Remember! Our brand new website is up and running! Be sure to check it out at http://www.holisticblends.com
As much as I wish I could say otherwise, depression is an epidemic in our society today.
The World Health Organization estimates that 350 million people worldwide have suffered from the condition, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one out of every 10 Americans is suffering from depression.
And although there are some who are helped by therapy and/or medications, there are a whole lot of others that continue to suffer despite these measures.
It’s easy to see why.
Because depression is not a “one size fits all” illness!
There are many different causes, triggers and underlying factors behind depression—a low serotonin level is just a drop in the bucket and doesn’t apply to everyone. So unless someone addresses what might be going on behind their depression, they can spend hours on the therapist’s couch or pop Prozac till the cows come home and chances are excellent they won’t feel one iota better (and they’ll suffer side effects from the medication to boot).
Let’s take a look at five of the sneaky, little-known underlying factors behind depression and talk about ways that you can help turn that around if you suspect they may be affecting you!
Sneaky depression factor #1: Inflammation
Inflammation is fast emerging as an underlying factor behind depression, and heaven knows we Americans are an inflamed society.
Certain substances that suggest the presence of inflammation such as cytokines in your blood and inflammatory messengers like C-reactive protein, Interleukin-1, Interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha are now being suggested to be included as part of an overall depression workup.
Sneaky depression factor #2: Lacking sleep
Regularly lacking sleep has been shown to exacerbate or worsen depression symptoms, as well as decrease your tolerance to pain.
Sneaky depression factor #3: Vitamin D deficiency
The number of conditions associated with low vitamin D levels continues to grow, and you can add depression on to the list.
Studies have shown that people with low vitamin D levels are more prone to depression.
Sneaky depression factor #4: Low levels of vitamins B3, B6 and B12
These three B vitamins are essential to proper mental health, and without them your brain can actually produce chemicals that make you feel out of your mind. Lacking in these vital nutrients can lead to a whole series of disturbing symptoms including:
- Feeling unreal or disconnected
- Hearing your own thoughts
- Anxiety and inner tension
- Suspicious of people
- Inability to think straight
- Frequent mood swings
- Seeing or hearing things abnormally
- Having delusions or illusions
Sneaky depression factor #5: Gut imbalances
Your gut and your brain are closely connected (a relationship called the brain-gut axis) and what affects one also affects the other.
That’s why people who have anxiety or depression also frequently have GI problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It’s also why you get butterflies in your stomach when you’re nervous.
You may not realize this, but your gut produces the majority of the serotonin in your body…so if it’s unhealthy and not able to do its job, that can definitely have an effect on your mood.
Unfortunately, many Americans have diets that are high in processed foods and refined carbs, plus we take antibiotics and acid reducers by the truckload—and ALL of these can seriously mess up your friendly gut flora, creating an environment that favors harmful bacteria, yeasts and other pathogens.
So it should be no surprise 10 percent of us also report being depressed.
Turn it around!
The happy twist to this grim situation regarding depression is that you can take some safe-natural measures to help turn around what may be behind depression and feel a whole lot better as a result!
Here are some things you can try:
Reduce inflammation with Nature’s anti-inflammatory
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are Nature’s anti-inflammatory, and doctors are recommending them more and more for inflammatory conditions like arthritis and high blood pressure.
In addition, they also happen to be absolutely ESSENTIAL for normal brain functioning.
Unfortunately, because of our current prevalence of processed/fast foods, plus vegetable oils, farm-raised fish and meat from grain-fed animals (which are heavy in Omega-6 EFAs but have few or no Omega-3 EFAs), many people are lacking the omega-3 EFAs their minds and bodies so desperately need.
That’s why supplementation with a high quality Omega-3 fish oil formula like VitalMega-3 can make such a difference in your physical AND mental health.
VitalMega-3 is a top-quality fish oil formula that delivers 1,200 mg of omega-3s in every daily two-capsule serving, including 600 mg of EPA and 400 mg of DHA—the two fatty acids that are especially important to your brain.
If you want any chance of having sound mental (and physical) health, you MUST get decent sleep on a regular basis.
I know there are times when we all have to work long hours, study for an exam, or are upset and worried, but hopefully those are the exception and not the rule.
On the other hand, if you are a Jimmy Fallon addict or you poke around on Facebook into the wee hours, it’s time to start turning in earlier. You can always tape whatever late night shows you like and check Facebook during lunch.
Aim to get seven to nine hours a night.
Get tested (your vitamin D level that is)
Your doctor can do a simple test to see if your vitamin D levels are low.
Although your body naturally makes vitamin D when your skin is exposed to the sun, if you’re in the northeastern part of the US, spending time outside with your skin exposed is not a wise option right now!
Plus many people shun the sun altogether because of skin cancer fears (although it’s truly excessive sun exposure—such as when you get a sunburn—when you really have to worry about increasing your risk).
If your vitamin D level is shown to be low, supplementation with vitamin D3 can be a big help. Typical recommended doses are 1,000 – 2,000 IU a day, although your doctor may suggest higher doses depending on your situation.
Get your Bs
Make sure you get adequate sources of the mentally-important B vitamins (B3, B6 and B12) as follows:
Vitamin B3 (niacin) is found in Crimini mushrooms, tuna, beef, cheese, chicken, salmon, asparagus, lamb, turkey, shrimp, tomatoes and green peas. Suggested supplement doses are 25-300 mg. a day.
Food sources of vitamin B6 include chicken, spinach, bell peppers, eggs, garlic, tuna, cauliflower, bananas and broccoli. Supplement doses are usually 25-300 mg. a day.
Now, vitamin B12 is a not quite as straight-forward as the other two B Vitamins in this trio.
First of all, food sources are very limited—animal kidneys and livers, plus beef, herring, fish and eggs all contain small amounts of B12.
Plus B12 absorption through your digestive tract can vary—it depends upon your stomach’s ability to produce enough acid and a compound called intrinsic factor which is necessary for the B12 to be effectively absorbed.
That’s why B12 shots have been recommended so often in the past. Since the B12 is injected directly into your bloodstream, it bypasses any absorbency shortcomings in the GI tract.
But another option has emerged and is gaining popularity because of its relatively low cost and convenience of use—vitamin B12 sprays!
With a B12 spray, just like an injection, you are able to bypass the GI tract issues since the B12 can instead be absorbed through the mucus membranes under your tongue.
If you suspect you’re low in B12 (or your doctor has confirmed it with a test), then you can help turn that around fast with Hydroxaden 2.5 B12 spray!
Hydroxaden 2.5 is a vitamin B12 spray that you simply spritz right under your tongue once each day. In addition to a crucial dose of B12, Hydroxaden 2.5 also gives you vitamins B3 and B6 (which are important for mental health like I mentioned earlier) as well as riboflavin (vitamin B2).
Help balance your gut flora
When it comes to encouraging a healthy gut flora balance, although fermented foods can help, probiotic supplementation is your ticket to making sure that your population of friendly inhabitants is where it needs to be.
And Super Shield probiotic formula is just the supplement that’s up to this important challenge.
Super Shield’s 13 strains of feisty, robust bacteria are ready to take their place along your intestinal wall, fight off and crowd out dangerous pathogens, help encourage better digestion, boost your immune system functioning…
And help create a healthy gut environment that functions like it’s supposed to!
Depression is a growing concern for more and more people…and since antidepressants continue to be among the top-prescribed drugs each and every year, clearly something is missing in how we are looking at depression because the number of people suffering from it isn’t going down!
If you or someone you love suffer from depression, see what a difference it can make when you take the bull by the horns and correct any possible underlying triggers or factors with safe, natural measures.