Part 3. Terminating depression, anxiety and other mood disorders. | Integrative functional medicine blog

Part 3. Terminating depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.

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It won't be back! Terminating depression and the need for anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and other mind and mood altering drugs has been our focus for the past few weeks. This is part 3 in series of blogs dealing with an alternative routes to dealing with depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.




ScreenShot20151004at4.13.45PM
It won't be back! Terminating depression and the need for anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and other mind and mood altering drugs has been our focus for the past few weeks. This is part 3 in series of blogs dealing with an alternative routes to dealing with depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.
If you have read my other 3 posts on depression, you now have some tools in your arsenal. Most recommendations I make in my office are in order from least invasive to more invasive. generally I don't resort to medications in my personal practice. It's just not my thing, although meds are needed, I leave that up to other doctors. If the need does arise, I recommend co treatment. I deal with optimizing the body and improving effectiveness, and the psychiatrist can deal with the meds.
comanage
Anyway, onto part 3. As I stated before, start with the first two recommendations, Part 1 & Part 2,(after testing) before moving on to this options. This category of invterventions are what we call adaptogenic herbs. These pretty much do exactly what it sounds like. They help the body resist and adapt to stress. Whether that stress is emotional, chemical, physical, or a combination of any number of stresses.

Adaptogenic herbs promote a normalizing action and help the body through optimal functioning of the adrenal glands.
adrenalgland
For those of you that don't know what the adrenal glands are, you should, and here is a quick lesson. The adrenal glands are are small glands that sit on top of each kidney and are responsible for secreting sex hormones and cortisol. The adrenal cortex (outside of the adrenal glands) are responsible for secreting cortisol - the stress hormone. The adrenal medulla (inside) is responsible for norepinephrine, epinephrin, and a small amount of dopamine. So is you are experiencing any degree of adrenal fatigue its easy to see how any one of those neurotransmitters can be influenced.
adaptogens
My favorite adaptogens I commonly use in my office are as follows. I have included a short description to each. Keep in mind, If you are just starting to experience slight depression or adrenal fatigue symptoms you are probably ok taking a few of these.
HOWEVER, If you have had symptoms for over 6-9 months, increasing symptoms, or worsening, please don't just take these willy nilly like. Some may make different stages of adrenal fatigue worse in the long run.
Here is my list in no particular order.
Rhodiola - strengthens the nervous system, fight depression, enhance immunity, elevate the capacity for exercise, enhance memory, aid weight reduction, increase sexual function and improve energy levels. It also has been used by some to help with altitude sickness.
Licorice - Mostly an anti anxiety herb. used effectively for centuries. A great one I use in my practice often.
Eleutherococcus - In the same family as panax ginseng. Commonly used for and recognized as having an effect on the body by being able to normalize high or low blood pressure (quite a feat), to stimulate the immune system, and to increase work capacity. Sounds all good to me.
Ginseng - Similiar and in the same family as the ginseng above. The often work in conjunction with each other. Panax ginseng has also successfully been used for depression, anxiety, and chronic fatigue, and boosting the immune system.
Ashwaganda and astragalus - This is one of my favorite combinations of herbs I use to help address mood disorders and adrenal fatigue and stress. Again, you should probably know where you are before you start taking something. These herbs are great adaptogens. They are can help protect the body from diseases such as cancer, diabetes and metabolic syndrome symptoms (pre-diabetes). They contain antioxidants, which protect against cell and DNA damage, thus cancer. Astragalus is used to protect and support the immune system, preventing colds and upper respiratory infections and lowering blood pressure. There is also some evidence that they have hepato-protective factors(they protect the liver) and they are antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.
So there you have it. Another weapon for your arsenal towards better mental health. My only problem it that in all my research and knowledge, I want to take almost everything that sounds good and beneficial. Of course I can't take them all, so I rely on my blood tests to point me where I need to go.
Until next time,
Dr. Craig Mortensen

P.S. -
Save on supplements and health products with Dr. Mortensen's Virtual online Dispensary. Save 20% off.

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