Beat the blues — without medication

February 28, 2012

Anxiety, Depression, Diet, Health

by Dr. Denise Grobe — 

According to the National Centers for Health Statistics, the number of Americans using antidepressants has more than tripled over the past decade. Five percent of men and 11 percent of women are taking antidepressants, according to Scientific American.

During these troubled times, there are legitimate reasons to feel blue, but resorting to medication is not the answer to feeling better.

Eating a balanced diet and balancing blood sugars has a significant effect on mood and energy.

The following are ideas that can help you beat the blues.

Counseling — Do you have the ability to change your life? Counseling can empower you to stop negative thoughts and make the appropriate life changes to get you back to being you. A therapist can provide the tools to help you see how you judge yourself and how simply reframing the events that occur can be a step in the right direction. Group, singles or couples counseling are available.

Biofeedback — This is a mind-body therapy that teaches you to use your thoughts and willpower to control your body. Confirmed by scientific studies, biofeedback is based on the idea that people have the innate potential to use their minds to influence many of the automatic, involuntary functions of their bodies.

Exercise — Join a class or see a personal trainer to get started. Exercise causes the release of endorphins, a chemical produced by your body that affects your brain by promoting stress relief and eliciting a sense of euphoria. It helps you build muscle and lose weight.

Diet — Eating a balanced diet and balancing blood sugars has a significant effect on mood and energy. Eating foods with a high glycemic index (how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels) ignites a rapid release of insulin to store glucose. This causes blood sugars to then decline rapidly, producing a condition called hypoglycemia.

Once your body is hypoglycemic, stress hormones are produced which release glucose from the liver and raising blood sugar levels, again. This major swing in blood sugar levels can cause irritability, fatigue, anxiety and depression. Eating mainly low GI carbs that slowly trickle glucose into your bloodstream keeps your energy levels balanced and feeling full for longer periods between meals.

 

Dr. Denise Q. Grobe is a naturopathic physician who focuses on integrative women’s wellness at The Center for True Harmony Wellness & Medicine. www.trueharmonywellness.com or480-539-6646.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number  5, Oct/Nov 2009.

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