October 26, 2009

Treat Depression With Folic Acid

It has been found that those with a folate deficiency are more likely to suffer from depression than those who consume the right amounts of folate in their diets.

Supplementation with increased amounts of folic acid has shown to drastically increase the condition of patients with depression. Low levels of folic acid were detected in up to 38% of adults who suffer from depression. In a recent trial involving 20 elderly patients with depression treatment with folate supplements were found to markedly improve the effects of standard antidepressants.

There are other benefits of folic acid. Researchers also pointed out that chronic diseases, certain cancers, alcoholism, and poor dieting are all capable of leading to a folate deficiency and possibly depression. In addition, folate helps the synthesis between adenine and thymine – basic nucleic acids that make up our genes and is required for the proper metabolism of amino acids that are found in animal proteins. Pregnant women use Folic Acid supplements to aid the cell replication of the fetus and reducing their risk of giving birth to a baby with neural tube defects. Further studies showed that Alzheimer patients also had lower levels of folate and vitamin B12 in their bodies than patients who did not have Alzheimer’s.

The benefits of vitamin B however, are extensive. Not only are they known to improve and stabilize the mood, but they are also capable of improving the quality of our hair, skin, and nails, and our bodies ability to turn food into energy. When treating depression with folic acid, try supplementing with vitamin B complex as well.

The healthy dose of synthetic folic acid for adults is up to 1000 micrograms per day – this will help treat depression patients. Women using folic acid to prevent neural tube defects during their pregnancy should take 400 micrograms per day.

Make sure you are getting enough folic acid in your diet in order to balance your mood and keep your body healthy.

October 15, 2009

Feeling Depressed?

Filed under: Antidepressant,chronic fatigue,Depression,grief,suicide — drwatson @ 4:34 pm

If you here the word depression right now you’d probably think about the economy and be thankful that we didn’t dive down to the point where we would be repeating the 1930’s. That was the Great Depression and your history lesson for the day.

However, when I say depression I’m talking about the medical condition, or clinical depression. The condition that affects more people than you might think. A condition that just seems to be getting worse as time goes on, not better.

Depression can be triggered by a large number of things. A passing of a family member may be very traumatic and cause you to become depressed. Psychological factors and chemical imbalances in the brain can also cause a person to become depressed. A lot of people do feel sad after a relative passes away, but for the “normal” person the depressed feeling only last for a brief period of time. However, someone who is depressed may experience very severe symptoms that last for a longer period of time.

Some of these symptoms are: sleeping more or less than normal, eating more or less than normal, having difficult concentrating/making decisions, loss of interest in activities, feeling worthless, helpless, or hopeless, decreased sex drive, avoiding people, strong feelings of sadness or grief, feeling unreasonably guilty, loss of energy, chronic fatigue, thoughts of death or suicide.

There is some responsibility that must be taken by close family members. If you think someone is depressed try to get them some help, they may need antidepressant medications. Also be patient with that person and try to comfort them. When you’re feeling depressed you will need all the support of your close friends and family. This may help prevent serious long-term depression, and the repetition of depression.

December 12, 2008

Will Elavil help treat depression?

Filed under: Antidepressant,Depression Medication,Elavil,Uncategorized — drwatson @ 11:45 am

Elavil is a class of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants, used to treat depression. It affects the chemicals in the brain that may have become unbalanced. Elavil is also used to treat symptoms of depression.

Before using Elavil, tell your doctor if you have allergy reactions to Elavil or to other medications. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant and are breast feeding a baby. Also let your doctor know about all the prescription and non-prescription medicine, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs that you are using on regular basis especially those medicines which makes you feel sleepy (such as cold medicine, pain medication, muscle relaxes, medicine for seizures, or other antidepressants).

Do not take Elavil if you have any of these medical problems:

  • Heart disease
  • A history of heart attack, stroke, or seizures
  • Bipolar disorder (manic-depression)
  • Schizophrenia or other mental illness
  • Diabetes (Elavil may raise or lower blood sugar)
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Glaucoma
  • Problems with urination

How should I take Elavil?

Follow the instruction of your doctor or the medication bottle label/pamphlet as prescribed to you. Speak to your doctor before you stop taking Elavil, if medication is suddenly stopped, unpleasant side effects will occur. It may take up to 4 weeks for Elavil to take effect, if your symptoms have not improved, talk to your doctor.

If a dose is missed, take it as soon as possible. Skip the next dose, if it’s almost time and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double up on dosages. Do not drink alcohol when taking Elavil. It can cause dangerous side effects. Grapefruit products may interact with Elavil, talk to your doctor about the use of grapefruit products.

Precaution, while using Elavil:

  • Be careful while you are driving or operating any machinery as it may cause drowsiness or dizziness.
  • Do not give Elavil to anyone under 18 years old without asking your doctor.
  • Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays. Elavil can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and cause sunburn. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing if you are out for long period of time.
  • Do not use Elavil if you have taken cisapride (Propulsid) or used an MAO inhibitor such as is carboxazid.
  • You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old.

Serious side effects:

  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heart rate, chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling
  • Sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance
  • Hallucinations, or seizures (convulsions), feeling light-headed, fainting
  • Restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck, uncontrollable shaking or tremor
  • Skin rash, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Extreme thirst with headache, nausea, vomiting, and weakness
  • Urinating less than usual or not at all

Less serious side effects:

  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth, unpleasant taste
  • Feeling dizzy, drowsy, or tired
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Blurred vision, headache, ringing in your ears
  • Breast swelling (in men or women)
  • Decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm

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