HealthNOW Medical Center

HealthNOW Medical Center

October 07, 2011 13:00 ET

Gluten Intolerance Treatment Enabled Patient to Kick Seven Antidepressants

HealthNOW Medical Center Offers the Support Needed to Get off Antidepressants

SUNNYVALE, CALIFORNIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 7, 2011) - Getting off antidepressants is notoriously difficult. In fact, the group of withdrawal symptoms even has a name – 'antidepressant discontinuation syndrome'. Pharmaceutical companies provide a lot of information about how to take the drugs, but none on how to stop taking them. At HealthNOW Medical Center, patients are routinely able to come off their antidepressants by getting tested to find the root cause for their depression and getting the appropriate treatment. Often, the cause is a condition known as gluten intolerance.

Antidepressant withdrawal syndrome includes a host of uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous symptoms. These include:

  • Anxiety, agitation
  • Depression, mood swings
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Irritability and aggression
  • Insomnia, nightmares
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness, loss of coordination
  • Stomach cramping and pain
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Tremor, muscle spasms

According to Dr. Vikki Petersen, Certified Clinical Nutritionist, author of the groundbreaking book "The Gluten Effect" and co-founder of HealthNOW Medical Center, these withdrawal symptoms are often the reason why patients continue on the drugs.

"Patients who try to stop taking antidepressants often mistake the symptoms for an indication that they need to continue taking the drugs," she said. "In fact, they often don't need them at all, and the longer they take them, the more their health is at risk. At HealthNOW Medical Center, we've developed a protocol for getting patients off antidepressants safely. This protocol always includes extensive testing to find the root cause of their depression so it can be cured. Often, gluten intolerance is a factor."

One of Dr. Petersen's patients came to HealthNOW Medical Center while on seven different antidepressant-type drugs:

"I didn't know a thing about gluten sensitivity. I suffered from depression my whole life. It went undiagnosed and untreated until I was in my early 30s. I'd been on and off antidepressants for quite a while and was currently on seven medications - for everything from insomnia and anxiety to depression, and somebody threw in anti-seizure drugs for good measure.

"No one really treats the root cause of depression, they just say it's a chemical imbalance and throw drugs at you. So I took the gluten sensitivity test and found out I was really sensitive – which was a big surprise.

"I started (the program) and I started to feel better. The doctor at HealthNOW said we can probably get you off these drugs; tell your psychiatrist what we're doing. I was really nervous because he's the kind of guy that always spends only five minutes with you and the minute you walk in he pulls out a prescription pad and says 'Ok, what do you need today?'

"I said 'I started this gluten sensitivity thing and it's started to help me a bit. We're thinking maybe I can get off antidepressants.' He looked at me and said "I disagree with that. You have a chronic condition, like diabetes, and you need to be on antidepressants for the rest of your life."

"Not the news I wanted to hear. We persevered with the gluten intolerance treatment and in the summer the HealthNOW doctors started reducing my medications one by one. You don't want to go cold turkey on these things. Around Christmas I was on my last medication. I got back at New Year's and kicked that last medication.

"I've been on almost every antidepressant you can think of. This is a quality operation. Take a chance. You'll be happy you did.

"I have so much more energy. I used to not get out of bed before 9:30 a.m., now I get up at 7:00 or earlier, I'm starting to exercise, and my mental health is so much better. I haven't been depressed for a year – and this is a guy who's been depressed from age 16.The mental health community doesn't even know about this." W. M.

Dr. Petersen has written an e-book entitled "Gluten Intolerance: What You Don't Know May Be Killing You". She is offering it free of charge to help the millions of people currently suffering from undiagnosed and untreated gluten intolerance, gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.

To find out more about depression and its relationship to gluten intolerance or how to get tested to determine if gluten is affecting your mental or emotional health, visit HealthNOW Medical Center. You can set up a free consultation with the doctor, and also download a free copy of Dr. Petersen's e-book on gluten intolerance.

About HealthNOW Medical Center

HealthNOW is a unique medical clinic in Sunnyvale, California that combines the best of internal medicine, clinical nutrition, naturopathy, physical therapy and chiropractic. The team of doctors from these disciplines proactively work together to resolve patients' unique health problems and conditions. What really sets this medical center apart from most medical clinics highlights a very unfortunate fact about the medical industry, its emphasis on treating symptoms. HealthNOW is about what every medical clinic in the world should be: finding and fixing the root cause of health problems.

HealthNOW takes pride in being able to wean patients off drugs successfully by identifying the actual root cause of the problem. While dietary and nutritional factors are often causative agents, other contributing factors are identified and personalized for each patient through specialized lab tests to achieve a successful result. HealthNOW Medical Center treats patients from around the country as well as internationally. They created a Destination Clinic to cater to the needs of those visiting from out of state or out of the country.

Dr. Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN is co-founder of HealthNOW Medical Center and the author of "The Gluten Effect". She has been featured in national magazines, international medical journals and is a frequent headlined speaker. She regularly blogs at Everyday Health,, Celiac Central and HealthNOW.

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