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Too Much Sugar!
Among the many causes of depression, poor blood sugar balance is a leading cause, especially with what is referred to as treatment resistant depression.
A bit simplified of an explanation, but essentially the carbohydrates we eat are broken down into glucose which the brain uses for fuel. When we eat lots of sugar the amount of glucose in the blood goes through many peaks and valleys. The brain, however, likes a steady flow of fuel. Therefore, these spikes and drops can lead to major mood disturbances, including fatigue, irritability, dizziness, insomnia, crying spells, etc. In fact, depression is among the many symptoms of hypoglycemia (Want to know the other symptoms? Hypoglycemia).
go outside and sun right now?! There are a number of food sources. Oily fish (salmon, mackerel, etc), egg yolks, meat, and liver all have vitamin D. Many other foods are supplemented with D, such as milk and cereals. Plus, we have some great vitamin D supplements, including drops and sprays by Carlson's and LA Naturals.
One thing to note: fat soluble vitamins like D are not as easily eliminated as water-soluble vitmains (ie C) so over-supplementation can lead to toxic levels. We strongly suggest getting a vitamin D blood test to see where your levels are. We do have a doctor that comes once a month who offers this test. You can find out when and see the list of tests on our Events page.
One of our favorite hompeopathic products for depression is King Bio's Good Mood Enhancer. Good Mood Enhancers includes historically proven homeopathic ingredients, flower essences, and essential oils to help correct the underlying cause of mood swings, nervous exhaustion, grief, apathy, despair, sadness, tearfulness, hypersensitivity, and minor depression.
Stress is often a contributing factor to many physical and emotional issues, and when it builds up over time, it tends to becomes a more acute problem. Combining Good Mood Enhancer with King Bio's 911 Stress Control is a great way to help deal with life's bumps in the road before they become deep ruts. 911 Stress Control also combines proven homeopathic ingredients, flower essences, and essential oils to help your body naturally and successfully manage stress.
Remember, our full line of King Bio Homeopathics is always 20% off!
Are You Depressed?
According to Mental Health America, over 21 million children and adults suffer from depression annually and it's the leading cause of disability.
Symptoms of depression include feelings of worthlessness, poor concentration, fatigue, thoughts of suicide, appetite and weight changes, and disturbed sleep. If you are unsure or just curious, we did find a couple of online tests: Psych Central and The Depressed Test.
There are many causes for depression, both physical and psychological. Through December we will discuss some of these and what natural options may help.
What should you do? Well, the obvious first response: eliminate refined sugar and refined flour. While they are still sugars, replacing refined sugar with whole, natural sweeteners is a much better option. Maple syrup or granules, sucanat, and agave nectar are much better for you than refined sugar. Also, include fiber, which slows down sugar absorption. Your diet should be rich in vegetables and legumes. Also, increase your protein consumption. All of these will help to stabilize your blood sugar.
We have talked about homeopathics many times in the past. Homeopathics are some of our most trusted natural remedies, being safe for all ages and having no interactions with other medications. This may be especially useful for those on prescription medications for depression.
Homeopathy provides more than just a happy pill. It works on a higher-level bio energetically to correct interferences within the body that control and coordinate our normal healthy functions. Over 200 years of research proves its safety and effectiveness in the treatment of mental and emotional conditions.
D for Depression
Did you know that a pretty large percentage of the population is deficient in vitamin D? Some estimate around 85% of people are, with many of them being severely deficient.
Vitamin D plays a number of roles in our bodies. It helps us absorb calcium, boosts the immune system, and helps healthy neuro-muscular function. Plus, good levels of D can actually help prevent many diseases, including some types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, the flu, and more.
Boost Your Spirits with Homeopathics
A couple of things can help if liver congestion is suspected in your depression. One, eat smaller, lighter meals. Heavy meals can give you a 'weighed down' feeling. Also, try repeating positive mantras. Saying things like 'I am loved' and 'I am happy' over and over to yourself can help break the negative thought cycles, creating a better energy flow through your mind and your body. While these may not decongest your liver on their own, they will go a long way in helping to start.
Nature's Sunshine Chinese Liver Balance
Our favorite product for depression caused by liver stagnation is Nature's Sunshine Liver Balance. Liver Balance is a Chinese combination designed to support the digestive and nervous systems. Its primary herbs are used traditionally to maintain normal nervous system function during mental stress. Liver Balance decongests and calms the liver and helps create internal harmony between the liver and glandular system which creates more harmony within the individual.
While this is our favorite for this situation, we have other products and recipes that are excellent for decongesting and detoxing the liver.
Do You Feel Trapped?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that stagnation, usually in the liver, is the cause of depression. In TCM, the qi (you can think of it as the body's living force or energy), should have continuous flow through the body. When there is stagnation in the liver, qi is not flowing.
What causes stagnation? The liver is the main filter of the body. Everything that enters the body is filtered through the liver, including toxins, and it is all stored until it can be processed. Too much stored and the liver becomes congested.
Symptoms of liver congestion show up both physically and emotionally. Some physical signs are fatigue, numbness in the fingers, stiffness in the body, ringing in the ears, dizziness, tremors, and difficulty sleeping, hypertension, PMS, and chronic indigestion. Emotionally, you may experience depression, irritability, feelings of uneasiness, lack of motivation or patience, poor judgement, and difficulty making decisions. Plus, when the liver is not functioning properly emotional states that normally come and go stay around longer.
While it is not proven, there is a lot of evidence that increasing your vitamin D levels can help with depression. Studies have shown that men and women both with low vitamin D are twice as likely to have depression symptoms. While most experts are not sure, many believe vitamin D affects the function of dopamine and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters believed to be involved in depression. Also, vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased inflammation. Since chronic inflammation disrupts many of our systems, some experts believe this could be why D supplementation helps.
How do we increase our vitamin D levels? One of the best sources is sunlight. Often only about 10 to 15 minutes a day can help. Unfortunately we're being told not to go into the sun without our sunscreen, which blocks production. If you are a believer in sunscreens, try avoiding putting any on your legs for the first little while you're outside.
Also unfortunate, it's winter! (Side note: is this why some people are seasonally depressed?) Who wants to