Can Functional Medicine Help with Bipolar Disorder?

Can depression be helped with functional medicine, anxiety, schizophrenia, or even bipolar disorder? Absolutely we’ve had many patients come through our practice with these diseases and all of them get better, get off medication and get their lives back.

The question becomes why are you getting bipolar disorder in the first places? You’ll never get that straight answer from your doctor. It’s “try this medication and let’s see how it works.” and so they’re guessing.

Is There a Correlation Between Low Serotonin and Depression?

Really, no, there’s been no research that shows that people who are depressed have less serotonin than other people. Are schizophrenics neurotransmitters all over the place or is it just in their genetics, or, is it something in their lifestyle that’s causing it.

With bipolar disorder like many other diseases, it’s more than likely that something in your lifestyle is causing your bipolar disorder to “flare up” for lack of a better term.  Could there be some sort of toxicity, a hormonal disorder, or is your diet or exercise routine non-existant? All of these factors can play a big role and are backed by Serotonin Hypotheses.

What is the Serotonin Hypothesis?

Serotonin chemical formula over purple background

Serotonin’s chemical formula 

The “serotonin hypothesis” of clinical depression is almost 50 years old. At its simplest, the hypothesis proposes that diminished activity of serotonin pathways plays a causal role in the pathophysiology of depression. This notion was based on the depressogenic effects of amine depleting agents such as reserpine, as well as the actions of antidepressant drugs such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants, discovered by clinical serendipity, but later found in animal experimental studies to potentiate the effects of serotonin and other monoamines at the synapse (1).

This pattern of theory making – moving from the pharmacological actions of drugs with some efficacy in treatment to biochemical notions of causation – has been common in biological psychiatry. In such an undeveloped field this approach, though logically precarious, has been a useful heuristic and, in the case of the dopamine hypothesis of psychosis, has been strikingly upheld by advanced brain imaging techniques ().

How Can Functional Medicine Help?

Once we figure out why it’s pretty easy to tell you how to fix it. You don’t need to be a victim your entire life dependent on a system that’s broken where you get dry mouth and sleeping issues and you don’t have any energy, and you’re awkward in relationships — You can overcome all of this and you can be stable and control your life. You shouldn’t be worried about having to be stable. It just takes proper testing and guidance to tell you how to fix it.

Contact us today.



1. Coppen A. The biochemistry of affective disorders. Br J Psychiatry. 1967;113:1237–64. [PubMed[]
2. Howes OD, Kambeitz J, Kim E, et al. The nature of dopamine dysfunction in schizophrenia and what this means for treatment: meta-analysis of imaging studies. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2012;69:776–86.[PMC free article] [PubMed[]
3. Phillip J. Cown, Michael Browning. What has serotonin have to do with depression? 2015 [NCBI]

Are you ready to restore your life?

Dr. G
Dr. G

Dr. Jay Goodbinder ND DC DABCI is a doctor in Kansas City, MO who serves patients in the surrounding Kansas City areas, cities across the United States, and in several countries around the world.