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L5-HTP, SSRI’s, and Neurotransmitters – Again…

Written by Wellness Club on January 11, 2008 – 12:26 pm -

HealthBeat Readers will remember Roberta, who wrote with questions about L5-HTP and SSRI drugs such as paxil. I answered, saying that rather than “shotgunning” at the problem with either Paxil or L5-HTP perhaps Neurotransmitter testing and a consultation would be a better strategy. This left Roberta wondering just how that might work – here is her question and my answer:

Roberta wrote:

Hello Mark,
Thank you for publishing my email in your recent newsletter. Again, the information is truly appreciated. I have a question about the fee regarding the neurotransmitter profile. Will I need to set up an initial consult first, order the profile and then a follow up consult for the report? I need to plan ahead and knowing the regimen of care would be helpful.
My reason for seeking care previously with my conventional practitioner is that the insurance cost (through group employer plan) is so outrageously expensive that it leaves little wiggle room in the budget. Although, in the future, my goal is to save for alternative care. I hate to use the word alternative, as holistic medicine seems more natural and inviting to one’s body than anything conventional can throw at you. So what truly should be considered traditional & normal?? Just my ramblings…
Any info you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again!

And, here’s the answer:

Hi Roberta,

You can approach the Neurotransmitter profile from a couple of different angles, depending on how much of a “do-it-yourself project” you want to make of it.

The approach that I would suggest, and the one that will probably be the most economical in the long run would be to arrange a consultation appointment with Dr. Myatt first, before spending the money for the Neurotransmitter profile. It could be that after our team completes our New Patient Intake research and analysis and Dr. Myatt reviews that and does her own research that she may find some obvious and inexpensive corrections that can be made even without performing any lab work or further testing. Alternately, she may suggest some things that you can do to begin the corrective process – then have you do the testing under conditions which can provide much more useful results. If labs or tests are indicated, she will be able to give you very focused and targeted directions – again, likely saving you money and time over the more conventional “shotgun” approach of “A.T.K.T.M.” – which stands for “All Tests Known To Medicine”.

The second approach, which assumes that you are very certain that Neurotransmitter testing is indeed indicated (med-speak for necessary) it to order and complete the Neurotransmitter test and then, if there are results that warrant it, arrange a consultation with Dr. Myatt to discuss options and strategies – this is a bit like putting the cart before the horse though…

The third option, if you are really certain that you have the knowledge and skill to pursue that as a “do-it-yourself project” is to order and complete the Neurotransmitter test and then use the results to direct your own health strategy accordingly. Alternately, you can present the results to your current conventional doctor – but don’t be surprised if he / she doesn’t really know what to do with them and may even dismiss them as valueless. (Mostly because conventional medicine really doesn’t have any pharmaceutical answers to neurotransmitters beyond the SSRI drugs that are being pushed so hard these days…)

When you order any of our tests the labs will send the results to Dr. Myatt who will then forward those results to you – it is your test, and your results. Even without your being an established patient she may well take the time to include a very brief review of any abnormal results and some basic corrective strategies for normalizing those results. Keep in mind that this brief review does not, and cannot take the place of a consultation!

You may want to inquire of your employer insurance plan whether there is a discretionary fund available (sometimes called a “health Savings Fund” or some such) that can be used to pay for non drug or surgery based treatments. This is available through some insurance plans to cover the cost of such things as physiotherapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, and other so-called “non-conventional” treatments, and many of our patients have been able to tap these funds successfully – though you may need to jump through some paperwork flaming hoops on your own to do so.

It seems odd that Health Insurers will happily pay hundreds of dollars monthly in claim costs for conventional physician visits and drug prescriptions, but will balk at paying a few hundred dollars for testing and consultation that could eliminate the need for those expensive drugs and quite possibly save them thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars in claim costs over the long haul…

Isn’t it strange how we have become so conditioned to look to our health care system for quick symptom relief rather than corrective care? We don’t do preventative maintenance – we wait until something breaks, and then put a bandaid on it…

I remember the wise words of an old farmer who said “If you’re stuck in a hole and want to get out, the first thing you gotta do is stop diggin’!”

Hope this helps,
Nurse Mark

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