Mood Solutions You May be Overlooking

Maylin Rodriguez-Paez, RN

Have you been having trouble managing your mood? Have you run through the list of conventional and non-conventional mood-enhancing strategies, to no avail?

If this sounds like you (or someone you know), please read on!

Below, we’ll discuss ways to support your mood that are often overlooked and easily missed.

And we’re not talking about fish oil or neurotransmitters here: This time, we’ve gone much further outside of the box.

Mood Solution #1 — Balance Your Sex Hormones

Many people dealing with depression or anxiety never think about their hormones, let alone get them checked out. This is a huge oversight.

Sex hormones can actually have a big impact on your mood. A clear example of this is seen in menopause when sex hormones, like progesterone and estrogen, take a dip.

During this time, women are more likely to suffer anxiety1 and depression.2

Men don’t fare any better either. When they get older and approach middle age, they can experience drops in testosterone and consequently depression.3

So what’s a man or a woman to do? Quite possibly, the answer could be hormone restoration.

For a simple approach, consider the sex hormone, DHEA. It’s a precursor to testosterone and estrogen, and it has been clinically shown to alleviate depression in both sexes.

In one study, about half of participants taking DHEA for 6 weeks experienced a 50% or greater drop in depressive symptoms.4

For a more comprehensive approach, consider testing your sex hormone levels and balancing them with bioidentical preparations. Focus on balancing your DHEA, estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone levels. And, yes, this includes men as well.

Note: Always discuss hormone therapy with your doctor before initiating a program!

Mood Solution #2 — Tame Oxidative Stress

Traditionally, mood disorders haven’t been viewed as an oxidative problem, but new research is opening us up to this possibility. In fact, higher levels of oxidative stress have been found in people with bipolar disorder and major depression.5,6

In one study, for example, serum levels of malondialdehyde (an oxidant) were significantly higher in patients with major depression.7

And in another trial, depressed patients were found to have significantly lower levels of CoQ10 in their blood (a sign of oxidative stress).8

What does this imply? That antioxidants may be helpful in managing your mood. In particular, CoQ10 has been shown to ameliorate symptoms of depression in bipolar mood disorder.9

Mood Solution #3 — Don’t Lower Your Cholesterol Too Much!

Cholesterol is seen as the “bad guy,” causing all sorts of health problems. But in reality, it’s pretty good for your mood. For one, it’s needed for proper brain cell signaling, which is something you don’t want to interfere with.

Low cholesterol levels have been linked to suicide, personality disorders, early death, aggressive and violent behaviors, anxiety, and depression.10,11 Those at low risk for heart disease should aim for levels between 80–100 mg/dl.

Mood Solution #4 — Control Your Allergies

Allergies have been linked to anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, and even panic attacks.12 Why the link? Well, it’s not entirely clear, but it may have to do with inflammatory cytokines which are released during allergic reactions. Inflammatory cytokines have been linked to depression.13,14

If you’re looking for a natural approach, consider rosmarinic acid (from rosemary) and stinging nettles. They block inflammatory compounds linked to allergies15,16 and they may also alleviate allergy-related symptoms.17,18

Mood Solution #5 — Watch Your Diet

Avoid diets containing trans-fats, sugar, and saturated fats, as they’ve been linked to depression.19,20

Instead, try to incorporate mood-boosting foods like fruits and veggies into your diet. Research shows that people who eat 7 or more servings of fruits and veggies a day are actually happier.21

Of course, it probably seems obvious that a good diet is important, but we thought we’d remind you anyway!



Has any non-conventional method helped you balance your own mood? If so, please let us know about it in the comments!

References:

  1. Maturitas. 2012 Feb;71(2):120-30.
  2. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2001 Jan;264(4):199-202.
  3. Consult Pharm. 2012 Mar;27(3):152-63.
  4. Am J Psychiatry.1999;156:646-649.
  5. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2013 Jan;47(1):26-42.
  6. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2011 Apr 29;35(3):676-92.
  7. J Affect Disord. 2001 Apr;64(1):43-51.
  8. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2009;30(4):462-9.
  9. J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol. 2012 Mar;25(1):43-50.
  10. Rev Neurol. 2009 Mar 1-15;48(5):261-4.
  11. Psychosom Med. 1999 May-Jun;61(3):273-9.
  12. Clin Exp Allergy. 2012 Dec;42(12):1765-71.
  13. Biol Psychiatry. 2009 Jun 1;65(11):973-8.
  14. Mol Psychiatry. 2008 Jul;13(7):717-28.
  15. Int Immunopharmacol. 2011 Sep;11(9):1271-7.
  16. Phytother Res. 2009 Jul;23(7):920-6.
  17. Biofactors. 2004;21(1-4):127-31.
  18. Planta Med. 1990 Feb;56(1):44-7.
  19. PLoS ONE. 2011;6(1): e16268. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016268
  20. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 May;112(5):693-8.
  21. Available at: http://www.andrewoswald.com/docs/October2FruitAndVeg2012BlanchOswaldStewartBrown.pdf. Accessed January, 7th 2013.

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great article. I suffered from depression and kept telling my drs it seemed to be it had something to do with my hormones. Finally, because they wouldn't listen as they did a basic hormone test and didn't come up with anything, i decided to go to a private endocrinologist. I'm still to await my test results as I can't afford them yet BUT in the meantime she put me on a high dose of evening primrose oil and told me I might see a difference in three months. TWO months later and I have no depression whatsoever. .. and I suffered from depression for last few years!

LifeExtension said...

Anonymous - Thanks for the feedback! We're glad you're doing much better and wish you a speedy recovery. :-)

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