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Online Wellness Community Natural Health and Anti-Aging News
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Depression and Anxiety….What’s Really Going On

By: Dr. Tricia Pingel, NMD

Many people make their way into their doctor’s office with complaints of fatigue, anxiety, or lack of energy, drive and focus. In many cases, attending physicians dispense anti-depressants, (some times like candy) such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) as a means to treat their symptoms of depression or anxiety.

What these patients are actually experiencing is problems with the neurotransmitters in their brains, most notably Dopamine, Epinephrine, Norepinephrine, GABA and Glutamate. SSRI’s block neurotransmitter pathways and often result in a vast array of side effects, including sexual dysfunction, nausea, nervousness, weight gain and insomnia. Most often when people are placed on SSRIs they are worried about what will happen if they stop taking them, so they are stuck taking a drug with adverse side effects.

What is commonly missed in traditional drug treatment is that depression and anxiety are caused by an imbalance rather than a disease. When dopamine levels are elevated, anxiety or hyperactivity can develop. When Epinephrine and Norepinephrine levels are too low or too high, anxiousness, stress, sleeplessness, weight gain or poor concentration can occur. GABA levels regulate the activity of glutamate, which prevents over stimulation and effects memory and learning capabilities.

Symptoms of depression and anxiety can be treated nutritionally. Natural therapy minimizes particular neurotransmitter pathways instead of blocking them, reducing side effects and providing patients a natural, safe and effective way to treat their symptoms.

When a patient seeks the medical advice of a naturopathic physician for depression or anxiety, he or she is administered a very simple urine or, in the case of adrenal gland problems, a saliva test. Neurotransmitter levels and deficiencies are then measured through the products of the urine or saliva.

Once it is evaluated which neurotransmitters are off, nutritional therapy can help restore balance by modulating pathways. Compounds based from amino acids create this balance and are prescribed along with
B vitamins and sometimes natural herbs.

Nutritional therapy helps restore balance to hormone levels and neurotransmitters. Every patient is different and requires different levels and combinations of amino acids and vitamins. A common herb that is prescribed to accompany these nutrients is Rhodiola rosea, a plant with adaptogen properties that has been used for centuries to treat depression and anxiety.

The average patient that seeks help for depression or anxiety does not have to suffer the effects and dependency on SSRIs. People can, through nutritional therapy, avoid taking pharmaceutical drugs and restore balance and health.


Editor’s note: For a related article exploring sleep & anxiety nutrients, herbs and lifestyle remedies click here.

This entry was posted in Anxiety
, Article, Depression
, Diet and Nutrition
, Emotional Health, Featured, General Health & Wellness, Hormones, Mental Health
 and tagged , , , ,

One Comment

  1. Posted December 6, 2010 at 20:00 | Permalink

    An interesting article by Dr. Force that relates to proper brain function and its response to positive emotions helping prevent depression and anxiety onsets can be read by following this link:

2 Trackbacks

  1. By STRESS | Online Wellness Community on November 13, 2010 at 23:40

    [...] Dr. Pringel’s article on anxiety and depression has excellent information on natural treatments and nutrients that help. [...]

  2. [...] the original: Depression and Anxiety….What's Really Going On | Online Wellness … Depression and Anxiety….What's Really Going On | Online Wellness [...]

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