By Angelica Clark, PA-C
Depression is a negative feeling that may present itself to anyone, and no one is immune to it. It is often described as low mood, loneliness, overwhelming despair, lack of hope, unhappiness, lack of satisfaction, feeling “blah,” worthlessness, guilt, disturbed sleep, fatigue, or difficulty concentrating.
Depression is a result of a physical, emotional and spiritual imbalance or a combination of the three. To combat depression, it is important to identify the triggers and avoid them and seek help. The negativity that it presents itself with can be overwhelming at times, life-consuming and eventually, a person will feel helpless. There is always hope, and we are here to help you.
At the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, we will help you get physically balanced to have a good quality of life. Our goal is to restore your body to its full capacity by providing adrenal, thyroid and sex hormone support, stress management, lifestyle changes and promoting nutritional balance.
COMMON CAUSES OF DEPRESSION AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT
1: Stress: This causes a response by the adrenal glands to a perceived stressor, the well-known “fight or flight response.” Stress increases the susceptibility to neuronal damage, impairs the process to which neurons are born, and alters the brain’s response to serotonin. Therefore, it is essential to learn to manage stress. Here at Hotze Health & Wellness Center, we have a technique called Hotze Brain Renew that uses guided imagery to help with stress management. Meditation has also been a proven technique.
2: Hormone imbalance: A common cause of low moods in females is due to the drop of estrogen mid-cycle. When Estrogen drops, so does serotonin. Therefore, a typical time for low moods is mid-cycle after ovulation. Also, as a woman approaches 35 years old, progesterone hormone starts to decline steadily, and the mood swings start to increase. Hormones can also be disrupted when there is a triggering stressful event that causes the adrenals to overwork. This compromises the hormone utilization at the cell level due to suboptimal cortisol production. Low thyroid function, low testosterone, and low DHEA are common triggers of depressive symptoms such as lack of energy, low motivation, poor self- esteem, etc.
3: Suboptimal nutrition: Poor dietary intake of nutrients or malabsorption of nutrients will compromise the neurotransmitters and hormones. For example, the brain is mainly made of fat (fatty acids); therefore, suboptimal levels of omega 3 fatty acids lead to reduced cognitive function, mood variances, and impaired neuronal communication. The reason people experience low moods more often in the winter than in the summer is mainly from low vitamin D levels since we make vitamin D in the skin by exposing it to sunlight. Many other nutrient deficiencies are associated with depression such as zinc, B vitamins, chromium, etc. Eat fresh, organic, whole foods daily and with a variety of colors, as this promotes optimal health.
4: Lack of physical activity: Exercise helps you release endorphins (feel-good substances) that help counteract the low moods and symptoms of depression. Schedule daily walks. Identify a hobby that keeps you active.
5: Neurotransmitter imbalance: Serotonin is primarily produced in the digestive tract. Therefore a healthy GI tract is necessary for the optimization and utilization of serotonin. Depression is not an antidepressant deficiency. Our long-term focus is providing the body with the tools that it needs to heal. Light therapy in the morning has been proven to help with low moods in those with seasonal depression.
We are here to help
Depression can have many causes, and it is vital to recognize it and seek help as soon as possible. No matter how low it makes you feel, there is always hope! We are here to help you regain balance.
Surround yourself with a good support system, learn your limitations, say no when needed and seek help immediately. We recommend that you have a support system in place, but if this is not possible, please seek counseling.
Take our symptom checker quiz to find out if hormone imbalance could be the cause of your depressed moods. If you would like a complimentary wellness consultation with a wellness consultant, please call us at 281-698-8698.