Serotonin is a neurotransmitter chemical in the brain. There are many neurotransmitters, and serotonin is the one we recognize as primarily impacting depression in your brain and body.
Anti-depressants called SSRI’s, when they came out, were miracle drugs. They replaced MAOI’s and the Tricyclic antidepressants. These two types of antidepressants had too many side- effects and food related issues, many doctors refused to prescribe these miracle pills because they did not understand them or how they worked. Then SSRI’s came out and doctors learned about their impact on the serotonin in your brain. The more serotonin you have in the synaptic cleft the less likely you are to be depressed.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, a chemical in the brain. There are many neurotransmitters that have been identified, and serotonin is the one we recognize as primarily impacting depression in your brain and body. If we can regulate your serotonin we can help control your mood fluctuation.
As we have learned more about depression and the neurotransmitters in the brain, we now know more about what issues or deficits seem to cause them. We have identified serotonin, and serotonin deficient depression which responds to an SSRI drug. There are other causes or types of depression, one is what we call dopamine deficient depression. Dopamine facilitates attachment. It helps you feel things like Love and Altruism, it also helps integrate thoughts and feelings. People suffering from a loss of dopamine will predominantly complain of suicidal ideation which is focused on the feeling that they have nothing to live for. They have experienced a loss of satisfaction in life and suffer from chronic boredom. They are apathetic and report no feelings of attachment and love towards anyone. They report difficulties in concentration, on remembering and thinking abstractly. Oversleeping and procrastination are issues for them and they report little or no sexual desire.
Other kinds of depression can be related to inflammation. Depression triggered by inflammatory processes responds well to LDN (low dose naltrexone). Doctors are now learning to administer LDN for depression.
Dopamine deficient depression:
- Dopamine facilitates attachment. Altruism, it also helps integrate thoughts and feelings
- Consequently: depressed people with a predominantly low dopamine level complain of :
- Loss of satisfaction in life
- Chronic boredom
- No attachment and love
- No remorse
- Difficulties concentrating, focusing remembering and thinking abstractly
- They oversleep, have no motivation, procrastinate, and have little or no libido
- Crave caffeine sugar alcohol and saturated fats
- Suicidal ideation focused on nothing to live for
Providing building blocks for dopamine and trying to protect dopamine from depletion is another important strategy in LDN augmentation. Foods like raw almonds, dark chocolate, bananas, apples and strawberries, along with vitamin b6 along with stress reduction and weight loss. Will help reduce dopamine deficient depression
- Decreased levels of serotonin tend to crave dairy, bananas and foods high in carbs. Often accompanied by worrying and obsessiveness as well as trouble sleeping.
- Suicidal ideation focused on feelings of pain and suffering
- LDN treatments will alleviate these feelings of emptiness but won’t help them feel better with just improving serotonin levels
- Serotonin deficient depression
Depression related to inflammation
Depression triggered by inflammatory process is also responsive to LDN treatment
Exercise and stress can increase your basic level of inflammation. the stress hormone cortisol increases inflammation and leads to increased body fat around the waist.
- Foods known to decrease inflammation:
- Green tea
- Avoiding processed foods eat vegetables fruit and fish
- Mediterranean diet to reduce inflammation
What you eat can impact whether or not you suffer from depression, and it can help us to learn what type of depression (and therefore what neurotransmitter is not working correctly in your brain,) you suffer from. Your cravings and your overall emotional state can help provide us with information regarding the nature of your depression, your suicidal risk, and your relationship issues.
Do not play games with self-medication and do not take things that people give you who are not your physician. So many people worsen their situation by taking advice and help from those who are not qualified with information and offer you things to take that are not controlled and consistently measured and this can worsen your feelings of depression and increase your risks. Get a real doctor who knows about various types of antidepressant medicines and LDNs which will shut down your opioid receptors and protect you from the depression that can destroy your quality of life.
Listen to our discussion and see if you recognize yourself or someone near you who suffers from depression. Help them get help that is informed, regulated, licensed and experienced.
This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author. www.BioBalanceHealth.com.