Food as Medicine: New Treatment for Depression at MDABC
MDABC's Food as Medicine Program
We are currently accepting new patient referrals for the Food as Medicine program from any geographic region. Please note that acceptance criteria have recently changed.
• Do you have Depression, Bipolar disorder, or chronic pain?
• Do you often feel fatigued or experience “brain fog?”
• Do you feel that your brain just isn’t working the way it used to?
Research shows that mood disorders and pain disorders have something in common: chronic inflammation. Our understanding of mood and pain disorders has expanded dramatically over the past decade. We now know that dietary habits, inflammation and oxidative stress are common underlying factors in mood, pain and other brain based disorders.
This group medical visit will provide a personalized examination of various causes of chronic inflammation. It will explore how different systems in your body may be out of balance. and preventing you from healing. It will focus on improving gut health and nurturing a healthy microbiome, both of which are important in the treatment of mood and inflammatory disorders. It will assess for common nutritional deficiencies that can contribute to mood and brain based disorders.
As part of the group treatment, each individual will have a medical work up to identify treatable root causes contributing to mood and brain based disorders. Treatment will include dietary changes, lifestyle modifications and the use of supplements and select medication. You will be taught which foods cause harm to your body and how to use food as medicine. Participants should be prepared to make major changes to their diet.
These group medical visits are led by psychiatrist and naturopath trained in functional medicine and nutritional psychiatry. The group program meets once a week for 8 weeks. Each group is 2 hours.
This group is suitable for patients with the following diagnoses:
• Bipolar disorder
• Autoimmune disorders with mood issues
Individuals that may want to consider the group include:
1. Those with mild to moderate mood disorders that prefer to make significant dietary changes and use natural supplements and lifestyle interventions rather than prescription medication.
2. Individuals with a mood disorder that are currently stable on medication and have made a plan with their psychiatrist to decrease their medication.
The group is recommended prior to reducing medication so that dietary changes, natural supplements and lifestyle interventions can be used to reduce the risk of relapse.
3. Individuals with mood disorders that are only partially improving with medication or are not responsive to medication, AND are willing to make significant dietary changes as part of their treatment.
4. Individuals with fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders, inflammatory pain disorders, irritable bowel syndrome or pre-diabetes/metabolic syndrome can benefit from the dietary changes in this group.
Physician referrals are required to attend the group medical visits. Each person will be scheduled for a 50 minute psychiatric consultation prior to acceptance to ensure that the group is a good fit for the individual.
Visit the links below to learn more about nutritional psychiatry and the connection between food, mood and brain health.