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The news on depression drugs is, well…depressing. Alternatives?

Healthy by Nature radio show this week: Jacob Teitelbaum, MD is a physician known for these terrific books: From Fatigued to Fantastic, Pain Free 1-2-3: A Proven Program for Eliminating Chronic Pain Now and Beat Sugar Addiction Now! The Cutting-Edge Program That Cures Your Type of Sugar Addiction and Puts You on the Road to Feeling Great – and Losing Weight! We’ll talk about his latest: real cause REAL CURE. Click here to find podcasts, show archives and ways to listen nationwide.
 
Drug Disposal Made Easy
Saturday, October 29th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM is your annual opportunity to safely dispose of expired or otherwise unneeded medications. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a good time to clean out the medicine cabinet and thereby remove a temptation for children and avoid accidentally taking the wrong drug. We also don’t want these chemicals to end up in our ground water from either going into the plumbing or leaking out of landfills. Here are the details. (It’s run by the Drug Enforcement Agency, so I wonder what they would do if someone turned in heroin.)

Down in the Dumps? Uplifting Thoughts…
First the bad news: According to the Centers for Disease Control, anti-depressants are the most commonly prescribed medications for those ages 18-44. One in 25 teens uses the meds, as do roughly 1 in 10 of all persons over age 12. It is shocking that the use of anti-depressants is up 400% in just the last 20 years. The drugs are sometimes necessary but are subject to potentially very serious side effects. Depending on the particular drug, unintended consequences can range from weight gain and sexual dysfunction to increased blood pressure, seizures and liver failure. Several of these medications increase the risk of suicide, especially when they are first taken or when their use is discontinued. So, never suddenly stop a psychoactive medicine without medical supervision. If you are on an antidepressant, an article by Consumer Reports has a lot of useful advice and at the bottom a link to a comparison of brands and their side effects. LINK   

Why the huge increase in use? Of course, there is no shortage of problems related to the economy and natural disasters. But then, every era has its own set of concerns. Grieving can cause short term depression, but we’ve always had losses. It seems that a large part of the increase is due to TV advertising. (The pharmaceutical industry wouldn’t continue to spend billions on that promotion if it wasn’t working.)  Doctors have gradually increased prescribing antidepressants for complaints other than depression. Anxiety (sometimes a magnesium deficiency) is one such an example. Antidepressants may also be the go-to “remedy” when a patient presents with an odd complaint like chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. Insurance companies don’t reimburse for the hours that the fictional Dr. House seems to have for digging into underlying causes.  You might actually be physically ill, but there is a temptation to conclude that it is “all in your head”.  

What are the alternatives? If the sadness is related to an event or situation, talk therapy is a time-honored and proven aid. If one can’t afford therapy, then counseling by a pastor or rabbi might be available and useful. Support groups can also be of great benefit. If the problem really is a more chemistry-based depression, look for organic causes like inflammation, hormone imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, poor digestive health and even dehydration. Exercise helps depression no matter the source! Dr. Teitelbaum has a free smart phone app called Cures A-Z. That info is also on his website. This is what he has to say about depression: LINK

Here’s wishing you good cheer.

Please help spread the good word-forward this newsletter to friends and family.
My first book : Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec & Other Acid Blockers. Subtitle: What to Use to Relieve Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and Gastric Ailments.

My latest book: Aloe Vera-Modern Science Sheds Light on an Ancient Herbal Remedy

The information contained in this newsletter has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The contents are for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Copyright 2011 Martie Whittekin, CCN

 



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