LONDON — Conquering alcoholism can be a life-long struggle, and it is very common for recovering excessive drinkers to suffer relapses on the road to sobriety. While undergoing this recovery process, many will seek out a number of abstinence strategies in an effort to find what works for them. Now, a new study is offering up a potentially game-changing option for heavy drinkers searching for a way to curb their alcohol use: ketamine.
Nourishing our bodies and minds with nutrient-dense foods is so important in order to feel our best, but it can be challenging to prioritise self-care when we are feeling low. Times like this is also when we tend to crave convenient and less healthy foods which can further feed into the cycle of a low mood.
A healthy and balanced diet can be a great way to feel better during illness. Eating well helps you achieve more effective relief from your Ketamine infusions and can improve your quality of life. Here are a few tips to get you started:
The best carbohydrates for a healthy mood are complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. These help to keep blood glucose and insulin levels optimal, supplying the brain with a healthy release of glucose, insulin, and serotonin. Avoid refined carbohydrates found in white pasta, white rice, white bread, and refined sugars which can spike glucose and insulin levels. When blood glucose and insulin levels are out of balance, we are more likely to experience a blood sugar crash which leaves the brain starved of its preferred fuel, glucose, and sugar cravings usually follow. A steady supply of healthy glucose from complex carbohydrates helps to keep the brain functioning optimally, supports a healthy mood, energy levels and improves our response to stress.
Tryptophan and Serotonin
Have you ever felt sleepy after a turkey sandwich? Turkey (along with tuna and chicken), contains a chemical called tryptophan, which can help produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter in our brain that makes us feel happy. Tryptophan has an added benefit of making you feel full after consumption. For vegans and vegetarians, pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, are an excellent meat-free source of tryptophan.
B vitamins, especially folate and B12 are all important for a healthy mood. The Mediterranean diet which is rich in oily fish, lean meats, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and olive oil, is a rich source of B vitamins. Nuts, seeds and dark leafy greens are especially high in folate and B12.
Vitamin D is another important nutrient to support a healthy mood. We are especially low in Vitamin D during the winter months, and supplementing may be necessary to help maintain a healthy level.
Consult with us on your next visit, or talk to your general practitioner to see what best suits your individual needs. Small adjustments can have a positive impact on overall nutrient status. Eating well helps you achieve more effective relief from your Ketamine infusions and can improve your quality of life. Please contact our office at 020 7052 0070 for further information about our nutrition programme.
Make An Appointment
We are available 6 days a week and have specific office hours with doctors and staff. Outside of our office hours, you will need to contact your GP, your mental health service team or your nearby NHS hospital for assistance if you are interested in Ketamine Infusion Therapy.. Contact us online, or give us a call at 020 7052 0070 during normal office hours.
Benefits of Ketamine:
Ketamine has been shown by most studies to act rapidly to alleviate depressive and anxiety symptoms upon starting treatment, even when other forms of treatment that have not worked. Up to 70% of the people who start treatment with Ketamine have substantial improvement in their symptoms within hours of completion of the first infusion. However, this rapid effect is transient and you will need further infusions to prolong the effects.
One of the ways Ketamine is thought to impact anxiety is by targeting the brain’s NMDA receptors; as it binds to these receptors, Ketamine is thought to increase the amount of glutamate in between neurons. An increase in glutamate activates AMPA receptors, which when in conjunction with NMDA receptors, are thought to lead to synaptogenesis – a process that most likely affects cognition, thought patterns and mood.
It should be noted that although treatment using Ketamine to treat severe depression is becoming a very sought-after method to alleviate debilitating depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation, it is still not approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration in US) to treat major depressive illnesses.
Ketamine for Anxiety:
Ketamine triggers the production of glutamate. Subsequently a series of events after this leads to the brain prompting the formation of new neural connections. The development of these new neural connections is thought to make the brain more adaptable to its environment, as well as give it the ability to create new pathways. Overall, this gives the patient the opportunity to develop thoughts and behaviour that are increasingly positive.
Ketamine for Pain and Depression:
Ketamine (for pain and depression) is most widely used as an anaesthetic agent – it is used to relieve pain, but has recently been found to be suitable in the treatment of major depression. In the US, the FDA approved ketamine for the induction and maintenance of anaesthesia, further highlighting its pain-relieving properties. Furthermore, ketamine is also currently being used for the treatment of psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Ketamine is not typically used as a first-line therapy for chronic pain management or psychiatric
disorders, but should instead be considered, by the patient’s interdisciplinary team, when these approaches have not worked.
Low-Dose Ketamine Infusion Therapy:
Most available medications for chronic pain in patients contain opioids as part of their ingredients, making these drugs potentially addictive to patients that use it to find relief. Following on from this, these opioids come with several negative and unwanted side effects such as: constipation, nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness. The use of low-dose ketamine infusion therapy may be a suitable way of managing pain, with ketamine comparing to morphine in its pain efficacy. It may also provide a viable treatment for several mental health conditions, thereby improving an individual’s quality of life.
Ketamine for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):
PTSD typically manifests as a debilitating anxiety disorder that is symptomatic of intrusive re-experiences of events, feeling jumpy or easily startled, and the avoidance of stimuli and situations that may remind the patient of traumatic events. PTSD patients are often depressed, whilst many others experience significant memory impairments. For example, considering the number of military engagements globally, coupled with civilian traumas as a result, PTSD continues to affect people world while. Some of the common symptoms of PTSD are:
• Frequent flashbacks of traumatic events
• Hyper vigilance
• Traumatic nightmares
• Distress experienced when exposed to traumatic reminders
• Negative thinking and moods (including depression, shame and despair) that are often burdensome
• Avoidance of certain types of thoughts or situations
Before you go on with the treatment, you will be assessed if you are suitable for the treatment. Patients who will undergo treatment must meet the following pre-requisites listed below.
Pre-requisites for Ketamine Treatment:
· Suffering from depression and have tried other antidepressants for 6 consecutive weeks
· Have tried psychological therapy
· Referred to us by a GP or psychiatrist
· Be accompanied for safe travel for appointment and treatment
· Be able to give constant ratings through email or SMS
· Capable of completing online surveys regularly
· Be able to know the goal of the treatment, its advantages, and side effects
Patients are unable to undergo treatment if they have the following health conditions listed below:
· Increased intracranial pressure (pressure inside your skull)
· Increased intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye)
· Severe hypertension
· History of epilepsy
· Smoking, intake of cannabis/marijuana, or any prohibited drugs
· History of drug-induced manic episodes
· Cannot keep from drinking alcohol for three days
· Severe coronary heart disease or unstable angina
Treatment Timing and Review
· Please note that the first 3 infusions will be administered every week during a three weeks period.
· Maintenance infusion time interval – Patients are required to maintain the desired dose of ketamine infusions at prescribed intervals. The usual interval between maintenance infusions are 2-6 weeks and the time interval will be guided by your response to treatment.
· The ketamine clinic consultant will personally evaluate each persons’ mood chart regularly and will arrange a review every 6 months or sooner if required.
· Supplementation with other medications – the ketamine clinic consultant will assess and evaluate the patient’s status before determining what appropriate medication can be taken with ketamine
Bespoke Throughout your treatment, our team will continue to monitor your progress. You will be asked to complete our mood monitoring system every day after assessment, treatment and follow-up. These scores will be recorded into your confidential patient file and passed to your Clinician for them to access when required. You may also like to keep your own log of how you are feeling. Keeping a journal to record your thoughts and feelings can be valuable. It can be helpful to look back on how you felt before and after the treatment, providing an overview of the improvements and symptoms.
You need a referral sent to us by your GP or psychiatrist in order to have an assessment appointment. Your referral should indicate your physical and mental health, your past and recent treatments and copies of any written communication regarding your mental state.
If it is a self-referral, we still need information from your GP or Psychiatrist about your previous physical and mental health. You will then be assessed by our consultant psychiatrist regarding suitability for treatment.
Initial Appointment is priced at £645.00 and this includes: – Psychiatrist consultation – Full panel of blood tests – Urine test – ECG (Electrocardiogram)
Followed by at least 3 sessions of treatment for the initial week of treatment, with subsequent maintenance infusions – priced at £595.00 per infusion.
For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 7052 0070 (option 1).