Depression, part 4: Addiction and Suicide

Tony's picture from PeggyWith the recent suicidal death of comedian Robin Williams still fresh in our minds and hearts, I thought I would spend the last part of this series on depression considering the physiology of addiction in general and the nutritional profile of an alcoholic, along with some helpful nutritional and herbal support protocols.

The question I would like to explore and hopefully shed some light on is,  “What comes first: depression or addiction? ”  My immediate suggestion is that addiction comes first.  Here’s why I think addiction comes before depression.

Quite simply put, alcohol depletes B Vitamin in the blood stream and over time literally cooks and petrifies the liver. The liver then can no longer process its chemistry, chief among which is the conversion of blood sugar to glycogen (inositol) for brain fuel. The brain’s energy depends on glycogen, and without B Vitamins, the pancreas cannot make insulin. Without insulin, blood sugar cannot be delivered to the brain and the cells of the body. A severe drop in energy occurs which triggers a craving for sugar. Alcohol turns to sugar in the blood stream.  The social drinker turns more and more to alcohol for sugar, not to mention inhibition and escape from reality.  As liver function is compromised, vital nutrients such as iron and glycogen, as well as hormones, fail to be released into the blood stream, and left-over hormones do not get deactivated.  Without nutrients and sugar, the brain cannot function. Its chemistry becomes desperately imbalanced.  Depression sets in.  

This is not to say that clinical depression doesn’t come before addiction, especially to prescription drugs and, of course, recreational drugs. Alcohol, of course, is a drug. So, a person who is depressed may turn to drugs and alcohol for a mental and emotional “high.” In this instance, depression does come first. 

As I considered in the previous post of July 22nd, depression is a spiritual event. It is the suppression of love, the imprisonment of the Self; a prison from which escape seems increasingly impossible. Suicide is often chosen as the only way out.

WHAT SUICIDE ISN’T

Suicide is not a cowardly act nor a show of weakness. On the contrary, it takes a huge amount of courage and compassion. Courage to do the irreversible and compassion for one’s family and close friends upon whom the person will no longer be a problem or a burden.  Suicide totally removes one from the stressful and overwhelming reality of one’s world. If you have time to read a well-written and thoughtful article which appeared on Facebook in the wake of Robin’s suicide, click on this link to open a separate window. “The Death Of Robin Williams, And What Suicide Isn’t” by Elizabeth Hawksworth.

A NUTRITIONAL PROGRAM TO SUPPORT THE BODY WITH ALCOHOLISM AND DEPRESSION

St. John’s Wort has been known to relieve depression, and here’s why. This herb has a way of detoxifying the pathways in the liver that process and release stored vital nutrients into the bloodstream. (See the commentary below). It’s a liver detox herb, so powerful that it even destroys drugs, prescription and so-called “recreational” drugs, rendering them impotent and ineffective. That’s a drawback for someone on heart and other crisis intervention medications.  You cannot take St. John’s Wort if you are taking prescription drugs for crisis intervention and prevention (such as heart attack, hypertension and stroke.)

A LIVER DETOX AND REPAIR PROTOCOL

You can detox your liver with a 21-day program. All you have to do is refrain completely from refined carbohydrates and take a few pills and capsules with your daily meals. There are two phases to this detox program.

Phase I:  neutralizes many chemicals directly and excretes them in the bile.   St. John’s Wort-IMT (3 capsules per day: 1 with each meal.)  will destroy drugs by doubling the liver P450 enzyme action that makes drugs ineffective.   NOT TO BE TAKEN WHEN ON CRITICAL PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS.

FOODS THAT FACILITATE LIVER DETOX

Phase II: Those not handled by Phase I must be further processed by: a) Sulfation: egg yolk, red  peppers, garlic, onions, broccoli, Brussels sprouts; b) Glutathione conjugation: asparagus, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts; c) Glucoronidation: sulphur containing foods as in Sulfation (above); d) Methylation: choline, betaine, Folic Acid, B12, raw beets.

THE 21-DAY PHASE I AND PHASE II LIVER DETOX PROGRAM

(NOTE: The following products are by Standard Process Labs and Medi-Herb and are available only through healthcare professionals. It is not recommended to take these products without the professional management of a qualified healthcare practitioner.)

Hepatrophin (3/day) – Helps repair and rebuild the liver.  Helps the liver release iron and other stored nutrients and hormones into the bloodstream. 

St. John’s Wort-IMT (3) – NOT TO BE USED WHEN ON CRITICAL MEDICATIONS (See commentary below)

LivCo (3) – A synergistic combination of Schisandra fruit, Rosemary leaf and Milk Thistle seed (Silymarin).

A-F Betafood (6) – Raw beet tops for liver and gallbladder detox. Thins thick bile for passage through the bile duct.

Garlic  (2 capsules/day) – Contains sulfur, allicin and methyl allytrisulfide. Purifies the blood. Kills yeast.

SP Green Food (6) – A cruciferous vegetable blend contains barley grass juice powder, buckwheat juice powder, Brussels sprouts powder, kale powder and alfalfa sprouts powder, all of which support the P450 enzyme system of liver detoxification.

Spanish Black Radish (6) – Supports gastrointestinal tract function, promoting the body’s detoxification mechanism by cleansing the colon through excretion of toxic materials.  It also contains sulfur, which has an antibiotic action. It acts as a diuretic and promotes systemic detoxification by activating the liver’s primary detoxification mechanism, the cytochrome P450 and the Phase II enzyme system.

Cholacol II (4 tabs. 15 minutes before meals) – Bentonite clay grabs and absorbs toxic metals and chemicals being excreted by the liver and dumped into the intestinal tract for elimination.  This prevents toxins from being taken up into the body during elimination through the gut.

The following commentary on St. John’s Wort-IMT is excerpted from the CLINICAL REFERENCE GUIDE put out to professionals by Standard Process and Medi-Herb.  It is such an important herbal/nutritional supplement that I want my readers to fully understand it. So I am re-publishing it here.

Commentary: ST. JOHN’S WORT- IMT includes INOSITOL and MIN- TRAN and is present in a base of calcium, magnesium, alfalfa, carrot oil, and kelp, which all function synergistically to support the nervous system. St. John’s Wort is used in cases of mild to moderate depression particularly when side effects from standard anti-depressant drugs become intolerable to the patient. Also, it is usable with symptoms of menopause, neuralgia, sciatica, and spinal injuries. In addition to offering the known therapeutic benefits of ST. JOHN’S WORT, this product specifically supports thyroid function. This is critical as even sub-clinical hypothyroidism can be associated with incidences of mild to severe depression and manic-depressive episodes. Clinical studies have shown ST. JOHN’S WORT to
produce similar and/or better results when compared to antidepressant drugs in the treatment of mild to moderate depression (Vorbach ED et aI., 1997; Pharmacopsych 30:S81-5). An additional benefit found was the absence of significant side effects. INOSITOL has therapeutic effects in mood disorders that are generally responsive to selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. Clinical studies suggest that conditions including depression, pain and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) show beneficial results with the use of INOSITOL, but without the adverse side effects of TCA’s (Benjamin 1., et al. Psychopharmacol Bull 31(1):167-75, 1995).

IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO THE ABOVE

At least do this for your liver over a period of six weeks to help it detoxify, repair and rebuild. 

(NOTE: The following products are by Standard Process Labs and Medi-Herb and are available only through healthcare professionals. It is not recommended to take these products without the professional management of a qualified healthcare practitioner.)

Livaplex –  Start with 2 per day and build up to 6. This is a liver detox formulation of synergistic whole food nutrients.

Catalyn –  6 tablets per day, 3 with breakfast and 3 with dinner. This is a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement, the best on the planet.

Albaplex –  6 capsules per day (3 morn and 3 eve).  This will help the kidneys and liver detox and support the immune system in dealing with infection.

Protefood –  3 capsules per day (1 with ea. meal).  This will take sugar cravings away by balancing blood sugar.

Cataplex B – 6 tablets per day (3 morn and 3 eve) to build up the blood. Alcohol depletes B Vitamin.

Silymarin – 3 tablets per day.  An herbal support for liver repair. 

Disclaimer: None of the above recommendations and products are intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease but are solely intended to support normal organ and tissue function in the human body. 

If I can be of any assistance to you with these programs, feel free to contact me by email. Until my next post . . . 

here’s to your health and healing. 

Anthony Palombo, D.C.

Email: dranthonypalombo@live.com

Visit my other blog at HealingTones.org for inspirational reading. As of today, 120 countries have visited my blogs.

 

 

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Depression: Its Causes and Cures, part 3: The Endocrine Connection

Tony pic

WE MOVE IN THE DIRECTION OF OUR RESPONSE

Oh, this is too good to not pass on. Just when I’m preparing to write this third post on depression, Spirtual Ecology posted this amazing study on Facebook. No wonder there’s so much depression on the planet.  We’re using up all our oxygen bitching and complaining. 

New Study Finds Most Of Earth’s Oxygen Used For Complaining

NEWS IN BRIEF  Science & Technology • Lifestyle  ISSUE 50•28  Jul 17, 2014

SEATTLE—Following a multiyear study of atmospheric gases and their role in organic processes on earth, a team of researchers at the University of Washington reported this week that the majority of the oxygen on the planet is used for complaining. “By carefully measuring the processes of gas exchange, the respiratory capacities of living organisms, and resulting metabolic activities, we discovered that most oxygen molecules in Earth’s troposphere are used for the purposes of sighing, whining, and most commonly, complaining,” said the study’s lead author, James Lauderio, who noted that an adult human converts an average of 19 cubic feet of oxygen per day into petty grievances about acquaintances, nitpicking objections about popular media or the weather, criticisms about tasks they are performing, and general fussing with family members. “And while humans are the species most responsible for transforming oxygen into complaints, it’s important to note that other animal life, including mammals, birds, and reptiles, also convert massive amounts of O2 into displeased growls and screeches about their habitats and food sources.” Lauderio added that the research team has not been able to determine a verifiable upper limit to the number of complaints that can be produced from a single inhalation, with many human subjects reportedly producing upwards of 40 or more complaints with each breath.

Chronic complaint can lead not only to oxygen depletion but to clinical depression. It has to do with your hormones. 

DEPRESSION:THE ENDOCRINE CONNECTION

Hormones are designed to convey spirits into and through the body temple. They are produced by spirit and not by the brain. Your endocrine system of seven ductless glands is the sole domain of the spirit– your spirit.  St. John describes them as “lamps of fire” in his Book of Revelation:

And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices; and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. (Rev. 4:5)

The “throne” in your body temple is your Pineal Gland, the seat of  the Spirit of Love. “Fire” is an apt way of depicting the expression of spirit through the human capacity of the heart. The heart is the capacity for expression spirit, which issues forth as a flame at times . . . even as “lightnings and thunderings.” These lightnings and thunderings can be terribly destructive or terribly creative. It’s our choice as to which they will be.

I made a tone-setting statement in the first post of this series on depression which I will bring forward here.  

Depression is fundamentally about the suppression of energy.  In a certain sense, it is a spiritual event. All energy is love. Love is all that IS. Energy expresses through form, and when that expression is thwarted, suppressed or shut down, pressure begins to build behind the dam of resistance to whatever is trying to find expression, which is love or joy.  The expression of love and joy allows for release of this energy. Elation is the result. On the other hand, suppression of love and joy prevents the release of this energy. Depression is then the result.

This is fundamentally and biochemically true.  It’s also bio-energetically true.  The life energy that courses through your body will flow in the direction of your response to environmental events; even if those events are feelings stewing inside your heart and mind.  Your response to those events is what determines the production of hormones in your endocrine glands. (See my first post of this series for how this works.) Those hormones, by design and purpose, will be encoded by the kind of spirit that is brewing in your heart to deliver your message to your world. That spirit will accurately manifest the thought forms and intentions that you project in your expression. The end result will be your creation . . . and your experience.  Look down in complaint and criticism and you will go down. Even your words fall to the ground. And you will become depressed. Your circumstance will deteriorate even further. 

By the same principle of response, look up in praise and thanksgiving and you will go up. Even your words will rise to inspire and uplift your circumstance rather than cast it down in complaint and dissatisfaction. And you will quickly come out of your depression into elation. That’s the way the principle of response works. We move in the direction of our response. It’s a great principle. We can use it to our advantage or disadvantage, especially when we are under pressure. Just like the proverbial bar of soap that will pop up or down depending on the direction in which you point it. Look down and go down. Look up and go up. In this principle lies the cause and cure of depression. All other approaches from without in are but therapies, which have their use. 

IMBALANCE IN BRAIN CHEMISTRY AN EXCUSE

I frequently hear what I will call the excuse that a person’s depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. This can be so and is the case in what is called “clinical depression.”  Brain chemistry imbalance is at the root of such conditions as manic depression and bipolar disorders and paranoid schizophrenia. Well, what system produces brain chemistry? The endocrine system of hormonal glands. Who controls the endocrine system? I do. You do. We control our hormonal output by the spirits and attitudes we harbor and express through our feelings, thoughts words and actions. We are not victims subject to our brain chemistry and hormones.  We are the masters of our brains and hormones.  In the case of depression and all other forms of dis-ease in our body-mind-spirit continuum, we are their perpetrators not their victims. We victimize our endocrine system and brains. By the same token, we are their saviors and redeemers. 

I am reminded of a story my mentor, Dr. Bill Bahan, used in his whole-health symposiums. This Italian fellow came to work with his lunch box every day.  When he opened his lunch box to eat his lunch, he would always complain: “Ugh! Cream-a- cheese sandwiches! I hate-a-cream-a-cheese sandwiches!” Every day, when he sat down with his buddies to eat lunch, he would open his lunch box and exclaim: “Ugh! Cream-a-cheese sandwiches? I hate-a-cream-a-cheese sandwiches!” Well, after several days of hearing the same complaint every day, one of his buddies said: “Every day you bring the same lunch to work and complain about your cream-a-cheese sandwiches. Why don’t you have your wife make you a different sandwich?”  To which this fellow replied: “My wife?!  I’m-a-not-a married. I make-a-them myself!”

Laughter’s the best medicine, especially when we can laugh at ourselves. I’m not suggesting in this series of posts that appropriate medications should not be taken in cases of clinical depression and bipolar disorders of the brain. What I am offering is an opportunity to look more deeply for the cause and cure of depression. While you’re medicating your brain, take time to meditate on cause. If complaint brings you down, then try a little thankfulness. Some say they can’t be thankful and optimistic “under the circumstances” they find themselves.  To that I would say: “Come up above your circumstances by expressing a spirit of joy and appreciation.  Will it work? you ask. You won’t know unless and until you try it. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, to use an old cliche.  

The Biblical guidance is: “In all things give thanks.” That would be a constant and continual source of blessing to your body, you brain and your heart. A greatly needed blessing to our world.

Here’s to your health and healing,

Dr. Anthony Palombo

Visit my HealingTones.org blog for inspiring articles on sacred energy.

WELCOME GUAM!  Someone in Guam visited my blogs yesterday (July 28, 2014).  Guam, a United States territory, is the largest of the Micronesian Islands, located just south of the Mariana Islands  in the Pacific Ocean with the Philippine Sea to its east.  This makes 118 countries that have visited my blogs.

 

 

 

Depression: Its Causes and Cures, part 2: The Gut-Brain Connection

Tony Pics for SA BookIn part 1 of this series on depression, we had a look at blood sugar imbalance as a cause of one kind of depression. In this post we could have a look at the gut-brain connection to find another possible cause, as all diseases seem to start in the gut.  I will kick this consideration off with a short video clip by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD, author or Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS), on the importance of a healthy gut flora. Here’s a link to a website on the gut-brain connection. http://www.depressionanxietydiet.com/gut-brain-connection-depression-anxiety/ Dr. Campbell-McBride makes a good case for why there is so much mental illness and depression in increasingly more and more people.  Diet and nutrition obviously play major roles in mental health issues.

There’s a great article in Scientific America, which I will excerpt here just enough to entice you to read the entire article.  I highly recommend this article to my blog followers and visitors. 

Think Twice: How the Gut’s “Second Brain” Influences Mood and Well-Being

The emerging and surprising view of how the enteric nervous system in our bellies goes far beyond just processing the food we eat.
olympic butterflies gut second brain
ISTOCKPHOTO/ERAXION 

As Olympians go for the gold in Vancouver, eventhe steeliest are likely to experience that familiar feeling of “butterflies” in the stomach. Underlying this sensation is an often-overlooked network of neurons lining our guts that is so extensive some scientists have nicknamed it our “second brain”. A deeper understanding of this mass of neural tissue, filled with important neurotransmitters, is revealing that it does much more than merely handle digestion or inflict the occasional nervous pang. The little brain in our innards, in connection with the big one in our skulls, partly determines our mental state and plays key roles in certain diseases throughout the body. . . .

 “The second brain doesn’t help with the great thought processes…religion, philosophy and poetry is left to the brain in the head,” says Michael Gershon, chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at New York–Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, an expert in the nascent field of neurogastroenterology and author of the 1998 book The Second Brain(HarperCollins). . . . 

The second brain informs our state of mind in other more obscure ways, as well. “A big part of our emotions are probably influenced by the nerves in our gut,” Mayer says. Butterflies in the stomach—signaling in the gut as part of our physiological stress response, Gershon says—is but one example. Although gastrointestinal (GI) turmoil can sour one’s moods, everyday emotional well-being may rely on messages from the brain below to the brain above. For example, electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve—a useful treatment for depression—may mimic these signals, Gershon says. Given the two brains’ commonalities, other depression treatments that target the mind can unintentionally impact the gut.

The enteric nervous system uses more than 30 neurotransmitters, just like the brain, and in fact 95 percent of the body’s serotonin is found in the bowels. Because antidepressant medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) increase serotonin levels, it’s little wonder that meds meant to cause chemical changes in the mind often provoke GI issues as a side effect. Irritable bowel syndrome—which afflicts more than two million Americans—also arises in part from too much serotonin in our entrails, and could perhaps be regarded as a “mental illness” of the second brain.

Scientists are learning that the serotonin made by the enteric nervous system might also play a role in more surprising diseases: In a new Nature Medicine study published online February 7, a drug that inhibited the release of serotonin from the gut counteracted the bone-deteriorating disease osteoporosis in postmenopausal rodents. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.) “It was totally unexpected that the gut would regulate bone mass to the extent that one could use this regulation to cure—at least in rodents—osteoporosis,” says Gerard Karsenty, lead author of the study and chair of the Department of Genetics and Development at Columbia University Medical Center.

Serotonin seeping from the second brain might even play some part in autism, the developmental disorder often first noticed in early childhood. Gershon has discovered that the same genes involved in synapse formation between neurons in the brain are involved in the alimentary synapse formation. “If these genes are affected in autism,” he says, “it could explain why so many kids with autism have GI motor abnormalities” in addition to elevated levels of gut-produced serotonin in their blood.

This may give us a new appreciation and meaningful insight into the adage “Listen to your gut feeling.” This article leaves little doubt about the importance of a healthy gut flora.  There are numerous health products out there to help clean up your alimentary canal and keep it well supplied with friendly bacteria.  Fasting is one way to give the gut a reprieve from its primary duty of digesting the seventy tons of food we pass through it over an average lifespan.  

Dr. Depak Chopra recommends a one-day fast every week to foster the production of growth hormones and thereby add years to one’s life.  I haven’t personally heeded his advice, but I have fasted for as much as seven days, and I can attest to the incredible impact fasting has on one’s mental and visual acuity and function.

Fasting is safer under the supervision of a health practitioner or physician and should not be done without proper preparation and professional guidance.   I’m not going to spend time here on all the ways to help keep a healthy intestinal tract.  That is readily available on the web and in health related books.  I will only tout and highly recommend the 21-day total body cleanse put out by Standard Process Labs in their Purification Kit at a moderate cost of $250. That I make my readers aware of the gut-brain connection in mental health and illness issues, such as depression, is sufficient for this post. Until my next post in this series,

Here’s to your mental health and healing,

Anthony Palombo, DC

Visit my second blog at HealingTones.org for inspired writing on the spiritual and energetic aspects of health and life.  

Depression: Its Causes and Cures, part 1: The Blood Sugar Connection

Tony Pics for SA Book Over the last three days, I’ve had 277 visitors to this blog.  This sudden surge is likely due to a reader and fellow blogger reblogging my blog. The post that piqued her interest was one I published back in January under the title “Cancer Cure and the pH Factor.”   I am duly impressed. You might find her blog interesting as well.

Let’s talk about depression and its causes and cures. Orthodox medicine treats the brain for depression. The underlying cause of depression, however, has less to do with the brain and more to do with the body — especially the gut, as we will see. The brain may control the body’s functions via the central nervous system, with the help of biofeedback through the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. But the brain is nourished by the body and is only as healthy as the body.  

CAUSE AT A DEEPER LEVEL

Depression is fundamentally about the suppression of energy.  In a certain sense, it is a spiritual event. All energy is love. Love is all that IS. Energy expresses through form, and when that expression is thwarted, suppressed or shut down, pressure begins to build behind the dam of resistance to whatever is trying to find expression, which is love or joy.  The expression of love and joy allows for release of this energy. Elation is the result. On the other hand, suppression of love and joy prevents the release of this energy. Depression is then the result.

This is a simplified explanation of the essential dynamics of depression at a core level, and must be kept in mind as we consider the various causes of resistance that results in depression.   There are at least four areas that need to be taken in consideration when searching for the cause of a person’s depression: 1) blood sugar, 2) the liver, 3) the gut flora, 4) the endocrine glands (hormonal response to stress).  These four areas overlap in most cases of depression, so I will be addressing more than one area at times. I will cover the entire territory in two or three consecutive posts.

DEPRESSION AND BLOOD SUGAR

Blood sugar imbalance is highly suspect in cases of acute  and chronic depression. Low blood sugar — clinically known as hypoglycemia — deprives the cells of energy they need to function. This includes brain cells, which depend on sugar for energy entirely. A classic symptom of low blood sugar is sugar cravings.  If you crave sugar or shake if you miss a meal, you can be sure that you have hypoglycemia.  Hypoglycemia, of course, can lead to diabetes if not corrected. So, let’s look at hypoglycemia, how it can cause depression, and what one can do to reverse this dis-ease.

Blood sugar is regulated by the endocrine system, specifically the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the adrenal glands. The Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas play a non-regulating role of taking blood sugar and attaching an insulin molecule to it as an escort into the cells where is can be used as fuel. The liver is also involved, as it’s a storehouse for hormones, glucose, iron and several other important nutrients, not to mention its primary function of detoxifying the blood stream of metabolic waste, which includes unused hormones. We’ll come back to that later, but first, let’s look at the three chief endocrine regulators, which make up a family of endocrine glands called the HPA Axis. Here’s an excerpt from CNS Forum explaining the chemistry involved in depression:

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in

depression

In depression, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is upregulated with a down-regulation of its negative feedback controls. Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) is hypersecreted from the hypothalamus and induces the release of adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) from the pituitary. ACTH interacts with receptors on adrenocortical cells and cortisol is released from the adrenal glands; adrenal hypertrophy can also occur. Release of cortisol into the circulation has a number of effects, including elevation of blood glucose. The negative feedback of cortisol to the hypothalamus, pituitary and immune system is impaired. This leads to continual activation of the HPA axis and excess cortisol release. Cortisol receptors become desensitized leading to increased activity of the pro-inflammatory immune mediators and disturbances in neurotransmitter transmission. (Click on picture to enlarge it for easier reading.)

HPA_DPN_DPN_3

If you had a difficult time following the sequence of events, don’t sweat it, so did I. Body chemistry is a miracle that, like all miracles, cannot be fully grasped by the human mind. What you just read above is someone’s explanation based on a somewhat limited understanding of the complexity of human endocrinology.  As a brilliant colleague, Dr. Janet Lang, once put it in a seminar on functional endocrinology, the endocrine glands are a family and behave like one. We might think we gain understanding of them by taking them aside and studying their function and behavior.  Put them back with their siblings and their behavior changes as they interact with them.  So, we need to understand and treat them as part of a family and not as isolated hormonal glands. (This is why blood tests for thyroid function, for instance, are virtually useless in gaining an understanding of this gland’s output. Saliva tests are far more accurate.)

Now I’ll give you the simplified explanation along with what can be done to correct this one cause of depression using food supplements and herbs.

THE HPA AXIS 

The hypothalamus acts as a mediator between environmental activity and hormonal response to that activity.  Environmental activity is perceived through your five senses and sent via your central nervous system as information to the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus receives, interprets and evaluates this information, then sends signals to the pituitary gland in the form of hormonal precursors that solicit a response in this Master Gland that results in the production of stimulating hormones — such as TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), ACTH (adrenocorticotropin hormone), and FSH (ovarian follicle stimulating hormone), etc. These hormone precursors are sent to the appropriate ductless hormonal glands in the body via the bloodstream, which then produce hormones that will trigger an appropriate response in body cells , depending on the type of activity being called for. 

The environment, by the way, includes the internal terrain of the physical body as well as the mental and emotional terrain and the activities therein.  An example of the physical terrain’s influence on the HPA Axis would be poor nutrition and toxicity resulting in a health crisis.  An example of the mental and emotional influence on the HPA Axis would be arousal of the stress fight or flight response simply by thoughts about your seemingly impossible situation in life, be it your health, your job, your marriage or relationships, or any number of stressful life situations.  Think about it long enough while doing nothing about it results in chronic stress. It also frustrates and confuses the hypothalamus, which hypes up its secretion of CRF precursors to the pituitary, and exhausts the adrenal cortex causing the pituitary to hype up its production of ACTH to stimulate the exhausted adrenal glands.  So you can see how these glands act in concert with one another and not on their own. 

HELPFUL NUTRITIONAL AND HERBAL SUPPORT

If you know your have sugar handling issues — either hypoglycemia or diabetes — then you can help your body restore balance in this area so that energy can be released to the cells of the brain. This is treating the underlying cause of one form of depression. Here are my recommendations: 

  1. First of all, the liver needs to be detoxified, which means the pathways in the liver need to be opened up to allow chemical processes to work their miracle on metabolic waste, mainly devitalizing it and eliminating it from the body. There are some very excellent nutritional protocols that can accomplish this in just 21 days. They include St. John’s Wort, garlic, beet tops, cruciferous vegetables, herbal detoxifiers such as Schisandra fruit, Rosemary leaf, Milk Thistle seed, and herbal toners and tonics such as Globe Artichoke leaf, Dandelion root, just to list the few main herbs. All these nutritional and herbal remedies are available in product formulations from Standard Process and Medi-Herb, partners in providing health professionals with exceptional and highly effective wholefood supplements and Australian herbs.  You may contact me for professional guidance and product procurement. 
  2. Secondly, the endocrine glands that make up the HPA Axis and the brain need nutritional support and herbal nourishment. Some of the main products in this protocol are Hypothalmex, Paraplex, E-Manganese, Drenamin, Adrenal Complex, Min-Chex, and Niacinamide B6.
  3. Thirdly, your sugar-handling systems need support. Products by Standard Process include Diaplex to nourish the pancreas, Cataplex GTF for chromium to facilitate sugar consumption at the cellular level, Gymnema to balance blood sugar, Inositol for brain fuel, Zypan for digestion of proteins, and Protefood to provide the 8 essential amino acids needed to utilize the amino acids in your food after proteins are broken down by your digestive system. (Details on products are available on Standard Process‘s website.)

DIETARY CONSIDERATIONS

  1. Hypoglycemia conditions need frequent meals and snacks.  Five small meals daily is the recommendation. Some protein needs to be included in these meals and snacks.  Nuts are a good source of protein and are much better than sugars and carbohydrates as they help raise blood sugar without spiking insulin.
  2. Eliminate all processed foods and refined carbohydrates entirely from your diet. 
  3. For Type II Diabetes (a.k.a. insulin-resistance diabetes), refrain from sugars and starches entirely for 30 days. Eat only foods that are low on the glycemic index. The rationale here is to free up insulin receptor sites on the cells by cutting back on insulin production by the pancreas, which occurs every time you eat sweets and starches. It will take approximately 30 days to use up the sugar-laden insulin floating around in your blood stream. The cells are really not “resistant” to insulin, they simply have no room left to receive any more sugar-laden insulin . . . thus the need to stop spiking insulin. A liver detox could be done at least once a year.
  4. For Type I Diabetics (a.k.a. insulin-dependent diabetes), the best you can do is give ample support to your body’s sugar handling systems and, of course, observe a diabetic diet. You would be wise to eliminate all refined carbohydrate and processed foods from your diet. Nutritional therapeutic support could be incorporated into your daily regimen of meds, especially for the insulin-producing B cell in your pancreas which may be able to be regenerated if they are not entirely burned out. The protocol would include Diaplex, Cataplex GTF, Gymnema, Cataplex B and Inositol. A liver detox could be done at least once a year. 

The products recommended above are only available through licensed healthcare professionals. You are welcome to consult with me by email or by phone for a modest fee, as well as to order products. 

(Note: These blog articles and recommendations made therein are not intended to diagnose or treat any disease and are not to be construed to preclude appropriate medical attention.)

In my next post we will consider the impressive role the gut flora plays in depression and health in general. Until then, here’s to your health and healing.

Anthony Palombo, D.C.

Email: dranthonypalombo@live.com 

See my second blog, HealingTones.org, for inspiring articles on handling sacred energy. Recently I’ve been writing about our Electromagnetic Universe and the Body Electric.