Mood Disorders & Depression
Many people have had their lives dramatically change over the last few months with more continued disruption likely to be the case as we close in on the end of this eventful year.
As we head into the fall and winter season, seasonality generally plays a big part in the mental health of millions of people. Unfortunately, this year more than ever we have other contributing factors that are likely to have an increased impact on the mental health and wellbeing of the global population.
COVID-19 is a health worry for us all as we look to boost our immune systems and other ways to avoid catching the deadly virus, with a likely second wave expected for this fall season.
All these elements are impacting on the mood and anxiety of people with more and more people struggling with anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Mood Disorders & Anxiety
A mood disorder includes a variety of conditions such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, and difficulty with concentration. With the ongoing global pandemic plus other life challenges, mood disorders are more and more common than ever and becoming a major health concern facing Canadians.
Causes of Mood Disorders
The most common causes of mood disorders are imbalances in neurotransmitters, deficiencies of iron, vitamin B, or other nutrients. Other causes can include thyroid conditions, food allergies, or hormonal imbalances. Naturopathic medicine can help to get to the root of the cause and get this treated at a deeper level and not just the symptoms.
Mood Disorders & Stress
Increased oxidative stress is associated with inflammation with patients with depression showing generally higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin.
Antidepressants are known for their impacts on neurotransmitter availability, but they also impact depression by having anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Treating patients suffering from anxiety, depression, and insomnia is often a long process that is no quick fix.
One approach is to use genetic assessment as a direct treatment, with nutrient supplementation by using forms such as methylated folate and methylcobalamin that can balance and ease symptoms.
Despite these nutrients helping to facilitate enzymatic function and metabolism, it’s always worth considering the physiology aspects that may be dysfunctional and how supplemental therapies might address them best.
Treatment of Mood Disorders
There are various ways to treat mood disorders, but the most common treatments are medication with therapy or counseling. Naturopathic medicine offers alternative treatments that are focused on addressing hormonal imbalances, neurotransmitter imbalances, nutrient deficiencies among many other health issues affecting your mood.
With naturopathic medicine, there is a focus on looking into your diet and lifestyle as they play such a pivotal part of treatment. Regular exercise is highly effective in the treatment of mood disorders and a long list of other health conditions. Diets play a huge role as they will determine how deficient a patient is in key nutrients that are critical to producing neurotransmitters in terms of impacting on their mood disorder.
Some treatments you can try at home include:
In helping to treat insomnia we suggest avoiding using cellphones, laptops and tablets etc, or other bright lights 1 hour before bed. Try to avoid alcohol, coffee, and foods with high levels of sugar 2 hours before bedtime to help with your sleep hygiene. In addition to this, try to make your bedroom a peaceful environment before you head off to sleep, try to keep the room quiet, cool and dark as this will help to improve your quality of sleep.
Other suggestions to treat insomnia would include white noise machines, earplugs, and eye masks that can all help to improve your sleep quality in an optimal sleep environment.
Depression & Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are the two most commonly diagnosed medical conditions affecting Canadians today.
Symptoms of depression include the loss of interest or pleasure in work or activities, difficulty sleeping, feeling hopeless or bad about yourself. It is worth noting that these symptoms can be caused by other conditions other than depression and it is important to consult a doctor to find the right diagnosis and treatment.
Symptoms of anxiety generally include feeling tense, angry, annoyed, and panicky with the constant worry that something bad is going to happen. When someone is suffering from anxiety, they have an increased level of worry and restlessness.
Another common mood disorder is fatigue and the most common causes include food intolerances, thyroid, adrenal, or other hormonal imbalances. If you notice that your fatigue improves after a vacation or long break, you may have stress-induced fatigue. Treatments for this would include getting enough quality sleep each night with supplementation of nutrients that support your adrenal glands.
It is worth noting that there can be many causes of fatigue and so it is important to consult a doctor if you have or are experiencing fatigue for over a month.
Dr Ali Nurani can conduct an initial medical assessment for fatigue and test for these conditions. Dr Nurani will give a thorough evaluation of the potential lifestyle factors contributing such as stress, lack of sleep, or poor diet.
Why Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine offers a holistic approach when it comes to the treatment of mood disorders, anxiety, and depression. The naturopathy approach is particularly useful in scenarios that involve mental stress or psychological management.
Naturopathic treatments are focused on helping the body to heal itself naturally and treating the condition at a deeper level. Through this approach, there is an emphasis on health optimization and improvement.
By consulting a naturopathic doctor, they will be able to undertake a detailed assessment to fully understand what is causing your mood disorder, anxiety, or depression.
Dr Nurani will be able to provide a detailed treatment plan tailored to your needs to help you treat the condition with your health improvement the top priority.
Contact Dr Nurani today and he will be able to help you in the treatment of mood disorders, anxiety, or depression.
For more information about Dr Nurani and naturopathic medicine check the link here.
By Mark Ollerton - Freelance Writer