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Addressing Mood From A Functional Medicine Perspective

Anxiety and depression have many “root causes”. When addressing these symptoms, we will look at patterns in your medical “story” and other symptoms that may seem unrelated to mood but in reality, might be the direct triggers and/or exacerbators of various mood disorders. Based on these patterns, we’ll then order an appropriate workup (testing to look at underlying imbalances), and do trials with various dietary factors, and supplements such as vitamins and/or herbs.

It’s rarely just one factor, but rather, most commonly, a compilation of several factors. A few things we consider are:

  • Lifestyle imbalances. The most common examples are inflammatory foods, excessive alcohol and/or caffeine intake, abnormal patterns of exercise, stress, or isolation, and lack of sleep.
  • Blood sugar imbalances. Some people are sensitive to dips in blood glucose which prevents enough sugar from reaching the brain for energy. If this is a trigger, for example, intermittent fasting can make things worse. High-sugar foods may also trigger mood imbalances.
  • Gut-brain connection. The health of our gastrointestinal system is intimately related to our mental/emotional health. Just think about the times you had to run to the bathroom when you had a stressful event coming up. Or insatiable hunger or loss of appetite when dealing with some stressful situation.
  • The brain-gut axis is composed of the central nervous system (CNS, represented by the brain), the enteric nervous system, and the digestive system. It is involved in gut motility, secretion of hormones, and production of acid, bicarbonates, and mucus. The Vagus nerve is the longest-running nerve of your nervous Parasympathetic Nervous System
  • The vagus nerve connects the gut and brain through the gut-brain axis. It communicates information from the gut to the brain using neurotransmitters (such as serotonin and glutamate) and gut hormones, all of which play a vital role in sleep, mood, pain, stress, and hunger.
  • If you feel that your digestive system is not functioning properly (frequent bloating, gas, bowel movement irregularity, abdominal pains, IBS or IBD), there is a good chance that it plays a big role in your mood imbalance.
  • Recent advances in research have described the importance of the gut microbiome in influencing not just your gut function, but emotional health and your overall gut-brain axis.
  • Neurotransmitter imbalances such as Serotonin, Dopamine, Catecholamines, and Endorphins.
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How Can Absoulute Vitality Help You With Your Mental Health

Dr. Kalika with her clinical team will approach your mood imbalance holistically. Medications are always the last resort.

During the initial, discovery phase of your treatment, she will meet with you in person or virtually to take a deep dive into your past history to discover all the possible triggers (root causes) of your anxiety, depression, or mood instability. With the help of blood tests and other functional tests such as hormone and gut function assessment, as well as necessary questionnaires to evaluate your neurotransmitter production, she will make a full assessment of your physical and emotional landscape and with the help of her health coach, start you on the customized program of appropriate nutrition, lifestyle, and supplements.


Why Choose Us?

Sanna Kalika, M.D. is a Board-Certified Internal Medicine physician who focuses on providing her patients with the most attentive, comprehensive, integrative care. As an internist, Dr. Kalika specializes in diagnosing and treating a range of conditions that affect many organ systems. With over two decades of experience in traditional medicine and reinforced by years of learning and practicing functional medicine, Dr. Kalika is able to utilize knowledge from both disciplines of medicine and combine them into one comprehensive approach to DIS-ease. Dr. Kalika has the best interest of her patients in mind and loves to offer patients active participation in their own care, a true partnership.

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Schedule Your Consultation

To schedule your consultation with Dr. Sanna Kalika for a deep dive into your mental health or mood imbalances, please fill out a contact form on our website or give us a call. Dr. Sanna Kalika is a board-certified internal medicine physician located in Manalapan, New Jersey, and has active licenses in other states (NY, SC, DC, MA, AK). Hours outside of a normal work day might be available if necessary, upon request. We look forward to helping you optimize your health, enabling you to feel healthy, vibrant, and absoulute!

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What Patients Have to Say


It has been fantastic to have a physician so dedicated to partnering with me in my health journey.


Dr. Kalika's approach to functional medicine is not only innovative but incredibly personalized. She took the time to understand my unique situation and crafted a treatment plan that addressed my specific needs.


Been loving all my visits at Absoulute Vitality! Had multiple service's and have more on my radar!

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We believe that everyone, no matter what they suffer from, can and will get better when they find the answer to their underlying root cause health imbalances.

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Patient Resources

We’re here to help, with a number of patient resources designed to make your experience as comfortable as possible. Read through the materials below, and don’t hesitate to reach out and set up your consultation to learn more about what we can do for you.