Exercise may be just as crucial to a depression patient’s good health as finding an effective antidepressant.
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry by Dr Trivedi concludes that there is enough evidence to show that the effect of low fitness on depression is real. The study found that exercise was as effective as antidepressants in some cases.
Depression has been linked to several other chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and chronic kidney disease, which studies show can affect whether antidepressants are likely to help. For patients with these conditions, the more appropriate treatment may be exercise.
The reasons behind this may partly be connected to the general health effects of physical activity, including the fact that exercise decreases inflammation that is known to be the underlying cause of depression. By reducing inflammation, the risk for depression is lowered.
Other contributing factors to depression are:
Vitamin D deficiency: this crucial vitamin effects the immune system which can modulate inflammation.
Stress: increases our levels of inflammation.
Omega 3 deficiency: these good fats are anti-inflammatory and play an important role in the structure of the brain.
Vitamin B deficiency can contribute to depression and disruption to the balance of microflora in the gut causes inflammation which has a critical effect on the brain.
All these factors need to be considered along with exercise to find the road to recovery.
Note to self:
1. Increase intake of oily fish and get some sun.
2. Make an appointment with Jennifer Hargreaves, our resident Registered Nutrition Practitioner, to address levels of inflammation and other factors.