“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”
Aristotle, 4th Century BC
The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”
Aristotle, 4th Century BC
“In the twenty-first century… we are constructing a new epidemiology of self: we are beginning to describe illness, identity, affinity, temperament, preferences – and, ultimately, fate and choice – in terms of genes and genomes. The influence of genes on our lives and beings is richer, deeper, and more unnerving than we had imagined.”
Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., 2016 AD
Every single one of us deserves to live a happy, healthy, whole life. In fact, it is our birthright.
Imagine for a moment the complexity of your human body – that each of your 30 trillion cells contains up to 2 trillion molecules – and that your body also contains 100 trillion bacterial cells (your microbiome) that continuously “talk to” those 30 trillion human cells – a vast and highly complex “molecular symphony” that constitutes your physical self. DNA resides inside each of those 130 trillion cells, and while human DNA is comprised of 25,000 genes, and your…
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microbiome contains 20 times that number!– 500,000 genes! These genes are both the “composer” and “conductor” of that vast symphony orchestra that constitutes the life processes inside you. The human genome is truly awesome and complex, but understanding your DNA is not just possible, it can change the way you think about your mental health. And understanding the role of your microbial genes in sickness and in health adds an additional critical dimension.
Our psychiatrists are continuously trained in the latest biotechnologies to evaluate and treat The Whole Person, to optimize the health of each and every one of those 130 trillion cells inside your body.
We will do Whatever It Takes to help you feel well, recover your health, improve your relationships with others, and determine your destiny. We are driven to meticulously identify and precisely treat the underlying genetic and biological causes of emotional distress, the root causes of the emotional pain; persistently striving to help our patients achieve a full recovery.
Our psychiatrists use a functional medicine approach to promote mental wellness and prevent disease progression, by uncovering the root causes of your mental health concerns and systematically addressing each of them. We will do an in-depth assessment of the origins of your emotional distress, including cellular and microbiome-related contributors. We will not treat your symptoms in a trial-and-error fashion. Instead, using Personalized Precision Psychiatry, we focus on you instead of your disease by using personalized laboratory testing (including genetic and microbiome testing) to create a unique personal database of your underlying genetic and biologic vulnerabilities. And then, one-by one, we address each and every one of them.
For example, we not uncommonly discover that a “leaky gut” predisposes to both acute and chronic mental health problems. As you can see in the infographic below, when the microbiome is unhealthy, incompletely digested foods and intestinal bacteria can leak into the bloodstream, promoting systemic inflammation, and what we call “leaky gut – leaky brain – leaky emotions.”
If we uncover evidence of leaky gut, we will refer you to leading functional nutritionists to guide your diet and food intake to help restore mental wellness by replenishing nutrient deficiencies, healing the gut, and healing the brain. You may require more targeted interventions with specific foods in order to treat the underlying root causes of your mental health concerns.
Below is a partial list of the tests we perform under an integrative medicine framework, to provide you Personalized Precision Psychiatry.
This is a genetic test that analyzes 24 genes to inform treatment for many psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar disorder, etc. The information provided by this report is designed to help clinicians make more informed treatment decisions, and to help avoid the painful trial-and-error process usually involved in finding the right medication. The test is administered via a simple cheek swab collection. Specific genetic markers are analyzed to identify medications that are more likely to work effectively, have no effect, or cause a negative effect. For example, the test can show if the patient needs a higher or lower dosage of a certain medication or if a certain class of medication will be more or less effective. A summary of the value of this test can be found on our Mental Health Genes table, and by reading our blog series entitled, “DNA: I Am Who I Am… or Am I?”
This is a genetic test designed to help you understand your predispositions so that you can take new actions for your mental wellbeing. It tests 7 core genetic mental health capabilities: stress and anxiety, mood, focus and memory, substance abuse and habits, sleep, social behavior, and eating behavior. A clinician is not required to order this test and it does not inform medication decisions. It is administered via a simple cheek swab collection. The report comes with information about the genetics and neuroscience driving your behavior, tailored recommendations for people with your genotype, tools to improve your daily life based on genetic tendencies, and resources for finding the help you need. A summary of the value of this test can be found by reading our blog series entitled, “DNA: Nurture Your Nature.”
Gut inflammation and leaky gut are conditions that profoundly affect mental health. This test reveals important information about the root causes of many common gastrointestinal symptoms such as gas, bloating, indigestion, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation. This test is administered via a stool sample. Additionally, the GI Effects test can be used to evaluate patients with a clinical history that suggests a gastrointestinal infection or dysbiosis. By examining biomarkers related to maldigestion, inflammation, dysbiosis, metabolite imbalance, and infection, this test offers valuable insight into digestive function, intestinal inflammation, and the intestinal microbiome, including biomarkers predisposing to leaky gut syndrome.
Food antigens trigger inflammation throughout the body, including brain inflammation. The IgG Food Antibody Assessment measures antibodies to 87 commonly consumed foods to test allergic reactions, including IgE and IgG antibodies. This test is administered via bloodwork. Testing for adverse food reactions is useful for individuals who suspect that a food is responsible for causing their symptoms but cannot quite identify which food(s). The presence of circulating antibodies may affect each patient differently, as circulating IgG food antibodies indicate a certain immune response to that food. Removal of the reactive foods often results in resolution of symptoms.
Many psychiatric conditions have an immunologic component to them that either causes the symptoms or worsens them. Thus, many patients struggling with mood or anxiety disorders actually suffer from an immune system disorder. These tests focus on immunity tests and autoimmune diseases triggered by environmental factors. They are administered via blood-draw. A commonly used test is the Intestinal Antigenic Permeability Screen, which measures intestinal permeability to large molecules that inflame the immune system and identifies the damaging route through the intestinal barrier. Additionally, the Wheat/Gluten Proteome Reactivity and Autoimmunity Test helps identify possible Celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or other wheat/gluten-related disorder by assessing autoimmune reactivity associated with wheat proteins and peptides. Finally, the Multiple Autoimmune Reactivity Screen measures predictive antibodies, some of which can appear up to 10 years before the clinical onset of disease. This efficiently assesses possible tissue damage to multiple organs of the body.
The urine drug screen is used for addiction and substance abuse treatment plans. It is a simple urine collection that tests for compounds such as amphetamines, barbiturates, cannabinoids (THC), cocaine metabolite, methadone, opiates, etc. to ensure that treatment is working. The frequency varies according to the patient, from weekly, to monthly, to as needed.
We evaluate and treat the Whole Person, which you can learn more about by reading our blogs that describe the “Biopsychosocial Model.” This type of evaluation often includes blood testing. There are a large variety of lab tests that can be ordered via LabCorp or Quest laboratories to help your psychiatrist or psychologist best treat you. These tests are used to monitor treatment to see if a medication is working properly as well as to rule out other underlying conditions such as vitamin deficiencies, hormone imbalances, or inflammatory conditions. For example, the results can give important information about the current status of your body’s metabolism, blood sugar levels, balance of electrolytes, blood cell count, etc. in order to evaluate overall health and wellbeing. This information is taken into account when prescribing medication and forming an effective treatment plan.