Did you know there are many commonly prescribed medications that can cause depression and low mood?
Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the negative effects some of the mainstream medications can cause. This can lead to a diagnosis of depression and treatment with an anti-depressant when all that is actually needed is either a medication adjustment, or nutritional support to correct deficiencies the drug might be creating.
Despite what we've been lead to believe, anti-depressants are not harmless drugs. In fact, the literature is beginning to shift towards using them only in serious cases, and for short periods of time. This is based on the fact that, in comparison to placebo, most antidepressants do not do much to improve depression long term. Worse, is that they come with a wide range of serious, potentially life threatening side effects.
As you can see, this can be a slippery slope!
The way out of this cycle is through education and awareness, and today I want to share with you 3 commonly used medications which can cause, trigger, or worsen depression.
1. Birth Control
Birth control, by it's very nature, interferes with our natural hormonal rhythm. Unfortunately, this can lead to disruptions in other hormones we need for healthy mood balance.
Birth control has been linked to lowering our thyroid hormones, as well as testosterone levels. This can create low mood and weight gain among other things!
Birth control can also contribute to insulin resistance, which means our blood sugar levels may climb leading to lowered energy, and even putting women at risk for diabetes.
One of the most commonly depleted nutrients is B6 which is important for producing neurotransmitters needed for healthy mood.
2. Antacids and Proton Pump Inhibitors
Just like birth control, the very purpose of these drugs creates initial problems. Our stomach, which is one of our most important digestive organs, requires a certain level of acid (a certain pH level). Antacids work to reduce acidity and the pH level in the stomach as a way to control reflux symptoms. Unfortunately, there are a few problems with this, especially long term.
1. The reflux drugs often don't correct the real problem (poor tone of the esophagus spincture meaning acid can shoot up where it's not supposed too; sluggish digestion meaning food isn't being broken down and processed quickly enough leading to pressure in the stomach)
2. By reducing acid, these drugs make it harder for the stomach to do it's job in breaking down food into nutrients we can absorb.
One of the most common nutrient depletions from using these drugs is B12 which can lead to depression and other neurological problems.
3. Statins (Cholesterol Reducers)
Keeping on theme, the very design of these drugs is part of the reason for why they lead to low, depressed mood.
Statin drugs, like crestor, work by blocking our bodies ability to create cholesterol. They're prescribed to lower cholesterol levels and protect our cardiovascular system, however, the reason our body creates cholesterol is because we do need it!
Cholesterol is apart of our cell membranes, it's really important for hormone production, as well as vitamin D (which also plays important roles in mood).
By blocking our bodies ability to create such a vital component, we can experience a number of negative side effects including depression.
One of the biggest nutrients this drug depletes is CoQ10 - a powerful antioxidant and source of energy for our cells.
By no means am I suggesting skipping out on your next birth control or cholesterol pill, but it's very important to look at the whole picture when it comes to mood and depression!
If you're wondering what factors might be causing your depression, please feel free to book in a free assessment with Dr. Ashley!
Yours in Health.
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