Dr. Tara Skye Goldin's Newsletter, The Depression and Good Mood Issue Natural Medicine that Gets Results!
November 2009


Hello and welcome to November. While this time of year has its beauty of the low angled sunlight reflecting on the bare trees and harvest pumpkins still aplenty, and entering the holiday season, for many people this time of year with the shortening days brings feelings of dread. For people without family or who are divorced and the kids go elsewhere the holidays can be a lonely sad depressing time. There are many natural ways to boost your mood as we await the return of the light. This issue is dedicated to those who need this sort of support. Along with various supplements (those on SSRI's and other pharmaceutical antidepressants or psychiatric drugs should consult with their doctor before taking any of these supplements as some do not mix well together) I will also touch on nutritional and lifestyle tips to keep a healthy mood going. In the past I have focused in my newsletters dealing with mood and depression on various supplements that can be helpful (visit past newsletters under "publications" on my website). This month's newsletter will focus on lifestyle changes that are helpful since how you live is the root of health.

A few weekends ago I participated in the annual Nature Cure Conference for Registered Naturopathic Doctors. It was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with the roots of our medicine, i.e. the healing power of nature. These days it seems a fair number people are enamored with the high tech naturopathy, the IV's, the chelations, the injectable vitamins, and the prescription drugs that many ND's can prescribe. Those things definitely have their place in advanced illness and malnutrition , but many chronic diseases can be reversed by merely getting back in harmony with nature. Nature and her power always has the last word, as we found out with the 22 inch snowfall we experienced recently here in Boulder. Everything stopped. All those things that we urgently had to do suddenly weren't so urgent anymore as nature ruled. Never underestimate the healing power of nature in finding an answer and a cure for your health challenges and concerns. I look forward to helping you and being of service to aid in improving your health during this coming holiday season. Be well and live in harmony with nature.

in this issue
Estrogen Dominance and PMDD Seasonal Affective Disorder Diet for Depression Yoga for Relieving Depression Pumpkin and Squash Recipes

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression or winter blues, is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter or, less frequently, in the summer,[1] spring or fall, repeatedly, year after year. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), SAD is not a unique mood disorder, but is "a specifier of major depression".[2]

The US National Library of Medicine notes that "some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and crave sweets and starchy foods. They may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up."[3] The condition in the summer is often referred to as Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder, and can also include heightened anxiety.[4] From Wikipedia

Diet for Depression

Trying to find a diet to ease depression? Unfortunately, there's no specific diet that works for depression. No studies have been done that indicate a particular eating plan can ease symptoms of clinical depression.

Still, while certain diets or foods may not ease depression (or put you instantly in a better mood), they may help as part of an overall treatment for depression. There's more and more research indicating that, in some ways, food and mood are connected. From WebMD

Yoga for Relieving Depression

Practicing yoga can alter your brain chemistry. Some yoga positions in particular are effective in stimulating the pituitary gland to release endorphins and to reduce the level of cortisol (the stress hormone).

Inverted yoga positions are the most important positions in terms of yoga's health effects on the mind and body. This would include the shoulder stand, plow and headstand. Unfortunately, if you go to a yoga class these positions are not usually part of the sequence, as they are not usually considered appropriate for beginners. The shoulderstand asana is considered an intermediate-level position and the headstand is usually only recommended for people who have been practicing yoga for a while. From Natural Cures for Depression

Pumpkin and Squash Recipes

This is the time of year that is perfect for experimenting with squash and pumpkin recipes since they are so abundant in our gardens, pumpkin patches and the grocery stores. They add a bit of natural sweetness to life while also boosting our Vitamin A and C and caratenoid levels which also help to support the immune system. Enjoy these wonderful recipes and may you find a favorite in here! From Times Online

Estrogen Dominance and PMDD

This one is for the ladies and the men and children who live with them. For many women their monthly cycles are dreaded events with PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder), which is like PMS "on steroids". This syndrome can include severe mood swings, irritability and depressive and suicidal thoughts that reoccur monthly. In severe cases, 2 weeks out of the month are OK and 2 weeks out of the month are pure misery.

In my clinical practice the cause of this is often estrogen dominance. This is becoming even more common as we have more xenoestrogens ( estrogen producing compounds from the environment) that we are exposed to on a daily non stop basis. Xenoestrogens can come from herbicides, pesticides, plastics, pthalates in cosmetics, etc. They are so pervasive that they are very difficult to avoid.

I find that once a woman with PMDD enters treatment with me their symptoms resolve within a month or two with tweaking needed here or there of the protocol over time. One of the first things I look at is correcting the hormonal imbalance, whatever that may be. Along with correcting the hormonal imbalance I like to detoxify since an improperly functioning liver and bowel can also impede proper hormone functioning.

Correcting any diet habits that may be compromising the body's ability to heal itself and balance itself is also important as well as introducing proper systems to support stress management.

Last but not least the proper homeopathic remedy can also work wonders to support the healing process. Homeopathic remedies are medicines that are chosen that best match the individual patient's constellation of symptoms. I can have 2 different women with a diagnosis of PMDD or PMS and I may very well prescribe 2 completely different homeopathic medicines for them since their symptom constellation, food cravings, and personalities could be completely different , thus needing different medicines. I treat the whole person this way and not the "disease". Be well and feel free to pass this information along to anyone who you think could use this. Have a joyous holiday season!

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