Articles Posted in Behavioral Health

Many patients come to my office for sexual dysfunction (SD). SD can look like painful intercourse for women and erectile dysfunction (ED) or Peyronies for men. While there are many reasons for SD, one commonality among patients is an underlying dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. The exception is ED caused by vascular damage or induced by drugs.

Most women with chronic pain are told they need hormones, or need to be on very specific diets and do not find much improvement even with these measures. Men with Peyronies are often given painful injections and are not better after those tortuous treatments.

One of the other common symptoms I find in patients with underlying autonomic dysfunction is sleep disorder. Chronic difficulty staying or falling asleep is a sure sign the neuroendocrine system or the autonomic system is not working as it should be.

I have mentioned Scenar a few times in my blog mostly regarding pain and injury.

The FDA approval for the device is for pain which has been the most common indication for using the device.

However, while in Haiti after the earthquake in 2010, I discovered patients describing having more energy and feeling a lifting of their depression and anxiety.

I recently ran into a patient of mine at the local market. I inquired if she was still with her husband. She had expressed extreme dissatisfaction with him during the last few visits to my Evanston office, complaining he was completely selfish.

During the conversation at the market, my patient informed me that the behavior of her husband completely changed after trying oxytocin. An integrative behavior specialist in Missouri had suggested and prescribed it for him and it made a world of difference.

Oxytocin, (not to be confused with oxycontin, a narcotic) is considered the “love and attachment” hormone. For the most part, It is produced when we breast feed and during orgasm. It is produced at low levels otherwise. However, those with Aspergers and Autism have very low levels or mal-functioning production centers for this brain-targeted hormone.

Everyone likes to have good energy. What often attracts people to others is energy: positive energy, “a good vibe”. We are all packets of energy, and what we pick up on when we meet others, is how they make us feel. Feeling good mentally, physically and spiritually is the biggest attractant we have. How do we get there?

How can we find our vibrancy and keep it? what are we doing in our daily lives that take detract from our vibrancy?

As I have often stated in my medical lectures; I have never had a patient walk in my office without their head nor have I ever had an isolated talking head without its body (would be quite impossible to walk in). How we think affects what and how we feel, and how we feel affects what and how we think. There is no discreet demarcation between psyche and body.

I don’t write very often about homeopathy, mostly due to the misinformation regarding it and the difficulty in understanding the mechanism of action. I will attempt to make the mechanism of action understandable While highlighting a very interesting case.

This fall, a lovely grown woman presented in my office for an appointment after finding me on line and reading my blog. I noticed her head and hand trembled as she shook my hand.

Her chief complaints were painful urethral spasms. She had a long history of seizure disorders and had trembled for years. Her OB-GYN was pressing her for a sling procedure for her bladder and was recommending a hysterectomy.

Many of my patients complain of having “no interest”. While a small percentage of the population identify as “asexual”, the majority of us do not and losing one’s sex drive altogether can be disquieting. Sex drive often wanes as we age but it should not disappear completely.

There are physical and psychological reasons for a diminished sex drive and or response.

Among the physical contributors are chronic inflammation, not enough exercise, excessive exercise, prescriptions medications, poor dietary patterns, and fatigue. These contributing factors can all be easily reversed.

Oxidative damage is something everyone has heard of but might not really understand.

The patients I see in my Chicago area office often show me the anti-oxidants they are taking with great delight. They know the supplements are somehow combatting the negative effects of bad things they might be exposed to.

Oxidative damage can come from many sources: radiation of all sorts which includes background radioisotopes that are always around, excessive solar radiation especially when the ozone layer is damaged or in high altitudes and specific foods and chemicals that have reactive oxygen. Heavy metals can be a big contributor.

I introduced readers to Zonulin a few entries back. To recap, Zonulin is a protein made by our bodies that creates loosening of tight junctions such as those in the gut, brain and testicles. The tight junctions control transportation of molecules across junctions.

An example is the prevention of food particles in the lumen of the gut from crossing over into the blood vessels. The food is broken down and nutrients extrapolated so as not to present foreign proteins to your own system. This is why we don’t make antigens to everything we eat.

However, some people do seem to produce antibodies to many foods and eventually, some of those with this issue produce antibodies to parts of themselves. This is what autoimmunity is. Some examples of autoimmune diseases are rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, MS, psoriasis and even some forms of dementia. There are too many autoimmune disorders to list.

It seems that over the years, I see more and more children in my Chicago area office who have been placed on psychotropic (behavioral) medications such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety, stimulants, mood stabilizers and anti-psychotics for their ADD, ADHD and “mood disorders”.

When I trained in pediatrics in the late eighties and early nineties, the percentage of children on these medications was small but over the years, the percentage has risen to an unbelievably high number.

Often, parents consult me about their child because the child isn’t any better on drugs or they feel their child has lost much of their personality. In many cases, the drugs have sparked new problems that are just as bad or worse than the original ones that prompted the medications in the first place.

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