Depression Treatment in McKinney, TX

How to Handle Depression Naturally

Depression is a serious and dangerous condition faced by many in the world today. A dreadful fact about this disease is that it creates an emptiness of hope in the sufferers. Depression is a problem afflicting millions every year. Depression is a disorder of the brain and sufferers experience sadness, loss of mood or interest in their daily activities. Depression is a global epidemic. The number of people with depression increases at an alarming rate, over 12 million individuals suffer from depression in the United States.

The essence of this article is to educate us on a few of the common triggers of depression. The more we learn about depression, the better equipped we are to handle it and treat others faced with this serious condition. The following are possible causes of depression. In order to restore a happy mood, get yourself tested for each of the following possible causes. Below are possible causes of depression you could explore.

Depression and Thyroid Function

A deficiency in a hormone (thyroid hormone in the) located thyroid gland could be a possible trigger of depression. Reports have shown that about 10-15 % of patients with depression have a lower than normal amount of thyroid hormone. An underactive thyroid can make you feel depressed. They are various thyroid test you can carry out to check that your thyroid is functioning properly, they include:

  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • Triiodothyronine (T3)
  • Thyroxine (T4)

  • Reverse T3 (rT3)
  • Thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO)
  • Thyroglobulin antibodies (TGAb)

Having a TSH test is not adequate enough to confirm that your thyroid gland is functioning properly. However, if you have been told by your physician that your thyroid is functioning properly and you have not carried out the above test, then you need to reconsider. Having a complete thyroid panel is important to dismiss thyroid disorder as a possible trigger for depression. Medical reports have been able to show a relationship between long-standing depression and low T3. Findings have shown an increase in depressive symptoms when Synthroid–a T4-only thyroid medication– is used to treat hypothyroidism because it fails to address T3 deficiency. Reports have also shown that women with high thyroid peroxidase antibodies are at high risk of developing depression. I suggest you don’t settle for a TSH test alone since you now know that there are other possible thyroid-related conditions that may cause depression. Therefore, carry out a comprehensive thyroid panel.

Depression and Adrenal Function

Disruption in body’s stress–the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis–has been linked to depression. The HPA is a complex communication system that connects the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the adrenal glands. The hypothalamus is a small portion of the brain that plays a vital role in many important functions such as releasing hormones, regulate body temperature, regulating emotional response, behavior, pain, controlling appetite, and maintaining daily physiological cycles.

The pituitary gland consists of two distinct portions: Posterior and anterior. The anterior portion of the pituitary gland is linked to depression; it produces 6 important hormones. Each hormone produced by this region has a different and distinct function for sustaining health. One important hormone produced by this region is the Adrenocorticotropin (ACTH); this hormone stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol and DHEA (stress hormones). When an individual is under stress, the hypothalamus, which is information center for proper body function stimulates the pituitary gland to produce ACTH, this hormone stimulates the production of stress hormones cortisol and DHEA from the adrenal gland. Cortisol and DHEA have been linked directly to stress and other factors affecting emotions.

There is a strong relationship between the overproduction of cortisol and mood variation in patients suffering from depression and healthy individuals. Balance is essential in maintaining the body’s physiological processes. Anxiety, inability to sleep and loss of libido is associated with over-activity of the body’s stress system while depression, fatigue, laziness, and indifference are linked with under-activity. Individuals suffering from depression symptoms should have  an Adrenal Stress Index lab test performed to identify  abnormalities of  the HPA axis.

Knowing how well your HPA axis function will help your practitioner recommend the best treatment option for you. So get tested to identify if an overactive or underactive HPA is the cause of your depression.

Nutrient deficiencies, Chemical Toxins, and Depression

Lots of research has identified different causes of depression, and most have shown a relationship between nutrient deficiencies, chemical toxins, and depression. For proper body function, optimal amounts of trace minerals such as zinc, magnesium, vanadium are required. There has to be a balance in the quantities of these minerals; excess or deficiency of these minerals can result in depression. For example, depression is linked with low zinc levels, psychiatric symptoms and psychosis are related to magnesium deficiency, while high levels of vanadium have been linked to manic symptoms in some research.

Gut Bacteria and Depression

Dysbiosis, which is an imbalance of healthy organisms or impaired microbiota in the intestinal tract.  Dysbiosis can occur as a result of bacterial overgrowth, a parasitic infection, or invasive yeast which is also known as Candida. Digestive problems could occur as a result of hidden or subclinical inflammatory conditions, this can also cause dysbiosis. Problems that cannot be detected easily due to the absence of obvious symptoms is referred to as ‘subclinical’. Pathogenic and parasitic infection can be assessed  by lab testing the gastrointestinal system.

A healthy gut microbiome is full of beneficial bacteria that break down and absorb nutrients from the foods you eat, which fuel every process in your body. Gut microbes also have another important job to do, which is to produce serotonin and dopamine, the “feel good” chemicals that help regulate your mood. Approximately 80 – 90% of serotonin and 50% of dopamine are produced by the bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.

When your gut is healthy, adequate serotonin and dopamine are produced, the signals are sent to and from your brain. As a result, you’ll feel energized and have an overall greater sense of well being. On the flip side, if your gut is unhealthy, you may have symptoms of depression, fatigue, anxiety, as well as irregular digestive symptoms.

Chemical Connection: Invisible Brain Toxins

Chemicals are dangerous, they have the ability to sneak up without your noticing it. These chemicals may not be detected and can damage your detoxification pathways in your liver.

One can become depressed due to toxins accumulatiing in the body because  of the poor detoxification ability of the liver.  For example, trichloroethylene may accumulate in the brain. But, how does trichloroethylene accumulates in the brain? Trichloroethylene is usually found in carpet, commercial floor cleaners, waxes, adhesive, glue, and many households or office surrounding. This chemical gains access to the body either through inhalation or absorption through the skin.  For the body to detoxify this chemical, it requires an adequate supply of specific vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.  An example of what may be deficient would be trace minerals like zinc.  Zinc produces an enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase that is responsible for detoxifying home and office chemicals. Therefore, a deficiency in zinc supply will lead to accumulation of this toxic chemical which is likely to be converted to chloral hydrate. This will lead to depression, fatigue, and lack of concentration.


What To Do

Having a test to help identify the real cause of depression is important and it is useful in treatment. We all differ, a treatment method that works for one or two persons may not work for you. Having this in mind, it will be wise to be sure of the cause of your health problem.

Recommending anti-depressants as a treatment option without carrying a comprehensive test to identify the main cause of depression is unacceptable. Depression could be as a result of nutrient deficiency, problem with the thyroid or HPA axis; all of this has different treatment methods.

At Optum Health Center, we evaluate all of  the three main body systems…. hormonal (including testing the HPA), gastrointestinal, and detoxification.  As we see all too often in practice, each one of these body systems , if not functioning properly, affects the others.  These systems do not function independently of each other. Our goal is to make you healthy, happier, and get back the life you deserve…. Isn’t that what life is all about !

If you would like help with  testing  and correcting  all three of the main body systems to help rid the depression you are experiencing, call our office today and schedule an appointment.  We would love to help you get your life back as well as  avoiding you from  taking prescription medications and their accompanying  side effects.

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