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Depression and illness: Chicken or egg?

Also: Can digital fitness trackers get you moving; Which medications are best for depression?
Harvard Medical School

Depression and illness: Chicken or egg?

When depression strikes, doctors usually probe what's going on in the mind and brain first. But it's also important to check what's going on in the body, since certain medical problems are linked to mood disturbances. In fact, medical illnesses — and medication side effects — may be behind nearly 10% to 15% of all cases of depression.

It's not uncommon for a physical illness to trigger depression. Up to half of heart attack survivors and those with cancer report feeling blue, and many are diagnosed with depression. Many people who have diabetes, Parkinson's, or other chronic conditions become depressed.

Product Page - Understanding Depression
Depression is more than a passing bout of sadness or dejection, or feeling down in the dumps. It can leave you feeling continuously burdened and can sap the joy out of once-pleasurable activities. Effective treatment can lighten your mood, strengthen your connections with loved ones, allow you to find satisfaction in interests and hobbies, and make you feel more like yourself again.

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It works in the other direction, too. Depression can affect the course of a physical disease. Take heart disease — depression has been linked with slower recovery from a heart attack and an increased risk for future heart trouble.

Here's another chicken-or-egg example. Two common thyroid disorders are well known to affect mood. If the thyroid makes too much hormone (hyperthyroidism), manic symptoms can result. If the gland makes too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism), exhaustion and depression can appear. Treating thyroid disease can often relieve the mood problems.

The list doesn't stop there. Other medical conditions associated with mood disorders include certain neurological conditions (multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's), other hormonal imbalances, and some nutritional deficiencies, such as a lack of vitamin B12.

The take-home message is that if you have depression, or think you might, a thorough physical exam and careful medical history could help pinpoint a physical source of the problem — and the most appropriate treatment.

For more on diagnosing and finding the right treatment on the different types of depression, buy Understanding Depression, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

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News and Views from the Harvard Health Blog

Can digital fitness trackers get you moving?

Study after study has shown that Americans don't get enough activity. In fact, many of us don't even get our recommended 10,000 steps a day. In a small study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers gave either a standard pedometer or a Fitbit brand digital fitness tracker to 51 overweight postmenopausal women who had been getting about 33 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity. The Fitbit group increased their physical activity by 38 minutes per week.

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Medications for depression: Which is best?

One day, a detailed knowledge of the biology of depression may help us to predict which antidepressant will work best for each person. Right now, though, psychiatrists and other doctors who prescribe antidepressants choose a particular drug and dosage based on many factors, including the following:

  • Diagnosis. Certain drugs work better for specific symptoms and types of depression. For example, some antidepressants may be better than others when insomnia is an issue.

  • Side effects. Ask your doctor about the side effects of the recommended antidepressant. If common side effects are things you want to avoid, see if there is another option.

  • Age. As you age, your body tends to break down drugs more slowly. Thus, older patients may need a lower dosage. Only a few depression medications have been studied carefully for use in children.

  • Health. Your doctor will consider factors such as heart disease or neurological illnesses when recommending a particular antidepressant. Be sure to discuss any medical problems thoroughly with your primary care doctor or psychiatrist before starting an antidepressant.

  • Medications, supplements, and diet. When combined with certain drugs or substances, antidepressants may not work as well or may even have worrisome or dangerous side effects. People taking an antidepressant known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) need to take particular care.

  • Alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and other substances can cause depression and make antidepressants less effective. Doctors often treat alcohol or drug addiction first if they believe either is causing the depression. In many instances, simultaneous treatment for addiction and depression is warranted.

Once you have learned as much as you can about the treatment options, talk to your doctor about the approach that seems best for you given your lifestyle, your interests, and your judgment.

For additional information on medications and their effectiveness, buy Understanding Depression, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

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Understanding Depression

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What is depression?
Causes of depression
Diagnosing depression
Seeking treatment
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In this issue: 7 steps to a sharper memory, NSAID heart risks, job burnout, teeth grinding and more.

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Memory loss: 7 tips to improve your memory
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Exercise intensity: How to measure it  
To get the most out of your workouts, aim for a moderate to vigorous exercise intensity. See how taking note of your heart rate and how you feel can help.
NSAIDs: Do they increase my risk of heart attack and stroke?
Taking these common pain medications may increase the chance of having a heart attack or stroke. Learn about alternatives and how to lower your risk.
Psoriasis diet: Can changing your diet treat psoriasis?
There's no special psoriasis diet, but eating certain foods may improve or worsen your symptoms.
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Systematize Ways On Choosing The Right Life Coach

By Nancy Gardner

Our lives are the important thing that we should treasure. You need to learn and carefully nourish and take care of all the aspects of your life. But, for sure you are puzzled on the best thing to do, then consider on a help of a guru. The role of a guru will surely guide you on a right path. Moreover, a teacher will enlighten your mindset and perception about many things.

When we think about our life, there are numerous things that we reminisce. Choosing the right life coach is very essential because of the good things that he or she teaches us. Its easy to just select a someone without assessing his or her credibility. Therefore, its really valuable that you must learn about selecting the apt one.

Its best to perfectly evaluate the characteristic of your desired coach. Writing down the possible traits of a person would help you to easily identify a teacher in life. Just anticipate the virtue you really wanted to see in a teaching guru. By determining the best one, you can successfully acquire a good outcome.

Learn to understand the true meaning of a life coaching. This method is optional, but its helpful in making your decision. By grasping the real interpretation of a coaching will help you to determine the apt coach. Create a phrase or an essay about the definition of it to your own perception. If you come up with an answer, then you will be capable to choose the finest one.

The habits which you should change must be clarified. Wonder into a place where you would assess the kind of trait you should change. However, you need to have first a clear mindset to determine the habits to alter. If you identify, then it would be easy to come up with a good choice of coach.

Its now time to look for the suitable coach. The search for a guru starts once you have fully accomplished the above steps. Remember, that there are many options which you might consider in selecting the best one. Therefore, your choices are really valuable. Every choice of yours can make or break the outcome you wanted.

Compare the top choices of your coach. Carefully select the suitable one between your top and favorable choices and comparing them is the perfect thing to do. Thus, you need to rightfully choose the one based on your criteria. If you have a list of qualities, use it as a basis in your selection. You might not know that someday your being will change for a lifetime.

These things would not be possible from the start if a person will not be aware of the changes in his or her being. So, its best to have an awareness and inquisitiveness to the aspects of your being. Having the ability to do so can lead you to an accomplishment you truly wanted.

In order to improve your well being, the change must first start within yourself. By the time you grow, you would be capable to practice good attitude and personality. Do not always rely on the help of a coach. Best to enhance yourself first.

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Finding A Chiropractor You Could Trust

By Ruthie Livingston

Discomforts are very common especially when you spend too much time on one position. This is also typical for people who have been working all day. It does not matter whether you are from an office or you are working for something that requires you to spend strength, this is still something you could feel. Relieving this should be your first priority since this might affect your functionality and performance in work.

With the existence of various methods and treatment means these days, a simple back pain could be cured in various ways. Taking a long shower can ease your muscles. But at times, the simple means does not cure recurring pains. When you feel that it is still coming back right after applying treatment, you should try to see a professional for this. Those who are suffering from various pains in Battle Ground usually go to a chiropractor Battle Ground to have their backs fixed.

Chiropractic care means that they will adjust some parts of your back through adjusting your spine. This makes it very effective for certain bone conditions. But you should take note that this could also be a very critical process. Knowing more about it before trying it out would be best for those with no related experience.

Many individuals are keen on trying it because it is more effective compared to other methods. The chiropractor could decide how you will be treated. Some have to go through several sessions before they could see the effect of this particular method. But sometimes, it only takes one session for this to be finished.

The effects are also long lasting. Once you are healed, you will surely feel relieved right after. There might be many treatment methods to use. But because this offers the best means and the a longer lasting effect, this is why many individuals favor this the most.

There are several things that you can do before actually looking for a chiropractor that could help you. First, you should know which particular method you would like to go through. Others consult several experts. Machines could be used to correct the posture of the spine. But several methods make use of their hands alone.

The first thing to do when looking for someone that could offer these services is through asking for referrals. Asking your doctor about this would help you gain good options since they are in the same field. Others utilize the internet. But for you to get the trusted results, it is best to make use of their referrals.

Once you have a good list, it is better to survey each one of them. Guaranteeing that they are licenses and legal are the first steps to do. You do not want to be treated by someone who is not well trained and lacks the experience. Since this could be a very critical process, you should only trust experts for this.

Knowing the cost would not be a good consideration for choosing a service provider. This is because many of the established types are more expensive. However, this will help you get ready in terms of your finances. This will also help you establish and be ready first.

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Ideas On Getting The Best Mississauga Dentists

By Ruthie Livingston

For some people, a visit to a Mississauga, ON dentist is something regular while for others the case is exceedingly different. This is the result of having to persevere excruciating pain that patients undergo in dental clinics. Therefore, the dentist must be specialized in detecting dental issues while at the same time assure every patient that there is no reason whatsoever to fear. The best Mississauga dentists must therefore have the traits discussed below.

A qualified dentist will never have reservations about being listed on dental directory. Such is essential since it is an indicator that they are open to the public. Any that is coy of providing contacts to the citizens is likely hiding something and ought to be given a wide berth.

Continuation about learning is a critical constituent. This empowers them by ensuring that they are always in the know about the newest technology. They are therefore always devoted to being informed and if they happen to run into a case that is beyond their capability, referral services will assist them get specialists that solve your dental issues.

A friendly reception is crucial when visiting a dentist. At no time should one ever feel jittery. The staffs should have the required decorum that enables them to be patient friendly. This desirable characteristics will ensure that there is no torment during the whole procedure.

It is crucial for them to be informed about issues pertaining to oral cleanliness. Isolating the main issue ought to be done fast and also correct mediation should be prescribed. Mildness is necessary reason being that the mouth is quite delicate. All traces of pain must be kept at bear minimum as all procedures are carried out to avoid any horrifying experience.

The desire to be on top of things is felt by everyone. Things like medical records should always be availed to you plus all mode of treatments offered must be explained. This makes certain that one is part and parcel of treatment decision making. Manual dexterity is a quality that makes sure appropriate hand coordination is accomplished as the various equipment is being used. This guarantees that sophisticated undertakings are carried out appropriately.

Keeping up with the newest improvements in dentistry is desired. Reason being that they are able of performing current dental procedures which are effective. Such as ability ensures that they are devoted to acquiring all new machinery in the market since they desire to always be up-to-date.

A deep awareness must be exhibited on matters to do with mouth care. Informing the masses about merits of teeth brushing plus assisting individuals acquire a fit mouth must be part of their aims. A lot of folks fear procedures entailed in dental clinics making it important to make patients remain at ease.

The above named are great features that should be observed in this career. Following them will ensure that you are at all times in safe hands. Additionally, one will have located a practitioner they can consult for life.

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Success With Natural Methods To Reverse Insulin Resistance

By Nancy Gardner

Recently our televisions, radios, newspapers and internet news resources have been overflowing with items about insulin resistant diabetes. Television and radio programs as well as newsprint and web news sources seem to be overflowing with items quoting ever increasing numbers of cases that threaten to overrun our hospitals and surgeries. On a more positive note it is encouraging to read about the success of natural methods to reverse insulin resistance.

Diet and exercise treatments have been successful in both patients on the verge of being classified diabetic, and fully identified cases, to the extent that some patients were able to cease taking their medicines altogether. Perhaps it would be beneficial to provide some background regards the relevant chemical reactions before going any further.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps body cells absorb sugar, in the form of glucose, from the blood to provide energy. Sugars arise from foods that contain carbohydrates are released as glucose into the blood. The function of insulin, released by the pancreas when we eat, is to help the body maintain a healthy level of glucose in circulation by allowing it to pass into the cells. Consequently blood sugar levels are lowered, and the cells receive the energy required for normal body functions.

Diabetes occurs when blood sugars accumulate in the bloodstream. Put simply this means that cells run out of fuel while dangerously high levels of blood sugar course throughout the body with the potential to cause damage to tissues and organs. In type two diabetics this process is complicated further by being overweight and through lack of exercise.

In most cases the dietary changes required are relatively simple. Consult with a qualified health care professional for full details, but in brief it goes like this. Starchy carbohydrates are a no no so cut out all refined and processed foods high in sugar and starch. Start with refined sugar itself, white flour, bread, rice, cereal and potatoes.

Eat high-quality protein, such as fish, especially fatty, cold water fish like salmon, mackerel, small halibut, herring, sardines and shellfish. These sources are also rich in omega 3 fats which assist in reducing inflammation and high cholesterol, both contributing factors of diabetes.

Foods with a low glycemic index generally reduce spikes in blood sugars from arising and seeds, nuts, coconuts, avocado are good examples. Meat, lean cuts and consumed moderately, and egg is okay but try and source this organically. Green leaf vegetable like cabbage, spinach and kale are a must, as is fruit that facilitates a gradual rising of sugar levels. Apples, peaches, plums, bananas, and grapes are typical of these type of fruits.

These tips represent only a broad guideline of diet recommendations. Search engine results will reveal an abundance of further information and so will a GP and dietary consultant. A balanced regime of mineral and vitamin supplements can also play an important role in recovery. Persevere and cling to the vital belief that in the majority of incidences reversal of this ailment is a real possibility. Of course do not forget the exercise. Three good activity sessions per week is recommended, aiming to last at least thirty minutes, could be the difference between success and failure.

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Study: Alzheimer's Is On the Rise... But You Can Lower Your Risk

With more people reaching old age than ever before, a new report says that the global rate of Alzheimer’s disease is increasing faster than previously estimated, with 9.9 million developing dementia every year.

You might know that in order to prevent Alzheimer’s and other kinds of dementia, it’s important to keep your brain sharp with brainteasers, puzzles, and meditation. But that’s just scratching the surface.
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Study: Alzheimer's Is On the Rise... But You Can Lower Your Risk
With more people reaching old age than ever before, a new report says that the global rate of Alzheimer’s disease is increasing faster than previously estimated, with 9.9 million developing dementia every year.

You might know that in order to prevent Alzheimer’s and other kinds of dementia, it’s important to keep your brain sharp with brainteasers, puzzles, and meditation. But that’s just scratching the surface.
Nicholas English
Content Manager of Health
More Than Losing the Keys: 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease   
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