The causes of depression are varied and differ from one person to the next which is why therapy is a key factor in its treatment. That said, studies are constantly attempting to find new treatments that are more effective.
The HealthNow Clinic in America this week released a report that puts a new slant on the source of depression, and ultimately how it can be treated in the long run. There is a strong feeling from the HealthNow clinic that antidepressants do not actually improve the health of the sufferer - they only relieve the symptoms of the depression. In effect they are making the illness more tolerable but they do not take the illness away. At the moment therapies such as psychotherapy and counselling work in tandem with antidepressants. The drugs allow the sufferer to function normally and lift the patient out of the more severe symptoms. The therapy can then take time in confronting the actual source and triggers of the illness. However depression treatment must also take into account that depression is known to be genetic and it may also be concerned with hormonal imbalances rather than being a case of an individual reacting to the environment. Gluten intolerance is a factor which the HealthNow clinic considers is not being taken seriously enough.
How Can Gluten Intolerance effect depression?
Dr. Vikki Petersen, Certified Clinical Nutritionist at the HealthNow clinic, believes that most depressive illnesses have physical sources which include hormonal imbalance, poor nutrition, adrenal exhaustion and gluten intolerance. Whereas the former are accepted widely by medical practitioners, the latter is more controversial.
Dr. Petersen believes it is the nervous system which is affected by gluten intolerance. The gluten protein is perceived as a toxin by the intolerant person, and so the body’s immune system comes into play. However, the proteins that the immune system is attacking, are very similar to those proteins found in the brain. The inevitable outcome is the brain proteins are attacked as well as the gluten proteins. This results in inflammation and irritation that, in turn, causes depression and anxiety.
Dr. Peterson feels most medical surgeries are too focused on a therapy of anti-depressants when not enough analysis is being done to diagnose the causes of depression – only then can significant long term depression treatment take place. She believes that by taking a patient’s dietary and nutritional profile into account, not only can the medical practitioner give the patient a through holistic assessment, he can also confront the origins of the illness through a healthy diet as well as drugs and counseling if needed.