If you suffer from a depressed mood, PMS, or constant ups and downs in your emotions, conventional doctors will most likely give you an antidepressant. Learn about how to cure a mood imbalance using the natural approach.
Antidepressants usually don’t have any better effect than a placebo, according to numerous double-blind randomized controlled trials (the gold standard in pharmaceutical research). There is also a growing amount of evidence stating that antidepressants may even increase your risk of becoming suicidal. Pharmaceutical products that are prescribed like candy by many doctors today directly affect your brain’s neurotransmitters (usually serotonin), regardless of whether a lack of serotonin was indeed the underlying cause of your mood imbalance (new research has shown that low serotonin is NOT, in fact, the cause of depression). Because of the way antidepressants change your brain’s biochemistry, they can cause your mood imbalance to actually get worse. (This is why using an antidepressant could make you feel suicidal.)
Chinese Medicine and Functional Medicine take a natural approach towards balancing mood. Before any treatment is given, the underlying cause is determined. One patient with symptoms of depression may have a totally different biological cause of that depression than the next patient with symptoms of depression. Therefore, there is not one “herb for depression” or “supplement for depression.” When you get acupuncture in Del Mar, CA, your practitioner realizes that you are an individual — not a disease or symptom — and you therefore deserve an individualized treatment.
There are a variety of Chinese herbal formulas that are used for mood imbalances, depending on the underlying cause of the mood imbalance in the individual patient. Likewise, in functional medicine, there are a variety of methods of treatment. Your practitioner may want to test your levels of sex hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, as well as your neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. Because we have artificial light at night, and often sleep next to a fluorescent lit alarm clock (or even get fewer than 8 hours of sleep on a regular basis), it’s highly common for natural circadian rhythms to be disrupted. This stresses the adrenal glands, and subsequently the adrenal hormones such as cortisol and DHEA. That adrenal stress is frequently a cause of mood imbalances — especially those involving anxiety or the feeling of being “wired and tired.” Acupuncture in La Jolla, CA works to restore balance to the adrenal glands, neurotransmitters, and circadian rhythm.
Finally, you should not ignore nutrition when you’re suffering from mood imbalances. Low cholesterol and a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat is associated with depression, suicide, bipolar disorder, and mood swings. This runs contrary to the dietary advice that was prevalent throughout the 1970’s, 80’s, and 90’s. This is also the time period in which obesity doubled, and overweight rose from a mere 10% of the population to nearly 70% of the population in the United States. Eating egg yolks, butter, tallow, bacon, cod liver oil, and plenty of small, fatty fish and seafood gives your body the fuel it needs to produce hormones and neurotransmitters in the proper amounts.