EP 42: Treatment for Depression

We know depression is real and now we know the signs and symptoms, but how do we treat it? In the final episode of this series on depression, Dr. Agolli and Dr. Burdette discuss:

  1. What kind of side effects does depression medication have?
  2. The type of diet that helps treat depression.
  3. How do pesticides play a role in food and depression?
  4. The types of detox plans that can help treat depression.
  5. How effective is exercise as a treatment for depression?
  6. The types of nutrients and amino acids that help treat depression.

Some possible complications associated with antidepressants include the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior, antidepressant discontinuation syndrome, serotonin syndrome, and overdose. SSRI medications are also associated with a modest increase in the risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding1

While some people may not get any relief without using these medications, “black box” medications can be dangerous and it maybe that nutritional, hormonal, or mental adjustments through other means can either offer a solution or at least partially support those with depression. According to a meta-analysis of 21 studies from ten countries, a dietary pattern characterized by high intakes of fruit, vegetables, whole grain, fish, olive oil, low-fat dairy and antioxidants and low intakes of animal foods was apparently associated with a decreased risk of depression1On the other hand, a dietary pattern characterized by high consumption of red and/or processed meat, refined grains, sweets, high-fat dairy products, butter, potatoes and high-fat gravy, and low intakes of fruits and vegetables is associated with an increased risk of depression1.

According to some studies, certain nutrients and supplements have been associated with a decreased risk of depression. For example, poor omega-3 fatty acid status increases the risk of depression and fish oil supplements have been used to treat depression successfully1Folic acid supplements have also been used to treat depression successfully and folate deficiency reduces the response to antidepressants1Deficiencies of folate, vitamin B12, iron, zinc, and selenium tend to be more common among depressed than nondepressed persons1.

Other nutrients that have been related to depression include Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, s-adenosylmethionine, tryptophan, magnesium, zinc and probiotics2.

Depression can be debilitating, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. There are treatments that can help, and help give you back a sense of normalcy.