The Marriage of Functional Medicine and Psychiatry: New Paradigms for the 21st Century

by Louis B. Cady, M.D. and W. Whitney Gabhart, N.D.

We are frequently asked, “What in the world are a psychiatrist and naturopath doing practicing together?” The answer is both fascinating and complex.

Cady Wellness Institute is based on the intellectual and career trajectory of Dr. Cady, a Mayo Clinic trained psychiatrist and former classical pianist. Formally trained in traditional medicine and finishing a comprehensive residency in traditional psychiatry at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Cady began his practice in Evansville using essentially a traditional Western model

Based on a decade of self-study, Dr. Cady’s training in age management medicine at Cenegenics Medical Institute, and the integration of an expansive European naturopathic education input from the collaboration with Whitney Gabhart, a doctor of naturopathy, a new model of integrated practice began emerging. This model encompasses traditional psychiatry, evidenced based medical practice, functional neuroendocrinology, and breakthrough concepts of age management medicine emphasizing the optimization and prolongation of maximal, peak performance well past middle age and into later golden years.
This method of integrated medical practice provides:

  • rigorous, comprehensive intake and diagnostic protocols
  • extensive in-house laboratory testing and functional analysis
  • the use of the best of conventional medication, with, when appropriate, scrupulous compounded bio-identical hormone replacement therapy
  • integration of naturopathic care with a logical approach to herbology, Aryuvedics, and other nutritional supplementation.

As a result of this model, we typically see more proactive patients, frequently armed with their own self-education and specific health concerns based on their own personal research. These patients have a mixture of symptoms ranging from depression, to ADD/ADHD, to chronic fatigue, and have been told “there’s nothing wrong with you,” or “it’s all in your head.”

You can feel on top of the world at any age through age management with functional medicine.

The reason for this approach is that “conventional medicine” relies on a more narrow range of lab tests that exclude active disease, but does not explain whether or not the patient is at an optimum level of hormones and function. In other words, the lab tests typically run will tell you that you’re not deathly ill, but won’t always explain to you why you feel so bad. This syndrome of “my doctor tells me that my labs are fine, but I feel terrible” is typically seen, for example, in subclinical hypothyroidism, undiagnosed allergies, hormone imbalances, adrenal burnout, chronic fatigue, undetected nutritional deficiencies, and many other stress-related conditions.The first step in the Cady Wellness Institute workup is a comprehensive intake, lasting “as long as it takes” and hearing the patient’s full and complete story – something that they are experiencing perhaps for the very first time. Following the obtaining of the complete database (which is required for reasonable and logical medical decision making), a patient-friendly diagnostic and treatment plan is collaboratively constructed with the patient. The diagnostic workup typically includes labs and studies that have not been done before, resulting in new information that allows for laser-targeted, evidence-based protocols.

At CWI, we use both traditional labs as well as functional medical testing looking at levels of vitamins and nutrients inside your cells (instead of measured just floating around in the bloodstream), and specific genetic testing to determine your predisposition for cardiovascular, inflammatory, bone loss or neurologic conditions. We also have testing for environmental and undetected food allergies and non-invasive, painless testing of antioxidant levels. The results of this approach benefit the patient in revealing subtle problems so that the use of medication can be kept to a minimum, the underlying needs of the patient are comprehensively addressed, and the return to optimal mental and physical health is maximized.

Dr. Cady observes: “Our institute is the first in the region to embrace holistic neuropsychiatry and functional medicine in order to address the patient’s healthcare needs as a whole, and our patients benefit as a result.”

According to Drs. Cady & Gabhart, Problems of the 21st Century Patient include:

  • “Depression with more than ‘the Big D’ ” – depression “look a likes” can actually be caused by subtle thyroid dysfunction, sex hormone dysregulation and adrenal burnout. Antidepressants won’t fix it by themselves.
  • The “Triple Espresso Pick-Me-Up Syndrome” – where your energy starts in a cup, your “get up and go” has “got up and went,” and where the conventional labs say, “There’s nothing wrong with you.”
  • “The Frazzled Male Executive Syndrome” – your competitive edge is slipping, your golf game is stalling, and your sex life comes out of a bottle of Viagra. Your board members and wife are both complaining, you feel like you¡¦re past your prime, but your conventional labs are “all normal.”
  • “I Know My Hormones are Messed Up because I Don’t Feel Like Myself Syndrome” – where women, according to Whitney Gabhart, ND (Doctor of Naturopathy, and a specialist in women’s health) tell her, “I can’t stand myself and no one else can either. Help me!”
  • “The ADD/Autism Epidemic” – where your child may not need more Ritalin but may need a comprehensive, holistic, and balanced approach with coaching and therapy from our staff as well as the appropriate medication, and with a focus on cutting out excessive video games and dealing with ‘vidiot syndrome,’ ‘I-M’ing thumb fatigue,’ and passive aggressive refusal to do homework and chores. We eliminate subtle food allergies and nutritional deficiencies as possible culprits in the ADD equation.
  • “The Adult Attention Deficit Disorder Plague” – frequently bringing in adults who have had it for life but have never had it treated and now can no longer cope. They may have more advanced cases with adrenal stress, tension and fatigue, insomnia, marital difficulties, and career challenges. A holistic, multi-disciplinary approach is needed.
  • “Yuppie Flu”/Post-Viral Fatigue – it’s not that you’re not trying hard enough. Your adrenals are shot, viruses are sapping your energy, and your hormones are now far out of whack. Only a comprehensive program will pinpoint your imbalances.

Contact the Cady Wellness Institute at 812-429-0772 to schedule your appointment for evaluation!