Wednesday, March 24, 2010For people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, violent anger, ADHD, autism, or behavioral disorders, organic acid testing (OAT) can uncover hidden causes or exacerbating factors of these conditions. This testing can also be helpful for people with persistent depression or anxiety, especially if digestive disorders are associated.
Organic acid testing is a urine test that is run through a specialty lab. This test is covered by Blue Cross PPO insurance only. It measures levels of candida or other yeast markers, bacterial imbalances, metabolic and toxicity markers, vitamin deficiencies, and provides an array of other helpful information.
Another potentially helpful test in some of these cases is urinary heavy metal testing. Certain metals, such as mercury and lead, can be stored in the body over time. Most people have been exposed to some level of toxic metals in their lifetime, but some patients are more susceptible to developing certain diseases because of their environmental exposures. People who may have a tendency toward psychiatric illness may be more likely to progress to a symptomatic state if their levels of these environmental chemicals is high enough.
We can test the patient's current exposure and stored levels of heavy metals, and determine whether this is an aggravating factor in their illness. If so, chelation protocols may include oral or IV treatments over a period of time to remove the metals and restore normal balance to the neurological and immune systems. This testing may be covered or reimbursed by some insurance companies.
Specialty testing can illuminate the specific needs of that patient, and allow for a more individualized treatment approach. This testing can serve as a roadmap for creating a treatment protocol that speeds recovery. Imbalances detected can be treated with specific medications, herbs, heavy metal chelation protocols, or supplements, which can be used for a period of time and then discontinued after symptoms improve. Testing may be repeated after treatments are complete, but usually we can simply monitor symptom progress as a guide for treatment response.
I have seen patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder significantly improve when homeopathic medicine is combined with treatments based on individualized test results. Schizophrenia is still very challenging to treat, and medication is sometimes used in conjunction in severe cases, but with individualized protocols it is possible to reduce and even reverse the symptoms of schizophrenia using natural medicine alone. The most important thing is to be properly diagnosed, and to be persistent with getting help.
Dr. Tara Peyman is a board-licensed naturopathic physician with an expertise in treating bipolar disorder and depression. She has also developed natural treatment programs for diabetes and smoking cessation. Call for your comprehensive initial visit or a complimentary 15 minute phone consult: Tempe, Arizona: (480) 456-0402, or Mesa, Arizona: (480) 985-0000. For more information, please visit www.DrTaraPeyman.com.