Depression is something that is affecting our country everyday. There are 21 million of Americans that are suffering from depression. Mind you it's not just adults, this includes children and teenagers as well. There are all sorts of Anti depressants out there that are being used by people everyday. The unfortunate thing about anti depressants is that fewer than 50 percent of patients on anti depressents are symptom free.
There are many side effects, and even though many people respond to these medications, they usually slip back into depression even though they stuck to the treatment. So what causes depression? Well according to the theory of low chemical imbalance low levels of serotonin produced by the brain are the cause of depression. Anti depressants help by increasing the levels of serotonin and bring them back to normal. Sometimes anti depressents take weeks to relieve depressing symptoms. Some of there side effects can be:
- weight gain
These are just some of the side effects to name a few. Some side effects go away after drug treatment, but some may get even worse. Studies show that people over 65 are more probable to fracture more easily, also people who take these drugs while they are pregnant tend to have newborns with tremors, restlessness, mild respiratory problems and a weak cry. Also anti depressents increase the probability of suicide within children and teenagers. For those with bi polar disorder; their episodes might even get worse.
So is there and alternative to anti depressents? Well many people have heard that omega 3's are a good alternative. So what are Omega 3's? Well Omega 3's are essential fatty acids that our bodies need in order to work normally. Our bodies do not naturally produce fatty acids, therefore we need to get them from our diets. There are different types of Omega 3's fatty acids:
EPA and DHA are only found in certain fish like:
- lake trout
- wild alaskan salmon (not the farm grown one)
ALA which partially converts into EPA and DHA can be found in
- flaxseed oil
- canola oil
- olive oil
- soy bean oil
So what is all the rave about Omega 3's? Well Omega 3's have been known to help reduce inflammation through out the body, help with RA, Asthma, Adhd, and people with depression. So how do Omega 3's fight depression? Well research shows that people in cultures that eat foods with high levels of omega 3's have lower depression. Also it is said that fish oil may help reduce symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Studies show that Omega 3's fatty acids enhance many aspects of brain functions including the mood of a person and aspects of personality. It appears that a lack of DHA can increase the corticotropin hormone. This hormone moderates emotionality. This may contribute to hyperactivity within the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis which is an important neuroendorcine system that regulates mood, aggression and "fight or flight" responses associated with anxiety. A study conducted in the US from Oct 2005 to Jan 2009 based on 432 Male and females with depression issues was done. Half of the group from this study took placebos and the other half took fish oil pills.
Most of the patients from this study were people who had a resistance to conventional anti depressent medications. Also they were patients with anxiety disorders. The outcome of the study showed that the omega 3's in high concentrations can help reduce symptoms of depression especially among the patients who had failed to respond to an initial anti depressent treatment. So the conclusion was that the use of EPA is very effective especially with patients with unipolar depression. So eating your fish or taking your supplements can make a huge difference for anybody suffering with depression, not only it will help your mood but they will also help you get other great benefits as well.
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