Functional Neurology
of Middlesex County
Gregory Symko, D.C., D.A.B.C.N.
747 Main Street Suite 205
Concord, MA 01742
978.369.7070
Directions & Office Hours

Posts about the topic: Depression

Dr. Symko, Concord-area Functional Neurologist, and Functional Medical Practitioner and the Evolution of Health, Part Two.

Evolution of Healthcare, Part Two

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Western medicine is very good at acute-care but is not the panacea for disease prevention. There needs to be a change the way we handle chronic disease.

Healthcare has often been called ill to the pill medicine. For example, someone has a complaint about high blood pressure, arthritis, heartburn, acid reflux, or depression and there is a pill for that. For every single disease that is labeled, it has a pill attached to it, and insurance continues to pay for this.

The incentive for Western medicine is to get paid for a diagnosis, and not an outcome. For many years health care has named the problem, blamed the problem, tamed the problem with medication, and then billed for it.

The problem with this approach is that it’s not improving our overall health. We are not thinking about functional medicine, or about getting to the underlying cause of someone’s ailment. No one is looking at the whole person’s body, mind, emotions and spirit in looking at how all our systems interact.

The 2009 World Economic Forum discovered that chronic disease is the most severe threat to today’s economic development.
In 2010 the United States spent over $8 billion on therapy. Most of this is going to therapy such as cholesterol-lowering medication, antidepressants, and anti-psychotics.

In 2013, Harvey Fineberg, President of the Institute of Medicine stated, “the nation’s current health trajectory is lower in success hiring costs than it should be.”

According to the World Health Organization, 70 to 90% of all colonic disease is related to lifestyle and environment.

I’ll finish with a quote by Albert Einstein, “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”

But don’t despair, Part Three will have some solutions to our challenges!!

Dr. Greg Symko, Concord-area Functional Neurologist, writes about depression and what can be done about it.

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At least a third of us will experience depression at some point in our lives.

 

There are several types of depression, the most common being melancholic depression.  Melancholic depression can be broken-down, more specifically, into episodic or chronic depression.  Episodic is often associated with a specific event, such as the loss of a loved one, a struggling marriage or other stressful situations.  Chronic depression usually cannot be attributed to one specific event or occasion.

The medical explanation for depression is the lack of serotonin, which is a brain neurotransmitter.  Thus, the traditional treatment is something called SSRIs, which try to boost serotonin levels.  (SSRI’s are used for both episodic and chronic depression.)  What typically happens is the SSRIs work temporarily, but eventually begin to wear off so the individual needs a stronger dose, a different SSRI or a combination of several drugs to have a beneficial effect.

Functional medicine’s approach to depression is quite different and doesn’t come with all the side effects of prescribed drugs.  (For more on that, please read my previous article on the effects of drugs on the body.)  As a functional doctor, I want to know why the serotonin level is low in the first place.

Serotonin can be deficient because of inflammation, and research is beginning to link inflammation to depression.  Researchers have found that individuals with inflammatory disease such as arthritis or diabetes often have depression associated with it.  You could say that they are depressed because of the disease, which might be true, but chemistry reveals the link between inflammation and low serotonin levels.

The chemicals that are released in the body because of inflammation actually block the production of serotonin, so it pays for your body not to be inflamed.

There is a functional way of reducing the inflammation in your body, therefore easing the depression you might be experiencing.  The interesting part is that you might not even be aware that you are inflamed!! We can help, to schedule an appointment, give us a call at 978-369-7070 or e-mail drsymko@gmail.com.