Peachy the Magazine Fall 2019 - Page 77

HEALTH + WELLNESS gastrointestinal infections, and was also show recently in a small study to successfully treat severe depression and anxiety. The success of FMT in the treatment of depression further supports the microbiome’s role in mental health. Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Dysfunction The HPA axis is the body’s central stress response system. Stress has long been a contributing factor to depression and anxiety. Long- standing elevations of cortisol, the stress hormone produced from the adrenal gland, have been linked to an increased incidence of chronic depression and anxiety. Mindful meditation, yoga, tai chi, and biofeed- back therapies have been successful in reducing anxiety and depression. As ongoing research uncovers the non-psychiatric contributors to depression and anxiety, it is prudent for patients to question starting medication before a more thorough workup is conducted. We now under- stand anti-anxiety and antidepressant medication may have more long-term effects for patients, and various causes of psychiatric disease should be con- sidered before committing patients to a lifetime of use. n FALL 2019 75