“It was like I was trapped in a hole with a broken leg – and I still thought I could get out on my own and be fine.”

This description came from one of our clients, Karen (name changed for privacy). It describes how she felt when trying to lose weight while also feeling depressed.

Tip: Don’t try to climb out of a hole with a broken leg.

Metaphorically speaking: fix the leg first, then climb out of the hole. In Karen’s case, it was a matter of looking first at her depression before seriously attempting to lose weight.

Depression is not always ‘in the mind’

There are sometimes biological causes of depression. ‘Neurotransmitters’ – chemical messengers in the brain – are usually responsible here.

Neurotransmitters rely on the nutrients we get from foods. So if what you are eating is not supplying them with what they need, then the neurotransmitters start dozing on the job.

The usual suspect…and the unusual one.

The neurotransmitter ‘serotonin’ often crops up in conversations about depression. But there is another – often forgotten – called ‘dopamine’. Dopamine is central to your body’s idea of being motivated and feeling rewarded.

Dopamine – the magic little happiness messenger

If you are low on this magic little messenger. some of the tell-tale signs can be:

  • poor attention/focus
  • depression
  • lack of motivation
  • general fatigue and exhaustion
  • addictions (e.g. cigarettes, alcohol, carbohydrates)

Karen could relate to this list. And as her spirits sank, her weight would increase. As her weight increased, her spirits sank. No wonder feeling good and losing weight was so hard.

Taking a natural approach to managing depression

Karen didn’t know it but her digestive tract wasn’t working properly. This was causing problems with dopamine production. And then the depression started.

So the support she received included:

  • discussing the demands in her life,
  • helping her find manageable healthy diet and exercise approaches,
  • providing her with a natural nutrient supplementation plan designed to increase serotonin and dopamine activity,
  • ongoing support.

A personalised approach to managing depression is essential

While it only took a few days for Karen to start experiencing more enjoyment and motivation, a health plan that works for one might not work for another.

As with any health issue, it is important to work from each person’s particular situation, creating manageable approaches from that basis – for both immediate and longer term results.

Learn more about evidence-based natural choices for your health.

Contact Maria Harpas at Natural Health Medicine.

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