serotonin

  1. Different types of depression boost Parkinson’s risk

    Slash your risk of Parkinson's today

    Depression is more than just a rotten mood. In some cases, different types of depression can be your first and only warning sign of a serious imbalance in your brain.

    And if you don't fix it now, you could face much bigger problems in the years to come -- including triple the risk of Parkinson's disease, according to one major new study.

    Now, I know that sounds more than a little terrifying, especially if you've faced your own battles with the blues. (And who hasn't?)

    But there's hope here, too -- hope that you can overcome different types of depression and slash your risk of Parkinson's at the same time.

    First, don't worry about the depression that comes with life's sad events. That's part of what makes you human and will usually go away on its own with time, the support of loved ones and prayer -- and it won't increase your risk of Parkinson's disease.

    And second, if you're facing chronic depression, don't wait.

    Take action now to get it under control, because this is the type of depression that really can increase your Parkinson's risk, according to the study of different types of depression. And while the study doesn't show why the link is there, it's no mystery to me.

    Chronic depression is often a sign of those chemical imbalances I mentioned earlier -- especially problems with dopamine and serotonin. Not coincidentally, these two neurotransmitters also play a major role in Parkinson's.

    Parkinson's, as I'm sure you know, is marked by shakes and tremors.

    But that's not all this disease can do to you.

    It's a degenerative disorder in which you slowly lose control of your muscles -- and along with the telltale tremors, you can lose your ability to stand, walk, talk and even feed yourself.

    That's why it's critical to slash your risk now and overcome different types of depression while you still can. Starting with working to make sure that chronic depression doesn't go untreated.

    Your own doctor will recommend antidepressant drugs, but the study shows how futile that approach is: Many of the seniors who took part switched meds two or three times or more, still battled chronic depression, and still faced that increased Parkinson's risk.

    No surprise, since the drugs do nothing to correct dopamine and serotonin imbalances.

    But where drugs fall short, natural solutions can deliver big -- and I've got more on that coming up next, including one depression-beater you're not going to believe.

    Keep reading!

  2. RLS symptoms can lead to death

    RLS symptoms increase death risk

    For most people, restless leg syndrome (RLS) is so strange that it almost doesn't sound real -- and commercials for drugs to treat RLS symptoms have even become fodder for late-night comics.

    But for millions of Americans, RLS is no laughing matter at all.

    It's an all-too-real condition marked by pain, numbness, twitching and more. It can interfere with daily activity and disrupt sleep -- and that may not even be the worst of it, because new research shows that men with this condition have a higher risk of an early death.

    Overall, the study of 18,000 men finds that RLS symptoms can increase your risk of an early death by 40 percent.

    But once you pull out other major risk factors for an early death -- conditions such as cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure, for example -- the risk of an early death shoots up by 92 percent in men with RLS.

    RLS symptoms don't appear to increase the risk of any single condition more than any other. But in general, men with this condition are more likely to die of respiratory illness, endocrine disease, immunological disorders and nutritional or metabolic conditions.

    That cuts across the spectrum -- and there's no surefire way to guard against all those conditions at once.

    But on the other hand, you may not have to. If the common thread here is RLS, then regaining control of your legs just might help slash your risk of these conditions and the early death they bring with them at the same time.

    There are medications for relieving RLS symptoms, but the most common include dopamine agonists, and they come with serious risks of their own -- including sleep disorders, hallucinations, emotional problems and compulsive and even self-destructive behavior such as gambling.

    Fortunately, I've been able to help many people without these medications.

    In most cases, this condition can be controlled or even cured naturally -- and instead of focusing on dopamine, my approach starts with another neurotransmitter that plays a role in RLS: serotonin.

    Between 100 and 200 mg of 5-HTP taken before bed can often increase serotonin and ease or eliminate RLS symptoms. And if that doesn't do the trick, there are still other natural options.

    A holistic physician can help find the best treatment for your situation. And if you're in Southern California, I can help. Contact my clinic at 1-855-DOC-MARK for more information or to make an appointment.

  3. A very low calorie diet can reverse diabetes

    A medically supervised diet very low in calories for short periods of time can help reverse diabetes, according to new research.
  4. Shine a light on seasonal depression

    Your skin isn't the only part of your body that needs a regular dose of sunlight -- your brain thrives on the stuff, too.
  5. FDA rewards drug maker's bad behavior

    The FDA has just approved the antidepressant Lexapro for use in kids.
  6. Sudden cardiac death linked to antidepressants

    Some drugs can be worse than the illnesses they treat.

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