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Mental Health and The Immune System

Many individuals are grappling with shifts in their mental well-being due to seasonal changes, alterations in weather, and fluctuations in the natural environment. There my be worsening ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, Autism, or PANS/PANDAS fluctuations especially with viral/flu season upon us.

These changes can often spark curiosity about the reasons behind these fluctuations.

What does the immune system have to do on with mental health and behavior? I started grappling with this question more and more after attending a conference San Diego in 2018 which I wrote about here .

When considering the crucial link between the immune system and mental health, I decided to invite Dr. Emily Gutierrez on to my podcast to discuss this question.

Dr. Gutierrez's expertise lies in comprehending the intersection of nutrition, the immune system, and mental health. Specifically, she focuses on how genetics and nutrition influence cognitive functions in individuals with conditions like ADHD, anxiety, depression, autism, and pans/ pandas, and more.

Her profound knowledge in these areas is evident throughout this episode as she provides a well-structured framework for understanding the interplay between mental health and the immune system, exploring various factors driving immune responses.

Notably, neurotransmitters like glutamate play a pivotal role in the realm of mental health, a topic we delve deeply into during our discussion. We touch upon which genetic elements contribute to immune system activation, as well as the environmental triggers that impact both the immune system and mental well-being.

You can watch the episode on youtube:

Or listen in a podcast player


Dr. Gutierrez is a doctor of nursing practice and pediatric nurse practitioner that has been providing pediatric functional medicine care to patients for over a decade. She received her doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, and her masters degree as a pediatric nurse practitioner at the University of Texas in Austin, TX. Dr. Gutierrez is board certified in functional medicine by the Institute of Functional Medicine in addition to dual board certifications by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board as both a pediatric nurse practitioner and a primary care mental health specialist. Dr. Gutierrez is adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University and a fellow of the Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs. She has a busy pediatric functional medicine practice in Austin, Texas, and also is a founder of Neuro Nutrients, a nutraceutical company that provides custom formulations for supporting mental health needs naturally.


See below for resources mentioned in the episode:


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