“OME”: the New Mantra for Precision Mental and Physical Health
Mar 30, 2016 09:06PM
by Dr. Charles GantHolistic health is maturing into a new understanding of the connection between mental and physical health, known as the “Omics” Revolution. Omics aims at a holistic and collective characterization and quantification of pools of biological molecules that translate into the structure, function, and dynamics of an organism or organisms.
Let’s look at how this applies for anxiety and depression. Previous Natural Awakenings articles (October 2014 and April 2015) outline certain risk factors or causes which must be diagnosed and addressed. These include: chronic infections in the mouth, the GI tract (parasites, bacteria, yeast), the sinuses (fungal) and blood via insect-injected (like Lyme Zika); allergies, like gluten or celiac; toxins, the chemicals and heavy metals like mercury or lead poisoning; poly-pharmacy toxicity which is the taking of many medications at the same time and even regular psychotropic drug use, both illicit (e.g., cocaine), recreational (e.g., alcohol) or prescriptive (e.g., codeine or sedatives).
One can also look at causes for depression from metabolic disturbances (hypoglycemia), from endocrine imbalances like testosterone deficiency, nutritional deficiencies, like neurotransmitter imbalances from amino acid precursor deficiencies and deficiencies for specific vitamins and minerals, brain neuroplasticity distortions from essential fatty acid imbalances and oxidative stress, gastrointestinal imbalances from mal-digestion. Finally, genetic quirks called SNPs or single nucleotide polymorphisms can seriously predispose some people to various imbalances - including addiction, depression and anxiety. These causes of depression are also the causes for all chronic psychiatric disturbances, and for that matter all chronic medical problems.
With the advent of the Omics Revolution, precision medicine doctors are addressing the ecology, also known as the environment and relationships, within the body in the same way they address the ecology of the rainforest.
The four main types of Omics are:
- Genomics—changing the structure, function and dynamics of genes and genetic expression
- Neuromics—changing the structure, function and dynamics of the brain
- Metabolomics—changing the structure, function and dynamics of the metabolism
- Microbiomics—changing the structure, function and dynamics of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract
Why all the excitement and ads about gene testing? Because 100’s of quirky genes called SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) in the genome can now be inexpensively tested, and they can be modified to improve the expression of the neurome (brain), microbiome (GI) and metabolome (metabolism).
If a patient seeks help for an “intestinal problem,” that problem probably isn’t the intestines at all. The problem is far more likely to be caused by an ecological imbalance in the biomass of organisms living in your intestines. This is called the microbiome, which incidentally contains 90 percent of the cells of the body and houses 99 percent of the body’s DNA.
Researchers are also now finding how this can be related to the individual’s genome. For example, if the FUT2 SNP exists in their genomic profile, short chain oligosaccharides (short "starch chains") are not made by the cells in the intestines to feed the good flora, and the person is susceptible to Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The solutions for anxiety, depression and major health challenges have now arrived. The technical name is the Omics Revolution, and “Ome” is the basis of the new Precision Medicine and holistic well-being.
Dr. Charles Gant, M.D., Ph.D. an internationally known author and integrative/functional medicine physician, addresses the root causes of chronic medical and psychiatric disorders, unique to each patient. For more information, call 888-727-6910 or visit InternationalPrecisionMedicineAssociates.com.
Dr. Gant will be offering a free live talk/webinar at The Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St., NW, from 1 to 3 p.m. on April 23. For more information, visit SmithCenter.org