October 19, 2007

Publication: The Kingdom

Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 Page: 43

Author: LIADH MULCAHY-FITZGERALD

Headline: New treatments can help ease depression

New treatments can help ease depression for some forms of depression such as bipolar/manic depression  complementary medical treatments are adjunctive therapy plans used in combination with orthodox medicine to help eliminate or lessen the negative side effects of the drugs used. In other cases of depression, including stress-relat- ed illnesses, the use of complementary medicines can be very effective as stand alone therapies.

In order for naturopathic medicine to be of help, the underlying causes of the depression need to be established in order foryourpractitioner to determine the best treatment protocol for you. These underlying causes can be bereavement, selfesteem problems, biological factors, hormonal factors, environmental toxins and lifestyle factors. When treating depression with naturopathy your practitioner will begin by minimising any obstacles to healing. For example, heayymetals in the body alter the immune system and lead to lethargy, helplessness and, anxiety all ofwhich can be symptomsof depression. If this is the case treatment may be aimed towards a naturopathic detoxification to begin with.

In certain cases the nutritional status of the patient may be causing the depression. This is because any single nutrientdeficiencycanalter brain function and induce depression and anxiety. One of the most important things to remember when treating any illness is that each patient is dif- ferent and therefore advice and recommendations are tailored specifically for individuals. Other complementary hands-on therapies like acupuncture, aromatherapy and craniosacral therapy can be used in conjunction with naturopathy and orthodox medicine to help reduce anxiety and stress.

Acupuncture is a very powerful tool in the treat- ment of depression and should be seriously considered in any treatment. Treatments will almost always include the introduction of a wefl-balanced diet Complex carbohydrates such as freshfruit and veg- etables, whole-grains such as wholemeal bread, brown rice and wholemeal pasta should be prioritised. Avoid simple carbohydrates such as white sugar, whiteflour and bread, whitepasta and sweets (empty calories which don't provide any goodness). Proteins are key to your diet, such as lean (preferably organic) fresh meat, poultry, offal, fish, eggs, nuts, pulses, seeds. Avoid processed meats and meat with a high fat content such as pate, sausage, salami and burgers. Make sure to include fats from seeds, nuts, flaxseed oil, oily fish such as mackerel in your diet. One of the body's natural antidepressants is phenylethylalanine and the following foods contain this: almonds, eggs, apples, herring, avocado, milk, baked beans, parsley, banana, peanuts, beef, pineapple, carrot, soya bean, chicken, soy proteins, cottage cheese, spinach, chocolate, tomato. Here is a range of supplements you might find useful:

• 5-HTP: this is a form of an amino acid which helps boost serotonin levels in the brain and improves the mood. Ensure you see a practitioner before taking this

• Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin C: Low levels of thesehavebeenassociatedwithdepression. Vitamin B Complex tablets should contain a B-50 complex with SOmcg B12 & biotin, 400mcg folic acid and 50mg all other B vitamins

• Calcium and magnesium soothe the nerves and can be very helpful when sleep in also being disturbed

• Flaxseed (linseed) oil: one tablespoon daily over food butnever heated as this turns it rancid. Flaxseed oil contains essentialfany acids (EFAs) which are necessary for proper brain functioning and can go a long way to easing depression & anxiety

When dealing with depression you should never ignore your GP's advice and in conjunction with this complementary medicine can also help ease the symptoms you may be suffering from.

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