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Nutrition Counseling: Depression

The LodeStone Center provides nutrition counseling as part of our wellness services. We have a registered dietitian who you can schedule appointments with either stand alone, or along with one of our mental health clinicians. If you would like more information, or would like to request a first visit, you can either fill out the contact form on this page and we will get in touch with you or you can also call us directly at 847-802-4058.

How Can Nutrition Counseling Help With Depression?

Being depressed can cause severe distress and poor functioning at work, school, and in the family. Episodes of depression are marked by a constant sense of despair, worthlessness, or hopelessness often coupled with loss of interest in usual activities, lack of energy, trouble concentrating, difficulty making decisions, changes in sleeping patterns, or significant change in weight. Severity and duration of episodes vary from person to person.
Risk factors that seem to increase the risk of developing depression or triggering a depressive episode include, but are not limited to:

● Poor nutrition
● Genetics (family history of depression)
● Chronic stress or poor sleep
● Conditions such having a baby, serious diseases such as cancer, heart disease, HIV, -/- abuse, and the side effects of some medications

Depression and Nutrition:

Depression can result in an increase or a decrease in appetite, over­eating for emotional comfort, or feeling too tired to plan and fix healthy meals and snacks. Both under­ and over­eating can lead to poor nutritional status, which can affect mental health. Imbalances of carbohydrate, fat, and protein are linked to depression. Vitamins and minerals are needed in order to produce neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals found in your nerve cell that communicates with another nerve cell or with a muscle. The neurotransmitters are of particular interest in preventing and treating depression. Specific diets, like a typical or traditional Western, Mediterranean, or Japanese diet may not necessarily alter the risk for depression; however, eating patterns (as compared to studying individual nutrients) have shown that consuming a healthy, balanced diet is associated with a lower likelihood of depression. A full nutritional assessment of diet and supplements, laboratory tests, and evaluation of medications will give the dietitian and you information about whether these factors are contributing to depression and help you make a realistic plan for feeling better.

What Are Nutrition Plans?

A personal nutrition plan created by you and your dietitian will include consideration of:
Times of eating
Loss of appetite
Increased appetite and food cravings
Mindful Eating
Carbohydrates and blood sugar: episodes of low blood sugar or high blood sugar may play a role in the development of depression. Carbohydrate rich foods trigger brain chemicals, which increase feelings of well­ being. Carbohydrates high in fiber are likely to provide a moderate but lasting effect on brain chemistry and mood, as compared to the immediate but temporary high that refined carbohydrates give.

Proteins: amino acids such as tryptophan, tyrosine, and glutamine produce the neurotransmitters that contribute to your mood.

Fats: fatty acids are important parts of the brain and nervous system. Deficiency in omega­3 fatty acids and below­ normal levels of circulating cholesterol are believed to effect the development of depression.

Vitamins and Mineral: vitamins B1, B6, B12, C, D, and folic acid, and minerals (copper, iron, magnesium, zinc) are involved in the production of neurotransmitters that influence your mood. Other minerals involved in the possible development of depression include calcium, chromium, iodine, and selenium. The diets of those suffering from depression have often been found deficient in Vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, and folate, as well as minerals phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, and iron.

Medications: antidepressants and other medications may effect appetite, thirst, digestion, absorption, excretion, weight, and nutrient needs. Many medications taken for depression can cause undesirable weight changes and may require alterations in diets
If you have any questions or concerns regarding nutrition counseling, please don’t hesitate to call and speak with us. We are happy to answer questions, help look into your insurance benefits or explain how counseling might be beneficial to you. If you have questions, and would like to speak to one of our professionals, contact us today.