Health A-Z Archives: Depression

By Mary-Ann Shearer

depressionDepression, Diet and Anti-depressants

Depression today seems as common as the proverbial cold. Even among active committed Christians depression is a common problem; but a seldom discussed one. Depression for me, was a purely physical result of my bad diet and when corrected, depression and mood swings were a thing of the past.

“The diagnosis of depression must include the search for other causes, as any illness can cause depression.”
-Sigmund Freud

Research done some years back at Texas University Medical Centre on 100 psychiatric patients indicated that 80% had another underlying, undiagnosed health problem. (Syd Baum in Dealing with Depression Naturally)

It is important then if someone is suffering from depression that they have a complete medical and nutritional examination. Then make dietary and lifestyle changes, that way you can at least know what you are dealing with.


I have yet to find someone who does not improve dramatically when their diet and lifestyle are not improved drastically.


Here is a list of possible substances and habits that can contribute and even be the cause of depression;

Medication
More than 200 medical drugs have been reported to cause depression, these range from anti-depressants (yes believe it or not) to birth control tablets cortisone, stimulants (from caffeine to cocaine). Read the side effects of any type of medication you are on and search the internet for actual cases as well.

Metals & Minerals
Minute doses of heavy metals and minerals can cause a variety of problems including fatigue, irritability, insomnia, nervousness, headaches and weakness. Enough to cause depression in anyone!

The main culprits are

  • Lead – from fuel, paints water pipes etc
  • Mercury – from amalgam fillings, drugs and pharmaceuticals (many ointments, cosmetics, laxatives, contraceptive gels and even eye drops contain sodium ethyl mercury
  • Aluminium – found in antacids, aluminium cookware, fluoridated water, tape water (use a good quality filter), processed cheese, baking powder etc
  • Copper – found in copper cookware, copper water pipes, vitamin supplements

Petrochemicals
These are found everywhere, from paints, fuels, print cartridges, glues, correction fluids, permanent ink pens, pesticides, cleaning products

“Electropollution”
This could be from living near power lines to simply being exposed to too many electromagnetic fields from electrical goods, cell phones etc. Ginseng is known as an adaptogenic root that protects against electromegnetic fields, not a bad reason to take daily.

The solution 
Live as simply as possible.

Use minimal natural cleaning products and cosmetics, use un-leaded fuel and eat copious amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables including dark green leafy vegetables. (Yet one of the many reasons I drink BarleyLife daily basis) Phytonutrients including chlorophyll and most natural vitamins and minerals have a powerful neutralising effect on these substances if your diet is high in raw plant food. God even made our food protect us from technology in the future how amazing!


Hormones
“Mental “dis-ease” is a common symptom or almost every disease or disorder of the endocrine glands: the testes, ovaries, the adrenals, the pancreas, the thyroid, the parathyroid and the pituitary.
It’s no wonder. The hormones dispatched into the bloodstream by the endocrine glands are probably second only to the chemicals in the brain when it comes to shaping how we feel and behave. When an endocrine gland malfunctions, secreting either too few or too many hormones, depression is often a symptom.” Syd Baumel in Dealing with Depression Naturally

Any woman who has suffered from premenstrual tension will know just how hormones can affect your emotional state.

It is vitally important that you correct the endocrine system with any problems relating to depression or mental illness first. This would include the right diet, exercise and sunlight. Low blood sugar is a big factor in depression and blood sugar is controlled by the hormonal system (endocrine)

Exercise & Sunlight
Has a profound effect on the endocrine system and on depression and it is important to include a minimum of 30 minutes daily in the outdoors to benefit from sunlight too. Remember that exercise regulates at least 18 hormones, many which will affect your mood. Here is Mary-Ann sharing her own story of dealing with Depression and Natural Health

Candida Syndrome
Some research indicates that a Candid overgrowth can also cause depression (see section on digestion in the course) Taking a good Aloe Vera product can correct this, but make sure you change to a natural unprocessed diet as well to prevent it recurring.

Lack of B Vitamins and other nutrients
A highly processed diet with refined carbohydrates, sugar and alcohol depletes and destroys B Vitamins in large quantities. These nutrients are vital to brain function. Removing these foods and substances will dramatically improve problems with depression. It is important that all are totally removed, cutting down or removing for a few weeks is not going to solve the problem as it can take months after removal to see these dramatic results.

Lack of folate, B12 and even vitamin C has been indicated in depression. A natural diet can correct these. Supplementation can contribute to deficiencies, so eat the good food that God made.

Lack of Omega 3
High levels of prostaglandins series 2 have been found in the body fluids of depressed patients. Lack of Omega 3 (Alpha Linoleic Acid) causes a lack of prostaglandin series 3 which keeps Prostaglandin series 2 in check so that it cannot reach such high levels.

Donald Rudin an orthomolecular psychiatrist found that treating patients with a daily dose of flax oil had a dramatic effect on depression and manic depression. This again points to endocrine related problems and depression. We use AimMega supplementation for Essential Fatty Acids as they have the best blend of Omega 3-6-9 in a stable gel capsule that does not require refrigeration.

Here is Mary-Ann’s own story which covers her experience with depression.

High Protein Diets
Diets that are high in protein and low in natural carbohydrates can promote depression as serotonin is produced when we consume natural carbohydrates, (fresh fruit and unrefined grains). Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps us feel happy and sleep well. It is known that the ancient Chinese used high protein diets to break down the emotional resolve of their prisoners. Try to eat animal protein, no biger than the palm of your hand, not more than once a day with three times a week being preferable.

Anti-Depressants
A surprising number of people are taking antidepressants, without any thought as to what the side effects are, what the root cause of the problem is or what they will do in the long-term. It seems that if anyone is tired or feeling a bit flat these drugs are prescribed and even in young children.

Many people are reassured by their doctors that the drug prescribed is not addictive and they can stop at any time; in practice this is not so, I have yet to find a person who has come off drug therapy without any side effects.There are a variety of different drugs that work in different ways and many people hop from one to the next in the hope of finding relieve without side effects.

A good idea is to do a search on the internet on any brand name of anti depressant drugs and check out what the side effects are. One of the side effects of some of these drugs is suicidal tendencies or feelings many actually cause more depression. People need to find out in detail what the long term effects are and begin to take responsibility for their condition and lifestyle. Drugs are not a solution in this case and invariably become part of the problem.

Mary-Ann and her take on Anti-Depressants

Here is an interesting article to read about Exercise and Depression

http://www.naturalway.co.za/files/Exercise.pdf


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