Depression: Integrative Approaches
Depression is a natural response of the body and brain when there are biochemical imbalances occurring. These imbalances can involve toxicities, inflammation, metabolic issues, genetic predispositions, and more.
To begin, when someone has depression it involves a diagnosis. There are two definitions of a diagnosis. One being to define something by its appearance and the other is to define the cause. By practicing a holistic healing approach, diagnosing the cause is how to fix the problem and resolve the symptoms. When individuals have heavy metals impacting their system, or methylation defects and mineral deficiencies the body naturally responds by making us tired and wanting to sleep more. The body tries to protect itself against these stressors to heal and goes into a parasympathetic state.
Rest/Digest & Fight/Flight
As we know, the nervous system has two parts: the autonomic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is our fight/flight response and occurs under chronic stress. Typically, when an imbalance involving the autonomic nervous system occurs we associate it with addiction and violent behaviors.
On the other hand, the parasympathetic nervous system is regenerative. When we sleep we rely on this system to regenerate our cortisol, dopamine, serotonin, and other neurotransmitter levels. The parasympathetic state is where the body prefers to be. However, we depend on the autonomic nervous system for survival when we need it. When we are in a stressful state that lasts for too long, dysautonomia occurs and we burn out, leading to depression.
ZRT Laboratories provides us with a neurotransmitter test that allows us to test the levels in the body. A sample of the test is shown below:
Bun out is what occurs when any system is operating at too high of levels for too long. No matter what the issue is, depression or adrenal exhaustion, all chronic health issues can be related back to stress. The number of mood disorders is getting worse and leading to high levels of addiction. When we get upset and stressed we have a tendency to medicate the brain with psychotropic substances but in reality, we need to be looking at the neurotransmitters are correcting the problem there. For further information on how stress can impact depression and gene expression, please read the following article:
Although many environmental factors play a role in depression and genetic expression these neurotoxins have been found to impact and increase depression rates:
- Heavy metals
- Mycotoxins (like mold)
- Allergies (especially a food allergy or sensitivity)
- Issues relating to the gut, sinus, and dental work
To conquer depression, it is critical we first look at the integrity of the gut. The gut is responsible for 95% of the body’s serotonin and is directly linked to other illnesses and autoimmune conditions. Secondly, taking a look at the neurotransmitters to assess where the lack or overdrive is occurring. Third, focus on nutrition, detoxification, exercise, and mindful space therapies.
Nutrition is highly important as it fuels the gut as well as impacts our genetic makeup. Exercise is another great way to naturally increase the “feel good” hormones in the body.
We have the ability to check the gut and its health with a comprehensive stool analysis from Genova. A sample is shown below:
We can see that depression is more than just an imbalance in the brain, but rather an imbalance that impacts the entire body and all our systems.
Depression and addiction are both serious issues that often go hand in hand. By looking at the body and taking a functional approach, we are able to help people by replenishing the balance and equilibrium of neurotransmitters, assessing diets, and micronutrients. Starting in the kitchen, we can make a large impact on our gut, genes, and our minds. -Kenna Vaughn, Senior Health Coach
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.
Jiang, S., Postovit, L., Cattaneo, A., Binder, E. B., & Aitchison, K. J. (2019). Epigenetic Modifications in Stress Response Genes Associated With Childhood Trauma. Frontiers in psychiatry, 10, 808. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00808