Healthy Beginnings

Natural mood helpers to ease your mind and limit stress

Unwanted stress can cause your mind to wander, thus interrupting sleep.

After completing my internal medicine internship in Oakland, California, in the early 1970s, I felt the future of psychiatry would lie in psychopharmacology (brain drugs) and did a post-doctoral fellowship at the Stanford Research Ward at the Palo Alto Veterans Administration Hospital.

I was appalled by the lack of effectiveness of electroshock therapy, early anti-depressants and anti-psychotic agents and their many noxious side effects. There have been improvements in psychiatric drugs in the last 40 years, but many underlying causes of mental illness and rational treatment modalities have been overlooked by mainstream psychiatry.

Mental illness is endlessly faceted. Infectious diseases, such as Lyme disease, can cause it, and myriad co-infections can wreak havoc on the brain and the immune system. Viral illnesses, such as EpsteinBarr virus, and other viruses can also destroy the adrenal and create chaos.

Intestinal parasites that upset the intestinal bacteria flora; chronic dental infections, such as defective root canals, mercury amalgam fillings and heavy metals; and other chronic bacterial infections in the jaw bones can poison the brain, thus bringing on symptoms of MS, ALS, chronic fatigue, neuropathies, seizure disorders and joint pains. They also can cause strokes, heart attacks and cancer.

Of course, mental, physical and psychological trauma, as well as abuse, grief and loss, caregiving, monetary setbacks, sibling wars, legal battles, and political disenfranchisement also cause ongoing stress. These can result in adrenal stress and subsequent inability to sleep, which further deteriorates mental health. Many homeopathic remedies address chronic abuse, grief and loss.

The adrenal glands (on top of the kidneys) are in charge of blood sugar storage in the liver. If they are compromised by any of the above stresses, the blood sugar drops at night and the brain thinks the body is dying and signals for more adrenalin to be secreted from the middle of the adrenal gland.

Adrenalin then converts fat into blood sugar, so we don’t die, but we do get an adrenalin rush in the night wakes us up, and the mind goes to the unresolved problems of the day. Therefore, you can’t sleep.

Mood helpers

For some people, psychiatric drugs are necessary. By limiting stressors, patients can frequently — albeit gradually — wean themselves off medication.

Dietary improvements and nutritional counseling (avoid sugar, high fructose corn syrup, soda; be aware of food allergens, frequently grains and dairy) can be very beneficial — plus the addition of basic supportive nutrients

B vitamins have cured many forms of mental illness. Magnesium, especially in glycinate form, is remarkably calming. Acetyl L Carnitine improves energy, mood and memory. Vitamin C is critical on many levels. Vitamin D3 is great for mood, especially in the winter.

Bioidentical hormone support is frequently neglected. Low thyroid is epidemic, and replacement — especially for depression and fatigue — is frequently rewarding even in the face of normal thyroid lab values.

Adrenal support with adrenal complex shots with B12, and folic acid has been wonderful for 60 years. Progesterone cream blocks adrenalin and is very calming, not feminizing, and is great for sleep, as well as PMS issues.

Testosterone replacement for men can be amazing. Amino acid therapy is beneficial for calming and happy brain chemicals.

Michael Gerber, MD, HMD, is a Practitioner of Homeopathic Medicine at Gerber Medical Clinic in Reno. Visit www.gerbermedical.com or call 775-826-1900 to learn more.