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Posts Tagged ‘cytokines’

If you are on pharmaceutical anti-depressants it is really important not to stop taking them without the support of your doctor—these should only be stopped or cut down under medical supervision.  For some people anti-depressants can help to put them in a state of mind where they can take positive action to their unique personal needs.

“Chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, kidney disease, and multiple sclerosis result in dramatic lifestyle changes, such as limited mobility and increased dependence on others. These illnesses can create limitations so that people like my mother can no longer engage in enjoyable activities or have hope about the future. With so many devastating changes, it’s easy to see why depression is one of the most common complications of chronic illness. 

Occasionally, depression is actually a medication side effect. Also, depression can aggravate the symptoms of the illness itself, which spurs a negative cycle.

Early diagnosis and treatment of depression can reduce symptoms and decrease the risk of suicide. Therapy and medication are effective tools for battling depression. There is hope of significant improvement for your loved one. Here are a few tips for boosting mood and helping to reclaim your loved one’s lively spirit.” How to Avoid Depression Due to Chronic Illness http://www.homecareinphoenix.com/how-to-avoid-depression-due-to-chronic-illness/

Depression means literally a lowering of spirits—of feeling down, unhappy.  In the minds of those suffering, their stories don’t only portray someone who’s in pain, but whose soul is crying out ‘set me free’.  From our childhood years we were taught not to speak out emotionally, it was considered weak, feared as failure, of humiliation.  Depression disconnects and disturbs the whole mind/body internal communication network.  I do believe that our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies are all very tightly interwoven together…if there is an imbalance in one area, it will throw other areas off balance too.  Scientific studies have proven that powerful negative emotions can offset hormonal imbalances, immune dysfunction and inflammation.  Inflammation can be caused by a poor diet, stress and worry, artificial chemicals in the air and in the food and water we drink as well as cosmetics, drugs, bacteria, viruses and fungi. One of the major jobs of the immune system is to recognize our own cells from foreign cells (viruses, bacteria, parasites) which immunologists have deemed the ‘self’ and ‘nonself.  If the immune system is a highly sophisticated network of ‘fighter cells’ it has to know when not to fight back.  In other words it has to recognize our own body tissues so that it doesn’t ‘wage war’ against our own organs. But what happens when it becomes ‘forgetful’ or no longer remembers who we are and makes a mistake?

In Depression Part III we discussed neuropeptides called cytokines that signal the immune system when there is an injury or infection. Cytokines act as cellular messengers providing different messages to cells and also how they should act.  Cytokines are produced by the cells of the nervous system and also by the cells of the immune system to combat local and wide-spread inflammation in the body.  Usually when inflammation in our bodies is in the process of healing, then the inflammatory response has done its job and everything goes back to its normal state.  But sometimes the inflammation process doesn’t stop causing the body to defend itself against itself!

“This chronic inflammation is not beneficial; it can actually cause more damage and can eventually contribute to the development of various diseases.  The same process that the body uses to defend itself during short-term inflammation backfires when it becomes chronic and ends up harming the body.  It is much like an army that turns on the citizens and the country it was meant to defend.  In fact many diseases have now been linked to inflammation, for example, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, liver disease, and even obesity, [and depression] among others!” Advances IN ORTHOMOLECULAR RESEARCH ~ Volume 4

Cytokines are too large to pass through the blood brain barrier but they can signal the brain via the nervous system and especially through the longest nerve in the body called the vagus. This nerve runs from the lower part of the brain, down the base of the spine, branching out to the heart, respiratory, stomach and intestinal tract.   This proves there is a massive interactive of nerves moving through our body’s gastrointestinal tract which can easily get irritated causing a host of digestive problems.  The gut is one of the primary filtration systems of the body, when its plumbing, electrical and drainage system aren’t working quite right, the body starts absorbing toxins, clogging the system.  When the gut can no longer protect us, autoimmune problems can be triggered by a network of cellular communications and through our lymph nodes.  Constipation, diarrhea, bloating, poor motility, and trapped gas can all lead to obesity, high cholesterol, diverticulitis, pancreatic problems and more.  Toxic buildups are stored in the fat cells of the body…if these toxins leak into the fluids of the body, which includes the blood, they can cause fatigue, body aches, thyroid, heart and brain problems, as well as depression.

(It is thought that about 80% of your immune function is in your gut and a lot of that is governed by how the bacteria are able to function—there are 10 times more bacteria there than cells in our bodies so we are, like the earth, a symbiotic organism)

CHRONIC ILLNESS, STRESS AND DEPRESSION

When we don’t know what’s wrong with us and have had tests upon tests constantly coming back negative we become trapped in a cycle of fear, panic and mental/emotional deprivation. We look to the support of our families, they turn the other way and say ‘pull yourself together’ causing us to withdraw creating a thicker wall between us to protect our sanity. To add to the problem our doctors surmise our problems are anxiety-related and we’re shrugged off with a box of anti-depressants and dizzying tranquilizers.  And even though we’ve been on these drugs for longer than we can remember, we still find ourselves searching for answers to the symptoms we’re experiencing.  We’ve tried affirmations and talking our depressive moods away…but the feelings of melancholy are still there.

Stress, pain and pharmaceutical drugs can make us susceptible to hormonal fluctuations; our hormones go up and down like a yo-yo causing our bodies, moods and feelings to change constantly.  When our bodies are under stress we become extra-sensitive to developing allergies and food sensitivities and a host of other problems. A lot of these problems are not ‘all’ psychological…some may be the result of unbalanced chemistry in the gut and the physical brain.

 “I’m sharing my story because I know there are others like me, who for no reason dipped into a depression caused or triggered by a hormonal malfunction. I was misdiagnosed for years—doctors kept telling me that I was depressed, and kept giving a variety of antidepressants—six in all! These actually made me sicker, more complacent (and fat!) and only slightly better in other ways.  Every single thing in my life came undone; my friends couldn’t understand what I was going through, my family expressed their disappointment in me. The doctors I saw could not find any obvious problem. I did have a thyroid test which came back in the range of a ‘healthy thyroid’—their prognosis—stress!  I had to find out what was wrong with me.  I saw a therapist who thought I was just in a vulnerable place in life, making me more depressed than ever.  It was after this whole ordeal was over that I discovered the healthy range for thyroid hormones can be disputable.  

 I was finally diagnosed with a hypothyroid problem last May when my thyroid test finally reached the high-end of the range. Starting on Synthyroid .075 I felt immediate relief!  I was referred to an endocrinologist who ruled out any other problems (Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Sjogrens, etc) and much to my relief a hypothyroid was the main and only problem.” (Barbara M.)

Often our bodies swing back and forth between hyper-hypothyroid as the body feverishly tries to balance itself out. Mental/emotional stress can have an affect on the body’s digestive system causing an imbalance in our gut bacteria – if these bacterias become imbalanced they can cause thyroid changes. Bacteria are living organisms and are very sensitive to stress, (increasing inflammatory cytokines), antibiotics, poor food choices and even energy changes. Did you know there are over 400 species of bacteria in your intestines and if you could put them on a scale they’d weigh over 4 lbs all together?

“Depression and anxiety are widespread and can, in part, be related to chronic yeast overgrowth in the tissues. The reason, as described by J.P. Nolan in an article in the journal Hepatology, is the link between the gut and the brain.  “An individual’s ability to protect against brain-active substances depends upon the status of his or her intestinal flora, GI mucosal function and hepatic (liver detoxification ability).” This means that when leaky gut is present and the liver is over stressed, the door is open for toxins to reach the brain via the bloodstream.”  The Candida Cure: The 90-Day Program to Beat Candida and Restore Vibrant Health ~ by Ann Boroch

If your gut bacteria have been imbalanced for some time, then you may develop a ‘leaky gut’, which allows minute particles into the bloodstream that normally wouldn’t get through—the body sees these particles as invaders and attacks them. If these particles resemble molecules of your own body, then the immune system can start attacking them—as in the case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.  This form of the body attacking the body is quite possibly the most common cause of thyroid problems. The pattern begins with an overproduction of thryoxine and as the ‘attacks’ become more frequent, then the thyroxine levels drop, leaving you hypothyroid.

(When your thyroid hormone is low, your metabolism can slow too, leading to symptoms that can mimic clinical depression.)

“Clinical depression is a biological phenomenon, characterized by changes in neurotransmitters and hormones.  It is much different from simple sadness, which is caused by an unhappy experience or situation.  Sadness usually decreases as time passes; clinical depression generally does not improver over time, unless it is properly treated….

 Memory loss is also a common symptom of clinical depression.  As a rule, short-term memory suffers the most.  Frequently this short-term memory impairment occurs because depressed people are inattentive to new information, as a result of which they fail to adequately lay down new memories.  Their ability to lay down new memories is also impaired by their shortage of norepinephrine.” [Norepinephrine is a stimulating chemical in the brain that not only lays down new memories but also moves memories to either long or short-term storage.”  BRAIN LONGEVITY ~ Dharma Singh Khalsa with Cameron Stauth

Arthritis too is a chronic accumulation of toxicity within our body fluids and tissues…our joints are particularly sensitive to toxic accumulations because of the significant amount of physical stress they endure daily and because they are mostly composed of tissue that have poor blood and lymphatic circulation.  This makes it even more difficult for the tissues to access nutrients as well as the ability to eliminate waste products—especially if we don’t get adequate exercise.  When high levels of toxicity accumulate they irritate the tissues in our joints and interfere with the health and proper functioning of cells.  This leads to higher than normal cytokines in the blood, causing painful and restricted movement.  With joint aches and pains comes loss of coordination, an inability to concentrate with bouts of no energy.  Depression can easily set when we feel run down and can’t think straight anymore.

“The brain and the digestive system work together.  Scientists have long known the brain stimulates the digestive organs through parasympathetic activities such as sight, smell, and taste, which stimulates hunger.  Psychological factors also impact hunger and digestion, influencing the movements of the intestine, secretion of digestive enzymes, and other digestive functions.  Intense sadness or anger, for example, will set off a chain reaction that stimulates or reduces hunger, perhaps causing weight and digestive problems, and sometimes intestinal illnesses….

 Experts such as Michael Gershon, MD, propose that the stomach actually contains a second brain, rich with neurotransmitters of its own, which triggers IBS.  Gershon says IBS is an example of the gut working in isolation, though he recognizes the brain-gut axis such as when “butterflies in the stomach” occurs as a result of the brain sending a message of anxiety to the gut, which sends messages back to the brain that it’s unhappy.” Cyndi Dale ~  THE SUBTLE BODY: An Encyclopedia of your Energetic Anatomy

Almost every system in the body can be damaged by stress. An increase in corticosteroids (produced by the adrenals) can suppress the reproduction system causing irregular menstruation and problems with ovulation in women; impotency in men and loss of libido in both.  Loss of insulin during a stressful time can be one of the triggers for the onset of Type II diabetes. Chronic stress can be unrelenting making us more susceptible to colds and flu, which could worsen to specific diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, respiratory disorders like asthma and bronchitis.

LOW STOMACH ACID

Low stomach acid is common in older people and with those suffering from hypothyroidism, food allergies, candidiasis, hepatitis, lupus, hives, eczema, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, osteoporosis, psoriasis  and  many more.

The most common signs and symptoms of low acidity in the stomach are: feeling bloated after eating, indigestion, constipation, heartburn, food allergies, nauseous, fingernails weak or peeling, hair loss, undigested food in stools, chronic yeast infections.

If you are taking antacids for stomach pain, please be careful because antacids can seriously interfere with the absorption of minerals from your foods.  Also antacids can block enzymes from your pancreas and possibly interfere with nutritional absorption.

If you’re one of those people who wake up with a flat stomach but bloated by the end of day, try taking a probiotic (acidophilus/yogurt) a 1/2 an hour before your morning breakfast; they help to protect and cleanse your digestive system and helps in the absorption of nutrients. There are also many different plant-based enzymes on the market to help with digestion, because we all have different enzyme systems, you may need to explore these options.

DO WOMEN SUFFER DEPRESSION MORE THAN MEN?

Are women twice as likely to suffer an episode of clinical depression then men?  Possibly, but repeated bouts of depression have been proven to be equal for men and women…

“But if repeat episodes of depression are equal for men and women, doesn’t it stand to reason that they may be having first bouts at the same rate?  Maybe the discrepancy lies not in the number of men and women who are depressed, but rather, in how depression is expressed…the diagnostic tallies…ignore the fact that women are much more likely to report depression and seek help.  Men are more likely to try to fight through their depression, using strategies ranging from hard work to extreme exercise to drinking to violence.  Nearly four times more men than women kill themselves.”~  Laurence Gonzales

It’s understandable to think women would suffer from depression three times more than men …but we also have to realize our society has put a feminine face on this disease giving women permission to feel it and seek help for it. Men on the other hand were taught as children to be tough to be strong, silent, independent and hold their emotions in.

Our feelings are constantly being triggered inside us, we just haven’t been fully aware of them at least not until recently. In the past we suppressed our emotions and relied on our minds to steer us through life—emotions have been largely unexplored in our existence—emotional freedom is the next step in our evolution as we begin our journey through the Aquarian Age.

It’s wonderful that more and more men are coming forward, admitting to or believing they may suffer from depression.  Perhaps they realize they have been driving themselves to the ground, trying desperately to compensate for their suffering.

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

Before we move on to the next section, postpartum depression needs to be addressed too.  This is another illness many women young and old are ashamed of having and shouldn’t.  We all have our own individual personalities and characters and should treat ourselves as individually as possible.

After the many hours of being in labor and the euphoria of giving birth to a beautiful baby, the mother starts to rapidly go through a steep decline in the levels of hormones in her body.  Once the placenta is removed, the hormones progesterone, estrogen and androgens take a drastic drop, sometimes way below pre-pregnancy levels. At the same time another hormone, prolactin, a pituitary hormone is increased to stimulate milk production.  Along with all this, cortisol level drops and the thyroid is signaled to return high hormonal levels to normal.  All this commotion causes chaos in the new mother’s body who understandably is teary-eyed and extremely rundown from lack of sleep.

“Postpartum depression is also under diagnosed.  Fully 80 percent of women experience the baby blues for up to two weeks after delivery.  Approximately 10 to 15 percent of women will go on to experience some form of mood disorder postpartum, ranging from major depression to anxiety disorders such as panic attack. If a woman has a history of depression, she is at significant risk of postpartum. Many women who suffer one postpartum depression will experience the same thing at each birth.  True psychosis occurs in about 1 in 1,000 births and is characterized as being out of touch with reality, hallucinating, and hearing voices.” Christian Northrup, M.D. WOMEN”S BODIES, WOMEN”S WISDOM

HEALING DEPRESSION NATURALLY

The first responsibility you have to take care of is you!  Your main focus is creating a healthy body, not constantly fighting some illness or disease.  How can we possibly do the best for ourselves, our families, and communities/society if we are constantly waging a no-win war against ourselves.  The mind/body connection is a powerful circuit of energy—you cannot be happy or sad, awake or asleep, sick or well without any of these messages being sent along circuits and networks of energy.  We are only beginning to understand the enormous capacities of the human brain and its connection/reaction to the 60,000 miles+ nervous system.  The body is a subtle and delicate instrument that must be handled with the greatest care and respect and tuned with deep sensitivity.

 “When you’re in solitary confinement you’re six feet under without light, sound or running water, there is no place to go but inside. And when you go inside, you discover that everything that exists in the Universe is also within you. Within you is great power.” ~ Rubin Carter

The key to healing isn’t to rush your way through or try to deny the pain isn’t there.  The first stage of healing is to get into its rhythm rather than try to rush out of it.  Being aware is simply stopping and listening to yourself; it’s about feeling and sensing your body’s inner language. Our spirit speaks to us through our intuition, our inner sense of knowing what is right or wrong for our bodies at any given time.  But many of us have ignored it for so long that it’s become lost in the shuffle and bustle of life and we’ve forgotten how to read it.

We have to know where we are before we can decide how to get where we want to go. In Depression Part II, we looked at the three stages of creating change in our lives.  They are called Awareness, Acceptance and Adjustment; each of these stages build upon another and each stage moves you closer to making the desired change you want in your life. You can see it here

Take responsibility to explore and educate yourself about your own health.  Doctors and therapists can assist in the process but you must do the work.  All of us, whether man, woman or child, must learn to nurture ourselves, respect the body and its processes and allow them to function at their best.  Holistic healing employs natural remedies and treatments along with wholesome foods, exercise, sunshine, fresh air, positive thinking, fulfilling work, and a balanced lifestyle.

“regardless of what you eat, don’t go more than four hours without eating or you’re going to feel drained” Dr. Joey Shulman, Winning the Food Fight”

Our mental and emotional states are vital in healing the body.  The health of the spirit and mind is not independent of the health of the body; emotional illness or imbalances don’t just happen, something underlying these has to be a trigger. Emotional changes are key characteristics of physical disorders…the physical body can easily become disturbed from anxiety, pain, sleeplessness, disturbing dreams, isolation, aimlessness etc., there is a connection between the mind and body that causes the origins of depression in the physical body.

Sometimes, even though we have a knowing of these things ourselves, we can get caught in cycles of negative energies and forget about the positives.  Our high tech society is one of the primary causes of where we get caught on these downward spirals.  We are constantly busy and pushing, pushing to get ahead; as much as we try to adapt to our changing circumstances, it taxes the body/mind and exhausts its energies. We need to counteract all this busyness with balances of rest, relaxation and appreciation or risk burnout of being out of control.  Why even a small change, like, to our eating habits can send signals this food is going to make us feel more energetic and boost our mood, our enthusiasm and immune system.

YOUR FOOD IS YOUR MEDICINE

“During World War II, scientists in the United States…pondered the effects of starvation on captured Gis living in Japanese POW Camps. To provide answers, a six month study was launched at the University of Minnesota using healthy young male conscientious objectors.  This study produced incredible results (although, of course, this kind of study would not be conducted today).

 The young men were deprived of more than half their normal food intake. Over the course of six months, many suffered severe physical and psychiatric changes, most of these disturbances lingered long after the experiment had ended.

 In the beginning, the men showed a high degree of tolerance and sociability with each other.  But gradually they began to avoid group activities. There were frequent outbursts of anger and irritability, and many grew deeply depressed. Some finally required hospitalization in a psychiatric ward.  One chopped off three of his fingers in response to stress’ another became uncontrollably violent.  Many expressed the fear that they were going crazy’ others talked of suicide. They all cried a lot and displayed wild emotional disturbances…

 After the study ended, the emotional symptoms continued. In fact, researchers noted that some of the men grew even more negative, depressed and argumentative, directly after the conclusion of the project….

 The growing awareness that natural substances are needed to create optimum brain functioning should have aroused tremendous interest in the scientific community.  Unfortunately, the concurrent worldwide development of the drug industry, with its promise of far more lucrative rewards, lead researchers in another direction.” Joan Mathews Larson PH.D. ~ 7 Weeks to Emotional Healing

This is not the only study that has proven that an improper diet can cause some form of depression.  We have discovered through testing that hormones are created from the food we eat and in order to create all the hormones we need, we have to get enough nutrients that create the enzymes and other substances to keep our hormones functioning normally.  Magnesium is probably the most important mineral our bodies need for good hormone balance and it is the most deficient mineral in the world because of modern farming methods.  Magnesium is also essential for your metabolism.  It activates enzymes, especially those related to energy production; if you’ve been feeling tired, try increasing your magnesium intake—sources of magnesium are nuts, almonds, brazil nuts, cashews and hazelnuts.  Whole grain products, wheatgerm, tofu and seaweed are also rich in magnesium.

Scientists and researchers know that our hormone system evolved in a world where food was very different from the food we eat today.  Our ancestors collected fresh foods from their immediate environment, such as nuts, seeds, fruits, roots, and even insects—these foods contained a totally different balance of nutrients than the foods in our diet today. Our modern diet is very different than the one our bodies were designed to function on.  Rich, heavy foods (such as pasta, steaks, rich sauces, breads, pastries and cakes) will leave you feeling heavy and lethargic, as will alcohol after the first rush has faded.

“Our liver, kidneys and small intestines are the body’s natural cleaning team, working together to package toxic compounds for removal. Over time, the function of these organs especially the liver can be compromised by illness, poor nutrition, stress, pollution or toxic lifestyle habits. (e.g., drugs, alcohol or tobacco)

When the clean-up process is not being carried out as it should, toxic byproducts cannot be properly neutralized.  As a result, toxic compounds from the liver are reabsorbed and stored in the fatty tissues of the body rather then excreted.” THE HORMONE DIET ~ Natasha Turner, N.D.

FOODS YOU SHOULD EAT

Fresh fruit and dried fruit

Fresh vegetables

Fruit or vegetable juices

Sprouted seeds and legumes (alfalfa, lentil, chickpea, sesame, sunflower, and possibly peanuts)

Nuts and seeds

Beans and legumes

Whole grains and cereals

Whole grain bread

Honey, blackstrap molasses, maple syrup, rice syrup, barley malt

Herbal teas and coffee substitutes

Tofu and other soy products

Milk and dairy products in moderation

To eat a healthy diet we need to listen more to the actual needs of our bodies.  We have to observe how we feel after eating a meal and notice signals such as a rapid pulse, difficulty in concentrating, tiredness, irritability, unexplained emotions and over-reactions to simple daily things.

We all have different bodies, different enzymes, different muscles and nervous and hormone systems.  Each of us has to get to know ourselves and tune into our own body with the way it works best.

PHYTOCHEMICALS/PHYTONUTRIENTS AND ANTIOXIDANTS

Nature provides the human body and its immune system with an incredible array of anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-disease supports called phytochemicals and antioxidants, which are found in many common foods.  Antioxidants and phytochemicals give your cells layer upon layer of protection and accelerated healing.

Phytochemicals are an active compound found in plants that are proven to help the body resist many diseases.  They give hot peppers their burning sensation and garlic and onions their pungent flavor; dark chocolate its bitterness and tomatoes their dark red color. In the body, phytochemicals act as antioxidants, mimic hormones and help to suppress the development of diseases.  Cancer and heart disease are linked to processes involving oxygen compounds in the body and antioxidants are said to oppose these actions.

What Colorful Foods Are You Eating

Foods with the greatest phytochemicals and antioxidants are colorful foods like red and yellow fruits and berries: for example, carrots, yellow and red peppers, cantaloupe, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, red currants, cranberries, peaches…all these are high in carotenoids and carotenoids decrease of the risk of many diseases…they feed the brain, your mental functioning and your memory.

Tomatoes and watermelon and grapefruit get their red color from a pigment called lycopene, an antixoidant.

Green vegetables such as broccoli, arugula, cabbage, bok choy, kale, collards rapini, all help to block tumor growth, suppress colon cancer and boost immunity.  For both men and women it helps to remove extra estrogen from the body, which helps to suppress breast cancer.

Herbs have powerful anticancer powers and potent antioxidants…some are turmeric, bilberry, hawthorn, cayenne, milk thistle, parsley, Echinacea, ginkgo biloba, green tea, grape-seed extract

Onions and Garlic are naturally antibiotics and help to fight bacteria, viruses and intestinal parasites.  They lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol and prevent blood clotting.

Citrus Fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes help to release carcinogens from the body, prevent lung disease, reduce cholesterol and boost immunity.  Because of their alkaline content they protect against stomach and pancreatic cancers.

NATURAL ANTIDEPRESSANTS

*This has been repeated from DEPRESSION PART III

Vitamin B12 and folic acid have been effective in raising mood.

Patients on antidepressants supplemented with B complex vitamins have been known to improve more than those on antidepressants who did not supplement with them. Vitamin B6 is needed by the body to produce serotonin.

SAM-e – S-adenosyl-L-methionine, is an amino acid that is thought to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine. It’s a super antidepressant.

5-HTP, L-Tryptophan and Melatonin – 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) and L-Tryptophan are amino acids that are used by the body to make serotonin. They are helpful in the synthesis of melatonin, a hormone involved in healthy sleep. These supplements are super when having to wean off prescription antidepressants. As the dosage of the antidepressant is gradually reduced, one can slowly substitute 5-HTP or L-Tryptophan to help reduce the withdrawal reactions that are apparent with most antidepressants.

L-Tyrosine L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that the body uses to manufacture dopamine. It also uses L-Tyrosine to make thyroid hormone. It can be a very effective antidepressant for almost everyone. One of the ways to boost L-Tyrosine levels is to supplement with vitamin C, which helps the body manufacture it in greater amounts.

Omega-3 fatty acids – Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil, flax seed, evening primrose, borage, blackcurrant seed oil) help to reduce inflammation and the absorption of nutrients.  It’s also known as a great brain food.  All brains would benefit from optimal levels of DHA and EPA. Depression is one of many common conditions that could benefit from omega-3 fatty acids. They influence something called the cytokine system in the brain. These cytokines are known as interleukin-1 -2 and -6, interferon-gamma, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. They can directly and indirectly influence the severity of depression.

Rhodiola rosea – This is an excellent herbal remedy for both anxiety and depression – Athletes have used this remedy for better stamina and higher energy. Check with your health care provider or health store as to how much you should take and if it can be increased gradually.

Valerian helps to calm the nerves and anxieties – it is especially recommended for nervous problems caused from emotional stress or pain.

AROMATHERAPY (Aromatic Anti-Depressants)

Grapefruit – sweet citrus fragrance, very uplifting and antidepressant

Rose – antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral, bactericidal, sedative, stomachic, tonic, uterine

Melissa – anti-depressant, antihistaminic, bactericidal, nervine, works well with stress related disorders

Grapefruit, Rose and Melissa are quite powerful antidepressants. You can use them on their own or in a blend. You can add them to your bath – just sprinkle 4 to 8 drops of one or all essential oils on the water’s surface after the bath has been drawn.  These essences can also be used in a vaporizer or burner, rubbed or cotton or small cloth.

Bergamot delightfully citrus with a hint of spice
Geranium – Sweet and rosy with a hint of mint
Lavender – sweet floral that’s uplifting, calming and refreshing

You can use the above oils in a burner, bath or as a massage blend.
I also think that drinking Chamomile tea may also be helpful.

GREAT LINKS

Depression affects cells causing chronic illness – cytokines http://news.softpedia.com/news/Depression-Affects-Cells-Causes-Chronic-Illness-193485.shtml

Chronic illness can cause depression – emotional pain as a weakness

http://theadventuresofarthritisnfibromyalgia.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/when-chronic-illness-causes-depression/

Chronic Illness Can Lead to Anxiety and Depression http://rawarrior.com/anxiety-and-depression-with-chronic-illness/

This is a really great site that discussing inflammation, phytochemicals, antioxidants and other energizing foods. http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/reversing-chronic-inflammation/

Great site on how to feed the brain and be more alert  http://www.discovergoodnutrition.com/2013/10/mental-energy/

Gastrointestinal Disease can cause depression

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/10/06/can-inflammation-in-this-organ-be-at-the-root-of-your-depression.aspx

How to Avoid Depression Due to Chronic Illness http://www.homecareinphoenix.com/how-to-avoid-depression-due-to-chronic-illness/

http://www.thyroid-info.com/articles/shamesadrenal.htm There is a major connection between low thyroid function and low adrenal. Low adrenal can actually cause someone’s thyroid problems to be much worse than it would be otherwise.

http://www.marilynglenville.com/womens-health-issues/general-health/ nutrition and lifestyle can increase your health

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PART III HEALING DEPRESSION/ALLERGIES NATURALLY

Since we haven’t discussed allergies on this blog, I thought we’d devote part of this article on the symptoms and metaphysical causes of allergies first—then discover how allergens cause depression and—what we can do to heal them.

METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF ALLERGIES

Allergists have said, that once we become sensitized to an allergen it’s quite possible we could start reacting to other things that normally wouldn’t bother us. As I thought about this, allergic sensitivities do seem to create a similar reaction when we are under any kind of emotional stress—one stressor can lower our resistance to others—causing us to become irritated, pre-occupied, over-controlling or withdrawn. So perhaps once the body reaches a certain allergen stress point, it too becomes unpredictable and starts over-reacting to substances we breathe in and/or eat in our environment.

The body never becomes ill without a reason.  We all have our weak spots or vulnerable areas,  and when we are stressed by life or relationships, the body reacts, creating certain types of symptoms.  Allergies are a symptom; whatever you are allergic to, milk, perfume, dust, dander, pollen, peanuts etc., these are considered triggers but not the underlying cause of an allergy.  Something has locked horns with your immune system causing it to become hyper and confused.  In a frantic attempt to protect the body, it starts sending out antibodies against every possible irritant it can find.  The problem is, this continual attack on unknown offenders causes the immune system to spread itself so thin that it weakens from all the fighting and collapses from exhaustion.  Metaphysical causes of allergies have been noted as: withheld feelings, low self-esteem, self-rejection, grief, lack of trust, lack of support, lack of self-love, resentment, anger/rage, powerlessness.

 “Stress often begins with how you think. And how you think determines how you feel—both emotionally and sometimes physically as well.  When your thoughts create strong emotions—whether positive or negative—your brain releases hormones that spread the emotional news to every system of the body.  Called neuropeptides, these hormones are informational molecules that telegraph messages to any cell in the body that has receptors for them.  Neuroscientist Dr. Candace Pert has been in the forefront of demonstrating that emotions are a powerful link between mind and body through these informational molecules.  Neuropeptides make their way into the bloodstream, where they are distributed throughout the body, binding to surface receptors on a multitude of diverse cells.  In the twinkling of an eye, then, an emotion that begins in the brain can trigger subtle and complex cellular responses through the body.  In turn, neuropeptides manufactured by the immune system, or by different organs, can also affect the brain and emotional state.” Minding the Body, Mending the Mind ~ Joan Borysenko

Neuropeptides are as Candace Pert has pointed out, ‘mediators of the mind-body connection’.  And the mind-body connection is mediated by our emotions.  Healthy emotions says Joan Borysenko have to do with open-heartedness.  We are supposed to express what we’re feeling to another, but many of us hold back due to fears of being controlled, hurt, criticized, or ridiculed.  Holding back our thoughts and feelings creates a great deal of physical and psychological stress on the body, on a deeper level, a spiritual crisis.

Inna Segel tells us…..

 “Allergies—Feeling annoyed and aggravated by other people. Giving away your power. Blaming people and events for your negative reactions. Obsession with people who have hurt you. Difficulty forgiving and seeing the blessing in this hurt. Allowing yourself to be controlled or manipulated by others, then punishing them by withholding love and kindness. Not knowing how to create boundaries with others.” Inna Segel ~ The Secret Language of Your Body: The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness

AND Deb Shapiro….

 “The Physical reaction is one of defence and resistance, so the psycho/emotional cause of allergies will be connected to an inner need to withdraw, to put up resistances, not to enter fully into a situation.  As most allergens are a part of daily life, it suggests a fear of participation, intimacy responsibility or accountability.  It is as if the external world has become an enemy, something to be resisted.  Exploring what you are really afraid of, or what you are trying to avoid, will help you realize that the allergy is a symptom of something more ingrained. DEB SHAPIRO ~ Your Body Speaks Your Mind

Louise Hay….

 “Who are you allergic to?  Denying your own power.

The World is safe and friendly. I am safe. I am at peace with life.”

I think another good question regarding allergies would be “who or what are we reacting so strongly against” or “over-reacting towards”. Is there someone in your life that provokes strong reactions in you?  Someone you find difficult or irritating?  If no one comes to mind, then think about all the people in your family.  This usually gets people laughing lol.  But whoever or whatever the circumstance, someone/something is eating and draining your energy—they tire and wire you—they key you up!

The Greek word allergy means “abnormal response.”  Allergies occur when a substance normally harmless produces an abnormal response in the body.

Do you know what triggered your allergy begin?  Let’s imagine that as a child you had a horrible fight with your mother while you were eating a hamburger.  You may have cried for hours, feeling hurt, betrayed or rejected—during that time you ‘consumed the experience’ and developed a severe stomachache.  Now, years later, every time you eat a hamburger or meat, you feel a tremendous pressure erupting in your gut—you either develop hives, swell up or get very sick.  More than likely, the reason for this is an old (protective) reactive response.  What’s happened is your body has shut down so you won’t cause your mother to be upset. But wait, your mother isn’t around you as much anymore and most likely no one is going to be angry with you around a hamburger, so you can let go of this protective response.

 “Once you feel hurt, many of you become protective and closed, wanting to be certain you are not going to be hurt again.  From now on, whenever people are doing something that upsets or hurts you, see it as an opportunity to learn to love them rather than protect yourself.  Send love to your feelings of hurt.  Realize that others’ behaviors that hurt you are coming from their fear of being hurt themselves, not from their intent to harm you. Sanaya Roman ~ Spiritual Growth

You may not know all the triggers that cause an allergic response but your body does.  Ask yourself, ‘why are my allergies reacting this way’ and ‘what pattern(s) within me are they triggering’?  If you can take a few minutes to stop and feel where you’ve emotionally shutdown, you usually will feel a pain, a numbness or discomfort in some specific part of your body.  Describe how it feels to your self…look at the color, heat, shape and texture…

A great meditation from this blog (Body Wisdom)

 ENERGY ANATOMY

stress chart 001

Usually when we become sick, there is a short circuit or burn-out that begins in our astral field or aura, which then spreads rapidly into the mental, emotional and physical bodies. Most healers and spiritual people will tell you that your astral field surrounding your body contains several levels of higher and lower states of energy.  The aura too contains a number of levels of energies or chakras that at each level gently merges with the one above it.  The most common number of chakras are seven, the first being the root and located at or near the base of the spine and points downwards to the earth. Each chakra is related to a gland or several glands and should be seen as a subtle addition to the body’s endocrine system.   When healing is done via the chakras, the endocrine glands receive this healing energy as well.

More information on auras here  and astral here

All life begins as part of a family unit (1st Chakra) as children we don’t exist as a separate person, not yet, we are an extension of or part of a tribal unit.  In those early years, we identified ourselves as to how others saw us–how we attempted to get our childhood needs met—and how our mothers and/or fathers responded or ignored to those needs. This is the chakra that records and takes on your family’s attitudes towards religion, ethnic and racial groups as well your parents strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, superstitions and fears. It is here that we learn that the world is a safe or dangerous place, full of good things or riddled with poverty.

“The health of the first emotional center depends on your feeling safe in the world. If you don’t have the support of family and friends that you need to thrive, you will see this insecurity manifest in your blood, immune system, bones, joints, and skin.  The key to enjoying health in this center is balancing your own needs with those of the meaningful social groups in your life.  Family and friends, work, and an organization to which you are devoted all take up time and energy.  But they are also meant to give back, in the form of friendship, safety, and security; they should provide a sense of belonging.  These are all reasons human beings seek out other people and groups.  However, the needs of the group should never be allowed to overshadow your own needs—particularly your health.

When you are not getting what you need from relationships or activities on which you spend considerable time, your body and mind will start to tell you.  At first the signs may be as simple as fatigue, skin rashes, or joint pain.  Mild problems in the first emotional center can serve as an early-warning system, letting you know when you have gone off track. Ignoring your body’s warning could lead to a world of hurt: chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis (A, B, or C), mononucleosis, Lyme disease, allergies, rashes, psoriasis, joint pain, and autoimmune disorders like lupus all stem from an imbalance in the first emotional center…..Feeling hopeless and helpless will show up in your blood. Feeling completely alone and outcast from your family will bring illness to your immune system. And being unable to set boundaries with those around you will show up in skin ailments. Louise L. Hay and Mona Lisa Shulz ~ All is Well: Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition

One of the most basic understandings of the first chakra is hearing and heeding the inner needs of the body—such as the need to eat, drink, sleep, rest or eliminate, via the nervous system.  Our bodies also tell us when their tired, hunger, thirsty, tense, frightened or in pain.  This chakra rules the physical body which is your first responsibility—to take care of your bodily needs by listening to its inner guidance—and to do this you need to have a deep respect and love for yourself. If you’re always putting yourself down, calling yourself names or demanding more than you’re body can cope with, your body is going to start to break down.

THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

“Chronic patterns of self-hate, guilt, and self-criticism raise the body’s stress levels and weaken the immune system” Louise Hay

“If you have food allergies, the immune cells that line your gastrointestinal tract are hypersensitive. You may have low stomach acid, a pancreas that isn’t working optimally, and, possibly, a congested liver and gallbladder. You may also have an imbalance in your gut flora. The balance of gut bacteria can influence behavior and even cause depression.

According to scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, your gut bacteria communicate with your brain and have a profound impact on making you feel happy or sad. When you are stressed, your body releases lots of stress hormones. When stressed mice were fed a broth containing some Lactobacillus rhamnosus bacteria (a bacteria found in yogurt), they became significantly less anxious and had lower levels of stress hormones in their blood. The researchers determined that the bacteria were somehow communicating via the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is a very important neural two-way highway that connects your brain with all of the organs of your body. The bacteria are able to influence the GABA receptors in the brain that allow you to relax”.

http://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/05/26/reduce-allergies-and-find-happiness/

Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system to a substance (known as an allergen) which in most cases isn’t bothersome to most people. But when the immune system mistakenly believes it is being invaded, it produces Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to that allergen in an attempt to protect the body, These antibodies then cause certain cells to release chemicals into the bloodstream that are known as immune suppressants.

When it comes to fighting disease your immune system is your primary defense system—it is located throughout the body and can usually identify harmful substances and whip them in the butt.  The immune system consists of the thymus gland, spleen, tonsils, lymph nodes, adrenals, appendix, bone marrow, lymphoid tissue, white blood cells, mast cells, antibodies, complement proteins (complement proteins cause blood vessels to dilate, causing swelling, heat and pain,) and many chemical mediators (chemical mediators are messengers that act on blood vessels, inflammatory cells or other cells to create an inflammatory response).

Our immune system weakens when our white blood cells are reacting and fighting against a foreign substance in the body, that it believes is a threat.  These cells release irritating substances like histamines, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins in an attempt to attack the allergen.  This flood of chemicals causes an inflammation response, which creates many symptoms such as runny eyes and nose, wheezing and sneezing, itching, and twitching, and digestive distress.

Lymphocytes are major defenders of the body and billions of these tiny cells patrol the bloodstream looking for and destroying invading viruses, bacteria, parasites and other foreign substances. But sometimes the immune system gets a bit confused and for reasons unknown misreads harmless substances such as dust, pollen and food by-products and attacks them.

Different allergies create different symptoms, and in some rare cases, severe reactions called anaphylaxis. Peanuts are one of the most common allergens known to cause anaphylaxis. Signs of anaphylaxis include swelling of the tongue, lips, and throat, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, and in rare cases, loss of consciousness.

Food allergies may also be the cause of many illnesses, such as, arthritis, depression, gall bladder disease, headaches/migraines, Crohn’s disease, acne, fibromyalgia, eczema and more. Allergies aren’t the cause of every disease but they do play an integral role in the ‘development’ of disease.  If you or your doctor have no idea of the cause of your health problems or symptoms, you should consider looking at the possibility of allergies.

CANDIDA ALBICANS (CANDIDIASIS)

Your intestinal tract naturally contains small amounts of this yeast.  But in some cases because of anti-biotics, birth control pills or a high carbohydrate diet, this can cause an overgrowth of the candida yeast, causing candidiasis.  Candidiasis and allergies are so closely linked, they are sometimes paired together. This yeast or fungus overgrowth suppresses the immune system and has been linked to food allergies, migraines, vaginitis, irritable syndrome, indigestion, asthma and many more symptoms.

“As many as 90 percent or more of Americans and Canadians may be suffering the effects of these microscopic “critters,” considered also to be a type of parasite.  An overabundance of yeast in the body can produce minor or major side effects, such as: anxiety, allergies, asthma, acne, bloating, cystitis, chemical sensitivities, coughs, cramps, constipation, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), confusion, trouble concentrating, depression, diarrhea, emotional problems, eczema, fatigue, fuzzy thinking, food cravings and sensitivies, gas, gas-indigestion, intestinal pain, irrational fears, lethargy, low self-esteem, memory loss or poor memory, migraines, sore muscles, naurea, panic, puffiness, PMS, psoriasis, quick anger, rash, sexual problems, skin infections, stiffness, sleep disturbance, sinus pressure, sore throat, thrush, vaginal yeast infections, and/or weight gain.” COMPLETE CANDIDA YEAST GUIDEBOOK ~ Jeanne Marie Martin with Zoltan P. Rona, M.D.

Poor digestion and low acid levels in the stomach is one way Candidiasis is spread.  What happens is if there isn’t enough hydrochloric acid in the stomach to digest foods properly, they won’t get ‘sterilized’ or eliminated before entering the intestines.  Candidiasis has been known to cause ‘leaky gut’ syndrome.  What happens with ‘leaky gut’, is undigested food particles (partially digested proteins, fats and bacteria) pass through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream.  The body/immune system in an attempt to protect itself attacks these foreign substances and therefore launches an allergic response.  An allergic response causes inflammation, swelling, heat, redness or tenderness as the body attempts to heal itself from the allergen.  In other words these are normal ways the body works to take care of itself but in the process it can make you feel miserable.

If you suffer from leaky gut, probiotic bacteria (lactobacillus and bifidobacteria) can be significant in reducing the occurrence of Candidiasis and also stop it from reoccurring.  These bacteria help in the absorption of vitamins, detox carcinogens and support the immune system. Leaky gut can also reduce certain minerals from being absorbed into the body such as magnesium (enzyme response), zinc (hair loss), copper (high cholesterol, osteoarthritis) and calcium (osteoporosis). Taking a good multi-vitamin with Omega 3 or evening primose oil will help absorption of the vitamins/minerals in the body.

(We’re going to donate a whole article on Candidiasis once we’ve completed Part IV on depression).

HISTAMINES, CYTOKINES CAN CAUSE DEPRESSION

Histamine is a chemical that’s naturally found everywhere in the body and in all foods too. It’s plays an important part in stimulating the hypothalamus to release vital chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine and norephinephrine.  With too little histamine, dopamine levels are elevated — Dopamine’s a chemical that produces anxiety, stress, nervousness and aggression.  When levels of dopamine are elevated, a person may feel insecure, paranoid and/or fearful.

Histamine becomes a problem when its levels sink too low or rise too high.  It can have a bizarre affect on mood swings—an almost Jekyll and Hyde behavior.  It can create paranoia, obsessive-compulsive behavior (ocb), tension and depression.    We already know that high levels of histamine acts on the nose, throat, eyes, lungs, skin, and even the gastrointestinal tract, triggering the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

“The gastrointestinal tract is not only a digestive organ, but also an immune organ is a surprise to many people.  In fact more are unaware that the gastrointestinal tract is the largest immune organ in the body.  The gut provides immunological surveillance signals at the mucosa-lumen interface of the digestive tract. The cells of the immune system and the epithelial cells that line the intestinal wall communicate information regarding colonizing bacteria.  As we currently understand it, interactions of gut bacterial floral with epithelial and immune cells regulate immune development.  Furthermore, normal gut bacteria acquired in infancy are likely to be the most important determinants of allergies and diseases of chronic inflammation later in life.  As a result we need to assure that healthy gut flora is acquired early in life so that the immune system matures properly in order to avoid passing down a life-time of allergic and inflammatory diseases to our children.”  Bacteria for Breakfast: Probiotics for Good Health ~ By PhD, RPh Kelly Dowhower Karpa

Both serotonin and norepinephrine are important chemicals that affect our moods and mental well-being.  People with low serotonin levels can suffer from mood swing and anxiety as well as internal anger and depression.  These people may gravitate to some sort of an addiction such as alcohol, drugs, overeating, or become workaholics, perfectionists or procrastinators.

Children with ADD and ADHD also suffer from low serotonin levels causing them to become unfocused and lose memory and concentration.  They too may overeat or eat sugary, starchy foods causing an override in their systems, then their insulin kicks in and they suffer from an extreme drop in blood sugar, causing a vicious circle of eating more sugary foods again.

“Cytokines are small molecules found in miniscule concentrations in our blood stream, that affect the behavior of others cells, especially, cells of the gut and immune system.  It appears that the immune system—especially allergic and inflammatory components of the immune system—rely heavily on signals from cytokines.  Cytokines are divided into several different families which are sometimes referred to as interleukins, interferons or tumor necrosis factors.  There are [thirty-five] different types of cytokines and their names get very confusing…….

When bacteria are present as part of the gut’s normal flora, the very presence of the bacteria stimulates white blood cells and epithelial cells to secrete cytokines.  These cytokines, then, serve as signals to other components of the immune system.  Cytokines can send allergic signals, inflammatory signals, or anti-allergy/anti-inflammatory signals.  The type of signal that is transmitted depends upon the type of bacteria present; different species of bacteria stimulate release of different cytokines.  As you are probably beginning to see, the bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract play an important role in determining the actions of the entire immune system…..it is the balance of cytokines that controls initiation of allergies/inflammation, perpetuation of allergies/inflammation or the cessation of allergies/inflammation.” Bacteria for Breakfast: Probiotics for Good Health ~ By PhD, RPh Kelly Dowhower Karpa

SELF-DIAGNOSIS

“There are several ways to check for food allergies on one’s own. One is with the Coca test, based on Dr. Coca’s observation that a person’s pulse rate increases after eating a food to which he or she is allergic.  The test consists of taking your pulse before eating, and every 30 minutes thereafter, for up to two hours.  Normally the average person’s pulse is between 70 and 80 beats per minute.  After eating a food to which one is allgeric, however, the pulse can increase significantly, to a count that’s 20 or even 30, beats above the normal level.

After effective diagnostic measure that has been self-administered is the elimination test.  Here, suspected allergy-producing foods are eliminated from the diet for four days.  Every fifth day, one of the foods is added back in to see if an allergic reaction occurs.  So, if, for example, wheat is eliminated, on the fifth day a bowel of cracked wheat can be eaten. (Bread should not be used for this purpose because the person might be reacting to the yeast, sugar or addictives.)” Gary Null Ph.D.

http://www.myhealthmaven.com/diy/health-tests-at-home/coca-pulse-test/

Although the pulse can be felt at many spots on the body, the best place to read it is at the wrist an inch and a half above the base of the thumb.  When counting your pulse it’s best to have a clock or watch with a second hand close by.  To pick up the pulse wait until the second hand reaches 12 and then start counting until the second hand returns to 12 again.  Once you get proficient at it, you can count for 15 seconds and multiply it by 4.

“The pulse has been almost totally neglected as an indicator of ill health.  Yet this simplest of all the methods of examination is the key to some of the deepest mysteries of man’s existence–the key with which he may emancipate himself from ill health.” Arthur F. Coca, M.D. ~THE PULSE TEST

HEALING ALLERGIES NATURALLY

What each us need to avoid or add into our diet varies with our own health needs as well as our age, lifestyle and individual metabolism.  The strategy is for everyone to choose a mixed diet, but to concentrate on foods that are rich in nutrients.  Sometimes it’s impossible to get enough of certain ‘essential’ nutrients and many of us do benefit from using herbal remedies and supplements—but these need to be understood and balanced.  Before trying any supplement, check with your doctor or nutritional advisor.  Some supplements may interact with the medication or other supplements you are taking now. Most health stores are knowledgeable in the benefits and cautions of most herbs and supplements and the internet is rich in information.

These are just a few ideas to help get your allergies under control.  Please bear in mind that natural therapies and supplements work gradually and steadily and usually take longer to work than drugs obtained by your doctor.  It may take up to six or eight weeks before you notice any improvement. Stop taking any remedy that makes you feel ill or isn’t working.

PROBIOTICS – Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria help in digestion and vitamin absorption and a great detox for substances that are carcinogenic or cancer-causing. They also support the immune system. Continued use of probiotics with the addition of vitamin D have been found to reduce airway inflammation, increase peak airflow and decrease symptoms of allergy.

Many children have been found to be deficient in vitamin D which has been associated with poor lung function and poorer response to inhaled medications.

DHEA repairs and maintains tissue, controls allergic reactions and symptoms and balances the immune system.  This hormone is secreted by the adrenal glands then converted into several other hormones in the body.  DHEA is available in a capsule, liquid and spray form.  A low dose of 5 mg is usually recommended and then increased slowly.  For those living in Canada government restriction prevent the purchase of DHEA over the counter.

ANTIDEPRESSANTS

Vitamin B12 and folic acid have been effective in raising mood.

Patients on antidepressants supplemented with B complex vitamins have been known to improve more than those on antidepressants who did not supplement with them. Vitamin B6 is needed by the body to produce serotonin.

SAM-e – S-adenosyl-L-methionine, is an amino acid that is thought to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine. It’s a super antidepressant.

5-HTP, L-Tryptophan and Melatonin – 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) and L-Tryptophan are amino acids that are used by the body to make serotonin. They are helpful in the synthesis of melatonin, a hormone involved in healthy sleep. These supplements are super when having to wean off prescription antidepressants. As the dosage of the antidepressant is gradually reduced, one can slowly substitute 5-HTP or L-Tryptophan to help reduce the withdrawal reactions that are apparent with most antidepressants.

L-Tyrosine L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that the body uses to manufacture dopamine. It also uses L-Tyrosine to make thyroid hormone. It can be a very effective antidepressant for almost everyone. One of the ways to boost L-Tyrosine levels is to supplement with vitamin C, which helps the body manufacture it in greater amounts.

Omega-3 fatty acids – Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil, flax seed, evening primrose, borage, blackcurrant seed oil) help to reduce inflammation and the absorption of nutrients.  It’s also known as a great brain food.  All brains would benefit from optimal levels of DHA and EPA. Depression is one of many common conditions that could benefit from omega-3 fatty acids. They influence something called the cytokine system in the brain. These cytokines are known as interleukin-1 -2 and -6, interferon-gamma, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. They can directly and indirectly influence the severity of depression.

Rhodiola rosea – This is an excellent herbal remedy for both anxiety and depression – Athletes have used this remedy for better stamina and higher energy. Check with your health care provider or health store as to how much you should take and if it can be increased gradually.

Valerian helps to calm the nerves and anxieties – it is especially recommended for nervous problems caused from emotional stress or pain.

VITAMINS AND MINERALS

Vitamin A increase the immune response and builds resistance to infection.

B Vitamins increase antibody response – B6 maintains a healthy immune and nervous system – more than 50 enzymatic reactions depend on vitamin B6

Selenium is another potent antioxidant and is important in detoxifying the body of environmental toxins.

Vitamin C stimulates adrenaline function and is essential to the immune system.

Vitamin E in conjunction with selenium and vitamin C is a potent immune protector.  It increases resistance to infection and reduces damage caused by stress.

Zinc boosts the thymus gland and is crucial for normal growth, cell division and tissue repair – without it, the immune system couldn’t do its job.  There are over 300 enzyme systems in the body that require zinc to do their job.  Zinc deficiency can cause a reduction in T-cells, natural killer cells and thymic hormone.

Magnesium is immune enhancing and essential to metabolism.  It’s main function is to activate enzymes, especially those related to energy production. Magnesium deficiencies have shown an increase of cytokines (inflammation) in the body.

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant – it’s most plentiful in sun-ripened tomatoes, watermelon, guava, and pink grapefruit.

Garlic is a natural antibiotic helping to ward off all kinds of infections. It is known to lower cholesterol, kill bacteria, boost the immune system and lower blood sugar levels.

TEA TREE OIL is an antifungal, anti-yeast and antiviral agent.  It can be taken both topically and internally.  It has many antimicrobial activities and used in the treatment of many different skin conditions, especially those associated with fungi or Candida.

HERBS

Tumeric or Curcumin is a potent antiflammatory and affects the production of both prostaglandins and leukotrienes which help to reduce pain. It is most effective in the treatment of Fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.

Bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme found in the fruit and stem of the pineapple plant.  It helps to reduce swelling and works great in reducing arthritic pain.

Devil’s Claw reduces both pain and inflammation.

Eyebright – Stimulates the liver and cleans the blood. This herb can be used topically and internally – it reduces inflammation and is very helpful with people who have eye allergies such as conjunctivitis and blepharitis.

Stinging Nettle is great for itchy red eyes and works to reduce inflammation

Marigold helps to relieve nasal congestion, sneezing as well as itchy watery eyes.

Ginkgo biloka is great for hay fever sufferers, helps improve blood circulation and oxygen flow.  It can also help people with asthma.  Check with your doctor before taking this or any supplement.

Fresh thyme, nettles and fenugreek help clear the lungs of mucus

EXERCISE boosts metabolism and improves circulation bringing more oxygen and mood enhancing endorphins to the brain.  It has been proven that exercise can help alleviate depression, reduce cholesterol, glucose and other chemicals involved in your physical and mental health.

Optimized Diet – Good nutrition has become difficult in our day and age due to chemicals used in farming and to the food processing industry.  Also our food and environment is becoming increasingly polluted adding to our allergies and health problems.

While there is no single diet that’s for all those suffering from allergies and depression, avoiding sugar, alcohol and refined carbohydrates will help many.

GREAT LINKS

*WARNING: Anaphylactic shock can be a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.due to the collapse of the respiratory and circulatory system. If you are prone to highly allergic reactions, it is important to wear a medical bracelet and medical information in your wallet.  If you use an EpiPen, keep it close to your person and inform all those you are with, that should you go into an anaphylactic shock to use the EpiPen and make sure you receive immediate first aid treatment and sent to an emergency centre for observation.

A patient in anaphylactic shock should lie on their side to avoid choking (tongue can block airways) and if they need to vomit. If the person stops breathing, mouth to mouth resuscitation should be performed immediately.*

The Effects of Anaphylaxis on the Body http://www.healthline.com/health/anaphylaxis/effects-on-body

Chemical mediators http://people.upei.ca/hanna/Inflam7/Inflam-L7-2012.pdf Complement proteins http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/immunesystem/immunecells/Pages/complementSystem.aspx

Is raw food for you?

http://www.healyourlife.com/author-jenny-ross-and-doreen-virtue/2009/10/lifeshelp/get-healthy/is-raw-food-for-you

Great links on cytokines

Dr. Andrew Weil, Depression and Inflammation http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/depression-and-inflammation_b_1071714.html

Interview with Dr. Andrew Weil http://ttbook.org/book/transcript/transcript-andrew-weil-doctors-recipe-happiness

Healthy Food Pyramid http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02995/Dr-Weil-Anti-Inflammatory-Food-Pyramid.html

What is inflammation http://www.marksdailyapple.com/what-is-inflammation/#axzz28CD3qHK2

Great blog regarding allergies http://www.healyourlife.com/author-dr-darren-r-weissman/2009/11/wisdom/personal-growth/sticks-and-stones

Allergies, natural solutions http://www.naturopathic.org/content.asp?contentid=36

Natural Allergy Remedies http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/allergies-allergy

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