The Missing Link: Inflammation and Depression in Women
Anti-Inflammatory Approach to Reducing Symptoms
Antidepressant drug use is on the rise, particularly among women. A report released by Medco Health Solutions analyzed prescription claims data from 2.5 million Americans between 2001 and 2010 and found that 25 percent of women take drugs for a mental health condition. Despite a mainstream medicine notion that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance, medications known by familiar names such as Zoloft and Prozac meant to counter symptoms of such an imbalance may instead be causing a host of known harmful side effects.
“In six decades, not a single study has proven that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance,” asserts Dr. Kelly Brogan, an integrative physician, women’s health advocate and pioneer in holistic psychiatry.
A study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry in 2014 reviewed 10 randomized, placebo-controlled trials to assess the effectiveness of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) in adults with symptoms of depression. The researchers from Aarhus University, in Denmark, found that treating inflammation in patients helped decrease their symptoms.
Brogan asserts that this approach is the best way to treat depression in women, advocating the use of a holistic anti-inflammation strategy instead of NSAIDs or antidepressants. “A more effective, drug-free approach is to recruit basic lifestyle changes that kick-start the body’s self-healing mechanisms, helping to curtail the symptoms of depression,” she claims. Her suggestions include dietary modification; simple breathing and meditation techniques; minimizing exposure to biology-disrupting toxins that include common over-the-counter drugs; sufficient sleep and exercise.
“Medical literature has emphasized the role of inflammation in mental illness for more than 20 years, so if you think a chemical pill can save, cure or correct you, think again,” says Brogan. “Covering over symptoms is a missed opportunity to resolve the root cause of the problem.”
For more information, visit KellyBroganMD.com.