An Unhealthy Gut & Anxiety

24

Sep
2013
Posted By : Sally Dee 0 Comment
Categories :Blogs

I always like to consider thinking, “outside of the box,” and I believe some “alternative ideas” really can and do work. Please take a moment to read:  http://abcnews.go.com/Health/anxiety-head-gut/story?id=20229136

I have known about Dr. James Greenblatt, a Boston-area psychiatrist, for some time now. He worked at McLeans Hospital when I was receiving my clinical training. McLeans is a premier mental health facility that works with Harvard’s Medical School.  Greenblatt does not practice “alternative medicine,” rather he is an expert psychopharmacologist. He has since left McLeans and is now a clinical faculty member at Tufts Medical School.

“Dr. Greenblatt, like many others, are beginning to recognize the power of healthy gut bacteria. The average adult carries up to five pounds of bacteria — trillions of microbes — in their digestive tract alone.

A recent study in the journal Science showed that thin and fat people have different bacteria — a discovery that could lead to weight-loss programs. Doctors have also been using fecal transplants to seniors when their gastrointestinal health is compromised in nursing home living.”

Dr. Greenblatt believes there may be a link between what’s in your gut and what’s in your head. He goes so far as to suggest that certain bacterias actually may play a role in the following disorders such as anxiety, schizophrenia and autism. “In some patients, the strep bacterium has been linked to OCD in a condition known as PANDAS.”

“According to, Jane Foster, associate professor of neuroscience and behavioral science and part of the McMaster University & Brain-Body Institute.

“Anyone who has a mental health disorder that coincides with a GI disorder is a good candidate for probiotics,” she said.

One such candidate was Adam Johnson, who since the age of 5 has struggled with ADHD, anxiety and some mood disorders, and has been treated with a variety of medications.

“We know now he had too much stimulation and realize his brain worked differently than everyone else’s,” said his mother, Kay Lynn Johnson of Massachusetts.

“Adam is a very slow processor and deep thinker and has an incredibly divergent brain going a thousand miles an hour all the time,” she said.

For many years, he was treated by a well-respected pharmacologist and a therapist, according to Johnson. But prescription medications were not working well enough, and by the time he was 14, his family turned to integrative medicine looking for a “broader range of tools.” His urine and blood tests found a bacterial imbalance.

“I don’t want to bad mouth drugs — they have a place,” said Johnson. “But I think there’s more to learn.”

Last year, he was taken off all medications, put on a special diet and treated with probiotics. “Friends, family and his teacher were amazed,” said his mother.

Today, Adam is in honors classes, playing clarinet in the band and doing well. “It’s been a real triumph,” she said.”

For a more in depth look on this topic, I recommend reading:

ADHD Therapy in Tampa

17

Jul
2012
Posted By : Sally Dee 6Comment
Categories :Blogs

Suzette fell onto the couch in my office exclaiming, “I need help!”   She was frazzled.  “I just don’t know how to get my household under control or even myself. I feel so overwhelmed most of the time.  Suzette explained, “My life was fairly easy before I had my children. I love them so much, but I can’t seem to handle the details of raising them and trying to care for my husband, too.”  Once Suzette had let all the words and emotions of her story come out, she took a deep breath and waited to hear how we could work together to help her find solutions to help her deal with her ADHD.  How could she better manage her seemingly surmountable tasks?  Even the weekends weren’t offering her any reprieve.  Suzette is a typical woman who comes to see me for depression and anxiety.  She’s also looking for solutions to help manage her ADHD symptoms.  Together we have worked to analyze her life, helping to find a balance that works for her, not against her.

After a series of ADHD therapy sessions with Suzette, she discussed with me how much easier and more manageable her life has become.  She even managed to get away for a weekend with her friends, feeling confident that upon returning home, she would be able to pick up right where she left off with her now functioning schedule.  Suzette recently began working on calming her thoughts.  She talks now about feeling in control of her life and is efficiently managing her family members’ schedules.  Her home life feels more relaxing; she understands her own emotional state, feeling more confident and happy.  Suzette continues to learn how to be mindful of her own needs as she supports her family’s needs.  She’s a great example of a woman who is managing her ADHD symptoms and feeling in control of her life.  If you feel you live in the Tampa area and have ADHD symptoms and need someone to talk to, please reach out to us.