Functional Brain Health
Whether it be “brain fog” or more serious cognitive health disorders such as depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorders or cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease just to name a few, Brain Health is something we all need to take care of.
Treating the Body to Treat the Brain
Functional Medicine offers a deep dive into the underlying root causes of body dysfunctions that so powerfully influence the brain. At AustinMD, we use advanced functional medicine testing like Microbiome FX to evaluate your gut health, in addition to NutrEval that reports the micronutrients inside your cells to see how your body is responding to its internal environment.
Our gut health has a profound effect on our brain health, cognitive function and mood. The communication system between our gut and brain is called the gut-brain axis and is comprised of billions of nerve cells that report information to and from our gut to our brain cells and vice versa. The Vagus Nerve is the longest nerve in the body, and it stimulates our parasympathetic nervous system, which puts us in our “Rest, Digest and Heal” mode. It starts in the brain and encircles our entire digestive system. Research has shown that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may be associated with decreased vagal tone. The vagal nerve controls many aspects of our health from inflammation to anxiety and mood. This nerve sends signals in both directions. Our Gut Health and our Brain Health are intricately connected in several ways.
In addition to the gut being physically connected to the brain through millions of nerves. The gut microbiome may also affect brain health by helping control the messages that are sent to the brain through these nerves. Our Gut Microbiome, the trillions of microbes that live in our gut and need to be in balance to keep us happy and healthy. The health of our gut and the balance of our microbiome are essential for brain health. The gut microbiome benefits brain health in several ways.
First, the specific types of microbes that inhabit our gut make chemicals called neurotransmitters that affect how our brain works. For example, serotonin is an antidepressant neurotransmitter that’s mostly made in the gut by these microbes.
Scientists now think that gut dysbiosis or imbalances in your gut microbiome, could be one of the root causes of imbalances in our brain. Several studies have shown that people with various psychological disorders have different species of bacteria in their guts, compared to healthy people. In addition, we have known for years that imbalances in the gut microbiome may lead to “leaky gut,” a condition that occurs when inflammation causes the tight junctions between intestinal cells to widen. When this occurs, foreign substances enter the bloodstream causing inflammation that can affect the entire body. What we now know is that “leaky gut” may also lead to “leaky brain,” a condition where the integrity of the protective blood-brain barrier is compromised. This can then allow pro-inflammatory compounds to infiltrate your nervous system and brain. A dysfunction of the blood-brain barrier can be linked to various neurological diseases, including dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression. This all strongly suggests that the gut microbiome may affect brain health and could be intricately linked to our mental health.
By addressing and optimizing the underlying causes of whatever cognitive impairment you may be experiencing, we can help you have a healthy brain and a more resilient gut-brain connection. Nutritional status, genetics (SNPs), mitochondrial dysfunction, hormone imbalances, food allergies, toxins, digestive, immune and metabolic imbalances all have a strong influence on mood, behavior, attention, and attitude.
Holistic Functional Medicine in Austin, TX
In order to optimize our brain function, we need to accept the fact that everything is connected, and that brain health is inseparably linked with the health of all of our body systems.
Our Mind-Body Medicine approach to impaired brain function utilizes a systematic assessment protocol to undercover the root causes of cognitive and mood disorders.
A personalized brain-boosting program can then be designed, aimed at restoring an environment in which the brain and body can heal. Our brain health treatment plans often include shifting to a more nutritious, anti-inflammatory, healthy diet, finding ways to lower symptoms like high blood pressure, and sourcing therapy for neurological disorders that influence your whole nervous system, and therefore your whole being.
Find relief from your brain fog and mental capacity with a personalized treatment plan at AustinMD Functional Medicine. Call or contact us online today to schedule your first appointment.
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What to Expect
Are you a Candidate?
If you are considering participating in a specific program at AustinMD Aesthetics & Wellness, but still have more questions, please don’t hesitate to Contact us. Our Functional Medicine team will be happy to answer your questions or give you more information on any of our programs.
Functional Medicine FAQ
At your initial consultation, you will be given an opportunity to discuss your personal health goals with Dr. Roy or his Functional Medicine certified nurse practitioner. This is an opportunity for you and our team to identify if you are a good candidate for our services.
Expect the consultation to last for 60-75 minutes. If you are a good candidate for our care, we will go over the test kits and some paperwork to get you started. We value your time and do our best to provide a timely service.
The initial consultation appointment is $350 to see Dr. Jenny, NP and $400 to see Dr. Roy. It’s important for you to complete the consent forms and any questionnaires assigned, 48 hours prior to your visit. This allows the providers to develop the best plan for you and utilize the appointment time efficiently to answer your questions. During that visit, the functional testing needs will be determined and any additional testing kit costs will be shared with you. An In-Body scan and a 60-minute Functional Medicine dietician appointment is also included with this consultation, which can be scheduled after you receive your test results.
All testing that we do is known as functional lab testing. Functional lab testing helps us evaluate your health at a cellular level and this testing is different from traditional testing because it helps evaluate the root causes of your symptoms instead of just diagnosing you with a condition. This testing is done through your stool, saliva and or blood often times we provide you with the kits and many of the samples can actually be collected from the comfort of your home or the local lab. Each lab test provides us with details of clinical data and insight into your cellular function and we want to make sure that you fully understand your lab results and that you can easily share them with your health care team if necessary.
Once we get your lab results back and review them for your mineral nutrient needs we will recommend a personalized supplement program. Our recommendations will include only the highest quality products to create more predictable outcomes. By doing the right testing to start with we can ensure that you’re taking the right supplements for the right length of time. All supplements and remedies are included in our Creating a Healthier You program.
Depending on your health issues, some supplements may be taken on a temporary basis and others may be taken on a more permanent basis.
Although food is the best medicine, supplementation supports the lifestyle changes and fills in any genetic weakness.
To determine a client’s treatment, Dr. Roy and his staff will review your entire medical history. You may want to request copies of your medical files to share with him.
Your medical files and treatments are held in the strictest of confidence; all correspondence is handled through our secure patient portal.
We believe in education in bringing about improved wellness and teaching others about the importance of diet, exercise, hormones and stress relief.
We do not accept any form of medical insurance or Medicare. We do encourage you to use your insurance for lab work, however some tests may not be covered. You may also use pre-tax dollars from a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Care Credit to pay for your consultations and supplements used for specific health problems.
To provide you with the most affordable care possible AustinMD has made special arrangements with all of our lab vendors to provide our patients with direct lab pricing. This ensures that you’ll get the lowest price possible and all lab testing that you receive. Some tests with some insurance companies will cover a large portion of the test. On average, you should budget $500-$1500.
A Health Savings Account (HSA) enables you to pay for medical expenses on a tax-free or pre-taxed basis. For more information and to see if you qualify, you will need to speak with your medical insurance provider.
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