Natural Alternatives to Taking Antidepressants

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Natural Alternatives to Taking Antidepressants

Everyone has their off days, but what if your off days turn into off weeks or off months? You no longer feel like yourself and are just down in the dumps on a consistent basis? Sometimes not even for any apparent reason. It’s frustrating and in some cases, debilitating.

If you listen to the television your only answer lies in expensive designer pharmaceuticals. Medications such as Xanax, Effexor, Serzone, Wellbutrin, Prozac, Zoloft or Celexa all have a host of possible side effects a mile long which include but are not limited to dizziness, headache, nausea, loss of sex drive, and possible insomnia, coma or suicidal thoughts.

If the base purpose is to make you feel better, how exactly does the possibility of ruining your sex life and causing you to contemplate suicide play into that equation?

Here at the office of Dr. Jason Kaster, D.C. we firmly believe that nature gave us all we need to heal ourselves. That is why we suggest trying the natural approach first, and working with your body rather than against it. There are several supplements, vitamins, and herbs that work organically to help improve mood and promote an overall feeling of wellness without all of the harsh side effects and latent toxicity.

Sam-E is among the best of the mood-boosting supplements available. Not an herb or a hormone, it is a molecule that all living cells produce constantly. It affects everything from fetal development to daily brain function. It assists in the transfer of dopamine and serotonin in the brain from receptor to receptor. Though no one has found Sam-E to be significantly more effective than a prescription antidepressant, it is clearly less toxic and wonderful benefit can be derived from taking it on a consistent basis. Since the 1970’s, researchers have published 40 clinical studies involving roughly 1,400 patients. And though the studies are small by FDA standards, the findings are remarkably consistent. In 1994 Dr. Giorgio Bressa, a psychiatrist at the University Cattolica Sacro Cuore in Rome, pooled results from a dozen controlled trials and found that “the efficacy of SAM-E in treating depressive syndrome comparable to that of standard antidepressants.” It is interesting to note that SAM-E has been available as a dietary supplement in the US since 1999, but it has been used as a prescription drug in Italy since 1979, in Spain since 1985, and in Germany since 1989.

Another one that gets high rankings is DHEA which is touted to enhance your immune system, as well as increase libido, increased sense of well-being, reduced stress levels, and give you energy making you feel happier, more focused and stronger. Many of the problems associated with aging, including weight gain, painful joints, and forgetfulness have been linked to a deficiency in DHEA, which is an essential hormone. No matter how healthy you are, your production of DHEA decreases dramatically as you age. By age 50, your levels may be only half of what they were at age 25 when you had peak levels of DHEA. In a recent study, men and women found they felt more youthful and had better ability to handle stress and improve quality of sleep by taking just 50mg of DHEA. It is a hormone that is naturally made by the human body. It can be made in the laboratory from chemicals found in wild yam and soy. However, the human body cannot make DHEA from these chemicals, so simply eating wild yam or soy will not increase DHEA levels. Don’t be misled by wild yam and soy products labeled as “natural DHEA.”

5-HTP Has recently also been gaining in popularity as it becomes more widely known. It is a natural plant extract, from the Griffonia simplicifolia plant, that boosts the serotonin levels in the brain. It assists with appetite control, relieves insomnia, calms anxiety, improves mood and can even help to reduce symptoms of fibromyalgia. 5-Hydroxytryptophan should not be used in conjunction with any classification of medical antidepressants.

St. John’s Wort – This pretty plant cascading with yellow flowers has been used since the times of ancient Greece and is known for its mood-brightening effects and ability to restore emotional balance. Scientists agree that this is an excellent choice for short-term treatment of mild to moderate depression well as anxiety and mood disorders. This herb, unlike many others, does come with cautions, which it is important to pay attention to – it can cause sensitivity to sunlight, headache, or gastrointestinal symptoms in rare cases. It also should not be used in combination with – birth control pills, antidepressants, if you have had an organ transplant, are on heart medication, use HIV medications, cancer drugs, seizure control drugs, Warfarin or any other anticoagulants.

Another lesser known is Lavender. Used for centuries in aromatherapy for its ability to promote stress relief and relaxation, lavender may also help to alleviate stress, depression, fatigue, restlessness, anxiety and even insomnia. It has a very soothing sedative effect when inhaled; you can also drink it as a tea using two tablespoons of the dried herb in boiling water and allowing it to steep for 10 minutes. Make sure to strain before drinking.

All of these supplements are more gentle on your body and cost significantly less than their chemical counterparts. We hope next time you are feeling blue this article will come to mind and offer some great alternatives.

Article references:

http://www.rxlist.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=109669

http://5htp.com/

http://www.5-htp.org.uk/5-htp.php

http://nccam.nih.gov/health/stjohnswort/ataglance.htm

http://www.biopsychiatry.com/sameart.html

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-786-SAMe.aspx?activeIngredientId=786&activeIngredientName=SAMe

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dhea/NS_patient-dhea

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/331.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/138076-mood-lifting-supplements/

Chiropractor & Nutritionist in Fort Myers, FL.

Fort Myers Chiropractor, Dr. Jason B. KasterChiropractic care is a safe, alternative treatment when applied appropriately. Chiropractic treatments help in dealing with the symptoms of many conditions. Are you going to wait for your symptoms to be felt, or are you going to prevent them before they start?

Dr. Jason B. Kaster, a chiropractor, and nutritionist in Fort Myers can help you and your family achieve their optimal health.

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