Sugar and Grains Increase Depression

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January 15, 2005 | 35,910 views

Depression may be the culprit behind both mental and physical health conditions. According to studies, more than normal rates of depression can be found in patients with clinically manifest type 2 diabetes. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes and can be characterized by insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency--either of which can be present at its onset.

And, while the relationship between insulin resistance and depression is a vague and contradictory area, a more recent study may have made some headway.

Treading New Ground

Researchers discovered a positive connection between higher levels of insulin resistance and severity of depressive symptoms in patients with impaired glucose tolerance, before the occurrence of diabetes. Based on these findings, it was suggested that insulin resistance could be the result of an increased release of counter-regulatory hormones linked to depression; however, this has not been confirmed.

British Medical Journal January 1, 2005;330:17-18 Free Full-Text Article

Depression is very common in our population, however many people are unclear how to diagnose or determine if they have it. If you fall into this group please review my earlier article on how you can diagnose depression.

Exercise is one of the most potent treatments for depression. The above study provides additional support for this notion by determining that insulin resistance appears to have a strong relationship with depression. Appropriate exercise is one of the most effective ways to normalize insulin resistance. Interestingly, the federal government came up with the first new dietary guidelines in 25 years earlier this week, and they support the exercise recommendations I have been saying for some time now.

It is very clear that exercise, insulin and sugar are strongly related to depression. However, it is also equally clear that one could have no problems with insulin resistance, follow a perfect diet and ideal exercise program and still struggle with serious depression. That is where effective energy psychology tools can intervene to help resolve depression. However, energy psychology techniques like EFT work much better when diet and exercise are optimized.

When using exercise to reduce insulin resistance, it is important to set a goal of at least 60 to 90 minutes per day, every day of the week. Obviously, depending on one's current condition, one needs to work slowly up to this level. This is far more exercise than a healthy person requires, but when one struggles with insulin resistance it is necessary to pay back the debt of not exercising for many years to help restore the insulin resistance. Once a person has improved their health they can reduce their exercise to about 45 minutes three times per week.

The practical problem with using exercise in depression, however, is that the desire to pursue any activity, let alone exercise, is not very high. The converse though also needs to be considered: Just because one exercises that does not mean you cannot become depressed. Exercise makes it easier to treat depression, but it certainly does not cure it in everyone.

This is why you will want to consider methods such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), as I mentioned above, to address underlying emotional triggers to your depression.

And, for more information on insulin's effects on health, be sure to read Dr. Rosedale's classic and highly informative insulin lecture.

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