Fight Depression and Anxiety…Naturally
Anxiety and depression are two of the biggest mental health conditions our society faces today.
How common are they?
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 17% of people will experience a major depression at some point in their lives.
The ADAA also estimates 40 million Americans suffer from an anxiety disorder each year.
For a long time, counseling was the only treatment option available to people with these challenges. Prescription medications to treat anxiety and depression didn’t become available until the 1950’s. Today, such medications are the most commonly used treatment strategy.
However, prescription antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications aren’t always the best option.
In particular, if a hormone imbalance is the underlying cause of depression or anxiety, these medications frequently aren’t effective. Bioidentical hormone therapy is a more natural approach that will address the root cause.
In some cases, depression and anxiety are related to imbalances in neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, GABA, and glutamate. While prescription medications will often target these imbalances, there are more natural non-prescription therapies that will target the precursors required to produce them.
Vitamins and Minerals
Several vitamins and minerals facilitate the creation of neurotransmitters. Some better known vitamins for this purpose include vitamins B6 and B12, folate, and vitamin D3. Minerals such as magnesium and zinc are also associated with neurotransmitter synthesis.
Several amino acids can either encourage or suppress the neurotransmitters associated with depression and anxiety. These include the following:
- Tryptophan and 5-HTTP are precursors for serotonin. Increasing serotonin levels can help to combat depression.
- Taurine is a precursor for GABA (an inhibitory neurotransmitter). Increasing GABA levels can help to combat anxiety.
- Theanine inhibits glutamate (a stimulating neurotransmitter). Reducing glutamate levels can help with anxiety.
One research study identified theanine deficiencies in 88% of subjects diagnosed with significant depression. And low levels of the branched-chain amino acids valine, leucine, and isoleucine have also been observed in patients with significant depression.
In some cases, depression and anxiety can be linked to adrenal fatigue (a condition caused by impaired adrenal gland function, usually due to stress).
Several over-the-counter herbal remedies, commonly called “adaptogens”, have been found to balance adrenal gland function, thereby alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety. These include:
- Rhodiola rosea
- Panax ginseng
- Eluethero root
- Goji berry
And St. John’s wort has long been known for its antidepressant qualities thanks to its ability to suppress the breakdown of serotonin.
All of the natural treatments for anxiety and depression mentioned above are available in supplement form. However, you can also reduce your risk factors by adding more amino acids to your diet. Your body creates amino acids by breaking down the proteins in your food. The best sources for dietary protein include beef, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Amino acids can also be obtained from non-animal sources such as quinoa, mushrooms, legumes, beans, flax, buckwheat, and tofu.
As noted above, depression and anxiety can also result from imbalances in several important hormones such as:
These hormones influence neurotransmitter levels in your brain. As a result, imbalances in these hormones can lead to imbalances in neurotransmitters…with the latter being directly responsible for anxiety and depression. Hormone replacement therapy can restore these hormones to healthy levels, which can lead to more optimal neurotransmitter levels.
Do you struggle with depression or anxiety? Renew Youth can help you find alternatives to prescription antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications. To learn more, call us at (800) 859-7511 or use our contact form to schedule your free consultation.