Mood Disorders / Neurotransmitters

Mood Disorder Appraisal & Pathology Testing for Mental Health

When overwhelmed by life’s stresses and challenges, it’s easy to feel isolated. You are not alone!.

Optimal health and well-being encompasses not only physical health but mental and emotional health. Mental Health disorders are not limited to a special subset of the population; they can affect anyone, at any time.

In fact 45% of the population will suffer a mental health disorder at some point in their life. At Naturopathic Care we can help.

The Naturopathic Care Clinic now offers an advanced mood disorder questionnaire which, by the production of computer generated graphs, will help identify brain chemical imbalances. From this information, a treatment plan can be produced to provide the best nutritional approach to help correct these imbalances. Traditionally, individuals suffering such imbalances have been treated through psychological and pharmaceutical methods, however, due to a growing awareness of biochemical individuality a better understanding of the role that nutrition plays in mental health has been developed. The program utilised by the Naturopathic Care Clinic produces treatment priorities tailor made for individual patients by assessing a range of neurotransmitters and chemical messengers including serotonin, dopamine, acetycholine, opioids, GABA, histamine, adrenaline, phenylethylamine and melatonin.

This has now given us new insights into the treatment of many conditions and disorders including:

* Aggression
* Alcoholism or alcohol withdrawal
* Amphetamine intake
* Antidepressant / SSRI withdrawal
* Antisocial behaviour
* Anxiety neurosis
* Autism
* Behavioural disturbances
* Chronic fatigue syndrome
* Depression
* Drug detox
* Epilepsy
* Insomnia
* Irritability
* Memory loss
* Migraine prophylaxis
* Obesity / Weight loss programs
* Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
* Opiate withdrawal
* Panic
* Poor concentration
* Schizophrenia
* Sexual frigidity
* Stress

Plasma Amino Acids and Mood Disorders.

The Plasma levels of amino acids seem to be more specifically indicated for mood and behavioural disorders and are often measured in patients with anxiety, depression, insomnia, epilepsy, autism, Alzheimer’s disease and ADD/ADHD. The amount of an essential amino acid in the plasma will indicate the rate of any metabolic process that is dependent on that amino acid. For example low plasma tryptophan may indicate reduced serotonin synthesis while low tyrosine may indicate reduced synthesis of dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine.

A patient may present with a deficiency of one or more amino acids. This may indicate abnormalities in a number of metabolic pathways resulting in many different clinical pictures. For example a patient with low plasma tyrosine may not only indicate reduced synthesis of catecholamine and present as ‘reward deficiency syndrome’, poor memory and depression. It may also be associated with hypothyroidism and present as learning, memory, energy and behavioural disorders. Whilst a patient with tyrosine and tryptophan deficiency may also present with any of the above symptoms along with any of the following: a deficiency in vitamin B3 and associated symptoms, carbohydrate cravings, depression or anxiety, aggression, irritability, poor dream recall and sleep disturbance.

It is not uncommon for a patient to present with low levels of many or ‘all’ amino acids. As you can imagine the number of metabolic pathways that may not be functioning optimally in these patients will be enormous and it is more than likely this patient will present with many mood, behavioural and cognitive symptoms.

Nutritional supplementation with amino acid profiling will vary depending on the results; some patients may require a basic protein powder while others may require specific amino acids and nutritional cofactors. Others may not be absorbing their protein well, due to digestive insufficiency.


What are Kryptopyrroles?
Often people with depression or other mental health disorders demonstrate an abnormal production of a group of chemicals called ‘pyrroles’, this is called pyroluria. The pyrroles rob the body of B6 and Zinc causing them to be excreted in the urine. This may result in a deficiency of B6 and zinc, which supplementation can correct. It is most often seen in females. It is thought that about 10% of a normal population has pyroluria, which may cause symptoms when the patient is stressed

What are the symptoms of Pyroluria imbalance?
Signs and symptoms of pyroluria are many. There seems to be a familial or genetic component. A family history of mental illness and all-girl families especially if there is also a history of miscarried boys.
” Frequent ear infections as a child, as well as colds, fevers and chills.
” Fatigue
” Nervous exhaustion
” Insomnia
” Poor memory or inability to think clearly
” Hyperactivity
” Seizures
” Mood swings
” Lack of regular periods in girls
” Impotence in males
” Unusual smelling breath and body odour
” Inability to tolerate drugs and alcohol
” Cold hands and feet
” Abdominal pain
” Intolerance to some protein foods, drugs or alcohol
” Morning nausea and constipation
” Difficulty remembering dreams
” Frequent head colds and infections
” Stretch marks in the skin

Not all the symptoms are present for every pyroluric but any number of them should make you suspicious.
Pyrolurics can often be identified by their appearance:
” Pale skin. A black pyroluric will have the lightest skin in the family
” A lack of hair on the head, eye brows and eye lashes
” Teeth in the upper jaw will often be overcrowded (unless orthodontic treatments has taken place). and poor appearance of tooth enamel.
” White marks on fingernails, be opaque and be tissue paper thin.
” Acne, eczema, and herpes may also be present.

Why does pyroluria occur?
Pyroluria can occur at any age but appears to be brought on by stress. It is familial and may be a factor in the development of mental retardation, epilepsy, hyper activity and particularly depression.
What does the test involve?
Morning spot urine specimen – in urine jar (with Ascorbate as a long term preservative-optional).
Note: Even without Ascorbate the results are accurate and reproducible for up to 7 days.

What is Histamine?
Histamine is an important brain chemical and is involved in all sorts of reactions including those to pain, allergies, mucus and saliva production, causing tears to flow and other body secretions.

Low Histamine: Termed histapenic, the patient is not only low on histamine but also often has a tendency to accumulate excessive amounts of copper. Thus both histamine depletion and copper excess may produce behavioural abnormalities.

High Histamine: Termed histadelia, there are many causes of depression and high histamine can be one of them. Histamine speeds up metabolism, providing more heat. Histamine causes allergic reactions, increased production of mucus and saliva, a tendency to hyperactivity, compulsive behaviour and depression. Histadelia usually runs in families with the onset at around 20 years of age. A family history of depression and allergies is a strong indication of possible histadelia. Histamine furthers rapid oxidation of foodstuff so a typical histadelic is thin with hollow legs ‘I can eat what ever I want.’

What are the symptoms of histamine imbalance?

Are you histadelic – high histamine?
Do you:
” Sneeze in bright sunlight?
” Feel you were a shy and over sensitive teenager
” Cry, salivate and feel nauseous easily?
” Hear our pulse in your head on the pillow at night?
” Get referred itching when you scratch your leg?
” Have frequent stomach aches, muscle cramps and back pains?
” Have an easy orgasm with sex?
” Have regular headaches and seasonal allergies?
” Have inner tension and occasional depression?
” Have abnormal fears, compulsions, and rituals?
” Think you are a light sleeper?
” Burns up food rapidly?
” Sometimes have suicidal thoughts?
” Tolerate a lot of alcohol and other downers?
” Have little body hair and lean build?
” Have long fingers and toes?
Are you histapenic (low histamine)?
Do you have these characteristics:
” Canker sores
” Difficult orgasm
” No headaches or allergies
” Heavy growth of body hair
” Excess fat in lower extremities
” Many dental fillings
” Ideas of grandeur
” Undue suspicion of people
” The feeling that someone controls your mind
” Seeing or hearing things abnormally
” The ability to stand pain well
” Ringing in the ears


Neuroendocrine Tests
Neuroendocrine Metabolites $200.00 Spot or 24hr Urine
Kryptopyrroles $80.00 Spot urine in Vit C preservative
Hitamines $80.00 5ml of serum required

Organic Acids
Metabolic Profile $375.00 Spot or 24hr Urine
Environmental Pollutants $275.00 Spot or 24hr Urine
Both (Metabolic & Environmental) $475.00 Spot or 24hr Urine

MTHFR (Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) genetic testing $52


Methylation Map

Methylation Map

MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) is a common genetic variant that causes a key enzyme in the body (the one used to break down Folic Acid) to function at a lower than normal rate.

There are over 50 known variants (variations) on the MTHFR gene, but 677 and 1298 (number refers to the location on the gene) are the most common and most researched.

Symptoms/Conditions associated with this particular gene defect:
Depression, Anxiety, OCD, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, nerve pain, migraines, elevated homocysteine levels, weight gain, PMS with anxiety and depression, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Alzheimers, Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, stroke, Heart Disease, multiple miscarriages, still births, as well as other congenital anomalies (birth defects), and Down’s Syndrome.  Studies are also linking it with Autism as well.


Every effort has been made to ensure that the content of this website is accurate and current. The information herein is not designed to replace the expert and individual medical advice provided by your Health Care Provider.