Tag Archives: depression

Melatonin: For Sleep, Thyroid, Hormones and More

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Melatonin is produced — primarily at night — by the pineal gland, a tiny gland located in the brain. The pineal acts as a controller of our body’s clock, including the day-to-day 24-hour clock that tells us when to sleep and when to wake. It also controls our lifetime biological clock that decides on bigger hormonal issues, such as when we enter puberty and when we enter menopause. Melatonin and Sleep Melatonin is known to be a help for sleep. Various studies have shown it to help people fall asleep more quickly, to stay asleep, have more refreshing sleep, and reduced daytime fatigue. The main side effect of melatonin is morning grogginess. If you experience this, you can drop down to a lower dose, and determine what dosage will help you sleep, without causing any morning side effects. Some research into melatonin have reported that it improves mood upon waking, […]

Could You Have An Autoimmune Disease?

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Your immune system’s job is to protect you against infections, toxins, and invaders — everything from bacteria, to viruses, to allergens. When the immune system encounters something that could be potentially harmful, it mounts a defense to help kill or overcome the “invader,” and protect the body. For a number of reasons — many which are not yet understood — the immune system can malfunction and get confused. It then starts identifying our own organs, tissues, and glands as invaders, and attacks them, causing inflammation, and in some cases, destruction. According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), 50 million Americans — 20 percent of the population, or one in five people — suffer from autoimmune diseases. These diseases predominantly strike women, who suffer about 75 percent of all autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases are more common during childbearing years, and frequently appear in women who have just had a […]

Anxiety, Panic, and Your Thyroid

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“Yep,” said the doctor, chuckling. “Looks like an overactive thyroid to me. Every one of you practically go airborne!” He had reviewed her chart and latest symptoms, and suspected correctly that she had an overactive thyroid. While his diagnostic method is not one Holtorf Medical Group doctors would use, we still consider this patient luckier than some, because many women who complain about anxiety, panic attacks, nervousness, palpitations, and insomnia end up with misdiagnoses, including: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) panic disorder bipolar disease sleep disorder Then, they are given a long list of medications — benzodiazepenes, antidepressants, beta blockers — everything from Valium, to Atenolol, to Xanax, to Ambien. Since lack of appetite, and/or rapid weight loss can also occur with an overactive thyroid, some women are even misdiagnosed as having anorexia or bulimia, and put on antidepressants, and/or sent to eating disorder clinics for treatment. And because these side-effect […]

Tips and Tricks in Dealing with Depression Triggers

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Some people can take the “good” along with the “bad” in life, but for others, any stressful life event — whether the loss of a loved one, a dramatic break-up, or a layoff — can all act as depression triggers and lead to a downward spiral. Tips On How To Effectively Manage Your Mood Working with a therapist is often an important part of successfully managing depression. Psychotherapy will focus on helping people adjust their lifestyle in ways that are possible, minimize their stress, and cope with stressors. Among the issues that you can address together are how to improve your self-esteem, switch from negative to positive thinking, and practice stress management. Writing in a journal is great therapy; you can relieve stress by being open about your thoughts, feelings, and concerns in your writing. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel after putting pen to paper for just […]

Lyme Disease and Psychiatric Disorders

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Untangling cause and effect can challenge even seasoned clinicians, and the potential for missed diagnoses is growing these days. Most mental-health counselors rely on primary-care doctors to spot medical issues, but those physicians are increasingly time-pressed and may not know their patients well. Neither do the psychiatrists who mainly write prescriptions and see patients only briefly. The Connection Between Lyme and Mental Illness Lyme disease has become the undiagnosed and untreated epidemic of the 21st century. While it is often attributed to tick bites, recent studies have also shown that it may also be transmitted by mosquitoes. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) which can mimic virtually any disease often leading to misdiagnosis such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, fibromyalgia and depression. Lyme disease is a serious condition affecting multiple areas of the body with symptoms appearing within 1-2 weeks after being bitten and often […]

The Link Between Hormones and Depression

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Before puberty, the rates of mood and anxiety disorders are similar in boys and girls. It’s only after females begin menstrual function that a gender differential in mood disorders manifests itself. This, coupled with the observation that women appear to be especially vulnerable to mood disturbances during times of hormonal flux, certainly confirms that a relationship exists between sex hormones and mood. How Do Hormones Affect Mood? Levels of hormones, such as those produced by the thyroid gland, can be factors in depression. In addition, some symptoms of depression are associated with thyroid conditions. The same is true about conditions related to the menstrual cycle, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), perimenopause, and menopause. The process of menstruation involves fluctuations in the levels of estrogen and other hormones. Some women experience depression-related symptoms such as sadness, irritability, and fatigue prior to menstruation. These symptoms are part of the premenstrual syndrome, or […]

Dealing with Depression During Menopause

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The more women experience unusual periods, sporadic cycles, and surprising symptoms, the more it appears that a genuine physiological phenomenon is at play. After having babies and heading into the early 40s, women notice that their bodies are changing and that they are going down the long, hot-flash-ridden path to the “change of life,” or menopause. The Menopause – Depression Connection The common mood swings during this time are related to the fluctuating levels of ovarian hormones during the transition to menopause. Plus, if a woman is not sleeping well due to night sweats, her mood would no doubt be affected, too. Women who had severe PMS in their younger years may have more severe mood swings during perimenopause. Also, women with a history of clinical depression seem to be particularly vulnerable to recurrent clinical depression during menopause. Perimenopause can begin as early as a woman’s mid-30s, and can last […]

The Importance of Quality Sleep

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Some health benefits researchers have discovered about a good night’s sleep are improved memory, longevity, reducing inflammation, spur creativity, enhance cognitive performance, improve attention, weight control and steering clear of depression and anxiety. Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the U.S., affecting nearly one out of every three adults at some point in life. More women suffer from insomnia than men, and as people get older, insomnia becomes more prevalent.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average American only gets about 6.9 hours. When you add depression to the mix, the problems with sleep are compounded. Normal sleep is a restorative state. However, when sleep is disrupted or inadequate, it can lead to increased tension, vigilance, and irritability. Physical or emotional trauma and metabolic or other medical problems can trigger sleep disturbances. Poor sleep can lead to fatigue. With fatigue, you exercise less and that leads to […]

Is Depression Caused By Thyroid Dysfunction?

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Clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for a longer period of time. When someone develops depression, the brain usually becomes the focus of attention. But other organs can be the source of the problem. A common example is when the thyroid gland produces too little hormone — a condition known as hypothyroidism. In patients with depression, anxiety and other psychiatric problems, doctors often find abnormal blood levels of thyroid hormone. Treating the problem, they have found, can lead to improvements in mood, memory and cognition. It is likely that some people are taking antidepressants when they should really be treating their thyroid. Nearly 10 million Americans suffer from hypothyroidism. The condition is much more common in women than in men, and becomes more prevalent with age. As many as one in five women will develop hypothyroidism by […]