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Despite the fact that I was trained in the traditional ways of medicine, I prefer to utilize natural supplements and foods to treat conditions, only turning to prescription medications as a last resort for my patients. I have a particular aversion to prescribing antidepressant medications, and honestly believe that such meds only serve as a bandage for the root cause, which almost invariably is a combination of hormonal imbalance and malnutrition.
If you are experiencing new symptoms of depression, the first thing you should do is visit your primary care provider and have bloodwork drawn. Issues such as thyroid dysfunction, low progesterone, and low testosterone can often pop up in an individual who is experiencing depression. Make sure to also ask your provider to check vitamin D3 levels, since that substance actually acts like a hormone in the body. Other blood values which can be tested include DHEA, IGF-1, and estradiol.
When a patient comes to me complaining of symptoms of depression, I always recommend the following three supplements as part of the patient’s daily regimen:
Folate 800 mcg
Once my patients are on this daily regimen for a few weeks, I have them visit for a follow-up to see if their symptoms have improved. If the improvement is marginal, I add SAMe and 5-HTP to the regimen, both of which are great for treating pain issues. If anything is off balance with respect to a patient’s hormones (and in most cases, something is), I will treat the imbalance directly with organ support compounds and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
In addition to natural supplements, I also recommend that patients consume whole foods, and avoid processed foods at all costs. If possible, I also urge them to engage in regular exercise, as such activity can have an immense positive impact on mood. I encourage people to find balance in their daily lives, and will often demonstrate breathing exercises or discuss meditation with them while they are in the office. I also remind them to stop and enjoy what they have in their lives, to be grateful for what they have instead of dwelling on what they lack.
Rather than turn to SSRI’s, please consider the natural approach first if you are dealing with depression!