Too often we blame ourselves when we are depressed, not knowing that’s a natural physiological response to something you do every day. Depression is a sign from your body saying “Please change what you are doing! Once you understand the reasons for depression you can start to take charge of your mood.
What are some of the hidden causes for depression and anxiety? Let’s cover what I call the big four over the new posts.
- Inflammatory Reaction to Foods
- Thyroid Function
- Hormonal Fluctuations and Yeast
Today I am going to cover inflammation, and it’s huge. Inflammation is a key factor behind your depression.
How does this happen? Well, inflammation is your body’s first line of defense against infection and injury. When it senses that an invader is affecting you, it goes into high alert mode. When the danger is gone it will normally shut down. Inflammatory response can last up to 72 hours, but certain factors can stop this line of defense from turning off, and when the inflammation is ongoing this is called chronic low grade inflammation.
Chronic low grade inflammation can turn on your body, attacking healthy cells, blood vessels, and tissues instead of protecting them. It can cause weight gain, premature aging and even chronic disease like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
You can develop inflammation anywhere in the body, even in the brain. The idea of inflammation being a root cause of depression has existed for decades. A recent study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry reviewed 200 existing papers on depression and inflammation. The researchers determined that brain inflammation was 30 percent higher in clinically depressed patients. Further research shows that even small short bouts of inflammation can cause occasional depression.
One major source of inflammation is food. Foods, yes even healthy ones, can cause an inflammatory response and put your body in attack mode. We all have different responses to foods, and every time you eat a food that doesn’t work for your body, it triggers inflammation. This response triggers a whole cascade of reactions in your body from affecting your endocrine and hormonal systems to affecting your gut function. It just so happens that the majority of your feel good hormone, serotonin, is produced in your gut. Incredible but true, that virtuous egg white and spinach omelette might be great for me, but trigger inflammation for you and be the root cause of your blue mood (and expanding waist line)!
One of the organs deeply affected by inflammatory foods is your thyroid. Thyroid dysfunction and depression go hand in hand, so optimzing its function is one of our key goals at The Plan. The key to reducing inflammation and boosting your spirits is to find out what foods trigger this response. So how do you target inflammation? Seems like a big task but actually, it’s not! You just need to identify that foods that do, and don’t work for your chemistry. Remember the foods that don’t work for your body put it in attack mode Most people are just eating 3-4 foods that don’t work for their body. Identifying, and removing them using The Plan allows your body to go back into a non-inflammatory state, back into a good mood free of depression. Adopting a healthy lifestyle — making positive changes in diet sleep, exercise, and stress levels — will help turn off the inflammation response in your brain.
“I did the 30 days of The Plan. I still have my one can of soda a day. I have my wine and chocolate every night. However, I found out that I am HIGHLY reactive to almonds, nuts, oatmeal, and multi-grain breads. All of which were staples in my vegetarian lactose intolerant diet. I have stayed away from those things. Not one has entered my mouth.
Just from staying away from those things I am no longer on Prozac. which I had been on for 5 years for postpartum depression which never seemed to go away! I have been off Prozac for 4 months and my head just keeps getting clearer and clearer. My energy is more sustained. And I no longer have the anxiety and depression I lived with even while taking the medication. I was told I’d probably be on it the rest of my life.”
Your friend in health,