When you look at the body as a whole system, there are 7 key areas: physical, mental, emotional, social, occupational, spiritual & financial health. Each area plays a significant role in a person’s health and well-being. Since the Month of May is Mental Health Awareness month, our focus this week is on Mental Health.
Statistics show that 1 in 5 American adults have experienced a diagnosable mental health problem including: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, addictive behaviors or post-traumatic stress.
While mental Illness affects people regardless of age, gender, color, creed, or economic status, it is often downplayed. Mental health disorders are real disorders, yet there is a lot of stigma associated with mental illness. It is no wonder why people who experience a mental health issue may be embarrassed to seek professional help. This year, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the largest grassroots mental health organization in the United States, is promoting the theme: “CureStigma”. If you would like more information about this, please visit their website at: https://www.nami.org/
According to the Mayo Clinic, mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. While we may experience mental health problems due to stressful life events and traumatic experiences, there is a difference between a mental health problem and a mental illness. A mental health problem becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function. Sometimes, symptoms of a mental health disorder can appear as physical problem, such as stomach pain, back pain, headache, or other unexplained aches and pains. (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/symptoms-causes/syc-20374968)
Many mental health conditions are caused by inflammation in the brain which can result in memory loss, brain fog, depression and anxiety. Proper diet and food supplements can provide essential nutrients as part of an alternative treatment for mental health disorders. This method is not widely accepted by conventional medicine even though studies show that a lack of essential nutrients does contribute to the onset of poor mental health. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2738337/)
Conventional medicine doctors often treat patients with medication. They usually exclude nutrition in the treatment plan for mental illness. According to David Eisenberg MD, an adjunct associate professor of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, only about one-fifth of American medical schools require students to take a nutrition course.
Wellness professionals in the alternative, complementary and integrative health fields have long recognized the link between nutritional deficiency and poor mental health. While conventional medicine doctors are quick to prescribe anti-depressants, there are alternatives. Recent research has shown that supplements including probiotics, zinc, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins B and D3 can enhance mental health by improving mood and relieving anxiety and depression.
Many factors contribute to human behaviors and moods. However, a growing body of research suggests that altering your gut microbiome can impact mood, as well as various mental health conditions (https://microbiomejournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40168-017-0321-3).
There are safe and effective ways to address depression or anxiety that do not involve hazardous medications. This includes proper nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle factors. We believe that more medical professionals should consider incorporating nutritional approaches to mental health treatment. Doing so will significantly improve patient health and well-being.
If you need mental health resources or are interested in our holistic health assessments and well-being workshops, please contact us ~ Phone: (213)304-5603 OR E-mail: info@the-wellness-institute.com

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Edna Dimataga-Fernandez
Edna Dimataga-Fernandez founded The Wellness Institute in 2013. The company utilizes a holistic model of wellness consulting focusing on the 6 dimensions of organizational well-being: physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual & financial health. The Wellness Institute provides holistic health assessments, corporate well-being workshops & wellness consultations with holistic health practitioners. Wellness-Spring, the company’s holistic health store, sells organic & non-toxic health & beauty products. A portion of the proceeds is donated back to causes that support women, children, health, wellness & education. She has worked & consulted for companies in the insurance & financial services industry, the medical & behavioral health field and the non-profit sector. Edna holds a B.A. in Economics from UCLA and an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. She is a Past President (2010-11) of the National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors - Los Angeles Chapter and is an approved Continuing Education Provider for the California Department of Insurance.