by Dr. Larry Wilson —
Depression is one of the most common health conditions, and it is a potentially lethal one. Doctors often define it as having four of the following symptoms most of the day for at least two weeks: trouble sleeping, low energy or fatigue, significant weight or appetite changes, constant sadness or an empty feeling, irritability, hopelessness, feeling worthless or guilty for no apparent reason and a loss of interest in favorite activities.
Did you know that depression is often caused by a nutritional condition? Removing the biochemical source often makes depression symptoms lift within weeks or months — without any need for medications or other interventions. This article discusses some of the nutritional imbalances that can cause depression.
Warning: Anyone who has feelings of harming or killing others or themselves should immediately see a qualified medical professional for help. Do not attempt to solve these types of problems by yourself.
Causes of depression
1. Insufficient rest and sleep. Lack of adequate rest and sleep is a common cause of depression. Overcoming it often requires going to bed by 9 p.m. or earlier. Falling asleep before midnight is important for proper rest.
2. Adrenal burnout. This is not the same as fatigue. It is a deep derangement of the energy-producing mechanism of the body. Just getting a good night’s sleep or going on a vacation does not bring back your energy.
Millions with this condition drag themselves through life often using stimulants such as caffeine, energy drinks, sugar, worry or anger to function. Life for them is not much fun, which gives rise to depressive, negative thoughts and feelings.
3. Low thyroid activity. This is a common contributor to depression. Many people today have impaired thyroid activity, even when their blood tests register normal. This is, in part, because the environment is flooded with iodine antagonists — chlorine, fluorine and bromine. I find that most people need extra iodine in the form of kelp. They also need a complete program of vitamins, minerals and a digestive aid to restore thyroid activity. Thyroid replacement hormones, or even natural hormones, are not usually necessary and slow deeper healing.
4. Calcium shell. Hair mineral analyses of people who suffer from depression often reveal very high levels of calcium and magnesium. Too much soft tissue calcium, also called metastatic calcification, excessively reduces cell permeability and increases the voltage at which nerve cells fire, which has a depressive effect on the central nervous system.
This common type of depression causes a heaviness and numbness in the body, along with lowered awareness. With a proper nutrition program, symptoms will often disappear within months.
5. Copper toxicity. A common mineral imbalance associated with depression is elevated tissue copper. Reasons for it include zinc deficiency, vegetarian diets, birth control pills or steroid drugs and exhausted adrenal glands. This type of depression is often accompanied by excessive emotions, such as fear, sadness, anger and frustration. Women are more prone to this, and it often worsens in young women around the time of menstruation because this is when copper levels are highest.
Copper levels in the blood, urine and hair can all register as normal. So to identify copper toxicity, look for hidden copper indicators on a properly performed hair tissue mineral analysis. These indicators include a high calcium level, low potassium level, low sodium/potassium ratio, low zinc or elevated mercury.
6. Nickel toxicity. This can cause a severe type of depression, which is often accompanied by anger and suicidal thoughts. Excess nickel comes from wearing dental braces, other dental wires, drinking rooibos or red tea, or eating hydrogenated oils. Occasionally, it is due to wearing nickel-plated costume jewelry or from occupational exposure in metal-working industries.
Many years ago, a suicidal and depressed woman came in for nutritional counseling. Her hair test showed high nickel levels. She worked in a jet-engine factory polishing metal bearings, and the nickel rubbed off from the metal onto her hands. Within a few months on a properly designed nutritional balancing program, the nickel came out of her body and her suicidal thoughts disappeared, even though her life had not changed in other ways.
Be advised that elevated nickel levels may not appear on the first hair mineral test, as they can be hidden deep within the brain or other organs.
7. Cadmium and other toxic metals. These poisons (the most common being cadmium, lead, mercury and aluminum) reduce energy levels and often cause depression. Today, many children are born with high levels of these common metals, which may account for some depression in young children. These metals are also found in medical drugs, vaccines, junk food, some tap water and marijuana.
Once again, an initial hair mineral analysis may not reveal the presence of these toxic metals. However, it may take anywhere from a few months to a year or more of following an individualized nutrition program for the body to eliminate them. They will appear on repeat hair mineral tests as the elimination process begins.
8. Diet. Depression can be caused by diets containing toxic chemicals and deficiencies in vital minerals, vitamins, protein and other important nutrients.
9. Medical drugs and vaccines. Some medical drugs can cause depression. The list is long and includes birth control pills, patches and hormone-containing IUDs. Others are tranquilizers, pain medications, blood pressure pills, heart medications, anti-anxiety drugs and some antibiotics. Vaccines always add to the toxic load in the body, as well.
For example, birth control pills, patches or the newer, insertable Nuva-Ring can affect one’s entire personality and cause depression because they affect copper balance.
Always check the side effects of any medication you take, especially if signs of depression begin. Following a specific nutritional balancing program can lead to drug therapy discontinuation.
Some prescribed or over-the-counter medications and recreational drugs directly inhibit various neurotransmitters in the brain, causing depression and interfering with the absorption of other nutrients. They can also affect appetite, sex life, sleep and other areas that can indirectly lead to feelings of sadness, inadequacy or other problems.
10. Four-lows depression. This condition is a rare form of depression that is only visible on a mineral analysis. It has been referred to as “entering the tunnel of death” and is often found in people with nutritional exhaustion patterns and who exhibit cynical and critical attitudes toward themselves and others. It is very difficult to correct without a specific nutrition program.
11. The blood sugar rollercoaster. Many people have nutritional or dietary imbalances that cause their blood sugar to fluctuate widely during the day. When blood sugar is too low, depression can occur, as the brain is literally starving for fuel.
A later stage of this condition is diabetes, another cause of depression. Diabetes causes fatigue and other symptoms that can easily mimic depression. Other conditions that can severely reduce one’s energy level and lead to depression are chronic infections or a hidden cancer.
12. Yeast in the gut and the brain. Overgrowth of candida albicans and other yeasts produce alcohol, which has a depressive effect on the brain. Even if someone does not drink alcohol, chronic yeast infections can make them feel a bit numb, inebriated or brain fogged.
13. Brain allergies. These are reactions to specific toxins, such as MSG (monosodium glutamate), aspartame, colorings, flavorings, preservatives, salicylates (found in many fruits) and more. The effects of these chemicals are erratic and can certainly include depression. At one time, I had an allergy to cow’s milk that caused immediate feelings of depression.
14. Brain parasites. In a few cases, parasitic infestation can cause depression. The parasites can cause nutrient depletion or secrete poisons that cause depression feelings. Many people have some parasites today, but they can be eliminated with proper nutrition. Unfortunately, standard parasite tests often miss their presence.
15. Trauma. Trauma always reduces one’s vitality or adaptive energy level. The reduced biochemical energy can result in feelings of depression.
Other causes of depression exist, such as family or financial problems, or even situations in which a person cannot face life. However, the biochemical and nutritional causes listed above are often present and can make conditions worse.
How depression can develop
Problems at birth or in utero — Biochemical imbalances and deficiencies often develop while the baby grows inside its mother. They are called congenital imbalances, which means they are not genetic defects, but rather are biochemical problems passed from mother to child. These imbalances, such as low zinc or high copper, are transmitted through the placenta to the developing child.
Few people realize that any nutrient deficiency or excess can be passed through the placenta to the developing fetus. Many of these will be revealed on a hair tissue mineral analysis of a young baby. This fact may offer an explanation as to why depression is occurring in children more often today. So it is important for young women to take excellent care of themselves even before they become pregnant.
Beware that some of the so-called genetic problems revealed on genetic tests are really due to toxic metals and nutrient deficiencies. Genetic tests not only measure DNA, but they also measure RNA and protein synthesis, which are heavily influenced by both nutrition and toxicity.
Babies — In addition to the birth trauma, babies must survive toxic assaults, including vaccines, fluoridated water, medical drugs such as antibiotics, poor-quality breast milk if the mother is ill, and sometimes toxic chemicals or other stressors in the home.
Children and teens — Nutritional problems become worse as most children get older. Instead of eating cooked vegetables, animal protein and quality fats such as cream and olive oil, most children eat a lot of sugar, including fruit and fruit juices, toxic food additives and other substances that provide no nutrition. They mainly fill the body with poisons, and depression can be one result.
Improper diets and exposure to toxins can continue into adulthood, which might help explain the explosion of suicides among teenagers and depression among adults, as well.
I hope that more doctors and counselors will begin to realize the correlation between depression, and proper nutrition and biochemistry. Correcting body chemistry, which is very different from just taking a remedy such as an herb or vitamin, also often helps counseling and other methods work better.
Never discontinue medication without the care of a doctor. Many patients report side effects when abruptly stopping these drugs. Adverse effects of taking these types of drugs or stopping them may include headache, nausea, depression, anxiety and irritability.
A very important study reviewed in totality the past studies done on four popular antidepressants, all of which were in the newer class of drugs called SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). The researchers concluded that they are no better at curing depression than a placebo, except in some very severe cases.
Here are a few questions that anyone taking these drugs should ask:
- Why risk the side effects of these drugs, including suicide in teens, homicide in adults and many other less severe ones?
- Why risk the toxic effects of any drug if it is little or no better than a sugar pill?
- Why spend the money?
Please pay attention to this study, which you are unlikely to hear about on the evening news. (Reference: PloS Med. 2008;5(2):e45). For more information about nutrition helping depression, go to drlwilson.com.
Dr. Lawrence Wilson has a medical degree and has been in the health field for more than 25 years. His books include Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis, Legal Guidelines for Unlicensed Practitioners, Healing Ourselves and Manual of Sauna Therapy and The Real Self. He also co-authored Toxic Metals in Human Health and Disease and contributed to The Dangers of Socialized Medicine. drlwilson.com or 928-445-7690.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 33, Number 4, August/September 2014.