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Stress and HPA Axis Health
Stress and HPA Axis Health

Functional Medicine Therapies for the Burned-Out Brain

In my last post, I introduced the concept of chronic stress causation as a broader scope than previously recognized in medicine. We also learned about the three likely culprits of chronic stress, which cause symptoms of anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, fatigue, poor memory and concentration, and chronic pain. In this post, I want to provide you a paradigm, or road map, for non-prescriptive treatments that support the stress response and reduce or resolve symptoms for nearly everyone who implements them.

Christopher Mote, DO, DC, IFMCP |

Stress and HPA Axis Health
Stress and HPA Axis Health

A Paradigm for EvaluatingAnxiety and Mood Disorders

Large segments of the global population suffer the effects of a burned-out brain and subsequent symptoms of anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, fatigue, poor memory and concentration, and chronic pain. Functional medicine clinicians have long referred to this constellation of symptoms as "adrenal fatigue," but by refocusing on the true dysfunction, the hypothalamus and its inability to organize a proper stress response, we can help patients overcome their anxiety and mood disorders.

Christopher Mote, DO, DC, IFMCP |

Stress and HPA Axis Health
Stress and HPA Axis Health

This Will Make You Rethink How You're Treating Chronic Stress

When our patients have symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, hair loss and constipation, we evaluate the thyroid with lab testing. When our patients have symptoms of bloating and gas, nausea, heartburn, alternating constipation and diarrhea, a common approach is to order a stool test and assess alterations in enzymes, the microbiome or "leaky gut." And when our patients have symptoms of reduced libido, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, emotional lability and anxiety, it makes sense to check their hormone levels. But are these truly functional approaches?

Christopher Mote, DO, DC, IFMCP |

Stress and HPA Axis Health
Stress and HPA Axis Health

The 4 Key Stressors and Nutritional Support Protocols for Rebuilding Stress Resiliency

In functional medicine, we focus on finding the root cause of health issues to help our patients achieve lasting recovery and relief from their symptoms. In cases of chronic stress, it is important to dig deeper into what stressors may be affecting the body; here are four key stressors to consider when assessing chronic stress patients:

Christopher Mote, DO, DC, IFMCP |

Stress and HPA Axis Health
Stress and HPA Axis Health

6 Strategies for Rebuilding Healthy Circadian Rhythms

If resilience is the body's ability to return to homeostasis following a stress of our physiology, what does it look like when we lose resiliency?

Christopher Mote, DO, DC, IFMCP |

Stress and HPA Axis Health
Stress and HPA Axis Health

Rebuilding Stress Resiliency

Resilience is defined as the ability to recover quickly from difficulties, toughness, or the ability of an object to spring back into shape; elasticity. As it pertains to the human body, resiliency is the ability to return to homeostasis following a stressor. While there are numerous physiologic mechanisms that provide resilience in our bodies, perhaps the most important is the hypothalamus.

Christopher Mote, DO, DC, IFMCP |

Stress and HPA Axis Health
Stress and HPA Axis Health

How to Know When It's Time to Start Group Visits in Your Practice

No matter your medical discipline, if you can facilitate behavior change in your patients, you will see incredible results. It is simply the most powerful force in reversing chronic illness. Practitioners are looking for the most effective ways to facilitate behavior change in their patients, and a proven strategy is the Group Visit practice model. Researching this practice model or tuning into the Evolution of Medicine Podcast's Group Visit Series will tell you that Group Visits are innovating the way we practice medicine.

Christopher Mote, DO, DC, IFMCP |

Stress and HPA Axis Health
Stress and HPA Axis Health

Resetting Circadian Rhythms of the HPA Axis

After nearly 20 years of clinical practice, I have found one concept makes all the difference between partial and significant clinical effectiveness: understanding and harnessing the power of circadian rhythms.

Christopher Mote, DO, DC, IFMCP |

Stress and HPA Axis Health
Stress and HPA Axis Health

4 Ways to Make Your Functional Medicine Clinic More Profitable

Profitability: A concept few want to talk about and just about all of us are concerned about.Whether you are just starting out in practice or have reached a point of fatigue and burnout, "how" as well as "how much" you are compensated for your considerable efforts helping patients is extremely important. Regardless of our motivations for entering the medical profession, all of us have some expectation for personal income we can or should attain.

Christopher Mote, DO, DC, IFMCP |

Stress and HPA Axis Health
Stress and HPA Axis Health

Strategies for De-Stressing Your Practice

We usually discuss stress and its effects on our patients, but today I'd like to discuss the impact of stress on the physician.Physicians, and all health care practitioners, face innumerable stressful conditions every week. In my 18 years of clinical practice, some of the "biggies" have been related to documentation and electronic medical records, technology glitches, staffing and staff-related concerns, maintaining CE requirements, malpractice costs (and ALL costs in general) among others. Over the same time period, it seems these have intensified or even multiplied, and the cumulative effects are significant.

Christopher Mote, DO, DC, IFMCP |

Stress and HPA Axis Health
Stress and HPA Axis Health

A Scientific Turn of Mind

"It's all in your head."This is the last thing a patient with stubborn symptoms wants to hear from their doctor. I recently said this to my 40-year-old female patient with chronic insomnia, fatigue, depression and pain, not because I couldn't find the root cause for her health concerns, but precisely because the brain had become the primary initiator and perpetuator of her symptoms.

Christopher Mote, DO, DC, IFMCP |

Stress and HPA Axis Health
Stress and HPA Axis Health

What Can You Learn From a Salivary Hormone Test?

You know whether your patient has high cortisol, normal cortisol, or low cortisol-so what? Cortisol and DHEA can be high, low or within range and be perfectly appropriate depending on the patient's physiologic condition. How do these markers change your medical decision-making? Read more

Christopher Mote, DO, DC, IFMCP |

Stress and HPA Axis Health
Stress and HPA Axis Health

What You Need to Know Before Running Another Adrenal Profile

One of my earliest clinical mentors used to tell me, "Who we are and how we practice once we are three years out of school/training is who we will be for the rest of our clinical practice."Read more

Christopher Mote, DO, DC, IFMCP |

Stress and HPA Axis Health
Stress and HPA Axis Health

A Clinician's Perspective on Evaluating Stress

As I eagerly opened the repeat test results for two patients and me, I expected the salivary adrenal profile would demonstrate improved function in the form of healthier hormone levels. After all, the subjects in this initial testing were had symptomatic improvement. It was not slight, but significant reduction in fatigue, sleep problems, concentration, etc. There was every reason to expect our success would be confirmed. It was with great disappointment that I read results for each of us that were nearly identical to the initial testing. No improvement was demonstrated on any of the tests. How could that be? Read more

Christopher Mote, DO, DC, IFMCP |

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