How are you feeling today?
How are you feeling today? What mood are you in? Are you feeling energetic, alive and focused? Or are you dragging yourself out of bed and pushing yourself through another day and wondering what is the point of it all?
Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. In Australia, it is estimated that 45 percent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. In any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression, and over 2 million have anxiety. (Source – Beyondblue.org.au). Interesting that there is a higher diagnosis of anxiety than depression.
It seems to be that depression and anxiety are more common these days than ever before in history but maybe it was always their but people just didn’t speak about it and now that is a lot more awareness and education around it.
From a Naturopathic perspective, we need to consider that if you are not eating properly or just as importantly, digesting your food properly, you will not be getting enough mineral, nutrients and vitamins.
This can cause many problems including affecting your mood. For example, even if you are severely iron deficient and unaware, you may be so exhausted but have to keep going to work and looking after the kids, this may lead to low mood and feeling that you are unable to cope. And an Iron supplement does not have to give you constipation. Naturopaths do not ever prescribe an iron supplement that causes constipation – what would be the point in that because you would not want to take it!
Many people are magnesium deficient due to their digestive systems and the lack of magnesium in our soils. Our lifestyles decrease our levels as well: excess alcohol, slat, coffee, sugar, phosphoric acid (soda), chronic stress, antibiotics, diuretics, some pharmaceutical medications as well incorrect self-prescribing of certain forms of calcium.
Remember, not all forms of Magnesium are the same and magnesium absorbs best in a powder, rather than a tablet.
B Vitamins, B12 and folate can all affect mood as well. And a Berocca won’t give you the amount you need. Slow released is best and if you have digestive issues you will need to access Activated B vitamins that are not reliant on your digestive system.
Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein and also help your brain to function properly. If you are not eating enough protein, you also may feel lower in energy, and could have drops in your blood sugar. Start the day with a high protein breakfast to give you that great start.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids also assist with brain functioning, specifically memory and mood. These essential minerals reduce inflammation. The body cannot make them so you need to increase oily fish and quite often take supplements as well.
Food allergies and intolerances can also play a role in mood. It is wise to look at testings available to remove incompatible foods and have your diet assessed to ensure it is suitable for your individual needs.
Recent research is also indicating that probiotics could be essential to assist with anxiety, depression and low mood. Probiotics are anti-inflammatory microbes that seem to affect the gut in a positive way, decreasing stress signalling in the body and possibly even increasing the transformation of the amino acid tryptophan to serotonin in the brain. More research is needed in this area but it is exciting for the possibilities of the future. Again, there are many different strains of probiotics so it is best to have a qualified Naturopath advise you on the right ones for your particular symptoms.
Hormonal changes and all ages of life can also affect mood. Quite often we see mums when their youngest is about 2 years old and they are feeling their mood is low and they are not coping well. Perimenopause, menopause, PMT can all affect mood as can low testosterone in men.
At Bargara Beach Holistic Health Centre, we can assess your needs with a Mood Questionnaire and help to improve your mood with a large range of Natural Medicines, not just the ones we have mentioned here. We see anxiety as very different to depression and treat these two areas individually. We will also talk to you about other Natural Therapies that may help such as meditation, affirmations, mindset, making healthy lifestyle changes.
If you are feeling suicidal or severely depressed or anxious we encourage you to contact your GP for a full medical assessment. If you are wanting some support with mild depression, low mood and anxiety we can help you with holistic support, working with your body, mind and soul.