“For every drug that benefits a patient, there is a natural substance that can achieve the same effect.”

-Pfeiffer’s Law

Nutrient Therapy is the use of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids) to correct underlying imbalances in a person’s physiology.  Imbalances are most often created by the synergistic effect of nutrition and environmental factors on the expression of our unique genetic code.  (For more on how your diet influences your genetics, please see Epigenetics.)

Establishing a strong Foundation of Health requires looking at diet. Diet has a strong influence on the health of your gut (stomach, small and large intestines). The health of your gut determines how efficiently you can absorb nutrients from you food and supplementation. The health of your gut also strongly determines your brain chemistry. (For more on how gut health determines brain health, please see Diet and Brain Health). First, it is necessary to consider the health of the gut and find the optimal diet for you. Next, it is necessary to use nutrients in the form of supplementation to maximize health. Unfortunately, even a diet of fresh, organic foods will eventually yield low body levels of certain nutrients, especially minerals, because the soil is nutrient depleted from decades of over-farming practices. These trace minerals are critically important to most enzyme reactions and to the formation of brain neurotransmitters. In some people, due to the influence of genetics and lifestyle, deficiencies or toxicities of certain nutrients create disordered brain chemistry, resulting in disordered thinking and behavior.  These biochemical imbalances are the basis of most mental health concerns.

Mental health therapy was changed forever by the discovery that certain chemicals, neurotransmitters, are released between nerve cells. These chemicals create unique and very specific mental states. The discovery of the “molecules of emotion” (neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, GABA, histamine, and acetylcholine) changed the face of psychiatry.  It began a pharmaceutical revolution to affect and balance these chemicals through drug manipulation. This was a great paradigm shift in mental health care based upon new evidence. It helped remove some blame from sole external factors and alleviated the burden of rugged individualism in those struggling with emotional imbalance. For example, sometimes, it is really too difficult to “feel happy” if you can’t produce enough serotonin.

The problem with lab created drugs is they don’t actually correct the underlying problem, and they can have some very serious and dangerous side effects. Most psychiatric medications are working to affect the reuptake of the neurotransmitter. The thinking is something like this: “This depressed person has low serotonin. Since serotonin levels are low, to help facilitate the small amount of serotonin in the synapse getting across and affecting the other neuron, let’s create a drug to block the re-uptake and recycling of the serotonin from the original neuron that sent it across. This will give it more time to be active once released.”  It’s not a terrible way of thinking. It just doesn’t ask the questions: Why is this person’s serotonin level so low? How do we naturally and safely raise serotonin to normal levels with normal physiology in this person? And are there other types of biochemically induced depression that have nothing to do with serotonin and render certain medications useless? Medications can offer fast, powerful relief. They have helped countless people regain control of their lives. But I believe they should be reserved for “last resort” rather than the “first line of defense” strategies employed today.

Today, we need another paradigm shift in health care.  With our deeper understanding of genetics/epigenetics and how that relates to methylation, mineral status, neurotoxicity, histamine, the gut, diet and more, it is time that we use specific nutrients as therapy to address underlying disruptions in the chemical pathways that are affecting your health, especially in the brain.

If we can provide the same results with nutrients as therapy rather than medications that come with a long list of side effects, why wouldn’t we choose that path? I can tell you this for sure, there will never be a blood test devised to measure your normal blood levels of Prozac or Paxil or Lithium, because those are not normal chemicals that should be found in your body. There is no such thing as a “Medication Deficiency Syndrome;” you do not get a headache because your blood levels of acetaminophen are low.

I can help you determine the best choices for YOU. This is your Biochemical Individuality. What may be the right food or supplement choice for you may be a poison to another. For example, liposomal glutathione sure sounds like a smart supplement to take when you read about it, but some people respond to it very poorly. If you have asthma, and you take glutathione and have a bad reaction, you might have high sulfites. High sulfites are known to increase asthma. So you might need micro dosing of molybdenum to push the sulfites through the proper pathways of methylation. But be careful, too much molybdenum can increase uric acid, and if you suffer from gout, you can make it a lot worse with molybdenum. This is a complicated science and art and usually requires support from professionals to help determine optimal nutrient therapy. By gathering information from qualitative genetic tests, quantitative laboratory tests ranging from hair mineral analysis, blood, urine, or fecal tests, you can learn how to choose the best foods and supplements to bring balance into your brain and body.

Dr. Rimka offers 30, 60, and 90 minute private consultations by appointment to help customize a plan based on your genetics, lab results, and personal goals/challenges for yourself and your children. Education and training is based from a variety of influences including the work of Abram Hoffer, MD, (orthomolecular psychiatry); William Walsh, PhD, (orthomolecular medicine); Ben Lynch, ND; David Perlmutter, MD; Jeff Volek, PhD, RD; and Stephen Finney, MD, PhD.