Let this year be a time when you begin to understand your energy and mood. A simple blood test can give you an insight into your own unique biochemistry and can explain why you feel the way you do.
Our inner biology can determine how we feel, how we respond to others, how creative and motivated we are and how we manage stress in our lives. This is why no amount of positive thinking or mindset work can be fully effective if our inner chemistry simply isn’t functioning optimally.
Due to a combination of genetics (what we inherit from our bloodline) and epigenetics (how we are influenced by what we eat) we can incur deficiencies that affect our mindset. A simple blood test can reveal our own unique biochemistry that shows what nutrients are deficient and what nutrients are in overload. It can explain why moods can cycle from being happy and positive one minute to feeling depressed and down in the dumps the next. A simple blood test may explain why some people are prone to explosive rages and fractured relationships. It may even reveal why some people can make grandiose plans and yet are unable to carry them out.
Having the privilege of training with Dr Bill Walsh, author of Nutrient Power , has deepened my understanding of mental health. Conventional psychiatry views depression as coming from a single entity of low serotonin activity and treatment involves making more serotonin available for the brain. Dr Bill Walsh’s understanding of depression has come from a wealth of research of over 2,800 people with depression. Examination of the blood results repeatedly showed that the blood of those with depression was different from the general population and that nutrient overloads could be more problematic than deficiencies. Inspired by Dr Carl Pfeiffer and having collaborated with him, Dr Bill Walsh separates depression into five major chemical classifications or biotypes, only two of which have problems with serotonin levels.
1) 38% of those with depression will exhibit undermethylation as their dominant chemical imbalance and will experience the classic symptoms of low serotonin. These people report better mood with SSRI medication. They respond negatively to folates.
2) 20% of those with depression will be in the overmethylation biotype. They often have anxiety along with depression and will have elevated serotonin and dopamine and an intolerance to SSRI medication.
3) 17% of those with depression will have copper overload with elevated norepinephrine. 96% in this category are women and will experience their first depressive episode following a hormonal event such as puberty, childbirth or the menopause.
4) 15% of those with depression will be in the Pyrrole biotype and will experience a nasty double deficiency of serotonin and GABA (chief calming neurotransmitter). Both Emily Dickinson and Charles Darwin had all the classic signs of pyroluria.
5) 5% of those with depression will suffer from a toxic metal overload that can alter the concentration of certain neurotransmitters.
We all need a healthy functioning neurotransmitter system to carry messages between our brain cells. This system can affect our mood, our memory, our cognitive function as well as other physical processes such as our heart beat and our body temperature. We are not born with a supply of neurotransmitters so they need to be made on a daily basis from the nutrients we consume such as from amino acids, vitamins, minerals and trace minerals. Serotonin, for example, is produced from the amino acid tryptophan but the final step in the conversion process requires vitamin B6. Zinc and B6 are required for the production of GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps relieve anxiety. Vitamin B12, a B vitamin that may be deficient in vegans and vegetarians, is essential for healthy neurotransmitter levels and its lack can cause cognitive changes such as memory decline, depression and elevated levels of homocysteine.
In my practice I am delighted to be able to offer blood testing as part of my Health Coaching protocol. Based on the results of your biotype I will help design a programme that suits your nutritional needs to help normalise brain chemistry. As we are biochemically different a one size fits all approach is short sighted and what works for one person may not work for another. For instance those with an overload of copper, methionine, folic acid or iron are likely to deteriorate if they take a multivitamin supplements containing them.
Healing our inner biochemistry not only helps to heal depression but in some cases it can affect future generations if undertaken prior to conception. For example undermethylation can alter gene programming during pregnancy where epigenetic errors can be transferred to future generations. An undermethylated in-utero environment can result in life long vulnerability to oxidative stress and may contribute to autism in the next generation.
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