Depression affects how you feel, think and behave. It is a medical illness that causes a persistent feeling of sadness. Other symptoms include: irritability, insomnia or excessive sleeping, appetite changes, restlessness, trouble concentrating, crying spells and unexplained physical problems. The exact cause of depression is not known. However, it is thought that a variety of factors including: biological differences in the brain, neurotransmitters, inherited traits, and hormones may play a role in the development of depressive symptoms. Your physician can help you determine the right treatment to help with your depression. They may recommend medication and/or counseling. It is important that you share all of your concerns with your healthcare provider as untreated depression may result in emotional, health and behavioral problems that affect daily life.
How can vitamins and minerals help depressive symptoms? Magnesium helps regulate mood. Zinc and serine both regulate neurotransmitter function. Antioxidants (vitamins A, C, and E, Co Q10, and lipoic acid) help protect neurotransmitter functions from oxidative stress. Deficiencies of the B complex vitamins (biotin, B2, B6, and B12) have been linked to depression. Vitamin D acts as a hormone precursor – and thus may improve symptoms of depression. Finally, chromium elevates serotonin levels with in the brain (serotonin is our feel good hormone). Chromium also affects blood sugar regulation, and thus may alleviate the depressive symptom of carbohydrate craving.
Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida. Dr. Hermann is also board certified in in nutrition. Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.