Sunday, 1 November 2015

Anxiety, Depression and Food Allergies

Are you one of the many people who suffer from Anxiety and Depression?
Are you also fed up with your doctor prescribing meds for the symptoms without actually looking for an underlying cause?

An often overlooked factor in anxiety, depression and other mental health issues is allergies and intolerances to both foods and environmental triggers.

I want to introduce you to one of my clients, “Rachel”.

She had been experiencing anxiety issues since around seven years old. As she passed through puberty into her late teens, the symptoms became much worse and included severe anxiety, depression, lethargy and fatigue, an inability to concentrate and migraines. Her doctor had also diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. 

By the time she was 17 years old, she had been on medication for some years. These meds helped her to function, but the side effects had a negative impact on her quality of life. 
When she came to me, she was seeking an alternative approach that could help her eliminate the necessity for her to take meds.

We tested for food allergies and determined that cow’s milk products, wheat, tomatoes, and peppers were big triggers for her. I have found these to be relevant allergens for many clients with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. Frequently anxiety and depression go hand in hand with irritable bowel and other digestive complaints.

In Rachel’s case, her anxiety and depression had always been worse at the end of the summer, just when most people were feeling at their best. Something the doctors had not considered important or to be in any way associated with her mental health was the fact that she also had seasonal allergies that worsened in the fall with ragweed season.

What science says

In a 2002 study, a team of scientists led by Paul S. Marshall Ph.D. a clinical neurophysiologist found that people with seasonal allergies experienced more sadness, apathy, lethargy, and fatigue in late summer when ragweed season peaks. 

His report states that seasonal allergies are known to cause specialized cells in the nose to release cytokines, a kind of inflammatory protein. Animal and human studies alike suggest that cytokines can affect brain function, triggering sadness, malaise, poor concentration, and increased sleepiness. 

In 2005, Teodor T. Postolache, MD, led a study that found peaks in tree pollen levels correlated with increased levels of suicide in women.

Other studies have shown that adults with seasonal allergies were twice as likely to have major depression in the previous 12 months and that children who had suffered from these allergies at age 5 or 6 were twice as likely to experience major depression over the ensuing 17 years.

So, what can you do about it?

If food allergies and sensitivities are involved, the easy answer is to avoidance unlike molds, pollens, dust and other environmental allergens!

Allergy shots can help to reduce symptoms, or you may want to pursue other natural healing methods. NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique) is an effective, natural, non-invasive treatment that works to actually ‘turn off’ the reaction with your body. It teaches the body that it can be non-reactive in the presence of the allergens and can be used to treat allergies to foods and environmental factors.

In Rachel’s case, we used the NAET system to treat her for both the food and seasonal allergens.  Her anxiety and depression improve once I treated these allergens. She has also addressed nutritional deficiencies and made some lifestyle changes, both of which are important aspects to consider. Her improvement has been so great that, with guidance from her medical doctor, she has been able to stop taking her meds. In her words, she has ‘Never felt so balanced and well”.

If you want to understand more about your anxiety and depression you can book a complementary no-obligation assessment with one of our experienced health coaches who can answer your questions. Call 613 230-0998, book online, or email today!

About the author

Sue is co-founder and Clinic Director at Ottawa Holistic Wellness. She also works as a Natural Allergist and Energy Healer. 

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