabsorption or maldigestion is occurring, food is not turning into appropriate fuel and the result for you can be imbalanced mood and heightened stress
this relates to what we said about malabsorption and maldigestion above. Leaky gut is an additional reason your food is not turning into absorbable energy and fueling all the cells of your body, including your brain, creating symptoms of stress and anxiety.
if you have never heard of this, you are in good company, but having a hiatal hernia is a very common causes of panic attacks and anxiety. To learn more about hiatal hernia, read the e-Book, watch one of several videos on this site or enjoy our new book, Hiatal Hernia Syndrome.
we have mentioned the thyroid and the adrenal glands above, but in addition to those, men and women of all ages, can suffer from sex hormone imbalance. If you are a woman who has ever had PMS or you are a man or woman who has ever known a woman suffering from PMS, you understand how the ebb and flow of hormones can cause someone’s emotional state to alter dramatically. Men are not immune to this phenomenon; they too can suffer hormonal imbalance that affects their mood and stress levels.
while a natural chapter of a woman’s life, menopause should not result in dramatically decreased levels of sex hormones. The transition into menopause is supposed to be the ovary’s way of “signing off” and signaling childbearing years are behind one. However, the brain and adrenal glands are designed to “take over” the hormonal production for the rest of a woman’s life. If a woman goes through menopause around 50, she has barely reached the halfway point of her life. Due to faulty adrenal gland function, poor digestive health and a variety of other factors, many women lose a degree of emotional stability, mental clarity, memory, libido, and overall vitality when they go through menopause. This is not normal and does not have to occur.
if you have ever been in pain for a sustained period of time, you know how draining it can be. Hormone balance and stress levels are affected by pain, creating mood alterations. Handling the underlying cause of physical pain is one of the reasons we have both Doctors of Chiropractic and Doctors of Physical Therapy as part of our team of doctors. Working with the physical aspect of your health can be integral to your hormonal and mood balance.
Infections / Toxins
the immune system is affected by any infectious or toxic agents. The human immune system, in the main, is located within your gut, thereby everything we have mentioned about gut health and its impact on hormonal balance, brain function and stress applies here as well.
the most common autoimmune disease is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, although there are over 100 in total. The hallmark of autoimmune disease is that your immune system has become so overtaxed as to confuse organs of your body for a foreign invader. As previously mentioned, the human immune system is primarily housed in the gut, therefore we put our efforts on normalizing gut health when addressing the root cause of autoimmune disease. The gut, known as the second brain, intimately affects the brain, hormones, and stress levels.
we know inflammation is the root cause of all degenerative diseases and, as mentioned above, it is a product of the human immune system. Do not get inflammation wrong, there is both a good and bad side to it. It is chronic inflammation that is a causative factor in the degenerative diseases we are trying to avoid. Inflammation, when present chronically, not only creates degenerative disease, but is a known cause of depression and stress.
Heal the Root Cause, Reduce the Need for Medication
While the above is a long list, no item on it is difficult to handle. The key is diagnosing what is at the root of your symptoms of stress or anxiety. We not only are able to get to the root of the problem, but if you are already on a psychiatric drug we typically are able to successfully wean you off it gradually without you any withdrawal symptoms.
Patients who have tried to wean off their psychiatric drugs unsuccessfully are sometimes baffled why it is so easily accomplished after they have done our program. The reason is quite simple. Once we have addressed the root cause and restored balance, there is no further need for medication. At that point, removing the drug from your system is rather effortless.
Have you ever been to a traditional doctor complaining of stress, anxiety, depression, or mood swings? Here is what likely happened:
- The doctor ran a blood test(s) to rule out any disease process.
- If the labs came back negative your doctor likely said you are suffering from a mental imbalance and you require psychiatric medication such as an anti-anxiety or anti-depressant drug.
Here is what you can expect from a Root Cause Medicine Doctor
First, an extensive history is performed; it is very comprehensive. We ask questions about your stress level, sleep schedule, food preferences and cravings, digestive symptoms, any hormonal imbalance symptoms, exercise schedule, genetics, and a great deal more.
Based on the extensive history, examination, and our knowledge of how to diagnose the exact underlying root cause, we begin to isolate the possible root causes of your problem. This “working diagnosis” will be validated from the results of functional and traditional lab tests.
If you have ever been frustrated that lab tests your doctor orders fail to show anything is wrong, despite your suffering, you will love Functional Lab tests. They are highly sensitive and the correct testing will identify the malfunction underlying the cause of your symptoms.
As Root Cause Medicine practitioners, we appreciate that your symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress, or mood swings are caused by an imbalance or imbalances, plural. You are not destined to suffer. The list of root causes above gives you an idea of what might be causing your symptoms.
Once we have diagnosed the root cause(s), we begin to correct each of them. We have discovered this list of common causes through working with patients for over 25 years. The process does not need to be long, even if you have suffered for years, and it involves no dangerous drugs.
It never ceases to delight me how willing the body is to heal itself once you provide for it the correct tools.
I cannot tell you how many new patients I see who have suffered for years with anxiety, depression, stress, and mood swings, but have been given no solution. When your body is provided the right solution, it will heal.
Top 3 causes we find:
- Food sensitivities
- Adrenal fatigue and hormonal imbalance
- Digestion imbalance, including intestinal infections
If you want to learn more about the adrenal glands, read Fatigue and Root Cause Medicine. To learn more about hormonal imbalance, read Hormonal Imbalance and Root Cause Medicine. And if you want to delve deeper into digestion, read Digestive Problems and Root Cause Medicine.
You can also type in any specific terms under “search” on this site and find a variety of blogs on the topic you are interested in.
It may seem strange or odd to you that what you eat and how your digestive tract functions can affect your mood. Part of the problem with conventional medicine, in my opinion, is a lack of appreciation that all parts of your body are integrated.
No part of your body works in a vacuum. Your digestive tract is called “the second brain” due to its close association with mental function. Your digestive tract is responsible for processing your food, turning it into fuel. If your food is not turning into good fuel, no part of your body will work properly including your brain.
You would not be surprised if your car would not move if it ran out of gas, would you?
Have you ever been moody or cranky because you needed to eat? Then you have experienced how lack of proper fuel can affect you emotionally. Food sensitivities result in the food you eat NOT turning into proper fuel. So even though you have eaten, it is as if you have not, and mood swings, anxiety, and more can be the result.
What is frustrating about the conventional medical model is they do not acknowledge the presence of these root causes because they are constrained by having to find a disease. Why? Quite simply, our medical model is based on disease and it tends to focus its efforts narrowly on the area of complaint. E.g. if you have anxiety, they believe a “brain” or “mental” problem is the only cause.
There is a difference between disease and malfunction. Malfunction precedes disease by months or even years. Not surprisingly, reversing malfunction is easier than reversing disease because more damage has occurred in the latter.
When I speak of adrenal fatigue, I am not talking about adrenal disease. Similarly, when I speak of digestive and hormonal malfunction, that has not yet reached a disease state.
Malfunction of various body systems and organs is not what conventional medicine is trained to look for In fact, their tools are only oriented toward identifying disease.
Would you rather find out about a problem when it’s at the malfunction state and resolution is completely available to you, or would you rather wait, be told you’re fine because you don’t yet have a disease, and only be offered assistance once the disease has a foothold?
Sensitive lab tests capable of evaluating organ malfunction, not just disease, DO exist. They are called functional lab tests and we have been utilizing them for decades. They are not widely available, but they are acknowledged as accurate. The beauty of functional tests is they diagnose malfunction, long before disease has begun. And of course, that is what are striving for – catching a malfunction early when it is still able to be fully corrected.
Too often, as I mentioned above, traditional medicine is quick to “pull the trigger” on anxiety or depression as their sole diagnosis when no disease process can be found. It would be one thing, perhaps, if they utilized natural therapies as treatment, but instead they prescribe dangerous psychiatric medication with life threatening side effects.
If you have ever experienced anxiety, stress, depression, or mood swings, you know quite well that it is difficult to even fake being “upbeat and happy”. You are not yourself; you cannot be as productive as you want to be; you often feel you are letting down your significant other, children, and/or coworkers. Fun and enjoyment is not present; it is a bad feeling.
Please know this: You do not need to continue living this way. There IS a root cause for anxiety, stress, and depression. Finding the true cause is not difficult when you partner up with the right clinician who has the right tools and knows the right questions to your body. This is exactly what we do for you.
A Root Cause program is completely natural, no drugs or surgery.
If you have been suffering from anxiety, stress, and depression for a long time, this may sound unbelievable; I understand. But if you have never been evaluated from a root cause medicine approach, the solution to your problem could be easily within your grasp.
As clinicians it is our job to explain the best route for you to achieve your goal of handling your stress and balancing your mood. This may mean handling adrenal function, digestion issues, or balancing your hormones.
We explain how root cause medicine works at our first meeting and it is for this reason we propose an initial consultation. We want you to have the option of meeting with us and understanding our approach before you pay for any visits.
We want you to experience success as much as you do. This is a team approach. We do not just hand you a pill, far from it. We work extensively with you to change diet, lifestyle, repair faulty organ function and more. This doesn’t happen overnight, and it won’t occur without help. Therefore, we like to ensure that you are ready to embark upon the adventure to regain your health with a clear understanding that it will require some work and change on your part. But you are not alone; we are right here alongside you.
As we like to say, with your compliance, success is all but assured.
Do you need help with stress, anxiety, depression, or mood swings? We are here for you.
Do you know someone who does? If so please share this with them.
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