By Kate Freer
10 Nutritional Deficiencies That Cause Depression and Mood Disorders
Depression and mood disorders are devastating health problems today. When you go to your doctor, their answer is often a prescription for one of the various popular anti-depressant drugs. Many doctors do not investigate for metabolic or nutritional deficiencies that may be the ‘real problem’ for your depression. Patients have no idea why they feel so awful or where to start looking for the answer. They expect their doctor to give them real solutions. Instead they get drugs as the easy fix. Drugs are not an easy fix because of the serious side effects that come with taking them. Doctors prescribe these drugs from information they get from the drug sales rep which often is only part-truth. The side effects and dangers of these drugs are down-played or left out altogether. Prescription drugs should only be prescribed after other medical problems have been ruled out.
Learn About 10 Nutrient Deficiencies That Cause Depression and Mood Disorder Symptoms:
If you suffer from depression or mood disorders you may be deficient in one of the nutrients below. Researchers have found that many people who suffer from depression and mood disorders are deficient in not just one nutrient but several, all contributing to the symptoms.
#1: Healthy Food Deficiency? Junk Food Diet
Is your diet filled with sugar, junk foods, sodas, or processed foods? Do you often skip meals. If you suffer from depression or mood disorders, start a food diary of the foods you eat every day. You will find answers to your health problems while doing that. Your shopping cart and refrigerator tell the story of your health. My husband works as a cashier at Walmart. People shopping for their family fill their cart with junk sugar filled cereal, chips, candy, soda, , TV dinners, and over-processed food in general. Seven-Elevens thrive on selling candy, soda, and chips to the eat-on-the-run customers. There are very few fresh vegetables or fruit on the average American’s grocery list. This is why so many Americans are obese, depressed, and suffering from diabetes. If your life is not going well, eating junk food is not going to improve your outlook.
#2: Omega-3 Fatty Acids Deficiency:
These are found in foods such as fish and Flax Seed Oil. A deficiency of Omega-3 fatty acids or an imbalance between Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids may be one of the contributing factors to your depression. Omega 3 Fatty acids are important to brain function and your mental outlook on life. They also help people who suffer from inflammation and pain problems. Researchers have found that many patients with depression and mood disorders are deficient in Omega 3 Fatty Acids. It is important to buy fish oil that has been cold processed and tested for heavy metals and other contamination. It should state that on the label.
#3: Vitamin D Deficiency:
Important to immune function, bones, and brain health. Sunlight is the richest source for natural Vitamin D. The Journal Clinical Nutrition in Jan 21st, 2013 published the result of research that analyzed over 18000 British citizens for Vitamin D deficiencies and associated mental disorders links. They found that a deficiency of Vitamin D was present in patients with depression and panic disorders. The study results stated that people who are deficient in Vitamin D are at higher risk for developing depression later in life. Most seniors are deficient in Vitamin D. Often people working long hours in offices are deficient as well. Get out in the sun. Take a walk during your lunch break or walk your dog. Play a game with your kids outside away from computers and the television. Get out of the house and into the sunshine. Just don’t overdo it if you are sensitive to the sun. Overdoing it is not good either.
#4: B-Vitamins Deficiency:
There is much research in Neuropsychiatry that proves the link between B-Vitamin deficiencies and mood disorders including depression. Buy gel capsules instead of tablets with at least 25 mg for each of the different B- Vitamins included in the formulation.
#5: Zinc , Folate, Chromium, and Iron Deficiencies:
Patients with depression are often found deficient in many nutrients including these. Often today’s foods are sadly lacking in minerals and trace minerals.
#6: Iodine Deficiency:
Iodine is necessary for the thyroid to work properly. The thyroid, part of the endocrine system, is one of the most important glands in your body. The thyroid gland affects every function of the body including body temperature, immune function, and brain function. Iodine is found in foods such as potatoes, cranberries, Kelp, Arame, Hiziki, Kombu, and Wakame. This problem was once solved by using Iodine enriched salt. Today iodine deficiency is again becoming a problem with salt free diets. Salty chips, processed foods, and junk food do not contain iodized salt.
#7: Amino Acids Deficiency: There are 9 necessary amino acids that cannot be manufactured in your body. You must supply them to the body by eating quality food choices.
Amino acids are found in meat, eggs, fish, high quality beans, seeds and nuts. You need to eat a variety of different foods to furnish the body with all the amino acids needed to be healthy. Not all foods contain all nine amino acids. Vegetable food sources for amino acids include Moringa Oleifera leaves. Your brain uses the amino acids found in the food you eat to manufacture neurotransmitters needed for optimal brain function.
What are neurotransmitters and what do they have to do with depression?
Healthy brain function needs the proper balance of neurotransmitters. Some neurotransmitters calm the brain and others excite the brain. Their balance in the brain creates stability of emotions and thinking. Often depression and other mental disorders are caused by imbalances in neurotransmitters. Dopamine, noradrenaline, and GABA are three important neurotransmitters often deficient in depression. Orthomolecular physicians have found that treatment with amino acids including tryptophan, tyrosine, phenylalanine, and methionine can correct different mood disorders like depression. The Orthomolecular doctor first takes urine and blood samples to test your amino acid levels. Then if he finds imbalances, you will be given amino acid supplements in the optimal dosage to correct the problem. Orthomolecular doctors treat the base cause for the depression or mental symptoms. If it is a nutritional imbalance such as a Omega 3 deficiency, you will be prescribed that supplement. Instead of treating with drugs, they treat the deficiencies that cause the mental symptoms with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
There are tests that prove nutrient deficiencies. The problem is often your standard medicine doctor will not give clearance for the tests, nor will your insurance pay for them. Most doctors are not schooled in nutrition and diet. They have no time to go over your eating and lifestyle habits. Saying that, a few companies and health providers exist who do have preventive health programs. The reality is a majority of people do not get quality preventive healthcare, especially those on Medicaid or Medical. You need to visit a holistic doctor who knows his nutrition. More than likely you will have to pay out-of-pocket for the tests. You can go through Life Extension Institute. After becoming a member, you can receive the tests through the mail. You take the kit to a lab to get your blood drawn. You then send the kit back by mail and receive the results by mail. They do not give you interpretation for the tests nor how to correct the problems found by testing. You can at least find out what vitamins and minerals you are deficient in. Drug-focused therapy is the main reason that so many people never get diagnosed properly. Insurance plans will pay for drugs but not nutritional supplements. That is the sad state of our health care system here. You must take control of your health and find a doctor whose goal is holistic and preventative medicine.
References for Research:
Kate Freer is a Master Herbalist and researcher since 1983. My husband and I live in Spring Valley, CA. We grow herbs, Moringa trees, and organic vegetables along with a flock of ducks and lop rabbits. I love writing and sharing knowledge about herbs and alternative medicine with my readers. I write for my business blog, Yahoo Voices, and now this new blog here. I look forward to this new writing opportunity.
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