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Depression and Supplements to Add to your day to fight depression symptoms

Depression  – 5 Supplements to Fight Depression

 

Parts one and two of my articles on depression dealt with the basics of how to control depression symptoms.  As I stated already when symptoms become severe, when they last more than a couple of weeks, when you can’t even get out of bed or function then you need to get professional help.  If your feelings of depression are mild or if they are improving, in addition to the tips mentioned in articles one and two you can add in the following natural supplements to help increase mood.  For many of these supplements I have written individual and more substantiate articles previously and I have included those links after each supplement.

The following are 5 basic tips to help with depression:

  1. Omega 3 – Decreases Anxiety and Depression and acts as a mood stabilizer– Studies suggest that those patients that took Omega 3 Fish oils showed a marked improvement in their depression symptoms. In one study alone 64% of patients who took 10 Gms of Omega 3 over 4 months showed significant improvement in symptoms. In addition, fish oils help play a role in brain function and include both EPA and DHA which many who suffer from depression are deficient in. For more info on the benefits of Omega 3 please check here. https://synergyhealthandwellness.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/omega-3-5-benefits-decrease-depression-anxiety-and-even-pms/                     Unknown
  2. Vitamin D – Recent studies have shown a strong link between depression, fibromyalgia, bipolar and low levels of Vitamin D with symptoms improving with supplementation.  Seasonal affective disorder, commonly seen in Northern countries such as Norway, Sweden, Ireland probably have higher levels of hypovitaminosis than countries located on the equator.  Sadly, according to Dr James Greenblatt Vitamin D deficiency (levels less than <20 ng/ml) are regularly seen in schizophrenia, psychosis, elective mutism and anxiety.  The take away from this is have your Vitamin D25 Level Checked and supplement accordingly with between 600 -800 IU Daily this is assuming that you are getting 450 IU of Vitamin D from food sources (not often easy to do).  Good Vitamin D Food Sources are Salmon, Fish, Mushrooms, Eggs, Fermented Milks, Vitamin D3 Only Capsule 600 – 800 IU daily but please consult with your health care profession.  https://synergyhealthandwellness.wordpress.com/2016/11/05/the-imp ortance-of-vitamin-d-the-dangers-of-vitamin-d-deficiency/

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  1. B12 – Low levels of vitamin b12 and other b vitamins have been implicated in depression and these vitamins have been shown to affect brain chemicals, mood and other brain functions. Reasons for low levels of vitamin b12 can stem from poor diet, mal-absorbtion, celiac or Crohn’s disease.  Correcting B12 deficiency starts with correcting diet imbalances. Eating a diet that is rich in b12 plentiful in animal products such as fish, lean meat, poultry, eggs, and low-fat and fat-free milk. Additionally, there are foods that are fortified such as cereals.  If you need to be supplemented 500 mcg by mouth daily is a suggested recommended dose.

 

  1. Theanine – L- Theanine is an amino acid found in Green Tea. Recently L-theanine has been extracted from green tea and is being used to treat both anxiety and depression. L-Theanine works by increasing the synthesis of GABA which in turn leads to increased brain levels of dopamine while decreasing serotonin thereby increasing feelings of calm and wellbeing.

 

  1. Turmeric – Turmeric a beautiful vibrant orange Indian and middle eastern spice has long been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines for its healing properties and health benefits.  Treating everything from infections to inflammation to calming and stabilizing mood its no wonder that western medicine is now paying attention. Fights depression – Some studies have shown that Turmeric worked more effectively than Prozac in tests. Chronic inflammation can decrease serotonin and dopamine levels.  Turmeric is a powerful anti inflammatory and antioxidant agent which can help restore these neurotransmitters and protect the brain, eventually leading to improvements in mood.https://synergyhealthandwellness.wordpress.com/2016/09/05/5-benefits-of-turmeric-anti-inflammatory-anti-bacterial-and-fights-depression/
  1. Maca – Last but not least one of my personal favorite supplements especially for its all round benefits. In recent studies Maca was shown to decrease depressive symptoms I postmenopausal women.  The Fatty acids in maca root support brain function, which may be responsible for stabilizing analytical skills, cognitive function, and rational thinking and depression. Many doctors focused on holistic wellness often recommended omega-3 fatty acids (like the ones found in maca) as a first step toward alleviating certain symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. https://synergyhealthandwellness.wordpress.com/2016/08/23/maca-decrease-hot-flashes-and-mood-swings

 

Bonus Turmeric Tea Recipe

I’m Irish so Tea to me is a magical elixir with healing properties.  All the problems of the world , all the ailments could be solved with a cup of tea, the thing your Mum would rush to make for you if you had a bad day, had broken up with a boyfriend, had a fight with a best friend.  While I often reach for a cup of Barrys Gold Tea I do make this healing, anti-inflammatory, calming Turmeric tea and actually drink it daily.  I don’t know whether it’s the ritual of boiling the water or steeping the turmeric blend, the aromatic smells and tastes but I always feel an air of calm come over me when I drink it.

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Turmeric Tea – Blend Turmeric Root, Ginger, Lemon Juice into a Paste (I make enough for 1 week and store in Fridge).  Add Cayenne pepper to the paste and add boiling water and natural white honey.  Steep and then strain.

 

 

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Depression – 5 Basic things to do !

Depression  5 Tips

IMG_4995[1]5 Tangible or Proactive Basics to Fight Depression

In part one of my Depression series I discussed some strategies to undertake when you initially recognize that you are suffering from depression.  Some people suffer so badly from depression that even seemingly minor and simple tasks such as getting out of bed, dressing, showering or even eating become insurmountable.  These symptoms warrant professional help and the first 5 tips are for those people who are unable to do even the smallest of tasks.

For those who recognize that they are probable suffering from depression I often recommend that they start with very basic yet essentials strategies to help improve symptoms. So many people really want to try to treat their symptoms without medication so I often say do the following 5 things, with 100% commitment to see do your symptoms improve.  Bad diet, lack of exercise and more frequently contribute to the symptoms of depression and how great it is to see symptoms improve or even completely resolve by just changing things in our every day lives.

The following are 5 basic tips to help with depression:

  1. Diet – Simply put, keep it clean. Fish, Chicken, Turkey, Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and unprocessed carbs.  “Clean Foods” tend to be higher in the right vitamins and minerals that aid to decrease depressive symptoms, vitamins  such as B12 and folic acid for example.  For depression with anxiety, try to increase foods that also contain magnesium such as spinach, almonds and kefir.   Avoid sugars and processed foods and alcohol which in itself is a depressant.  In terms of simulants cut out sodas, caffeine’s, even trans fats and hydrogenated oils 52559fbc45c3c.image
  2. Exercise – Increases your endorphins, acts as a distractor taking your mind off depressive thoughts, can get you outside and provides socialization. You can start small just by walking around the block and work up to a 5K, class at the gym, boot camp and more.  Exercise is proven to improve mood and decrease anxiety.  The key to exercise is to start small and build up from there.  Unknown
  3. Hydration – Dehydration can be a major contributor to depression. Production of serotonin in the brain (which determines mood) decreases when there is a water shortage i.e. dehydration leading to depression, stress and anxiety.  In addition, dehydration also depletes other essential amino acids.  Dehydration also places the body under stress and when stressed the body increases production of leading to adrenal fatigue.  So make sure you are drinking enough water to hydrate your body.
  4. Stress Reduction – Meditation, Yoga, or anything that helps you relieve stress , for some that may even be knitting, dancing or getting a massage. Stress reduction techniques don’t need to be expensive nor do they need to take an inordinate amount of time.  Meditation for 5 minutes, 20 minutes gently stretching or 30 minutes listening to music or reading may be all it takes.  Find something that works for you.
  5. Sleep – Is hugely important and good quality, uninterrupted sleep is crucial. Unfortunately lack of sleep contributes to depression and depression contributes to alterations in sleep patterns.  So where to start? Firstly, rule out anything physical that may contribute to poor sleep such as obstructive sleep apnea.  Decrease alcohol and coffee at night and remove all electronics from your room.  For more on sleep see my previous article here http://bit.ly/2dE7N45 images

Basic Behaviors to change, improve on or incorporate: Diet, Exercise, Hydration, Stress Relief, Sleep.

Up next

5 Supplements

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores


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Depression – 5 Initial Tips to Help !

Depression  5 Tips images-3

Over the last couple of months, I have been contacted on several occasions for advice on how to deal with, cope with and treat depression.  I think because I actually admitted that I suffer from depression and anxiety people find it easier to approach me with these questions.  Its sad to actually see how many people struggle with depression day to day and if there is one thing that I can say is that there is hope, that depression is treatable and there are strategies that can be implemented to help treat depression.

 

From a professional standpoint I will say that if you are having suicidal thoughts, if you cannot get out of bed, if the depression lasts more than two weeks, if it is impacting your work, your relationships, your home life, your physical health these are all indicators to seek professional help.

 

The following are 5 initial tips to help with depression

 

  1. Be gentle with yourself.  Many people will often beat themselves up and even berate themselves for thinking they have depression.  Statements like why me, this shouldn’t be happening to me, I shouldn’t be feeling like this are often uttered.  Many people ignore the fact that they could be depressed as they are too busy being busy, working.  Many often think that they are too “busy” to have depression yet they often cannot put a finger on why their energy is low, why they are sad or irritable, why they no longer find joUnknown-5y in activities.  Be kind and gentle and realize that yes it can happen to you.
  1. Hopelessness and how to find hope – When you are depressed its as if a suffocating black cloud descends on you. You often feel that you are in a hole trying to claw your way to the surface for air, it’s a struggle and depression can feel physically painful.  For most there is a feeling of hopelessness, that this will never pass.  Hope is defined as the anticipation of something desired but in depression we often cannot see the fulfillment or achievement of the desired.  One of the difficult things is that hope is mainly derived internally.  So how do you get hope if you’re depressed.  Hope-fully there are people in your life who will give it to you when you need it the most, you can listen to inspirational speakers such as Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra to name a few.  You can start a diary of hope of your own to get you through bleak times.

3.   Get up, take a Shower, Get Dressed. This may sound ridiculous but even in my professional experience one of the most fundamental things in depression is to get patients out of bed, to get them showered and into clean clothes to get them out of their rooms and isolation.  If that is all you did today, then you have succeeded.  As an addition to this if you suffer from anxiety and depression and are trying to exercise you have succeeded by putting your shoes on, if you make it to the gym that’s a great additional step, if you take a class or run on the treadmill even better, but its that first initial step that is amazing.

4.  Fear, Negativity and Putting things in perspective: Did you know that negativity is a prevalent component of depression.  How many positive people suffer from depression?  How many people who have a thrill for life, who live their lives in positive ways, who relish challenges, how many of these people suffer from depression.  Depression often stems form negativity and negative thoughts.  So stop saying “why does this always happen to me” or the worst always happens or bad things happen to me.  Cultivate a spirit of positivity and if you find this difficult you can train yourself to be positive by meditating, by replacing negative self talk with positive self talk.  1745823f781993af90063730693bc0ab--positive-psychology-counseling-psychology

5.    Gratitude – Practice being grateful. Every day you get up write down 5 things you are grateful for.  From experience I know this can be hard and there are days when we struggle to find one thing.  But trust me if you do this on a regular basis most people can see that their lives do have things to be grateful for.  With many of my patients I get them to write two columns one for their problems and one for the things they are grateful for and they are often surprised to see that there is more in the first (Grateful) than the first (problems).5-things-Im-grateful-for1

 

Take away strategies:

 

Write down 5 things you are grateful for daily

https://www.positivityblog.com

 

Replace negative self talk with positive affirmations

https://www.louisehay.com/affirmations/

 

Cultivate positivity with meditation or listening to inspirational speakers  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uq1bY5AuyWg

 

Start a diary of hope

Write one thing daily that gives you hope for example “This too shall pass”, I will be happy again,


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How to halt and even reverse aging ! The Telomere Effect.

How to halt and reverse aging!

1329410057_kim-richards-sandra-bullock-lgDo you ever look at someone and wonder what age they are?  Are you often surprised how some of your high school friends have aged terribly and how others appear to have found the fountain of youth?  We often blame it on our genes, on the hand we were dealt but an amazing new book, The Telomere Effect explains to us how we can maximize the hand we are dealt and minimize the aging process (the crow’s feet, aching joints and sagging skin)

I am always researching and reading the latest and greatest health news.  I have a responsibility as a Nurse Practitioner to stay abreast of the latest research and knowledge as it pertains to my practice.

I have just finished reading The Telomere Effect by Elissa Epel and Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn.  Dr Blackburn discovered telomerase and the role that it plays along with telomeres themselves in not only halting but also reversing the aging process.  Dr Epel is a lifestyle psychologist who specializes in showing how specific lifestyle and psychological habits can improve quality of life slowing down the aging process by direct protection of telomeres.

There is so much crammed into this book that it is hard to pick just 5 Top Tips to halt and reverse aging but here are 5 Snippets and hopefully many of you will buy the book or stay tuned for the Synergy Health and Wellness Seminar Dates!   The premise of the book is that shorter telomeres are an indication of premature cellular aging and what we do or don’t do in terms of diet, exercise, stress, depression and even environmental toxins have a direct effect on telomere length.

Stress:

imagesI love the observation that “Cells are listening to your thoughts”.  According to Epel and Blackburn a small dose of stress does not damage or shorten telomere length but subject the individual to chronic long term stress, stress that is not resolved and these individuals have noticeably shorter telomere length.  Those people who are caretakers or suffering from job burnout or going through a protracted divorce, for example are all subject to severe and prolonged stress.  We all know that inflammation is bad for us but did you know that shorter telomeres promote inflammation.

Recommendation:  Try stress reduction exercises such as meditation, yoga, journaling to reduce the amount of stress in your life.  Even better identify stress triggers and try to negate or minimize them.

Depression & Anxiety:

Like stress depression and anxiety wreak havoc on telomeres and studies show that they shorten telomeres.  The more severe the disorder (think mild versus major depressive disorder MDD) the shorter the telomeres.  More than 350 Million people worldwide suffer from depression and studies show that telomeres are shortened in those with depression and there is also a link to the duration of the depression or anxiety episode.  Telomerase, an enzyme that is secreted in response to shortening telomeres is increased in depressed individuals in an attempt to counteract telomere shortening.

Recommendation:  Early identification and treatment for depression and anxiety is essential.  Treatment modalities such as mindfulness based cognitive therapy and mindfulness itself can also be used in treatment and again modalities such as yoga and meditation have been shown to be effective in the treatment of both depression and anxiety.

Exercise:

images-4Its well known that exercise helps with stress reduction, improves symptoms of anxiety and depression and aids in weight loss – so it’s a no brainer to exercise daily.  What The Telomere Effect reports is that HIIT type exercise programs (think of all the programs available at Synergy Fitness Boca) increase telomerase activity helping to increase telomere length.

Recommendation:  HIIT exercise programs 5 times a week for 30-45 minutes a time will help protect telomeres.  Add in resistance training to your program as well.

 

Diet:

images-3What’s the best diet to protect your telomeres, increase their length slow or reverse the aging process?  Easy!  Fruit, vegetables, wholegrain, fish, chicken, Omega 3 rich foods, alcohol, fat, processed food avoidance.  Also avoid those foods that cause inflammation (these may differ from individual to individual) but cow’s dairy, fatty red meats, cheese, soda, processed and cured meats.

Recommendations: Follow a clean diet with fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  Mediterranean and Okinawa diets are good examples.  Limit alcohol, processed and refined foods!

Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements:

Epel and Blackburn would rather that we get the majority of our Vitamins and minerals from our foods eating those foods high in antioxidants.  But we may not get enough of certain vitamins and minerals from our diets and they suggest that adequate amounts of Vitamins D, B (folate) C, E and Omega 3’s promote telomere length and telomerase.

Recommendations:  Eat plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, wholegrain, legumes and low fat proteins such as chicken and fish.  Eat Omega 3 rich food and reduce foods that cause insulin resistance and inflammation.

Sleep:

images-1Lack of sleep, insomnia and sleep deprivation all lead to shorter telomeres.  If you are tired during the day you are not getting enough sleep – Simple as!  But lack of sleep is implicated in depression, anxiety and so much more.  Sleep should be of good quality, the same time each day and for an adequate amount.

Recommendations:  Go to bed at the same time each night, if you tired during the day go to bed earlier.  Avoid alcohol and drugs and for more sleep information check out my previous article on sleep. (http://bit.ly/2dE7N45)

There is so much more in this book than mentioned above and I urge you all to buy it and implement the strategies included.  Stay tuned as we will be doing a more comprehensive lecture on how to halt and even reverse aging by promoting telomere friendly strategies in all areas of our lives.

The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer by Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel is published by Orion Spring unknown-1

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores


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Goals & Intentions for 2017

 

unknown-2Setting Goals and Intentions for the New Year

5 Great Goal & Intention Setting Tips

We’re a little over one week into the New Year and already people are falling back on some of their resolutions or goals.  What are some of the ways that we can ensure that we succeed at goal & intention setting so as to achieve all we desire in 2017.

  1.  I don’t care what anyone says. To be successful you HAVE to write your goals down and also keep them in a place were you can glance or refer to them frequently. Get a diary and just jot down all the amazing things you would like to achieve in the next year.  This list is random and creative and it should flow but doesn’t necessarily have to have any rhyme or reason.  Don’t worry if it seems hard to start just stick with it a bit.  You can muse on areas of love, career, spirituality, home, family as some general headings to get started.
  1.  Light a candle or incense or even smudge the area you are sitting in with sage. “Clear” the space or pray to a higher being for peace and guidance. Smells and sounds often help to calm the person as they are getting ready to set the tone for intentions. th-1
  1. Be realistic about your goals and while we often use the acronym S.M.A.R.T. to refer to goal setting – I like to be a not more “loose” with the specifics and timing of goals allowing the Universe to provide (as it always does) in the divine timing that it has set. You do have to be realistic about goals – setting a goal to lose 50 lbs in 1 month is neither realistic or healthy, a better goal would be to break the task into smaller more achievable pieces such as a weight loss of 10lbs per month.
  1.  Set goals that motivate you and set you on fire. You shouldn’t set goals just for the sake of setting goals. Goals should motivate and excite you set you on fire and ostensibly improve you in some area of your life!
  1.  Make an action plan. Its great to make goals but the next step is crucial you need to make plans to achieve those goals. If your goal is to travel to Iceland or Machu PIccu get travel brochures, enquire about airfare and hotels, pick a date and plan on saving every week. Sites like SmartyPig allow you to save for your goals and will direct debit a set amount on a set schedule.  Its great to have goals and dreams but the plans and steps to get there are equally important.
  1. Dream Big – OK this may be counterintuitive to the “be realistic” part of SMART goals – But go on have fun dream big.  What would you really like to accomplish if someone told you you couldn’t fail.  That beautiful farm & studio in Leitrim It will be yours (well mine) ! Running your own company, writing that novel or producing that movie.  All are within reach !

Happy 2017 Dare to Dream Great Dreams – and make them all real in 2017 !th-2

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net