Depression and Hormones: How to Beat Depression without Antidepressants

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Do you often feel down and depressed, but you don’t know why? Dr. Hotze reveals the connection between hormone decline and depressed moods.  Learn how to beat depression, naturally, without antidepressants.

Video Highlights:

3:01: Year round individuals can have problems with mood swings. At times, they can feel anxious, they can have panic attacks, they can feel down, discouraged, downtrodden, misunderstood, and sometimes it’s not really reasonable for the way they feel. Life may be going very good for them. They have a wonderful marriage, wonderful family. They may not have any financial difficulties, or health problems, but they just don’t feel encouraged. They feel discouraged. They feel down. 

5:15: I’ve had women describe to me, “I just feel like my old self is gone. I don’t have her anymore, and I just want my old self back in me. Wherever she went, I want her back. If you could help me get her back, I just don’t feel good anymore.” 

7:10: You may go back for a follow up and see the doctor and he goes, “Your blood tests are normal, Mary. There’s no problem here. Your blood work looks fine. You should be feeling fine.” “But,” you say, “I don’t feel normal. I just don’t have any energy. I feel down. I just don’t feel good. I can’t lose weight. I don’t have the energy to exercise. I hurt. I can’t sleep well. I can’t think.”

7:58: Nobody has all these symptoms because they have low levels of pharmaceutical drugs in their body. Nobody is sick, nobody’s tired, nobody’s blue or depressed, because they have low levels of antidepressants, or anti-anxiety medication.

8:32: There are underlying causes to these various symptoms and problems, which often times when routine blood work is normal, these symptoms are given a psychiatric diagnosis.

10:18:  There is a cause to these symptoms, and the most common cause is the inevitable decline and imbalance that occurs in hormones as men and women age. Does that make sense? 

14:21:  Progesterone stimulates the production of a neurotransmitter called GABA, which helps people feel calm, and at ease, and relaxed. It’s a wonderful hormone. 

15:59:  By the time you’re 60 it’s one-quarter to a fifth of what it was in your 20s, and testosterone affects a man’s initiative, assertiveness, sense of well-being, self-confidence, moods, goal-orientation, drive, directedness, decisiveness, their analytical ability. These are all brain functions.

16:14: Hormones affect brain function

17:00: Now, another very important hormone that can adversely affect a person’s moods is thyroid hormones 

19:09: If your energy’s low, guess what your feelings are going to be low, your mental sharpness and acuity, and focus is going to be low. 

20:13:   If you’re on an antidepressant don’t stop it cold, because the antidepressants when they’re given, and when the doses are fluctuated up or down, can cause significant problems in your mental thought process and the way you feel, and can cause a host of problems 

21:19: Dr. Hotze: These antidepressants cost an arm and a leg. The pharmaceutical companies are making out like bandits on it, and it doesn’t address the underlying problem, and it leaves you with drugs that are toxic and will make you sicker quicker.

Video Transcript:

Stacey Bandfield: Welcome to Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution. This is Stacey Bandfield here with Dr. Steven Hotze, founder of the Hotze Health & Wellness Center. Just a reminder, we have some fresh podcasts available to be downloaded. Simply go to hotzepodcast.com. That’s h-o-t-z-e-podcast.com. Dr. Hotze, we get so many calls, especially this time of year, from people who are suffering from this condition. Maybe you can explain to us a little bit about what tends to happen this time of year, which should be normally a happy time, it maybe isn’t so much for people.

Dr. Hotze: Well, Christmas time, of course, is a joyous time. We remember the first coming of Christ, and we have all the things that we celebrate but, obviously, all of us at some time in our life have lost loved ones who passed away, a father, a mother, brother, sister, children. Often time those memories of that time when they were there, and they’re not there now, tend to create some sadness but that’s normal situational sadness that you’d expect to have.

I know, we lost our son years ago, back in 1992. He was 14 then, so what would he be. He’d be pushing 40 now, 35 or 40, and I think about him on Christmas day. We have a stocking there with his name on it, David, and so that’s some sadness that comes, but is it an overwhelming condition? It’s normal to miss people. It is normal to shed a tear when that happens. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s the normal grieving process that we go through.

Sometimes, you know, grieving goes in states. When you lose somebody the first year is really the hardest because you have all the birthdays, and the Thanksgiving, and Christmas celebrations, anniversaries, and all those things, and so the first year can be tough. Usually people can pull back together after the first year, particularly those that have hope in the future. In the Christian faith we believe in the resurrection, so that carried us through our son’s passing. We know that one day he will rise again, so that gives us confidence. If we can plant ourselves firmly on God’s word, that’ll give us confidence. We encourage people to do that. If you don’t know Christ, this is a great time to get to know Him. It’s Christmas Season, that’s what it’s all about. He’s the reason. Jesus is the reason for the Season.

Stacey Bandfield: Amen.

Dr. Hotze: Hotze  year round individuals can have problems with mood swings. At times, they can feel anxious, they can have panic attacks, they can feel down, discouraged, downtrodden, misunderstood, and sometimes it’s not really reasonable for the way they feel. Life may be going very good for them. They have a wonderful marriage, wonderful family. They may not have any financial difficulties, or health problems, but they just don’t feel encouraged. They feel discouraged. They feel down.

This can occur over a period of time so that it becomes part and parcel of their lives. It may at certain times, particularly in women, certain times of the month it may be worse than at other times, having to do with their menstrual cycle, which is directly related to hormones. So, people often times when they have symptoms of maybe feeling down, low, or depressed usually it’s related to fatigue. They feel tired. They don’t have energy. They don’t feel enthusiastic. They don’t feel vital. Their get up and go has got up and gone, and they just feel that way, and that affects the way they think about things, so their feelings tend to be low.

Not only do they not have energy, but their brains feel tired and worn out, and that causes them to feel depressed, and they may have other symptoms. They may have problems with mental sharpness and focus, and they don’t sleep well. They have joint muscles aches and pains. They may have gastrointestinal problems. They may have recurrent infections. They may feel sick all the time. They may have problems with weight. All these various symptoms they may experience.

If you’re a woman, this may also relate to irregular menstrual cycles and dysfunctional uterine bleeding, and hemorrhaging during your menstrual periods, and heavier periods, and clots, and fibroids, and all these things. You feel like you’re going downhill. You just don’t feel well. I’ve had women describe to me, “I just feel like my old self is gone. I don’t have her anymore, and I just want my old self back in me. Wherever she went, I want her back. If you could help me get her back, I just don’t feel good anymore.”

StaceyBandfield: We hear that a lot.

Dr. Hotze: Yes. Inevitably individuals will go during the year to see their physician, particularly women, because they have an annual physical exam, and at that time they often want to discuss these problems with the doctor. Remember, the doctor, most doctors, probably 95%, all work for insurance companies and they have a huge load of patient volume they have to handle, so it’s usually in and out. The average doctor spends 5-7 minutes with a patient, so it’s hard to have a frank discussion, and a heart-to-heart discussion with your physician in conventional medical care settings.

A woman comes in and she’s got some questions. “I’ve got these problems…The doctor looks at her and he goes, “You know, look, all the women your age feel that way. That’s okay, you can feel that. That’s just part of aging. You got to learn to live with it.” You may say, “Well, couldn’t you do some blood tests. Maybe it’s my hormones.” He may even say, “What makes you think it’s your hormones?” “Because it happens at the same time every month, doctor. Right before my period is when I don’t feel well. Couldn’t that be hormonal?” “Well, I don’t know.” “Could it be my thyroid?”

Don’t Rely on a Blood Test

The doctor will often times then do it, they’ll do a blood test and inevitably in that blood test, not only are they going to check your red count and white count, or they’re going to check your liver enzymes, and sugar levels, and all that, but they’ll maybe check, particularly in women, they’ll check your hormone levels. In men, they’ll check thyroid, too, and they check that in women, as well. Invariably you’ll get a phone call back, maybe, or maybe you have the wait week or two and you don’t get any phone call back, but you finally hear that your blood tests are normal.

You may go back for a follow up and see the doctor and he goes, “Your blood tests are normal, Mary. There’s no problem here. Your blood work looks fine. You should be feeling fine.” “But,” you say, “I don’t feel normal. I just don’t have any energy. I feel down. I just don’t feel good. I can’t lose weight. I don’t have the energy to exercise. I hurt. I can’t sleep well. I can’t think.”

“Well, we find this happens in many women as they mature, and we found that the best thing to correct it is an antidepressant, and maybe we can give you a little anti-anxiety medication. We’ll give you something for sleep as well, and you take these pills and you’ll find that you feel much better.” Now, let me say this, and make it real clear. Nobody has all these symptoms because they have low levels of pharmaceutical drugs in their body. Nobody is sick, nobody’s tired, nobody’s blue or depressed, because they have low levels of antidepressants, or anti-anxiety medication. People don’t have a difficulty sleeping because they have low levels of Ambien, or Lunesta, or any of these other sleep medications. Nobody has joint pain because they don’t have anti-inflammatory drugs. Nobody has high blood pressure because they lack pharmaceutical drugs.

There are underlying causes to these various symptoms and problems, which often times when routine blood work is normal, these symptoms are given a psychiatric diagnosis. They do that because medical coding and that way your insurance will pay for the visit and will pay for the drugs the doctor prescribes. Now, the antidepressants, and this is Prozac, and it’s Lexapro, and it’s Effexor, and Paxil, and on and on and on. These various antidepressants, Lyrica, various antidepressants that are given, these antidepressants are not safe drugs. They have numerous severe side effects.

Dangerous Side Effects of Antidepressants

The most common side effect of antidepressants is anger, outbursts of anger. It increases the suicidal thought six times. People that started on Prozac when they first brought out Prozac in 1988, they noticed six times the number of suicides in these people than they would have expected. It causes suicidal thought. As matter of fact, on the label it says that it increases suicidal ideation, or thoughts, and it creates homicidal ideation and thoughts. It destroys a woman or man’s romantic moods and inclinations, their libido. It causes you to gain weight. You become like a zombie. You’re not the person you were. You are masking these symptoms and not treating the underlying cause, the cause of these symptoms.

There is a cause to these symptoms, and the most common cause is the inevitable decline and imbalance that occurs in hormones as men and women age. Does that make sense?

Hormone Imbalance in Women

So, what are the hormones that affect an individual as they age? Well, the most common problem we see in women is a decline and imbalance in their female hormones. Now, remember when a woman starts in puberty, whether it’s at 12, or 13, or 14, and her menstrual life will last until she’s, say, 50 years old, on an average. So, she has about 35 years of menstruation. Well, any of you that are older than 50 know that your cycles change over time as you mature, and symptoms occurred over time, and then you became perimenopausal and you started to miss periods. The next thing you know your periods have stopped.

In some women they get heavy bleeding, they get fibroids, they get severe menstrual cramps, they get severe premenstrual symptoms, mood swings, fluid retention, weight gain, headaches, all these things, and all they’re given by their doctor is antidepressants, when we know that the problem is the inevitable decline and imbalance that occurs with the hormones. Let me explain. The female hormones, in a perfect menstrual cycle that lasts 28 days, day one is the first day of the period. A woman hasn’t been making any hormones for several days. That’s why she sloughs `the inner lining of the womb, and she begins, her ovaries begin to produce estrogen, which now starts over time to build up the inner lining of the womb again.

Mid-cycle, on day 14, 15, a woman would ovulate, and she will give off an egg, and that egg then migrates through the fallopian tubes into the uterus, or the womb, waiting to meet up with a sperm so it can become a new human being. At the same time that ovulation occurs the ovary from the cyst where the ovulation occurred begins to make progesterone to balance out the estrogen. It matures the inner lining of the womb, preparing it for a pregnancy. If there is no pregnancy, then on day 27, 28 the ovary abruptly stops making any hormones and the inner lining of the womb is sloughed.

Well, over time the imbalance, and the imbalance can happen right at puberty. I’ve had women that tell me, “I haven’t been right since I started having cycles.” They never were right. In some women their cycles were fine. They had normal cycles lasting 28 days, maybe periods that lasted 3 days, so they were fairly light. As they got older the periods got longer, and they began to have some cramping, maybe some fluid retention, maybe some weight gain, maybe some headaches, three or four days before the period, then five days, and then 10 days, and sometimes it will last two weeks before the period. They just get worse and worse. Well, that’s a sign that the progesterone levels are declining. Inevitably as women get older they don’t ovulate every month. Over the age of 40 many women have anovulatory cycles. They’re not ovulating at all, so all they’re doing is making estrogen, proliferating the inner lining of the womb, so get this huge build up of tissue and then when they have a period it may last 5-7 days, or 7-9 days. They get breakthrough bleeding. They get fibroids.

They go to their doctor and the doctor says, “I know, we’re got a cure for that. We’ll cut out your uterus.” The uterus wasn’t the problem. Something was causing the uterus to develop fibroids and to develop heavy dysfunctional uterine bleeding, and it’s a hormonal imbalance, and it’s simply progesterone. Well, progesterone and, of course, that affects people’s moods. People don’t feel well when their hormones are out of balance, because the hormones, both in males, and in females, affects the neurotransmitters in the brain. Progesterone stimulates the production of a neurotransmitter called GABA, which helps people feel calm, and at ease, and relaxed. It’s a wonderful hormone.

As that hormone declines women have estrogen dominance, because progesterone is declining. The other side of the coin is progesterone deficiency, estrogen dominance. They’re no longer balanced and the estrogen becomes the dominant hormone over the last five or 10 years of a woman’s life, and that’s when women commonly experience the symptoms that we’ve described, although this can occur right after childbirth. I’ve seen it very commonly.

Hormones After Childbirth

A woman will have a child, and you know it as well as I do, your metabolism changed. What happened? Well, the hormones didn’t kick back on. Remember, the ovaries were turned off during pregnancy, and now they got to turn back on after pregnancy, and remember during pregnancy all the hormones are made by the baby’s placenta, and the predominate hormone is progesterone, which promotes gestation, and now that hormone, when the placenta is delivered, all of a sudden there’s a plummeting of the hormones and now these ovaries, which have been shut off, have to turn back on. If they don’t turn back on, well then there’s a host of health problems that occur. One is postpartum depression, so they slap the women on some antidepressants when they really just need some progesterone.

Low T in Men

Now, the other hormone, in males, is your testosterone level goes down, guys, and it happens. By the time you’re 40 it’s one-third to one-half what it was when you were in your 20s. By the time you’re 50 it’s one-third to a quarter. By the time you’re 60 it’s one-quarter to a fifth of what it was in your 20s, and testosterone affects a man’s initiative, assertiveness, sense of well-being, self-confidence, moods, goal-orientation, drive, directedness, decisiveness, their analytical ability. These are all brain functions.

Hormones affect brain function. This begins to be adversely affected in a man. Their muscle tone goes down. They lose their romantic moods, their abilities, and all this kind of goes to heck in a hand basket. That’s the decline in male hormone. That can affect your mood. I like to tell a man, if you’re low on testosterone we’ll give you testosterone. We’re going to put a tiger back in your tank. That’s right, a tiger in your tank, and it’ll make a huge difference. You’re going to feel better. You’re going to be sharp again. You’re going to think. You’re going to have goals. You’re going to drive and directedness. So, the hormones, the sex hormones, play a significant role in the way people think, and the way they feel.

Thyroid Hormones and Moods

Now, another very important hormone that can adversely affect a person’s moods is thyroid hormones. As we age, inevitably, all our hormone levels will decline. Now, when we do blood tests for thyroid hormones the lab values are so wide they encompass 95% of the population, so only 5% of the people that have a blood test can even fall out of the blood test, because the blood test is defined by wherever 95% of the people fall. That’s defined as the normal range. So, it’s as tall as the Empire State Building and as wide as the Grand Canyon.

You may have been producing optimal levels of thyroid hormone when you were younger, but as you age the thyroid gland, like every other gland, ages and you just don’t produce as much as you did. In women, if you have estrogen dominance, and your female hormones are out of balance, that adversely affects your body’s ability to properly assimilate thyroid hormones, because your body produces a thyroid-binding globulin from the liver, which gloms up thyroid hormones.

Women inevitably, as they march through their menstrual life, will exhibit one, some, or all of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, because they’ll be hypothyroid. The thyroid hormones are what enable your cells to produce and use energy. Every one of your cells has a little power plant in it called the mitochondria, and the mitochondria produce energy from the food, and the oxygen you breathe. They are catalyzed, they’re activated by thyroid hormone.

So, you have to have adequate amounts of the active thyroid hormone, T3. That’s the thyroid hormone that has three iodine atoms attached to it. That has to be in your cell in adequate amounts to be able to activate your mitochondria to produce energy. Now, if every cell in your body is affected by thyroid, and thyroid governs the amount of energy your cells produce, let me just ask you this. If you have low levels of active thyroid hormone in your cells so that your mitochondria, instead of raising high levels of optimal energy, are now producing low levels of energy, how do you think that’s going to affect the way you feel? If your energy’s low, guess what your feelings are going to be low, your mental sharpness and acuity, and focus is going to be low. Your sleep’s going to be poor. Your muscles and joints aren’t going to work as well. Nothing. Your gastrointestinal system doesn’t work as well. You’re sluggish, you’re running like old oil. You got to have an oil change. You know that, don’t you? If you have a car you got to change your oil.

Well, same thing in your body. You got to have good oil in your body, and you have to have good thyroid level in your body in order to produce energy. If you have a sluggish energy production in your body, you’re not going to feel well, and that’s going to lead you to symptoms that your conventional doctor will say, “Oh, those are all symptoms of depression. You’re fatigued, you ache, you can’t sleep well, you can’t think, you’re moody, you’re depressed, you’re anxious, panicked…These are all signs of low levels of antidepressants in your body. We’re going to give you an antidepressant.” I beg you, don’t let them do that.

Caution: Don’t Stop Taking Antidepressants Suddenly

If you’re on an antidepressant don’t stop it cold, because the antidepressants when they’re given, and when the doses are fluctuated up or down, can cause significant problems in your mental thought process and the way you feel, and can cause a host of problems. I’d recommend not getting on them to begin with. I would try to find the underlying cause of your symptoms. Remember, a diagnosis tells you what the cause of the symptom is. A diagnosis is not the symptom itself. Does that make sense?

In other words, you go in and you’ve got various symptoms. You can’t let the doctor get away with saying your symptom is your diagnosis. You have headaches, “Okay, you have migraines.” What’s a migraine? Well, it’s a certain type of headache. What causes it? “You’ve got high blood pressure. You need to be on medication.” What causes it? What can I do to stop it? Why do I have high blood pressure? I have difficulty with weight. I’m low in energy. “Well, you’re just depressed. You have chronic fatigue syndrome so we’re going to put you on antidepressants.”

These antidepressants cost an arm and a leg. The pharmaceutical companies are making out like bandits on it, and it doesn’t address the underlying problem, and it leaves you with drugs that are toxic and will make you sicker quicker.

Let Us Help

My encouragement to you is if, not only in the holidays, all year round, if you’re experiencing these multitude of symptoms, try to get to someone…come to us, here at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center. We have providers that are well schooled in understanding that these problems are caused by hormonal imbalances and declines, and can easily be treated. They can be solved using natural, bioidentical hormones in females, natural estrogen, natural progesterone, progesterone’s a big one. As well as in men, testosterone. You may have some adrenal fatigue. You may need that to be addressed. Most importantly, your thyroid may need support. You may need some additional thyroid hormones.

We use desiccated, natural desiccated thyroid hormones because it contains the active thyroid hormone T3, which the synthetics do not. They only contain the inactive thyroid hormone, T4, which has four iodine atoms, is inactive. That T4 has to enter your cells and be converted to T3 to be active and to enable your cells to produce and use energy. If you produce optimal levels of energy, you’re going to be enthusiastic. You’re going to be full of energy. You’re going to be vibrant. You’re going to be a live wire, you’re going to produce a lot of electricity in your body. That’s what the power plants produce. They produce electricity. You want to be a live wire. You don’t want to be a dud, okay. So, I want to encourage you that if you have any of these symptoms, let me tell you, you’ve got an underlying cause, and that cause is probably, in most cases, hormonal decline and imbalance, and that we can address. I’m going to recommend that you go to our website, hotzehwc.com and you do our symptom checker. Tell us about that.

Stacey Bandfield: That’s right. So, Dr. Hotze has developed a great symptom checker. It’s so easy to use. You just go to hotzehwc.com. That’s h-o-t-z-e-hwc.com. Click on the symptom checker. Take it. Find out what you have. You can also sign up for a complimentary consultation, as well. Everybody needs a health coach. Give us a call, 281-698-8698, that’s 281-698-8698. We certainly hope that this message gave you hope during this Christmas season. Thank you for joining us today here at Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution.

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