Depression

Updated: Apr 8, 2021

Symptoms include insomnia or hyersomnia, poor appetite or weight gain from increased appetite, physical hyperactivity or inactivity, loss of interest or pleasure, fatigue, feeling of worthlessness, can't concentrate, suicidal thoughts



Depression sufferers often describe themselves as being in a dark well, unable to climb out of it...


“Do you or anyone you know suffer from depression? This problem can range from mild/temporary to severe/long term for many people”

Below are some natural approaches to battle depression


THERAPEUTIC FOCUSES


(1) Hormonal Factors:

- depression is an early manifestation of thyroid disease, get checked out for thyroid function esp. hypothyroidism

- check for adrenal dysfunction as depressed people have elevated cortisol (stress hormone) in the morning


(2) Environmental Factors:

- Eliminate heavy metals (lead, mercury, arsenic, nickel, aluminum, etc) from cleaning materials, pesticides, herbicides etc as they damage the nervous system


(3) Lifestle:

- Counselling- most support in research. Found as effective as antidepressant drugs

- Smoking increases stress hormone (cortisol) and this reduces tryptophan (precursor to feel good chemical "serotonin") to the brain

- Alcohol is a depressant substance and will only make people feel more depressed

- Caffeine- students with high coffee consumption are more depressed and function worse academically. Caffeine plus refined sugar is worse than either alone

- Exercise is the best and most powerful natural antidepressant


(4) Nutrition:

- Check for diabetes as hypoglycemia affects the sugar supply to the brain and affects depression. Increased sugar intake, possibly causing insulin resistance is also responsible for depression. Use chromium (400-600ug per day) to balance insulin levels

- Folate and B12- 1/3rd of all depressed individuals are folate deficient. Folate is a methyl donor and responsible for manufacturing feel good chemicals dopamine and serotonin. Recommend 800ug of each folate and B12 per day

- Vitamin B6- deficient in depressed people, recommend 50-100mg per day

- Zinc is deficient and antidepressants drugs increase Zn to combat depression (25mg per day)

- Selenium- low level depresses mood, 200ug per day

- Omega-3 fatty acids. A large part of our brain is made up of fats. Having bad fats in your diet makes the brain work poorly. Good fats boost neurotransmitter synthesis and boost signal transmission. Recommendation of flax seed oil 1tbsp per day

- Investigate if there are any food allergies

- Tryptophan, an amino acid, increases serotonin. However, by itself alone it may be degraded to other chemicals (only 3% converted to serotonin). Taking tryptophan with Vitamin B6 disable the degradation and allows more conversion to feel good chemical Serotonin. A better choice is a supplement called 5-HTP (70% converted to serotonin). Recommend 5-HTP of 100-200mg three times per day

- Phenylalanine and tyrosine are amino acids responsible for another feel good chemical PEA

- SAM is a supplement that helps boost the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. This is an effective natural antidepressant, but can be pricy

- Vitamin C: 500-1000mg THREE times per day

- Vitamin E: 200-400 IU per day


(5) Herbs:

- St. John's Wort- natural antidepressant (300mg three times per day and can be used with 5-HTP)

- Kava kava- useful for depression AND severe anxiety (45-70mg three times per day)

- Ginko Biloba- improves mood and blood flow to brain (80mg three times per day)

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