Addressing the Impact of Psychiatric Drugs on Metabolic Health and Embracing a Holistic Approach
In the previous blog post, we explored the importance of metabolic health and mitochondrial function in psychiatric disorders and how longevity medicine interventions can help improve mental health outcomes. In this post, we will discuss how psychiatric drugs and interventions can affect metabolic health and the importance of a holistic approach to mental health.
Reducing Metabolic Side Effects in Psychiatry
Certain psychiatric drugs and interventions can negatively affect metabolic health, leading to weight gain, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance. These side effects can worsen metabolic disorders and increase cardiovascular disease risk. By incorporating metabolic metrics and biomarkers into psychiatric assessments and treatments, we can better monitor and optimize the impact of these interventions on both mental and physical health.
Measuring Metabolic Health
In addition to lab assessments like hsCRP, HgbA1c, lipid panel, homocysteine, and fasting insulin, I use CGMs to monitor patients' metabolic responses to food, exercise, and stress. HgbA1c provides an average blood glucose level over the past two to three months, while the lipid panel measures cholesterol and triglyceride levels, both of which are important indicators of cardiovascular health. Homocysteine is an amino acid linked to heart disease, and fasting insulin measures insulin levels after an overnight fast.
HsCRP (otherwise known as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein) is a blood test used to measure the level of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in the body. Elevated hsCRP levels are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity. Inflammation has also been linked to mental health issues, as it can negatively impact brain function, neurotransmitter production, and synaptic plasticity. Therefore, monitoring hsCRP levels can provide valuable insights into the relationship between inflammation and mental health in patients - and can help us personalize treatment focus on reducing inflammation.
Continuous Glucose Monitors
CGMs, or Continuous Glucose Monitors, provide real-time data on blood glucose levels, allowing patients to identify patterns and symptoms related to high or low glucose levels, such as anxiety, depression, and brain fog. This information helps patients create strategies to manage stress and improve sleep while also complementing lab tests to better understand their metabolic health.
Enhancing Mental Health through Longevity Medicine
A holistic approach considering the interplay between biological, psychological, and spiritual factors is essential for promoting overall health and reducing chronic disease risk. Lifestyle interventions like exercise, nutrition, sleep, and stress management are crucial components of longevity medicine that can foster healthy aging and mitigate chronic disease risk.
Pioneering physicians and researchers, such as Peter Attia and Andrew Huberman, have spurred a growing focus on longevity medicine in recent years. Incorporating longevity medicine into psychiatric care can offer a more personalized and holistic approach to mental health by addressing the root causes of disease, including metabolic health and mitochondrial function, and promoting overall healthspan.
It is important to note that the information provided in this blog post is not intended to be medical advice and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with your physician or qualified healthcare provider before making any changes to your current treatment plan, diet, or lifestyle.