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Nutrition Case Study: Low mood, anxiety, difficulty sleeping and PMS.

When she came to see me, Maya was struggling to get to sleep almost every night. Her mind would start racing with ‘things to do’ , ‘what if’s’  just as she tried to get off to sleep. She tried making lists to clear her mind before bed but it didn’t seem to help at all.

Maya also reported feeling very low and was hoping to avoid taking anti-depressants. However, she felt like it might be necessary if things didn’t improve soon. She had struggled with anxiety, on and off since her teens. It was heightened again now, she was avoiding seeing friends and talking to people. When she didi talk to people, she would worry about what she had said to them.

Her physical health was generally sound. Although she did suffer with painful periods, PMS and an increase in anxiety and low mood prior to her period. Her periods were irregular and it was often a worsening of anxiety and mood that made her realise her period was due.

She also felt her energy levels could be better and sometimes she would get a little bloating after eating.

Maya was keen to run some functional lab tests to get an insight into her health issues. We chose the Organic Acid Test (OAT) as this gives us a broad amount of information. The information is useful in pin pointing specific issues and allowing us to use targeted nutrition protocols to get quicker results.

Her OAT results revealed low serotonin, low B6, low B12 and some altered gut bacteria. This combination of results fitted Maya’s symptoms well. It is good to see clinical hunches confirmed with test results. All of these could affect her mood, anxiety, energy and hormones.

We focused on raising serotonin levels initially to improve mood, anxiety and sleep. Low serotonin affects the body’s ability to make melatonin as well as leading to increased anxiety and low mood. B6 was a key nutrient for Maya. We used the active form for the best results. We also added other nutrients that we knew were necessary to raise serotonin levels. To lessen bloating and encourage better breakdown of protein to amino acids, needed to build neurotransmitters, we supported digestion with dietary changes and digestive enzymes.

Maya’s symptoms improved over the next eight weeks. By the time we met for a follow up review she was no longer feeling low and her anxiety was subsiding. She was able to get off to sleep better and was socialising more. We focused more on her gut bacteria and hormonal issues and she was able to move to a more regular pattern of menstruation within another two months. This pleased Maya as she hoped to try for her first baby in the near future.

If you are interested in a personalised nutrition programme to improve your health then get in touch  to book an initial consultation. Appointments are available in Birmingham, Cheshire and by Skype/phone. If you are interested in running and Organic Acid Test, you can order a kit from our online shop. The Organic Acid Test uses a urine sample which can be returned to the lab by post. When the results come in you can book an appointment with us and we can help you turn the results of your test into an actionable programme.

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Author: Sarah Hanratty

Sarah is a specialist practitioner at the Brain Food Clinic. She has a degree in Nutritional Medicine and is a certified Gut and Psychology Syndrome Practitioner. Sarah helps people to overcome physical and mental health issues using bespoke nutritional protocols.

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