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Neurological and Psychiatric Conditions

Treating Neurological and Psychiatric Conditions

An alternative to traditional medication-led treatment.

Treating Neurological and Psychiatric Conditions

Although many neurological conditions are common, cures are rare and conventional treatments are often limited. Many patients therefore turn to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The use of selected, evidence based CAM therapies for the prevention and treatment of migraine, carpal tunnel syndrome, and dementia are presented. Evidence is growing for a number of modalities including nutrition, exercise, mind-body medicine, supplements, and acupuncture.

Unhealthy and irregular lifestyle factors may lower the headache threshold or even trigger individual migraine attacks. Targeting and treating lifestyle factors seems quite simple, but when done effectively can have profound positive effects on migraine frequency. Consistent meals/hydration and appropriate sleep hygiene can provide the stability needed to decrease the likelihood of migraines. Lifestyle factors important in migraine prevention include:

  • Regularly scheduled meals; avoiding missing or delaying meal-time
  • Routine hydration with non-caffeinated beverages throughout the day
  • Consistent sleep schedule every night of the week, including weekends

Certain foods, diets, and exercise may trigger or improve migraines for some individuals. Obesity increases the risk of migraine converting from episodic to chronic. In addition, migraine and obesity are highly co-morbid. Therefore healthy diet and exercise interventions may be especially beneficial for migraineurs. Historically, long lists of foods to avoid are provided to migraine patients (e.g., foods with tyramine, aspartame, monosodium glutamate, chocolate, certain alcohols, etc.).

However, the role of dietary triggers in migraine is complex, as only some migraineurs may have food sensitivities, and even then ingestion of a precipitant does not always trigger an attack. Only a few small studies with elimination diets have been conducted and evidence is promising but limited by methodological concerns. Further, broad lists of foods to avoid may be too restrictive, create undue anxiety, and limit otherwise healthy options. Carefully completed headache diaries may help patients self-identify certain triggers that can then be avoided (using the list of potential trigger foods as a guide in this process). Universal recommendations for elimination of all possible migraine food triggers in all migraine patients is not recommended, but a well-balanced diet with avoidance of fasting and skipping meals is recommended. Current research is ongoing that may help identify optimum diet and exercise programs for migraineurs

Mental Health

Almost every single person we see complains of some degree of difficulty sleeping, anxiety or depression. This is not surprising, as about 1 in 5 adults suffer from at least one of these ailments.

Insomnia, depression and anxiety are disruptions in brain health. This means that an evaluation of factors that affect brain health is at the foundation of the assessment. This may include evaluations of nutrition, physical exercise, environmental toxins, spiritual health, genetic predispositions, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, gut health and interpersonal relationships.

Due to the many factors affecting mental health, it’s no surprise that many people are offered a medication to treat the symptom, as going through all the potential contributing factors are somewhat daunting. However, many people don’t always respond to antidepressant therapy (some say 30-40%). It is important to note, that some people greatly benefit from these medications and clearly thrive while on them, especially those with severe depression. It is a personal decision to start or wean off of an antidepressant; which needs to be discussed with us when approching your mental health differently.

A functional approach includes an evaluation of gut health, adrenal function, thyroid disease and vitamin deficiencies. As well as lifestyle and dietary analysis to reduce inflammation and stabilize the mood and blood sugar. A truly multi-faceted approach is necessary to stabilize good brain health for the long term.

All our video appointments are secure and with UK qualified GPs.

We are accredited and regulated by the Care Quality Commission, with a Good rating from our last review in December 2019.

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