According to Mayoclinic.com, depression is one of the most common health conditions in the world. It is also expected to be the second leading cause of disability for people of all ages by 2020. It is a medical illness involving both the soul (your mind/thoughts and emotions) and the physical body. While the severity and symptoms vary widely since each person experiences it differently, these are the most common symptoms:
Loss of interest in normal daily activities
Feeling sad or down
Crying spells for no apparent reason
Trouble focusing or concentrating
Difficulty making decisions
Unintentional weight gain or loss
Being easily annoyed
Feeling fatigued or weak
Loss of interest in sex
Thoughts of suicide or suicidal behavior
Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
There are no known specific causes of depression. However, a variety of biochemical, genetic and environmental factors are thought to play a role. What I would like to focus on are some possible physical/nutritional causes that you can take steps to address.
Let's begin with nutritional deficiencies that may be underlying factors:
Decreased levels of minerals, particularly, magnesium, iron and zinc as well as vitamins C, B3, B6. B12 and folic acid have been found to increase risk. These nutrients are necessary in order for your body to convert amino acids in your foods into brain chemicals.
That brings us right into amino acid deficiency. Amino acids are necessary for production of brain chemicals and hormones that impact your moods and ability to effectively manage stress.
Inadequate intake of Omega 3's, common in our SAD (Standard American Diet), is associated with increased risk of depression.
Certain foods are known to cause health problems, including depression. ANY food you are allergic or sensitive to can cause your immune system to over-react, which can be a risk factor. The foods most commonly found to be the culprits include wheat, dairy, oranges, eggs, yeast-containing foods, shellfish, nuts, soy and the nightshade vegetables like eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes.
A diet high in refined carbohydrates can cause nutrient deficiencies as well as blood sugar imbalances, which in turn have been linked to lower serotonin levels (the feel good brain chemical). Heavy metal toxicity has been linked to anxiety, depression and fatigue. There are also several physical conditions that are thought to contribute to depression:
Adrenal fatigue can be a major factor in depression. The adrenal glands produce hormones including DHEA, adrenalin and noradrenalin which affect the ability to deal with stress and motivation. Stress itself is a primary cause of adrenal fatigue.
Closely linked to adrenal fatigue is hypothyroidism or under-active thyroid, which is one of the most common causes of depression. In part two I will share steps can you take to minimize your risk.
Ann Musico is a certified Biblical health coach and holistic nutritional consultant. She has developed a "3-D Living Program" as well as coaching packages, e-books and newsletters to assist her coaching clients in achieving vibrant health and wholeness. Visit her website at http://www.threedimensionalvitality.com to learn more.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ann_Musico