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Wellness Wednesday Webinar

Spoonful of Sugar

By: Krista Anderson Ross, ND

September 2, 2020

Review the rise of sugar consumption globally and the associated health burdens. Review the anatomy of brain chemistry vis a vis sugar cravings and dependence. Examine the role that excess sugar plays in glucose metabolism and insulin resistance. Clearly define metabolic syndrome including its impact on sex hormones and the HPA axis. Discuss laboratory testing to identify insulin resistance and hormone imbalance. Consider dietary, nutritional and herbal treatments for blood sugar management.


The Role of the Microbiome and Gut Health in Maintaining Host Health

Brandon Lundell, DC, APC, DABCI, IFMCP, Dipl. Ac., NE, CAC

September 16, 2020,


Relative number and diversity of human microbiome is associate with almost all aspects of health – from aging, immune, hormones, metabolic function, mental health and more. In this webinar, Dr. Lundell will dive deep into how the microbiome and gut health effect these areas and what can be done to influence total body health through GI assessments.


Mental Health Concerns

Amplified in 2020


By Ruth Hobson, ND | September 1, 2020

Record numbers of patients are seeking guidance for symptoms of depression and anxiety since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stress caused by the current pandemic combined with financial, social, and political unrest has amplified the number and severity of mental health concerns. While this time can be one of uncertainty for many practitioners, it can also offer an opportunity to leverage testing and treatment options not utilized within the conventional primary care setting.  

The mandatory restrictions in place have eroded the ability to maintain healthy coping strategies such as exercise and social connection. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in partnership with the 2020 census endeavored to survey the mental health of US residents during this unprecedented time. The Household Pulse Study, an additional questionnaire added to the 2020 US census, contained  modified questions from the patient health questionnaire (PHQ-2) as well as questions from the generalized anxiety disorder (GAD-2) survey. These results have provided critical insight into the grim reality of yet another pandemic health complication; roughly 30% of American adults (18 yo +) are displaying symptoms of an anxiety or depressive disorder. For comparison, this is up from 2019 when a non-modified version of the same questionnaire reported symptoms of an anxiety or depressive disorder at 8.2% and 6.6% respectively. Those participating in frontline work, like the healthcare workers in NY, have demonstrated even higher rates of psychological symptoms during this time; 57% with acute stress, 48% with depression, and 33% with anxiety. In addition to the research from the US, similar results are showing up on a global scale as reports from Italy and India also demonstrate a significant rise in diagnosable mental health disorders.  

While long term data will inevitably explore the greater health implications of this time, practitioners can gain insight into how to support these patients now via addressing the neuroendocrine system. Studies have shown that patients with both anxiety and depression exhibit alterations to not only diurnal cortisol patterns but also fluctuations of neurotransmitters. Although the research is mixed when it comes to specific neurotransmitter patterns associated with anxiety and depression, many practitioners find clinical benefit in the use of urinary neurotransmitter testing and targeted treatment.   

For a functional approach to mental wellbeing, assessment of neurotransmitter and adrenal hormone levels can help identify potentially beneficial individualized treatment approaches. The NeuroBasic Profile includes 9 key neurotransmitter levels, including both excitatory and inhibitory markers. Practitioners with a more advanced understanding of neurotransmitter pathways may prefer the Comprehensive Neurotransmitter Profile, which in addition to the same 9 key neurotransmitter excitatory and inhibitory markers, also provides metabolites to enable assessment of enzyme function. Evaluating neurotransmitters levels in addition to the adrenal function profile can provide a comprehensive assessment. 


   Mental Health - Household Pulse Survey - COVID-19. Accessed August 31, 2020.

   Mazza C, Ricci E, Biondi S, Colasanti M, Ferracuti S, Napoli C, Roma P. A Nationwide Survey of Psychological Distress among Italian People during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Immediate Psychological Responses and Associated Factors. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020;17(9):3165. doi:10.3390/ijerph17093165

   Diurnal cortisol patterns and psychiatric symptoms in pregnancy . Accessed August 31, 2020.

   Heath C, Sommerfield A, von Ungern‐Sternberg BS. Resilience strategies to manage psychological distress among healthcare workers during the COVID‐19 pandemic: a narrative review. Anaesthesia. 2020. doi:10.1111/anae.15180

   Biological markers for anxiety disorders, OCD and PTSD: A . Accessed August 31, 2020.

   Duman RS, Sanacora G, Krystal JH. Altered Connectivity in Depression: GABA and Glutamate Neurotransmitter Deficits and Reversal by Novel Treatments. Neuron. 2019;102(1):75-90. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2019.03.013

Disclaimer: All information given about health conditions, treatment, products, and dosages are for educational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.