Many factors are involved in depression and anxiety other than brain chemistry, and medication isn’t always the best remedy. Much more than the serotonin and dopamine in your brain goes into these chronic disorders. Your brain needs to be armed with the right nutrients and amino acids to create proper neurotransmitters and allow them to do their job.
Those who suffer from depression and anxiety may find that it runs in the family. There are often trends in family history that give ample warning signs. Genetic testing can be a window into your family history. The information from your genetic testing results will alert you to whether depression and anxiety are a possible problem for you.
This guide will reveal a few other factors and seven natural remedies for anxiety and depression.
Factors That Affect Depression and Anxiety
Things you do in everyday life affect your anxiety and depression levels. Understanding the effects of your way of life on your health is key to feeling better.
Food Is the Foundation for Good Health
Food is a foundation for brain health. Serotonin and dopamine come from amino acids derived from digested proteins. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- You need enough protein to make enough neurotransmitters in your brain. If your diet is protein deficient or if you’re not digesting your protein well enough, then you don’t have enough raw materials to make them.
- Your digestive tract, believe it or not, makes about 90% of your serotonin. That familiar feeling of butterflies in your stomach is your gut’s way of informing your brain about something. A digestive dysfunction could be a problem related to depression and anxiety.
Your body must be producing all the good bacteria for things to run smoothly. Good bacteria communicate with your gut via 100 million neurons, more than the spinal cord and the peripheral nervous system.
The Stress Factor
Stress is another significant factor in determining how well we create our neurotransmitters and how well our brain functions. Humans are configured to deal with acute or temporary stress; when it becomes long-term or chronic, we begin to have problems.
Stress often depletes what we need to make enough neurotransmitters. It manifests in our bodies as depression and anxiety when this happens. Chronic stress forces the adrenal glands to produce excess cortisol, the primary stress hormone, which leads to exhaustion, anxiety, and insomnia, among other physiological changes. It also produces excessive amounts of the amino acid glutamine, which creates free radicals that affect the brain. Stress also causes inflammation in the brain, another factor leading to depression.
Understanding the everyday factors that affect depression and anxiety is vital to managing the symptoms. It’s just as important, though, to find the root cause of the problem instead of just treating the symptoms.
Getting to the Root Cause and Fighting Back Naturally
Functional laboratory tests are an important tool for finding out what is affecting you. These tests can identify how much serotonin, dopamine, and other essential neurotransmitters your body is making. They can also test for your digestive function, stress, and genetic testing.
Functional laboratory testing can individualize treatment and correct the areas of dysfunction that may be causing or influencing how you feel. That’s when you take action and develop a treatment plan using natural remedies that have worked to alleviate anxiety and depression since the days of the Roman Empire. Here are some of the easiest ways to fight depression and anxiety with natural remedies.
Healthy Eating and Cooking
Nutrition is a vastly overlooked aspect of mental health, and a healthy diet can help you avoid many significant issues. Certain foods are particularly good for brain health, such as wild-caught fish, nuts, and beans.
Effective journaling has a slew of unexpected rewards. Journaling is a cost-free way to chronicle your feelings, thoughts, and ideas, making them easier to understand. The very act of writing has many mental health benefits.
Herbalism entails using organic herbs in teas, tinctures, and poultices to remedy a plethora of ailments. It has been used for centuries as a part of traditional Chinese medicine to treat everything from migraines to cancer.
Spending Time With Animals
Being in the presence of an animal is calming, especially one we love. A little one-on-one with your pet can be counted on to reduce anxiety and stress and boost your mood.
Get Quality Sleep
Getting enough sleep at night can be a powerful stress reducer. You can address difficulties getting to sleep through approaches such as breathing exercises, meditation, or taking some quiet time before bed. Those who think they’re sleeping well but still don’t feel rested should see a doctor, because that could indicate sleep apnea or other conditions.
Consider naturopathic medicine, which combines the age-old wisdom of nature with the knowledge of modern medicine. It addresses the mind, body, and spirit but also diagnoses and manages chronic illness.
Far-Infrared Sauna Therapy
Saunas are often touted for their health benefits, including improved breathing and heart rate, but not everyone can stand the heat. Far-infrared saunas create a gentle heat that feels like you are being warmed from the inside without the oppressive heat that traditional saunas provide.
You have the potential to eliminate the problem if you can identify and correct the problem areas. Some things can’t be changed, such as a genetic variant, but having the knowledge and ability to mediate those factors is an excellent start.
Explore Anxiety Relief Through Natural Methods
The shortcomings of modern medicine have led to increased interest in yoga, natural diets, and many other nontraditional approaches to health care. Those wanting expert advice should reach out to Dr. Karen Threlkel, a naturopathic physician featured on CNN, OWN, MSNBC, and BRAVO. Her practice includes a medical doctor, a medical acupuncturist, a nutritionist, an integrative psychotherapist, and a physical therapist. All of them work together to find the root cause of depression and anxiety, among other ailments.
Contact our offices if you’d like more information about how naturopathic medicine works to alleviate anxiety and depression.