Depression (Nutritional Support)
Prescribing an antidepressant is the standard conventional procedure, whereas Integrative Medicine looks to restore the balance of brain chemicals. There are five main neurotransmitters or 'molecules of behaviour':
- Dopamine is the motivator, giving us purpose, energy, enthusiasm, power, movement, pain, pleasure and implementation of thought. An excess of dopamine brings about impulsivity, violence and overdrive, while a deficiency causes fatigue, addictive behaviour, depressive symptoms, attention deficit disorder (ADD), hyperactivity and obesity.
- Norepinephrine affects attention and vigilance (the ‘fight or flight’ response), as well as the sympathetic nervous system and blood pressure. An excess causes anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder, while a deficiency will lead to energy loss, dizzy spells and the loss of the ability to sweat.
- Acetylcholine affects memory, learning, information processing and language. An excess leads to feelings of isolation and paranoia, loss of concentration and burnout. A deficiency causes memory loss, agitation, loss of creativity and learning disorders.
- GABA is a neurotransmitter and functions as a mood regulator. An excess brings about loss of control, while a deficiency causes tremors, anxiety, insomnia, irregular heartbeat and restlessness.
- Serotonin is the feel-good chemical responsible for feelings such as excitement, joy, enthusiasm and the exhilarating rush brought on by a challenge. Too much of it, however, produces anxiety and feelings of inferiority, while a deficiency produces poor sleep, exhaustion, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), sugar and carbohydrate cravings, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
PLEASE NOTE: Products are ranked in decreasing order of potency. Products listed nearer the top of any particular health need are the most effective and have the most scientific research to support their use in respect of such health need. Multiple products, one from each bullet (•) can be combined with products from other bullets for added effectiveness, if needed, since products from different bulleted lines have different mechanisms of action. However, where more than one product is listed within a particular bullet (•), then only one of these products should be used, since all products listed within the same bullet share an identical or similar pharmacology (mechanism of action) for that condition. This is because whenever a particular condition is treated via multiple different mechanisms of action, the result is generally improved effectiveness. However, when products are combined that work via exactly the same mechanism of action, then no extra benefit is obtained.