mood problems

  1. Feeling depressed doubles stroke risk

    Depressed women face bigger stroke risk

    I've never understood it myself, but many people still feel shame and embarrassment when it comes to depression. They won't talk about feeling depressed, and they certainly won't seek help.

    Well, I'm here to tell you that you've got nothing to be embarrassed about -- and there's certainly no shame in seeking help.

    The real shame is in what could happen to you if you just let it go, because depression can lead to other serious health risks, especially in women. And ladies, if you're feeling depressed right now, you could face double the risk of a stroke, according to one new study out of Australia.

    We've seen this link made before. But in other studies, it's generally been found in older women. One study a couple years back found that depression increases the risk of stroke in senior women by nearly a third.

    In the new study, however, the higher stroke risk was found even in younger women who were feeling depressed -- including women in their 40s and 50s.

    Now, to be clear about this, not all cases of stroke linked depression are caused by the condition. In some cases, it could be caused by treatment -- because depression meds, especially common SSRIs, are also known to raise the risk of stroke in women.

    But whether it's the drugs or the condition, it's pretty clear to me that there are two actions everyone -- men and women alike -- needs to take when facing serious mood problems.

    First, never let depression go untreated. Along with increasing your risk of stroke, unchecked depression can also lead to serious heart problems.  People who are feeling depressed are also more likely to engage in unhealthy behavior, including excessive drinking, smoking, and poor diet.

    And second, avoid medications if you can (especially those SSRI drugs I just mentioned) and turn to natural therapies instead. While drugs do little to correct the underlying causes of depression, supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins can actually give the brain exactly what it's been lacking -- easing the depression and improving your overall health at the same time.

    For more tips on easing depression naturally read my free special report here.

    Some people may need additional treatment, but even in those cases drugs may not be necessary. What you really need is a skilled doctor who can diagnose other potential causes of depression, such as nutritional deficiencies and hormonal imbalances.

    I recommend a holistic physician who specializes in natural hormone therapies. And if you're in the Southern California area, I can help. Contact my clinic at 855-DOC-MARK for more information or to make an appointment.

  2. Dealing with depression using fish oil

    Beat depression with omega-3 fatty acids

    Antidepressants are usually a bad idea at any age -- but they're especially dangerous for seniors, who face a higher risk of stroke, seizures, falls, and even death when they take the drugs.

    And all of those risks are completely unnecessary -- because in most cases, the drugs themselves are unnecessary. You could be dealing with depression with safe and natural supplements, and new research backs one of the solutions I recommend most: omega-3 fatty acids.

    Most people don't realize this, but the brain is 60 percent fat -- and without a steady supply of healthy fats in the diet, it could starve. And when your brain starves, you can suffer mood and memory problems and even start dealing with depression. 

    For example, the 46 depressed senior women in the new study all had low levels of these critical fatty acids. They were given either 2.5 grams of omega-3s a day or a placebo -- and after 8 weeks, the women on the real omega-3s showed big-time improvements in dealing with depression when compared to the women on the placebo.

    But don't wait for depression to strike to start taking an omega-3 supplement of your own. Start now, and you can prevent depression as well as those memory problems I just mentioned.

    And that includes the worst memory problem of all: dementia.

    Studies have shown that seniors with low levels of omega-3 fatty acids are more likely to face cognitive decline and a faster rate of brain shrink -- and while all our brains shrink a little as we age, a faster shrink is often a warning sign of dementia.

    In one study, the brains of seniors with low levels of omega-3s had so much shrinkage that researchers said it was as if they were two years older than their real age.

    The bottom line here is you need an omega-3 fatty acid supplement even when you're not dealing with depression -- ideally a quality fish oil from a maker your trust. Along with protecting mood and memory, fish oil can help prevent stroke and heart disease, fight inflammation, boost the immune system, and more.

    Some studies have even shown that people who take fish oil have a lower risk of death from all causes.

    I'm not done fishing yet -- keep reading for more.

  3. Risky business: Sleepless kids are bad news

    Kids who miss out on sleep aren't just groggy in school -- they're also far more likely to do all the things that give parents nightmares.
  4. Diet soda linked to heart risk

    A new study finds that people who drink diet soda regularly could find a heart attack or stroke at the bottom of their next bottle.

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