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The answer to that seems to be yes, and the best candidate so far is inflammation – a part of the immune system that acts as a burglar alarm to close wounds and call other parts of the immune system into action. A family of proteins called cytokines sets off inflammation in the body, and switches the brain into sickness mode.
Both cytokines and inflammation have been shown to rocket during depressive episodes, and – in people with bipolar – to drop off in periods of remission. Healthy people can also be temporarily put into a depressed, anxious state when given a vaccine that causes a spike in inflammation. Brain imaging studies of people injected with a typhoid vaccine found that this might be down to changes in the parts of the brain that process reward and punishment.
There are other clues, too: people with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis tend to suffer more than average with depression; cancer patients given a drug called interferon alpha, which boosts their inflammatory response to help fight the cancer, often become depressed as a side-effect.
This time, though, the target is not any kind of brain or mind-based weakness but a basic feature of everyone’s body that could strike anyone down given the right – or wrong – turn of events. And if that doesn’t inspire a greater sympathy and understanding, then nothing will.
The good news is that the few clinical trials done so far have found that adding anti-inflammatory medicines to antidepressants not only improves symptoms, it also increases the proportion of people who respond to treatment, although more trials will be needed to confirm this. There is also some evidence that omega 3 and curcumin, an extract of the spice turmeric, might have similar effects. Both are available over the counter and might be worth a try, although as an add-on to any prescribed treatment – there’s definitely not enough evidence to use them as a replacement.
That feeling of being too tired, bored and fed up to move off the sofa and get on with life is known among psychologists as sickness behaviour. It happens for a good reason, helping us avoid doing more damage or spreading an infection any further.
It also looks a lot like depression. So if people with depression show classic sickness behaviour and sick people feel a lot like people with depression – might there be a common cause that accounts for both?
originally posted by: madmac5150
Speaking as a Penguin fan... maybe your depression stems from being a Flyers fan? Supporting losing efforts CAN cause depression...
We spoke to him about depression and estrogen dominance, Dr. Lee's term for an excess of estrogen caused not necessarily by high levels of estrogen, but by a progesterone deficiency that leaves estrogen without the balancing effect of progesterone.
To evaluate this, I tend to look at three or four basic areas: fluid changes, mood changes, shifts in the menses and the context in which all of this is happening. The fluid shifts I inquire about are predominantly related to fluid retention: puffiness, bloatedness, headaches, breast tenderness, and swelling of the feet or hands. I look for shifts that are out of proportion to a patient's ordinary fluctuations, something aberrant. Of course, I look at the context that might account for a shift in the hormonal status such as peri- menopause, initiation of hormone replacement therapy, a hysterectomy, postpartum, severe emotional or psychological stress, to help build a case for a hormonal cause of the fluid disturbance.
JLML: So headaches would be a symptom of fluid retention?
RG: Yes, frequently. They seem to be a very consistent symptom of estrogen dominance. I am not sure of the precise pathophysiology of headaches in this context. It may be, for instance, related to estrogen's vasodilatory effects, but they frequently occur together with some of the other signs of fluid accumulation.
She's not alone. It seems so many women believe white wine has a Jekyll-and-Hyde effect — turning them into argumentative and aggressive harpies even when they've not drunk to excess — that professionals working in the field are wondering if there might be something in white wine that does have an affect.
Sarah Turner, an addiction counsellor and founder of the Harrogate Sanctuary in North Yorkshire, which offers cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling to women who believe they have a problem with drinking, has worked with hundreds of middle- class professionals.
She says about a quarter claim to behave badly after small amounts of white wine.
'Clients tell me they get so aggressive after drinking it they have done things they wouldn't otherwise dream of doing,' says Sarah. 'Smashing furniture, breaking windows, even driving off in a rage.
'I've even wondered if white wine could somehow be raising testosterone levels in women as the effect can be so dramatic.'
Theories about the impact of white wine range from its high sugar content — it has up to ten times more than red wine — and levels of sulphites, which are added as a preservative. And some believe high levels of pesticides could be to blame.
Read more: www.dailymail.co.uk...
originally posted by: rukia
I couldn't motivate myself for ish and I got a horrible inflammatory thing that caused me to get breakouts for a bit (when I normally have clear skin). When that cleared up, my once-beautiful hair became effed up and wouldn't comb right and started breaking off. My scalp was (is, but getting better) sore and painful and I felt like I was going mad. I'm 23 by the way.
I also gained weight when I was breaking out and then lost it all and then some around the time of the hair crap.
I just hope my hair goes back to normal soon QQ It's really stressing me out. I feel like a freak or something.
originally posted by: Aleister
Good topic FF. Hopefully some people won't be too depressed to read it. Well, fats (except for Olive Oil and other good oils), sugars, meat, dairy, were a few of my favorite things. Now only Olive Oil ranks on that level. There are probably many ways to combat or avoid depression, and this new data opens another avenue of both inquiry and possible life-changes. I'm personally an advocate of water - that some depression is a symptom of dehydration. Does not drinking water lead to inflammation? If so, it could all be moving parts of the same puzzle. Thanks for the interesting information.