Or, you may still be in the early stages of thinking, “Something is distressing my child. The screaming, horrific nightmares, spacing out, acting like perhaps he/she is hearing voices, not sleeping or sleeping too much, and tantrums indicate that something is wrong.”). In either case, in addition to treating the more salient symptoms of the condition, we need resources to help the child’s underlying biology.
We have discussed the importance of many factors involved in ensuring our children’s mental health in spite of assault on their bodies from disease, genetics, etc. We have also discussed their exquisite vulnerability to stress, inflammation, the immune connection, and more.
There is a plethora of websites that address psychological treatments offering critical help for our children in adapting to their personalities, learning differences and “wiring”. Such treatments come in the form of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Play Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy, Pragmatic Therapy, Occupational Therapy (OT & OT) and other therapies for sensory dysfunction, strategies for lowering stress (video, Kids Under Pressure, Warning Signs , What Parents Can Do ) and more. All of them are important.
Equally important is addressing nutrition, sleep, adrenal issues, hormonal issues, allergies, migraines, and every other factor possible, in order to help our child feel better.
Integrative medicine, also referred to as complementary medicine and functional medicine, is innovative in that it uses the best of modern knowledge and protocols for tailored treatment. It uses a BIOMEDICAL approach which combines the use of conventional medical treatments alongside other practices (eg. nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, life style changes including diet, exercise, sleep hygiene, and psychosocial therapies, massage, etc.) for maximum benefit.
In order to address the uniqueness of each individual and help that individual function more optimally, all facets of the person’s body and mind need to be addressed.
That is no small task. In order to accomplish this daunting task, numerous medical tests are required. Nutritional, metabolic, neurological and hormonal states must be determined. There is no getting around the need for numerous medical tests to determine what the child’s actual issues and needs are in order to meet them! Insurance seems loathe to pay for medical tests unless the problems are diagnosed.
However, doctors cannot uncover problems without running the medical tests!
To that end, I would like to supply some important links, books, and search words. I’ll be updating this occasionally!
I can't give a list of top-notch practicing integrative medical specialists and neuroendocrinologists (or psychoneuroendocrinologists / neuropsychoendocronologists) that I personally know of. Others are welcome to comment about ones they know of, or let us know of physician finders for the that they trust.
HOWEVER, I can recommend Dr. James Greenblatt at Comprehensive Psychiatric Resources - where integrative, functional medicine and nutritional biochemistry is used in "mental" health treatment.
Here is a physician finder for medical doctors who have taken an extensive course from the Institute of Functional Medicine: FM Physician Finder although we personally were disappointed with our one trial of a doctor from that list.
Consider Traditionally Known Medical Illnesses and Medications That Can Cause or Exacerbate Psychiatric Symptoms:
- Psychosis: 6 steps rule out medical causes in kids
- Psychiatric Presentations of Medical Illness: An Introduction for Non-Medical Mental Health Professionals
- Mental Disorders Due to a Medical Condition
Here is a lot more testing and information to consider:
(Note: Doctor recommended hormonal, metabolic, etc testing and testing for some specific disorders are in the appendix sections of the book.)
- Intestinal Health
- EnteroLab (IgA Testing - Intestinal malabsorption, food sensitivities (gluten, casein, soy, egg, etc), gluten/celiac-related DNA)
- More about Celiac testing: http://www.bidmc.org/celiaccenter
- Information about streptococcal induced tics and OCD:
- Great Plains Laboratory (Testing - Metals, Immunological, Aminos and Organics, Cholesterol and fatty acids, lithium and other minerals, vitamins, etc, casomorphin/gliadorphin urinary peptides and more!)
- SpectraCell Nutritional Blood Analysis (Physician order and blood draw required)
- Life Extension Foundation (Testing - Hormonal, nutritional, CBC, general health, Food Safe Allergy Blood Test (IgG) etc.)
- Genova Diagnostics:
- Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA) Evaluates digestion and absorption, bacterial balance and metabolism, yeast and immune status for patients with irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, malabsorption, and other GI-related problems. Parasitology component is offered.)
- Optimal Nutritional Evaluation (ONE) ((Helps diagnose metabolic problems such as Fatty Acids Metabolism Disorder (Disorders of fatty acid oxidation). Evaluates gastrointestinal function and functional need for vitamins, minerals, and co-factors. In addition, amino acids are measured to assess digestion, absorption, metabolic impairments, and nutritional deficits. Anti-oxidant reserves and the presence of oxidative injury are analyzed.)
- Celiac Information -Neurological implications and Diagnostics
- Genetic Testing to consider:
VCFS (Chromosome 22q11 deletion) (article 1, article 2),
XYY (boys), Turner's (girls),
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and nuclear DNA affecting mitochondrial functioning (info here).
Also genetic risk factors: 23andMe
- Defeat Autism Now! and Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) (There is overlap in the genetics and biological underpinnings of some cases of autistic-spectrum, pediatric-onset bipolar, schizophrenia and schizoaffective)
- Psychiatric Disturbance in Endocrinologic Disease (Journal Article)
- Adrenal Dysfunction
- Identifying hypothyroidism’s psychiatric presentations (November 2006 edition of Current Psychiatry Online)
- Identifying hyperthyroidism’s psychiatric presentations (December 2006 edition of Current Psychiatry Online)
- Human Growth Foundation and The Magic Foundation (Look here if your child has delayed growth or vision problems)
- Diagnostic Codes for Insurance (Get insurance to pay! Let's take advantage of what the autism community learned... Insurance doesn't like paying for "mental" issues -- but our children's non-psychological problems can also be diagnosed medically)
- About.com: Thyroid Disease
- About Hemochromatosis & How to get tested.> (Can affect endocrine function)
- Lyme Disease Information, and International Lyme And Associated Diseases Society
- About Sleeping Pills
- About Insomnia
- More about Insomnia and Natural Strategies for Managing it
- Journal Of OrthoMolecular Medicine: Therapeutic Nutrition Based Upon Biochemical Individuality
- Hypothyroidism and the Role of Armour Thyroid, Seaweed, Exercise, and MoreCutting-Edge Interview with Joseph Mercola, D.O. by Mary Shomon, March 8, 2008
- Hyperactivity Linked To Thyroid Hormones ScienceDaily (Mar. 12, 1997)
- PANDAS (Information about Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections)
- Metabolic biomarkers of increased oxidative stress and impaired methylation capacity in children with autism American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 80, No. 6, 1611-1617, December 2004
- Service Dog Tasks for Psychiatric Disabilities International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP)
- The Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation/Balanced Mind Foundation (CABF/BMF)
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
- TrueHope (EM Power) (product)
- Kirkman (products: Super-NuThera created by a DAN! Founder, Amino Acids, etc.)
- TAS Total Amino Solution (Genesa Product: about - ingredients)
- Life Extension Foundation (provides a wealth of information, and to members, reduced price blood tests and free consultations with MDs specializing in integrative medicine)
- Whole Foods Diet
- Pfeiffer Treatment Center
- What is Pyroluria? See also Nutritional Healing: Pyroluria, which has reference articles and a list of labs that perform tests.
- Candistroy (product. Here's an online questionnaire )
- Information on Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Brain Health: Omega-3 Fatty Acids ("Fish Oil")
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil): DHA, EPA, and How Much is Enough?
- "Fish Oil": $$ and Favorite Brands of Omega-3 Supplements
- Other Nutrient and Hormone Information
- Abnormal Sleep as a Cause of Mental Symptoms
- Sleep: Timing of Melatonin, Light, Dark, and Use of Other Aids
- Sleep: A Critical Yet Under-addressed Component of Health
- Teaching the Tiger by Marilyn P. Dornbush and Sheryl K. Pruitt
- SWIVEL to Success - Bipolar Disorder in the Classroom: A Teacher's Guide to Helping Students Succeed By Tracy Anglada
- It's not Mental: finding innovative support and medical treatment for a child diagnosed with a severe mental illness by Jeanie Wolfson , Foreword by Dr. Robert Fredericks
- Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: by Kenneth Bock, Cameron Stauth
- The Breakthrough Depression Solution: A Personalized 9-Step Method for Beating the Physical Causes of Your Depression By James Greenblatt, MD
- The UltraMind Solution: Fix Your Broken Brain by Healing Your Body First By Mark Hyman, MD (Read about it here: Mark Hyman, MD - Healing the Broken Brain Syndrome)
- Saving Sammy: Curing the Boy Who Caught OCD by Beth Alison Maloney
- Your Symptoms Are Real: What to Do When Your Doctor Says Nothing Is Wrong By Benjamin H. Natelson, M.D.
- The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them by Elaine Aron
- Autism and Its Medical Management: A Guide for Parents and Professionals by D. Michael Chez, MD
- Is This Your Child by Doris J. Rapp
- Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You... That You Need to Know By Mary Shomon
- Changing the Course of Autism: A Scientific Approach for Parents and Physicians by Bryan Jepson, MD with Jane Johnson
- Children with Starving Brains: A Medical Treatment Guide for Autism Spectrum Disorder by Jaquelyn McCandless, MD
- The Healing Power of Whole Foods by Beth Loiselle (website: The Healing Power of Whole Foods)
- Musings on “Medical Mysteries”
- Some MEDICAL Causes that get called “Schizophrenia”
- Some Known Medical Causes of “Mental” Symptoms
- Some Genetic Causes of Psychotic Symptoms
- New Doctor Visit: The Medical History
- New Doctor Visit: Medication History
- The Doctor Went Dumpster-Diving
- Psychiatrist vs Endocrinologist: Who is Responsible?
- Asking the Right Doctor the Right Question
- Managing Symptoms Vs Treating Illness
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Last Updated: 12 April 2012