BASIC INFORMATION ON DEPRESSION
Some symptoms or components of depression are –
hyperactivity, insomnia, sleepiness, a change in appetite, constipation, feeling guilty, an irritable mood, decreased interest or pleasure in usual activities, withdrawl from or avoidance of people, finding it harder than usual to do things, feelings of worthlessness, self-pity, decrease in sex drive, loss of self esteem, sadness, etc.
Anecdotal evidence and current research has found that in many cases, drug therapy for depression can often cause the depression that it is being used for. It can also make the person chemically toxic, which is known to worsen the problem.
Some nutrient deficiencies and/or excesses that are linked to depression are:
- --A deficiency of vitamin C and the homocysteine modulators, B6, B12, folic acid and TMG. Low folic acid and magnesium, especially, may cause depression. Always keep in mind that it is always recommended to take an entire B-Complex supplement in addition to single B's.
- --An elevated copper/zinc ratio can lead to emotional problems.
- --A potassium deficiency is also noted in depression and emotional problems. If eating a high protein diet, the body is known to excrete excess potassium. It is important to supplement in this instance.
- --Insufficient stomach acid – HCL – may lead to the malabsorption of protein and a resulting deficiency in amino acids. People with blood type A are known to be genetically low in HCL and enzymes that digest meat protein.
NUTRITIONAL SUGGESTIONS PERTAINING TO DEPRESSION
- --Large amounts of fluoride may lead to the onset of depression. Fluoride is known to drastically affect the thyroid, and depression is known to be a result of a hypothyroid condition. Therefore, it is very important that you avoid tap water, dental fluoride treatments, showering in unfiltered water, and large amounts of tea (which is known to contain high amounts of fluoride), in addition to any other source of fluoride.
- --Hypoglycemia may cause depression, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, fears, phobias. Dietary suggestions recommended for hypoglycemia would be to eat a high protein/low carbohydrate diet. It is beneficial to eat three good meals a day, in addition to 2 snacks. When at first trying to cope with a hypoglycemic condition, it is suggested that starchy vegetables and fruits be avoided for at least 4 weeks, then, add one or two servings slowly. Processed foods, grains, and sugars should be avoided all together.
- --Aspartame and artificial sweeteners should also be avoided totally. When metabolized, they can cause an imbalance in brain chemistry.
- --As mentioned, check for a thyroid dysfunction. A hypothyroid condition leads to depression. Keep in mind, according to research, people with blood type A are genetically at high risk for a hypothyroid.
- --Depression can be due to food allergies or environmental allergies. These may include grains (wheat, especially, soy, dairy, chocolate, oranges, peanuts, eggs, tomatoes, sugar, or anything you eat or drink constantly on a long-term basis. It is best to try NOT to eat the same thing routinely. By the way, anything that you crave could be an allergenic substance. It is known that your body can actually adapt to substances that are toxic to it. Allergies are known to account for depression, confusion, irritablity, anger, compulsive behavior, and psychosis.
- --Walnuts and turkey are both known to be high in serotonin. Decreased levels of serotonin have been found to lead to depressive states and internal anger. Complex carbohydrates are also known to be high in serotonin.
- --The amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine affect the brains production of serotonin. They are both found in protein (which is the best way to get them). Some people have taken supplements of the two amino acids, however, I don't often recommend it. They can trigger migraine headaches or raise blood pressure if taken in excess. In addition, they should not be taken with MAO inhibitors. Some herbs for depression are known to be MAO inhibitors, in addition to prescribed drugs for depression. Remember, if you are blood type A, you need to take enzymes with HCL in order to properly digest proteins.
- --Additional suggestions for people with blood type A would be oats and the supplement 5 HTP.
- --Fish oil, which is high in omega 3, has been found to be beneficial in depressive conditions. It returns the body to balance.
- --Drinking adequate filtered water(not tap), and deep, diaphragmatic breathing is always beneficial for depression; in addition to any other health condition.
- --Excessive sugar and alcohol may also cause depression. They are known to stimulate and wear out the adrenal glands. Coffee is also known to over-stimulate the adrenal gland.
- --Please read Peter D'Adamo's informative book, "Eat Right 4 Your Type", and attempt to eat according to your blood type (biochemical individuality) and organic, if possible. Lectins in the "bad" foods can cause chemical imbalances in addition to physiologic imbalances in the body.
SOME NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS OFTEN SUGGESTED ARE:
- a good multi-vitamin, which is always the base for a good supplemental program
- 1500-2000mg. calcium, 750-1000mg. magnesium, and 15-25mg. zinc The calcium/magnesium is always best taken at bedtime. Together they are both known to be beneficial for relaxation and insomnia.
- Vitamin C Up to 3000mg. a day in divided doses, has been recommended. One of the most beneficial Vitamin C supplements is Emergen-C, which is a powder which you add to water. It contains 1000mg of vitamin C in addition to many other mineral ascorbates.
- B-Complex at a dose of 50-100mg. a day. The B-vitamins are needed for the function of all organs in the body. Stress depletes them immediately. The B-complex usually contains 400mcg.of folic acid which is recommended for mood swings and homocystine levels. Sublingual is the most effective and causes less digestive disturbances.
- Additional single B vitamins recommended -
- Co-enzymated B6 (P5P) and methylcobalamin are both beneficial in any kind of stress and helps to balance catecholamines, which are known to become elevated in blood type AB during stress. Blood type AB is usually low in B12 due to the lack of stomach acid needed to assimilate it.
- L-tyrosine, taken on an empty stomach, has been found to increase dopamine levels.
- Cordyceps sinensis, is a Chinese herb, known to regulate nitric oxide, which people with blood type AB tend to clear to rapidly from their system, causing overly emotional reactions to stressful situations.
- Fish oil or cod liver oil has been studied in depth. Studies have found that depressed people have lower-than-normal levels of a fatty acid known as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), which plays an important role in maintaining normal brain function, and is essential in preventing and fighting both physical and mental illness. Fish/cod liver oil contains both EPA and DHA( which also plays a very important part in mental health).
- Tri-methyl glycine (TMG) or glycine betaine is known to convert homocysteine into methionine and, in the process, produce S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe). Betaine works along with vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid to augment the formation of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), which is an important amino acid particularly concentrated in the human brain and liver. Recent studies in children with enzyme deficiencies confirm that betaine increases S-adenosylmethionine in the brain. SAMe has been shown in clinical studies to be the fastest acting safest and possibly, most effective antidepressant ever found. One study found that 66% of patients treated with SAMe showed significant clinical improvement in depressive symptoms compared only 22% of patients given the antidepressant drug imipramine. Unlike conventional antidepressant drugs that produce adverse side effects, SAMe has been found to produce multiple health benefits and may slow the aging process.
- --Low cholesterol has been linked to depression, in addition to anxiety and hemorrhagic stroke. Cholesterol may affect the metabolism of serotonin.
- --Studies show there may be a higher incidence of depression in people living near high voltage wires.
- --Artificial lighting in known to interfere with optimal absorption of nutrients, contributing to mental and emotional disturbances. Full spectrum light has been found to remedy this, as does full sunlight.
- --Mold and pollen allergies are known to trigger seasonal depression.
- --Depression in women – and men – can point to hormonal imbalances. This includes not only estrogen and progesterone, but, pregnenalone, thyroid hormone, etc. Hormone imbalances can also cause a toxic candida overgrowth. This can cause severe depression.
- --Some essential oils that are known to have anti-depressant activities are bergamot, Melissa, and geranium.
- --Chiropractic care may be beneficial.
- --Exercise is a very good anti-depressive. Yoga and walking is suggested for people with blood type A, and jogging and aerobics for people with blood type O.
- --Homeopathic remedies known to be beneficial for depression are:
- --ignatia – grief, sadness, sorrow
- --aurum metallicum – worthlessness, low self esteem, despair, hardworking, feels failure
- --There is much information linking the different blood types to depression. Some of the more notable are as follows:
- --People with blood type O tend more towards bi-polar depression and may also be prone to unipolar depression. They are known to have low levels of plasma MAO.
- --Both blood types A and O non-secretors have been found to be at risk for unipolar depression. In addition, they are known to have problems with carbohydrate metabolism.
- --People with blood type A are shown to have more incidents of unipolar depression. There has been an association between anxiety disorder and depression. It is related to high cortisol levels and low melatonin levels.
- Some suggestions to correct this situation naturally would be the use of B12 (methylcobalamin), 1-3 mg/day in the morning, and melatonin, 1-2 mg. sustained release at night.
- When using melatonin, it is important to assure that there will be at least 8 hours before waking, or grogginess may be experienced.
- Melatonin is known to regulate the sleep/wake cycle, banish jet lag, adjust circadian rhythms
- --People with blood type AB are have been found to be especially prone to depression. Some reasons and/or suggestions for this are as follows:
- There is a tendency to build high levels of catecholamines (adrenaline and noradrenaline – “fight or flight”) during stress due to low MAO. (That is why, in this instance that the herb St.John’s Wort doesn’t work, it is an MAO inhibitor). These high levels of catecholamines create an imbalance in the neurochemical dopamine, which creates an increased risk of bi-polar (manic) disease, depression, heart disease( if you have type A personality), Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, and substance abuse.
- People with blood type AB tend to receive mixed messages about their emotional health. They tend to be drawn to other people and are friendly and trusting, however, they often feel alienated from the larger community.
- Blood type AB shares with blood type B the tendency to rapidly clear nitrous oxide, suffering the physical consequences of high emotions. The greatest danger to people with blood type AB is the tendency to internalize emotions, especially anger and hostility.
- Some suggestions to counter these tendencies are:
- avoid highly competitive situations
- avoid ritualistic thinking and fixating on issues especially those you can’t control ( Bach Flower remedies would do very well here)
- develop a plan for goals and tasks – annual, monthly, weekly, daily – this minimizes surprises and avoids rush.
- do 45-60 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 times a week, balanced by daily stretching or yoga
- try to develop a meaningful connection to a group or community
- practice visualization daily
- have time alone for yourself daily
- deep diaphragmatic breathing is good for stress and relaxation
- be aware of the antibiotics you take. People with blood type AB tend to be sensitive to quinilone-class of antibiotics (Floxin and Cipro). If you take them, be aware of nervous system problems such as blurred vision, confusion, dizziness and insomnia. If you notice any of these problems, it would be wise to stop the antibiotic. ALSO, because of blood type AB's low stomach acid, there is a greater instance of an imbalance of good bacteria in intestines if antibiotics are used. Always take lactobacillus ( high in acidophilus, bifidum, and thermophilus, if possible)
- avoid caffeine and alcohol, if possible. Caffeine tends to raise the “fight or flight” hormones which are already high in blood type AB.
- eat a balanced breakfast. This is the most important meal for balancing metabolic needs and the stress response.
- avoid all processed food and refined sugars, which can cause fatigue and depression.
- it is very important to monitor the goitrogenic foods that you eat. These are known to cause hypothyroid conditions, and, depression is one of the main risks of a hypothyroid.
The following essential oils have been found to be beneficial in depression, insomnia, tension, emotional instability, sadness, or fatigue and may be used in an unscented lotion or carrier oil such as almond or grapeseed in the dilution of 15 drops of essential oil to 1 tablespoon of lotion or oil. This may be used once or twice a day, massaging the shoulders, chest, tops of hands and feet, and the solar plexus. The oils may be used singly, or they may be mixed together to create a pleasing scent. Just add the correct number of drops of the mixture to the carrier lotion or oil. Be very careful not to use the essential oils undiluted, due to their very high potency. Use of most essential oils undiluted could cause toxic reaction. The natural chemical components of essential oils and the strength of their actions leads many practioners to use them as adjunct therapy for many disorders. They have been found to play a role in balancing hormones, neurochemicals, etc. Essential oils may also be placed on a tissue or the edge of a pillow, undiluted, in order to sniff. Sniffing alone is known to stimulate hormone and neurochemical balance. By massaging into the skin, the oils are absorbed directly through the skin into the blood stream, which, again, has been found to balance many systems in the body. Another property of various essential oils is that they have been found to contain many anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-viral components, and have been used with people having AIDS, cancer, or other viral diseases.
OILS TO MIX OR CHOOSE FROM:
It is very important to obtain pure, unadulterated essential oils from a reputable dealer. I do not recommend NOW or FRONTIER brand to use therapeutically. Elizabeth Van Buren is a good therapeutic grade oil. There are others, though. Aura Cacia is a good choice, especially when choosing their organic line. Aura Cacia is not as pricey as Elizabeth VanBuren. Earth Harmony is also an acceptable brand.
One final suggestion to try before reverting to pharmaceutical drugs would be to make an appointment with a classical homeopath. Homeopathy ,at times, is close to a miracle cure for a great number of chronic disorders — of which depression is one. A classical homeopath will spend up to 1-2 hours with you on your first appointment. He/she will ask you many questions about your symptoms, what makes them worse or better, your emotions, physical ailments, personal history, childhood ailments, etc. He/she will also do a brief medical workup on you in some instances. At that point, the classical homeopath will try to match your symptom picture with the remedy that would do the most to stimulate your body to heal itself. Homeopathy is somewhat the exact opposite of any other mode of medical care. The remedy that is chosen to treat your symptom picture if given to a normal, healthy person, could create your symptoms in that person. This is known as the Law of Similars. It is “like healing like”. The remedy stimulates your body to fight against your symptoms, thereby helping your body to correct it's own imbalance. There are literally thousands of remedies the homeopath can choose from.
A cautionary list of medications that may contribute to depression are:
Please email me if you have any questions.