Dr. David Brownstein,  editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter, is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

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Help for Depression

Monday, 22 Jun 2009 03:15 PM


Question: I am 82 years old and have been treated for depression for the past 12 years. At varying times, Paxil, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Effexor, and Cymbalta have been prescribed. I cannot tolerate any of these medications. Can you suggest a natural remedy I can try?




Dr. Brownstein’s Answer:


There are many natural remedies for depression. Unfortunately, conventional medicine's approach to treating depression is to use potent, mood-altering drugs that can have many serious side effects. Conventional doctors rarely will search for any underlying cause of depression. Conventional medicine instead looks at depression as a deficit of an antidepressant medication, which it clearly is not.

The first step in treating depression is to look for an underlying cause. This includes a thorough analysis of the hormonal system. The relationship between hypothyroidism and depression has been known for more than a century. I have seen many patients with depression who have been mistreated with antidepressant medications when they should have been treated for hypothyroidism. Also, common causes of depression are nutritional deficits, including magnesium deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency, and amino-acid deficiency. One of the best nutritional therapies for depression is to eat a healthier diet, free of white sugar, flour, and salt. A healthy diet also must contain adequate amounts of protein from clean sources, that is, free of pesticides, hormones, and additives.






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