Health and Disease

HWA – DEPRESSION

How are you feeling today? If you’ve found yourself reading this, probably pretty crappy. Maybe you’ve been feeling listless and down for a lot longer than you expected, and it’s making you worry that you might have depression. Maybe you’ve just received a diagnosis of clinical depression and you’re looking for answers. We get it.  But we won’t let depression swallow you up. 

What Is Depression, Really?

 It’s normal to experience sadness. (Who didn’t cry when Simba couldn’t wake up Mufasa?) But unlike typical sadness or grief, time can’t and won’t heal Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), the term for clinical depression, which most people just call “depression.” It’s a common mental health condition that shows up like an unwanted houseguest and refuses to leave. This extended period of sadness or emptiness comes with a constellation of other symptoms, like exhaustion, sleep trouble, a shrinking appetite, overeating, sudden crying spells, and sometimes thoughts of suicide. Symptoms range in severity and must last for two weeks or more to receive an MDD diagnosis, though it’s rare than an episode would only last for that short time. Most people have symptoms for six months to a year, and sometimes, they can last for years.

Without treatment, depression won’t fade away on its own. Even if you do white-knuckle it through your first episode of depression, your chance of another recurrence is more than 50 percent. If you’ve had two episodes, that chance shoots up to 80 percent. Meaning, you’re going to want to deal with this sooner rather than later.

One hallmark of depression is an inability to experience pleasure, which is literally no fun. Losing interest in things you once enjoyed often means that your capacity to function at work and home takes a dive. In fact, depression is one of the leading causes of disability in the U.S., as 7.2% of Americans—17.7 million people—experience Major Depressive Disorder, each year.

Other Types of Depression

We talked about MDD (a.k.a. depression) but there are other types of depression. They include:

  • Persistent Depressive Disorder. This is a chronic form of depression, formerly known as dysthymia. Sometimes people call it “high functioning” or “smiling” depression. While symptoms aren’t as severe as MDD, they last for two years or longer. People with PDD might feel like they’ve always been depressed. (In cases of “double depression,” people experience severe episodes of MDD within their usual state of chronic depression.)
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Depression symptoms start and end seasonally, around the same times every year. Most people get depressed in cold, dark winter, but some people’s mood plummets in summer.
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). Here, depression symptoms are tied to the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, starting about one week before your period and ending just after your period. Though many of the symptoms mirror PMS—irritability, high anxiety, frequent crying—they’re much more severe. They interrupt your ability to work, destroy personal relationships, and can lead to thoughts of self-harm and suicide. This condition was added in 2013 as a form of depression to the DSM-5, the official guide of mental disorders.
  • Peripartum Depression. New mothers with this disorder typically develop symptoms of depression and even psychosis within a few weeks of giving birth. It used to be called postpartum depression and many people still use the term interchangeably. (In some cases, symptoms start during pregnancy; other times, when the baby is several months old—hence the name change.)
  • Perimenopausal Depression. In midlife (specifically, the years leading up to menopause), people experiencing this disorder have typical depressive symptoms plus perimenopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats.
  • Substance/Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder. Substance abuse (alcohol, opiates, sedatives, amphetamines, cocaine, hallucinogens, etc.) or taking some medications, like corticosteroids or statins, can trigger the symptoms of depression. If substance use (or withdrawal from using) is causing your symptoms, you may have this version of depression.
  • Disruptive Mood Regulation Disorder. A child with this juvenile disorder is grumpy and bad-tempered most of the time. They have severe, explosive outbursts with parents, teachers, and peers several times a week. Their overreactions are extreme and inconsistent with their developmental level.

 Depression strikes people at a median age of 32, but it’s important to remember that depression can happen to anyone, at any age, of any race, gender, or political affiliation. One out of every six adults will experience depression at some time in their life. Fortunately, depression is treatable. That’s why, at the first hint of symptoms, it’s important to make an appointment with a mental health professional who can help determine whether you have depression, and if so, which type—and most importantly, which treatment is appropriate for you.

What Causes Depression?

You’re not going to like this answer, but no one knows for sure. That said, for the past few decades, the prevailing theory is that depressed people have an imbalance in their brain chemistry—more specifically, low levels of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine, which help regulate mood, sleep, and metabolism. We now know it’s a little more complicated than that.

Certain circumstances put people at a higher risk of depression, including childhood trauma, other types of mental illness and chronic pain conditions, or a family history of depression, but anyone can get depressed.

Scientists informed by decades of research believe that the following factors also up your risk of becoming depressed, but they can’t prove causality. Still, they can play heavily in the development of depression, so it’s important to be aware of them:

  • Genetics. Research shows that having a first-degree relative with depression (a parent, sibling, or child) makes you two-to-three times more likely to have depression tendencies.
  • Traumatic life events from childhood, such as abuse or neglect.
  • Environmental stressors, like a loved one’s death, a messy divorce, or financial problems.
  • Some medical conditions (e.g., underactive thyroid, chronic pain). Per science, the relationship between these physical conditions and depression is bidirectional, so there’s a chicken-or-egg thing going on because they feed each other.
  • Certain medications, including some sedatives and blood pressure pills.
  • Hormonal changes, like those that come with childbirth and menopause.
  • Gut bacteria. There has been a link established between the microbiome and the gut-brain axis, but it’s only just starting to be studied.

Do I Have the Symptoms of Depression?

Wondering whether your feelings qualify for clinical depression? Those with MDD experience five or more of the below symptoms during the same two-week period, and at least one must be depressed mood or loss of pleasure. The symptoms would be distressing or affect daily functioning.

  1. You feel down most of the time.
  2. The things you liked doing no longer give you joy.
  3. Significant weight loss (without dieting) or weight gain or feeling consistently much less hungry or hungrier than usual.
  4. Having a hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep or oversleeping.
  5. A molasses-like slowdown of thought, becoming a couch potato, or spending days in bed. (This should be noticeable to others, not just subjective feelings of restlessness or slothiness.)
  6. So. So. Tired. You’re so exhausted you can’t even.
  7. Feeling worthless a lot of the time, even if you haven’t done anything wrong.
  8. Being super distracted, indecisive, and unable to concentrate.
  9. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide(with or without a specific plan to actually do it). If you need help for yourself or someone else, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
  • We are in this Together!-

    -People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Tears In The Wind

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Tears in the Wind

 

 

Stand and cry unto the wind and let me remove your pain.

 

For within the tears of love and life, there is no one to blame.

 

Let go of the secrets that you hold in tears you will not cry.

 

For holding them within your spirit will block your energies and spiritual abilities.

 

For you constantly must build the dam higher and higher to keep them back.

 

Tears are a gift of the Divine; to let go of whatever has blocked our spirits.

 

Pain, loneliness, sadness, grief and even joy.

 

Tears cleanse the spirit and bring renewed energy.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr. M Williams PhD Psy

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Preventing and Reversing Anxiety

anxiert

Preventing and Fighting Anxiety

Are you anxious? Well, you’re truly not alone. Millions of people suffer from anxiety, due to either physical, physiological or mental health challenges. Some people deal with their anxiety by seeing a doctor, who will typically prescribe a drug such as Valium, Xanax or an anti-depressant. These drugs might do well at reducing the more immediate feelings that are related to anxiety, but they will not solve any underlying problems, nor are they a cure.

 

Depending on one’s health insurance, these drugs can be expensive if there is a need to take them long-term. They can often cause some frustrating side effects, too. Some anxiety medications even have the potential to lead to addiction. Thankfully, medications aren’t the only way to fight back against anxiety. There are also a few vitamins that can support the body in fighting the stress response naturally.

Don’t sit back and tell yourself that “it runs in my family”.  I agree, we see a lot of it in family lines, but it is mainly due to gender bending DNA, and there are ways to turn it around.

 

B Vitamins – 5 Different Varieties

There are many kinds of B vitamins that are necessary to keep the body’s fight or flight response working properly. You can support your stress levels by being sure you get healthy levels of the following vitamins:

 

B1 aka Thiamin, improves memory and mood.

B3 aka Niacin, helps the body’s natural production of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that is necessary for mental stability.

B5 aka Pantothenic acid, helps to maintain the balance and harmony of the neurotransmitters.

B6 aka Pyridoxine, reduces symptoms that are related to anxiety.

B9 aka Folic acid, helps keep the neurotransmitters balanced.

B12 aka Cyanocobalamin, works to prevent symptoms of things such as changes in personality, depression, irritability, memory impairment, fatigue, psychosis, and mania.

You can consume the B vitamins in food sources that include meat, cereal, poultry, fish, beans, and green peas. Keep in mind to stay in the daily recommendations for the B vitamins, as they can become toxic at high levels when taken as supplements.

Please make sure you are asking a healthcare provider how to take these vitamins. If they tell you to take a One A Day, or a Multivitamin, then they are not knowledgeable of how this should be done.

Never take a B-12 injection.  Never take a B-12 Shot!  Never!

 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that assists in the transportation of oxygen to the brain. A brain that gets the proper amount of oxygen is more alert and healthier in general. It is found in nuts, some oils, lettuce, and cabbage. It is always best to get your E vitamins through food sources, but if you take supplements, it is best not to exceed the daily recommendations.

 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C supports not only the building blocks in the body and the immune system, but also promotes a healthy fight or flight response. In large doses, it can even have a calming effect. This vitamin can be found in oranges, grapefruit, lemons, peas, lettuce, tomatoes, and cabbage. Unlike many B or E vitamins, you can exceed the daily recommendations of this vitamin with few issues.

 

So, when you power your body with vitamins, you can support healthy stress levels naturally. This can potentially lower or eliminate the amount of medications you need to deal with anxious feelings. Plus, it helps your body run like a well-oiled machine, too.

You can not go to the drug store, and please never go to GNC, or pick vitamins up at the grocery store without knowing how to take these, and which ones you need to take together,and which ones you don’t take together.

We are helping more people undo their vitamin regiment, because it was making them very ill.

Call us, and ask those questions, we will be happy to help you.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr P Carrothers

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Restorative and Preventative Medicine

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Depression in Teens

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Depression In Teens

It’s not unusual for young people to experience “the blues” or feel “down in the dumps” occasionally. Adolescence is always an unsettling time, with the many physical, emotional, psychological and social changes that accompany this stage of life.

Unrealistic academic, social, or family expectations can create a strong sense of rejection and can lead to deep disappointment. When things go wrong at school or at home, teens often overreact. Many young people feel that life is not fair or that things “never go their way.” They feel “stressed out” and confused. To make matters worse, teens are bombarded by conflicting messages from parents, friends and society. Today’s teens see more of what life has to offer — both good and bad — on television, at school, in magazines and on the Internet. They are also forced to learn about the threat of AIDS, even if they are not sexually active or using drugs.

Teens need adult guidance more than ever to understand all the emotional and physical changes they are experiencing. When teens’ moods disrupt their ability to function on a day-to-day basis, it may indicate a serious emotional or mental disorder that needs attention — adolescent depression. Parents or caregivers must take action.

Dealing With Adolescent Pressures

When teens feel down, there are ways they can cope with these feelings to avoid serious depression. All of these suggestions help develop a sense of acceptance and belonging that is so important to adolescents.

Try to make new friends. Healthy relationships with peers are central to teens’ self-esteem and provide an important social outlet.

Participate in sports, job, school activities or hobbies. Staying busy helps teens focus on positive activities rather than negative feelings or behaviors.

Join organizations that offer programs for young people. Special programs geared to the needs of adolescents help develop additional interests.

Ask a trusted adult for help. When problems are too much to handle alone, teens should not be afraid to ask for help.

But sometimes, despite everyone’s best efforts, teens become depressed. Many factors can contribute to depression. Studies show that some depressed people have too much or too little of certain brain chemicals. Also, a family history of depression may increase the risk for developing depression. Other factors that can contribute to depression are difficult life events (such as death or divorce), side-effects from some medications and negative thought patterns.

Recognizing Adolescent Depression

Adolescent depression is increasing at an alarming rate. Recent surveys indicate that as many as one in five teens suffers from clinical depression. This is a serious problem that calls for prompt, appropriate treatment. Depression can take several forms, including bipolar disorder (formally called manic-depression), which is a condition that alternates between periods of euphoria and depression.

Depression can be difficult to diagnose in teens because adults may expect teens to act moody. Also, adolescents do not always understand or express their feelings very well. They may not be aware of the symptoms of depression and may not seek help.

These symptoms may indicate depression, particularly when they last for more than two weeks:

Poor performance in school

Withdrawal from friends and activities

Sadness and hopelessness

Lack of enthusiasm, energy or motivation

Anger and rage

Overreaction to criticism

Feelings of being unable to satisfy ideals

Poor self-esteem or guilt

Indecision, lack of concentration or forgetfulness

Restlessness and agitation

Changes in eating or sleeping patterns

Substance abuse

Problems with authority

Suicidal thoughts or actions

Teens may experiment with drugs or alcohol or become sexually promiscuous to avoid feelings of depression. Teens also may express their depression through hostile, aggressive, risk-taking behavior. But such behaviors only lead to new problems, deeper levels of depression and destroyed relationships with friends, family, law enforcement or school officials.

Treating Adolescent Depression

It is extremely important that depressed teens receive prompt, professional treatment.

Depression is serious and, if left untreated, can worsen to the point of becoming life-threatening. If depressed teens refuse treatment, it may be necessary for family members or other concerned adults to seek professional advice.

Therapy can help teens understand why they are depressed and learn how to cope with stressful situations. Depending on the situation, treatment may consist of individual, group or family counseling. Medications that can be prescribed by a psychiatrist may be necessary to help teens feel better.

Some of the most common and effective ways to treat depression in adolescents are:

Psychotherapy provides teens an opportunity to explore events and feelings that are painful or troubling to them. Psychotherapy also teaches them coping skills.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps teens change negative patterns of thinking and behaving.

Interpersonal therapy focuses on how to develop healthier relationships at home and at school.

Medication relieves some symptoms of depression and is often prescribed along with therapy.

When depressed adolescents recognize the need for help, they have taken a major step toward recovery. However, remember that few adolescents seek help on their own. They may need encouragement from their friends and support from concerned adults to seek help and follow treatment recommendations.

Facing the Danger Of Teen Suicide

Sometimes teens feel so depressed that they consider ending their lives. Each year, almost 5,000 young people, ages 15 to 24, kill themselves. The rate of suicide for this age group has nearly tripled since 1960, making it the third leading cause of death in adolescents and the second leading cause of death among college-age youth.

Studies show that suicide attempts among young people may be based on long-standing problems triggered by a specific event. Suicidal adolescents may view a temporary situation as a permanent condition. Feelings of anger and resentment combined with exaggerated guilt can lead to impulsive, self-destructive acts.

Recognizing the Warning Signs

Four out of five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warnings. Pay attention to these warning signs:

Suicide threats, direct and indirect

Obsession with death

Poems, essays and drawings that refer to death

Giving away belongings

Dramatic change in personality or appearance

Irrational, bizarre behavior

Overwhelming sense of guilt, shame or rejection

Changed eating or sleeping patterns

Severe drop in school performance

REMEMBER!!! These warning signs should be taken seriously. Obtain help immediately. Caring and support can save a young life.

Helping Suicidal Teens

Offer help and listen. Encourage depressed teens to talk about their feelings. Listen, don’t lecture.

Trust your instincts. If it seems that the situation may be serious, seek prompt help. Break a confidence if necessary, in order to save a life.

Pay attention to talk about suicide. Ask direct questions and don’t be afraid of frank discussions. Silence is deadly!

Seek professional help. It is essential to seek expert advice from a mental health professional who has experience helping depressed teens. Also, alert key adults in the teen’s life — family, friends and teachers.

Looking To The Future

When adolescents are depressed, they have a tough time believing that their outlook can improve. But professional treatment can have a dramatic impact on their lives. It can put them back on track and bring them hope for the future.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

Other Resources

The Boys Town National Hotline. (800)-448-3000.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

3615 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.

Washington, D.C.  20016-3007

Phone Number: (202) 966-7300

Email Address: clinical@aacap.org

Website URL: http://www.aacap.org

 

 

American Association of Suicidology

4201 Connecticut Avenue NW; Suite 310

Washington, DC 20008

Phone: 202-237-2280

Suicide Awareness/Voices of Prevention

The Jed Foundation. Suicide prevention for college students.

The Nine Line. (800) 999-9999. Covenant Hours crisis counseling for homeless and at-risk children.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr. M Williams

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Uncategorized

Can a Common Spice Treat Depression?

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Can a Common Spice Treat Depression?

 

If you find yourself grappling with depression, you are—for better or worse—not alone. However, if you do suffer from depression, you do feel alone.

 

As of 2012, diagnoses of depression are growing at an alarming rate and, as if depression alone weren’t enough, states that report high rates of depression also report accompanying physical manifestations of stress with greater obesity rates and incidences of heart disease.

 

Perhaps you have tried talking with a therapist or counselor, which is an effective way to tackle this often desperation-inducing condition, but it often works even better when you treat the chemical side of the issue. Doctors often prescribe a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) such as Fluoxentine, Sertraline and Citalopram, and they are often effective but they sometimes come with side effects that may complicate treatment, at the very least.

 

Another option you might consider is looking into natural treatments for depression. You might even ask your physician or psychiatric professional what experience and information they have regarding natural approaches to treating depression.

Some of the most common treatments include St. John’s Wort, 5HTP, SAMe, L-Theanine, Vitamin D3, B-vitamins and Fish Oil.

 

Treatment with Turmeric

 

Lurking in your spice rack is a potentially powerful component of your depression treatment. Something as delightful and delectable as turmeric that adds the beautiful yellow color to your curry dishes and mustard can actually become an integral part of your wellness. Turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for a wide range of conditions, illnesses and disorders for more than 4,000 years and in China from 700 A.D.

 

Curcumin and Neurogenesis

 

Curcumin, which is turmeric’s active ingredient, has been tested on animals and has shown effective improvement over depression in the animals. According to Dr. Weil, curcumin spurs nerve growth in the frontal cortex and hippocampal portions of the brain. One line of thinking attributes depression to damage to the hippocampal neurons, so anything that serves to repair that area might serve as the secret weapon against depression. Along with high impact exercise, bright light and learning, Curcumin has the potential to increase neurogenesis to decrease the negative effects of depression, if not the depression itself.

Curcumin and Turmeric Increase Serotonin and Dopamine in the Brain

Similar to the benefits of SSRIs, turmeric and curcumin increase serotonin levels, which help regulate sleep, learning, memory and mood. To a lesser degree, curcumin increases the level of dopamine in the brain, which controls emotional responses to situations and movement.

Turmeric On Its Own for Treating Depression?

While turmeric is effective in conjunction with SSRIs, it is not yet certain whether you could eschew your antidepressant prescription quite yet. Your doctor might have more information about the synergistic effects of taking turmeric or curcumin as a complement to your SSRI prescription or any other medication you might take to help with depression.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr G Carney

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Toxins and Fibromyalgia

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An Over-Toxified Body Could Be Causing Fibromyalgia

 

Are you fatigued or in pain? It may be time to check underlying toxic exposures that create conditions which may be exacerbating how you feel.

We are electrical beings. There are many things in our world today that can deplete electricity.  Causes of depleted electricity can be linked to Fluoride, and medications containing fluoride such as SSRI’s, toxic cosmetics containing aluminum, mercury, and vaccines. Addictions causing a toxic liver can be a cause of depleted oxygen and energy. These include smoking, excessive alcohol, and sugar.  Food choices that can steal our energy and disrupt our hormones are pesticides in processed foods, MSG, Aspartame, HFCS and the SAD diet, all which can lead to increased risk for inflammation and other autoimmunity disorders. According to Science News, chronic fatigue is in our gut and not our head.  A toxic liver and toxic gut will affect all organs without exception. It could deter healing, slow down recovery, cause fatigue, weaken immunity, cause low energy, increase weight gain, depression, and ailments of all sorts including autoimmunity disorders. EMF’s can deplete our energy and disrupt our sleep patterns which continue to stress the mind and body. A high caffeine diet can exhaust adrenal glands.  And finally, deficiencies in Magnesium can steal our energy and oxygen-rich red blood cell count can be low.

There is a blood test called FM/a that identifies possible markers produced by immune system blood cells in people with fibromyalgia. But a diagnosis is really dependent on how you feel. Fibromyalgia includes body pain, fatigue, and insomnia. But Fibromyalgia can also be called a skin condition.  Trigger points are inflamed tissue that’s located just below the skin and is generally especially sensitive to the touch. The pain symptoms of fibromyalgia are believed by many researchers to be related to the fascia of the body. In fibromyalgia, the amount of blood flow to the peripheral tissues (the skin) is substantially reduced.

In layman terms, the immune system within the skin is acting up and this involves the capillaries and small blood vessels. To make matters worst, fibromyalgia is found in our gut. Fibromyalgia pain is found mostly in the back of the head, neck, stomach, hip and knees. Most complaints are chronic headaches and nausea.

 

But, fibromyalgia is no longer considered to be similar to the arthritic condition. (a disease of the joints) If we were to take a step back -we could possibly find the hidden connections.  There is a mental health concern with fibromyalgia that is not with arthritis. 

Today our children from about age 7 to 10 years old are diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  You may find this shocking. But if we check, it’s no surprise to find that these children can also have a toxic internal environment from a poor diet and lack of movement. They are also stressed. Subsidized school lunches can increase the risk for obesity. Increase wi-fi use can increase toxicities. Being overweight can play a causative role in pain, inflammation, and low energy levels. Secondly, children are prescribed more antibiotics, Ritalin, statins and antidepressants in the last decade. Medications can decrease good gut microbiome, decrease the quality of sleep and cause weight issues.

 Dont ever treat fibromyalgia with another toxin or chemical, such as an unnecessary prescription.  

If you think you have fibromyalgia, and you want to know how to cure this, please give us a call and set up a consultation.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr P Carrothers

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Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

The Link Between Sugar and Depression

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The Link Between Sugar and Depression

 

Men consuming more than 67 grams of sugar per day were 23 percent more likely to develop anxiety or depression over the course of five years than those whose sugar consumption was less than 40 grams per day

Other studies have also linked high-sugar diets to a higher risk of depression and anxiety, showing a low-sugar diet is an important part of the prevention and treatment of common mental health problems

Sugar increases your risk of depression by contributing to insulin and leptin resistance, suppressing BDNF, affecting dopamine, damaging your mitochondria and promoting chronic inflammation

 

How Sugar Raises Your Depression Risk

A number of other studies have also identified mechanisms by which excessive sugar consumption can wreak havoc with your mental health. For example, eating excessive amounts of sugar:

 

  • Contributes to insulin and leptin resistance and impaired signaling, which play a significant role in mental health.

 

  • Suppresses activity of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a key growth hormone that promotes healthy brain neurons. BDNF levels tend to be critically low in both depression and schizophrenia, and animal models suggest this may actually be a causative factor.

 

  • Affects dopamine, a neurotransmitter that fuels your brain’s reward system9 (hence sugar’s addictive potential10,11,12) and is known to play a role in mood disorders.13

 

  • Damages your mitochondria, which can have body-wide effects. Your mitochondria generate the vast majority of the energy (adenosine triphosphate or ATP) in your body. When sugar is your primary fuel, excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) and secondary free radicals are created, which damage cellular mitochondrial membranes and DNA.

 

Needless to say, as your mitochondria are damaged, the energy currency in your body declines and your brain will struggle to work properly. Healthy dietary fats, on the other hand, create far fewer ROS and free radicals. Fats are also critical for the health of cellular membranes and many other biological functions, including and especially the functioning of your brain.

 

Among the most important fats for brain function and mental health are the long-chained animal-based omega-3 fats DHA and EPA. Not only are they anti-inflammatory, but DHA is actually a component in every cell of your body, and 90 percent of the omega-3 fat found in brain tissue is DHA.

 

  • Promotes chronic inflammation which, in the long term, disrupts the normal functioning of your immune system, thereby raising your risk of depression. A 2004 cross-cultural analysis14 of the relationship between diet and mental illness found a strong link between high sugar consumption and the risk for depression and schizophrenia.

 

It also concluded that dietary predictors of depression are similar to those for diabetes and heart disease. One of the hallmarks of these diseases is chronic inflammation, which sugar is a primary driver of. So, excessive amounts of sugar can truly set off an avalanche of negative health events — both physical and mental.

 

Inflammation May Be the No. 1 Risk Factor for Depression

Another previous study published in the International Breastfeeding Journal15 found inflammation may be more than just another risk factor. It may actually be the primary risk factor that underlies all others. According to the researchers:

 

“The old paradigm described inflammation as simply one of many risk factors for depression. The new paradigm is based on more recent research that has indicated that physical and psychological stressors increase inflammation. These recent studies constitute an important shift in the depression paradigm: inflammation is not simply a risk factor; it is the risk factor that underlies all the others.

 

Moreover, inflammation explains why psychosocial, behavioral and physical risk factors increase the risk of depression. This is true for depression in general and for postpartum depression in particular.”

 

In another study,16 the researchers suggested “depression may be a neuropsychiatric manifestation of a chronic inflammatory syndrome.” Here, they refer specifically to inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Studies have also found depression is closely linked to dysfunction in the gut-brain axis, in which gut inflammation plays an important role.

 

Artificial Sweeteners Are Also Strongly Associated With Depression

Unfortunately, many are under the mistaken belief they can protect their health by swapping refined sugar for artificial sweeteners. Nothing could be further from the truth, as research suggests artificial sweeteners may actually be more detrimental to your health than regular sugar. For example:

 

  • In a 1986 evaluation of reactions to food additives,17 aspartame (in commonly consumed amounts) was linked to mood alterations such as anxiety, agitation, irritability and depression.

 

  • A 1993 study18 found that individuals with mood disorders are particularly sensitive to aspartame, suggesting its use in this population should be discouraged. In the clinical study, the project was halted by the Institutional Review Board after a total of 13 individuals had completed the study because of the severity of reactions within the group of patients with a history of depression.

 

  • In 2008, researchers asserted that excessive aspartame ingestion might be involved in the pathogenesis of certain mental disorders and may compromise emotional functioning.19

 

  • Research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in 2013 found that consumption of sweetened beverages — whether they’re sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners — was associated with an increased risk of depression.20,21 The study included nearly 264,000 American adults over the age of 50 who were enrolled in an AARP diet and health study.

 

At the outset, participants filled out a detailed dietary survey. At a 10-year follow-up, they were asked whether they’d been diagnosed with depression at any point during the past decade.

 

Those who drank more than four cans or glasses of diet soda or other artificially sweetened beverages had a nearly 30 percent higher risk of depression compared to those who did not consume diet drinks. Regular soda drinkers had a 22 percent increased risk.

 

To Cure Depression, Be Sure to Address Root Causes

According to the World Health Organization, depression is now the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide,22,23 affecting an estimated 322 million people, including more than 16 million Americans. Globally, rates of depression increased by 18 percent between 2005 and 2015.24 According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, 11 percent of Americans over the age of 12 are on antidepressant drugs. Among women in their 40 and 50s, 1 in 4 is on antidepressants.25

 

While a number of different factors can contribute to depression, I’m convinced diet plays an enormous role. There’s no doubt in my mind that radically reducing or eliminating sugar and artificial sweeteners from your diet is a crucial step to prevent and/or address depression.

 

One simple way to dramatically reduce your sugar intake is to replace processed foods with real whole foods. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is associated with lower odds of depression and anxiety,26,27 an effect ascribed to antioxidants that help combat inflammation in your body. Certain nutrients are also known to cause symptoms of depression when lacking, so it’s important to eat a varied whole food diet.

 

Another major contributor to depression and anxiety is microwave exposure from wireless technologies, which I address below. To suggest that depression is rooted in poor diet and other lifestyle factors does not detract from the fact that it’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed with compassion and non-judgment. It simply shifts the conversation about what the most appropriate answers and remedies are.

 

Considering the many hazards associated with antidepressants (the efficacy of which have been repeatedly found to be right on par with placebo), it would be wise to address the known root causes of depression, which are primarily lifestyle-based. Drugs, even when they do work, do not actually fix the problem. They only mask it.

 

Antidepressants may also worsen the situation, as many are associated with an increased risk of suicide, violence and worsened mental health in the long term. So, before you resort to medication, please consider addressing the lifestyle strategies listed below.

Nondrug Solutions for Depression

Limit microwave exposure from wireless technologies

 

Studies have linked excessive exposure to electromagnetic fields to an increased risk of both depression and suicide.28 Power lines and high-voltage cables appear to be particularly troublesome. Addiction to or “high engagement” with mobile devices can also trigger depression and anxiety, according to recent research from the University of Illinois.29

 

Research30 by Dr. Martin Pall reveals a previously unknown mechanism of biological harm from microwaves emitted by cellphones and other wireless technologies, which helps explain why these technologies can have such a potent impact on your mental health.

 

Embedded in your cell membranes are voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs), which are activated by microwaves. When that happens, about 1 million calcium ions per second are released, which stimulates the release of nitric oxide (NO) inside your cell and mitochondria. The NO then combines with superoxide to form peroxynitrite, which in turn creates hydroxyl free radicals, which are the most destructive free radicals known to man.

 

Hydroxyl free radicals decimate mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, their membranes and proteins. The end result is mitochondrial dysfunction, which we now know is at the heart of most chronic disease. The tissues with the highest density of VGCCs are your brain, the pacemaker in your heart and male testes.

 

Hence, health problems such as Alzheimer’s, anxiety, depression, autism, cardiac arrhythmias and infertility can be directly linked to excessive microwave exposure.

 

If you struggle with anxiety or depression, be sure to limit your exposure to wireless technology. Simple measures include turning your Wi-Fi off at night, not carrying your cellphone on your body and not keeping portable phones, cellphones and other electric devices in your bedroom.

 

Call us for information and help with preventative medicine.  If you are not comfortable with that, make sure your physician is certified or had done a specialty in preventative medicine. The trick question to ask is, where did you go to school for that.   Easy to look up, not many schools offer it.

 

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Dr Anna Sullivan

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Depression Harms Your Heart

depression

Depression Harms Heart as Much as Obesity and Cholesterol

 

Depression is as big a risk for cardiovascular disease in men as high cholesterol and obesity, according to a study published in the journal Atherosclerosis.

 

 

“There is little doubt that depression is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases,” explained researcher Karl-Heinz Ladwig. “The question now is: What is the relationship between depression and other risk factors like tobacco smoke, high cholesterol levels, obesity or hypertension — how big a role does each factor play?”

 

To answer the question, German researchers analyzed data from 3,428 male patients between the ages of 45 and 74 years over a period of 10 years. They compared the impact of depression with the four major risk factors.

 

 

“Our investigation shows that the risk of a fatal cardiovascular disease due to depression is almost as great as that due to elevated cholesterol levels or obesity,” Ladwig said. Only high blood pressure and smoking were found to be associated with a greater risk.

 

 

 

The researchers came to the conclusion that depression accounts for roughly 15 percent of deaths from cardiovascular disease. “That is comparable to the other risk factors, such as hypercholesterolemia, obesity and smoking,” Ladwig states. These factors cause 8.4 to 21.4 percent of the cardiovascular deaths.

 

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer in the U.S. and throughout the world, and accounts for about 1 in 3 deaths in America.

 

 

Depression is also prevalent in the U.S., affecting approximately 14.8 million Americans each year. Studies have shown that depression raises the risk of heart attack fourfold.

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Dr Sylvia Hubbard

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Uncategorized

Yoga Reduces Major Depression

yoga

Yoga Reduces Major Depression: Harvard Study

 

A study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that yoga combined with coherent breathing instruction significantly reduced symptoms in people with major depressive disorder.

 

Major depressive disorder (MDD), which is also known simply as depression, is characterized by persistent depressed mood along with a loss of interest in daily activities, low energy, and pain without an obvious cause that interferes with daily activities and enjoyment of life. It is commonly treated with medication or psychotherapy (talk therapy), or a combination of the two.

 

In the study, adults 18 to 64 years of age with MDD participated in either three (high-dose intervention) or two (low-dose) yoga classes per week and practiced coherent breathing at five breaths per minute. Symptoms of depression were measured at the beginning and throughout the 12-week study.

 

Volunteers who took three yoga classes a week were more likely to achieve lower depression scores after 12 weeks than subjects who took two classes.

 

 

“The practical findings for this integrative health intervention is that it worked for participants who were both on and off antidepressant medications, and for those time-pressed, the two times per week dose also performed well,” says John Weeks, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

 

The study was conducted by researchers from major institutions including Harvard School of Medicine and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

 

Other recent studies have found that yoga is beneficial for a number of health issues. A study by scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine concluded that yoga may ease low back pain and improve ease of movement in patients.

 

Researchers from Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital found that people who practice deep relaxation techniques, including yoga and meditation, make 42 percent fewer trips to their doctors, and lab use dropped by 44 percent when compared to the year before training.

 

Yoga may also be a safe and effective way for people with arthritis to keep moving, according to a study from Johns Hopkins. A group of 75 volunteers with two common forms of arthritis, knee osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, were either put on a wait list or participated in twice-weekly yoga classes plus a weekly at-home session.

 

After eight weeks, those who were in the yoga group reported a 20 percent improvement in pain, mood, and the ability to perform daily activities when compared to the control group.

 

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Dr Anna Sullivan

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Roseroot

roserootyellow

Roseroot — also called Rhodiola — is a plant that has been used in medicine for a variety of conditions.

Roseroot or Arctic root or golden root, is considered an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it acts in non-specific ways to increase resistance to stress, without disturbing normal biological functions. The herb Rhodiola rosea grows at high altitudes in the arctic areas of Europe and Asia, and its root has been used in traditional medicine in Russia and the Scandinavian countries for centuries. Studies of Rhodiola rosea’s medicinal applications have appeared in the scientific literature of Sweden, Norway, France, Germany, the Soviet Union and Iceland. Rhodiola rosea is still widely used in Russia as a tonic and remedy for fatigue, poor attention span, and decreased memory; it is also believed to make workers more productive. In Sweden and other Scandinavian countries, it is used to increase the capacity for mental work and to boost general strength and vitality.

 

As for rhodiola extract benefits, a  review in HerbalGram, the journal of the American Botanical Council, reported that numerous studies of rhodiola in both humans and animals have indicated that it helps prevent fatigue, stress, and the damaging effects of oxygen deprivation. Evidence also suggests that it acts as an antioxidant, enhances immune system function, and can increase sexual energy. Rhodiola’s efficacy was confirmed in a 2011 review of 11 placebo-controlled human studies. The reviewers considered studies that all had study designs rated as moderate to good quality, and the analysis of their combined data concluded that Rhodiola rosea might have beneficial effects on physical performance, mental performance, and certain mental health conditions. The reviewers noted that very few adverse events are reported, suggesting a good safety profile.

 

In addition, a study published in 2007 in the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, showed that patients with mild-to-moderate depression who took a rhodiola extract reported fewer symptoms of depression than those who took a placebo. A small human trial of rhodiola at UCLA published in 2008, reported significant improvement in 10 people with generalized anxiety who took the herb for 10 weeks. Side effects were generally mild or moderate in severity. The most common unwanted effects were dizziness and dry mouth. Rhodiola appears to work faster than conventional antidepressants, often in less than a week.

A pilot study from the University of Pennsylvania offers support for the possibility that it may improve depression.

Dr. Jun Mao and his colleagues compared roseroot to the antidepressant sertraline and placebo in 57 patients with depression.

After three months, the antidepressant as well as roseroot reduced depression symptoms compared with placebo, but side effects such as sexual dysfunction or nausea were fewer in patients taking the herbal treatment.

You should be able to find roseroot in capsule form.   According to Tieraona Low Dog M.D., says that it is one of her favorite herbs for treatment of patients suffering from “21st century stress”: fatigue, mental fog, trouble concentrating, low energy and, perhaps, mild depression. She recommends using a standardized extract. Look for products that are similar to those studied in clinical trials containing 2-3% rosavin and 0.8-1% salidroside. Start with 100 mg once a day for a week and then increase the dosage by 100 mg every week, up to 400 mg a day, if needed. Dr. Low Dog notes that while studies suggest that rhodiola reduces anxiety, some people might feel “revved” up from it. She advises taking it early in the day to avoid any interference with sleep.

 

 

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