Part 3: Complementary alternative medical perspectives from the Orthomolecular Model of Mental Health Care
Few of us have ever heard of orthomolecular (nutritional therapy) medicine or get a chance, especially in crisis situations, to familiarize ourselves with it. Being orthomolecularly aware however, is now less and less uncommon. The awareness for a targeted orthomolecular assessment and treatment approaches are endorsed by the Naturopathic Medical Research Clinic (NMRC). Orthomolecular medicine research and its focus on the biochemical nutrient causes of mental illness are usually embraced well by consumers as they recognize the responsibility of this approach. Targeted treatment has its advantage in that you glean the exact nutritional therapy that matches your biochemical needs. This can save you time and money and gives you the best chance of achieving orthomolecular mental health.
Unfortunately, some consumers hear about certain orthomolecular protocols and try one that either only partially works or doesn’t work at all and this dissuades them from further efforts.
A look outside the box of conventional medicine is worthy of investigation. Are there alternatives that yield better success than convention? Many think there is and I agree that a vast majority of my clients not taking meds do very well. I have published a case review on Orthomolecular Treatment Response and this gives patients an idea of what to expect from targeted orthomolecular approaches.
There are instances where conventional meds are useful and this may be necessary in cases that do not respond to orthomolecular methods. This is especially true in acute presntations, poor niacin responder groups (which occurs I guestimate in up to a third of cases) or where non-compliance is an issue or where the patient is taking so many meds and having so many nutritional compromises that they achieve little if any benefit.
So, some do better on alternative approaches alone and some do better on a mix of the two. Given the marginal outcome and severity of side effects from meds many patients opt to initiate orthomolecular methods as the first-line treatment. Our Onward from Onset blog discusses how we help patients proceed from symptom onset onward.
First-Episode Schizophrenia (FES) – Case in Point
According to statistics, the best case conventional neuroleptic scenario for patients with FES is reported in peer-reviewed psychiatric archives. The alternative advanced orthomolecular approach in first-episode schizophrenia is an example where cases often do really well. Six double-blind studies showed the classic niaicn approach success in a group of schizophrenics and acute psychotic cases. Countless orthomolecular practitioners still find profound outcomes with classic niacin therapy in all groups of schizophrenia but more so in first-episode cases sick less than 2 years.
Advancements since the 50’s have made it possible to implement advanced targeted clinical protocols as we see at the Naturopathic Medical Research Clinic (NMRC). In such cases it is more uncommon to find refractory un-medicated (neurleptic-naïve) first-episode schizophrenics.