Celiac disease is a malabsorption syndrome and chronic digestive disorder. The intestine is not able to absorb vital dietary nutrients from foods containing gliadin, an alcohol-soluble portion of gluten. This condition which is often hereditary means the sufferer has a serious intolerance to wheat (including durum, semolina and spelt), rye, oats, barley, and related grain hybrids such as tritaclae and kamut.

Arthritis refers to inflammation of the joint. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis which is characterised by joint degeneration and loss of cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis which is also an autoimmune disorder. In this case the body's immune system attacks its own cartilage and tissue surrounding the joints.

Some detoxification experts advocate fasting, while others do not. It is known that the components of any well-designed detox program will stimulate the body to cleanse itself, but people who are underweight, are undernourished, have weak hearts, have blood sugar issues or are ill should avoid fasting. Some studies have shown that restricting food intake can actually lead to bingeing.

Hemorrhoids are extremely common in industrialised countries and it is estimated that fifty percent of persons over fifty years of age have symptoms of hemorrhoidal disease. Although most people may begin to develop hemorrhoids in the twenties, the symptoms do not become evident normally until in ones thirties!

Depression- natural treatments

What is depression?

Depression is a common mood disorder that can be accompanied by poor appetite, insomnia or excessive sleepiness, loss of interest or pleasure in ones usual activities and physical hyperactivity, inactivity, lethargy or fatigue. It is often accompanied with feelings of worthlessness, and a diminished ability to concentrate. Depression can lead to recurrent thoughts of death or suicide. Approximately 17 million Americans alone suffer from clinical depression and over 28 million Americans take antidepressant drugs. Depression is a very real problem for those that suffer from it. There are ways out, and natural remedies and lifestyle practises can help bring oneself back to a happier equilibrium, through which to live ones life.

How do I treat depression naturally?

Nutrients: A deficiency of any single nutrient can alter brain function, leading to depression and anxiety. Also nutrient excess, drugs, alcohol, hormonal derangement, environmental factors, allergies and microbial factors can alter the normal functioning of the brain. It is important to rule out any underlying cause for the depression, as such organic contributers must be identified and dealt with before an improvement can be seen.

Well, the brain is probably the most sensitive of all your bodies organs to what you eat and what pills you take. Be concerned with three main areas: 1) Circulation. You have to get good blood circulation to the brain to feed the nutrients and also to get rid of the waste products. 2) Blood sugar regulation. Blood sugar is the brain's fuel. If the blood sugar is fluctuating, we may have bouts of depression. 3) The level of neurotransmitters in the brain. These are the chemical messengers that send signals back and forth between nerve cells. And for quite a few number of years now from studies we know that you can influence these levels of neurotransmitters by certain foods and supplementing with certain amino acids.

A lot of pharmaceutical antidepressants target serotonin, one of the neurotransmitters. Serotonin gives rise to feelings of peacefulness and contentment. You can influence serotonin levels by eating certain foods. Carbohydrates tend to increase levels of serotonin as does niacin, for example.

Depression- natural treatments and remedies.
Diet for depression

Increase the consumption of fibre rich plant foods and complex carbohydrates, (fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and raw nuts and seeds).

Eliminate sugar, caffeine and other stimulants where possible. Eat good nourishing, quality food, as rubbish food will quite simply make you feel bad not just physically but emotionally as well.

Supplements for depression

Omega -3 fatty acids & Fish Oils: A deficiency of omega 3 oils has been linked to depression. Eat plenty of dark fish each week or take a fish oil supplement (3000 - 5000 mg a day) Studies have shown that low levels of omega-3 fatty acids (found in cold-water fish such as tuna and salmon), or a high ratio of omega-6 fatty acids (found in certain vegetable oils, such as corn and soybean oils) to omega-3 fatty acids, may be associated with depression.

5HTP: Numerous double blind studies have shown that 5HTP is as effective an antidepressant as drugs, but that it is better tolerated with milder side effects. Take 100-200mg three times a day.

Folate (Vitamin B9)Studies suggest that folate may be associated with depression more than any other nutrient. Between 15% and 38% of people with depression have low folate levels in their bodies and those with very low levels tend to be the most depressed. Having low levels of folate may also affect treatment; some studies report that people with folate deficiencies tend to respond less effectively to the SSRI, fluoxetine, than those with normal amounts of folate. Therefore, folate supplementation (typically between 400 and 800 mg) may be useful in both treating depression and assuring the appropriate effects of some antidepressant medications.

Many healthcare providers start by recommending a multivitamin (MVI) that contains folate, and then monitoring the homocysteine levels in the blood to ensure the adequacy of therapy. Elevated homocysteine levels indicate a deficiency of folate even if the levels of folate in the blood are normal. If the MVI alone is not enough to lower homocysteine and improve folate function, the provider may suggest additional folate along with vitamins B6 and B12.

S-Adenosinemethionine (SAMe) Some studies suggest that the dietary supplement SAMe may be just as effective as tricyclic antidepressants for treating depression, but with fewer side effects. It is best to avoid using SAMe in conjunction with other antidepressants until it has been researched more thouroughly. Discuss its use with your healthcare provider who can help tailor your treatment accordingly.

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) Some studies suggest that a by-product of tryptophan known as 5-HTP may be as effective as SSRIs and tricyclic antidepressants in treating depression, but with fewer side effects than tryptophan (Natures Clinicals cannot recommend trytophan supplementation until its safety has been established).

Selenium: Some reports indicate that the mineral selenium, found in wheat germ, brewer's yeast, liver, fish, shellfish, garlic, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, and grains, significantly affects mood. In one study of people with low levels of selenium, those who consumed a diet high in selenium reported decreased feelings of depression after 5 weeks.

Inositol is a naturally occurring substance involved in the production of certain brain chemicals. In a few studies, levels of inositol were lower in the cerebrospinal fluid (fluid surrounding the brain and spinal column) of depressed people compared to healthy people. In addition, administration of inositol decreased signs of depression in two animal studies. Several small human studies suggest that inositol may be of value in the treatment of depression, particularly for those who do not respond to antidepressant medications. More clinical trials are necessary to draw definitive conclusions on this substance, however.

Herbal Remedies for depression

St. Johns Wort (Hypericum perforatum): In Germany, doctors treating depression now prescribe the herbal remedy St John’s Wort ten times more often than its orthodox cousin, Prozac. There are numerous clinical studies showing how, for the treatment of mild to moderate depression, it is as effective as any of the conventional antidepressant with the added bonus of less side-effects. For those that are already on antidepressants it is possible to come off these and replace them with St Johns Wort. The protocol includes the practice of slowly weaning off the antidepressants and slowly moving on the St Johns Wort. This protocol ideally should be undertaken with the guidance of a professional herbalist or naturopath.
In recent placebo-controlled trials, reported in the British Medical Journal, German researchers found, for example, that a daily dose of 900 micrograms (mcg/ug) of hypericin, the active ingredient in the herb, was as effective as 100mg of the orthodox antidepressant, imipramine, in improving the quality of life for sufferers. They also found that because patients can tolerate St John’s Wort better than most of the tricyclic antidepressants, they are more likely to keep . taking it.

Lavender is another wonderful herb that can be used in the treatment of depression. See a herbalist ifor if or herbal prescription.

Kava is a good herb if anxiety is present, while valerian, schisandra, pasque flower, motherwort, lemon balm and vervain are all reguarly used by herbalist to help with mood disorders.

Lifestyle guidance for depression

Exercise: Start exercise and do so 3 times a week for 30 minutes each time minimum. Exercise is a wonderful mood enhancer and lifts serotonin levels. Try to identify what your pain is and then do something very physical once you've identified it. Either go for a run or do an aerobics class or dance vigorously to rock-n-roll music or pound a pillow, but do something with the intention of letting the body release your pain.

Breathing Exercises and / or Yoga: These will release stress and help one see things in a more positive way. See our sections on breathing exercises for techniques.

Positive Mental Attitude: At Natures Clinicals this is one of our main focus's when treating depression. It may be hard to lift yourself and then we recommend that you see a counsellor for help. In the meantime please try to remember the following:

Thoughts are emotions and feelings, as well as ideas

Certain thoughts are troublesome because we have affinities to them

Our relationship with our affinities causes thoughts to becomes stuck in our mental field, causing depression.

The moment a thought becomes recognised we can choose to let it go by making a firm choice for peace.

If we realise too late and become trapped in mental agitation, we can divert our attention by two means;

physical activity or thought substitution. For physical activity see exercise above. For substitution see below:

Specific sounds are very effective in substituting thoughts because they effect the nervous system

Substituting a thought with a sound should be practised reguarly throughout regularly day to be really effective

Some ayurvedic based sounds are as follows:

Hum (the 'u' as in 'put') dispels fear and anxiety
Shrum ('shreem') is cooling, creative and feminine
Ram (the 'a' as in 'father') is protecting , calm and peaceful
Sham ('shum') brings detachment, peace and contentment