Depression – Nutrition for Health & Wellness

--Dr. Conan J. Shaw, Nutritionist - Pittsburgh, PA

By medical definition, Depression is a mental disorder characterized by an all-encompassing low mood accompanied by low self-esteem, and by loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities.

In the office of a Nutritionist, Depression is a symptom of an imbalance in the biochemistry of the body. The change in biochemistry can come from psychological stressors, environmental stressors, social triggers, results of the side effects of medications, mineral deficiencies, toxic metal syndromes, lack of proper sleep wake cycle, chronic pain patterns, slow thyroid function, hormone changes and so on. The most important concept here is that depression is not a sign of a deficiency of an anti-depressant drug. There is a reason that depression occurs. The most important step in understanding how to correct depression is first asking the question why. Why are you or a loved one depressed?

Many of the patients I treat for depression correct both the biochemical and physical component of depression while at the same time addressing the psychological aspect with the counselor. This is the true path to healing. Spirit, mind and body correction.

On the nutritional side of working with depression, I use a number of functional tests to determine body balance. Blood tests for proper body function are not always accurate for identifying a problem and this can make diagnosing functional mood shifting tricky. I specialize in working with the functional changes in your body to correct the cause of the symptoms and remove the presence of mood disorders.

In working with a nutritionist you will hear the word "functional" quite a bit. What we are referring to is that not all problems show up in your blood work, and there may be a more subtle change in your system that is not bad enough to raise the red flags for your medical doctor. Depression is a perfect example:

It is good news that your doctor can't find anything wrong with your blood work. That means there is no pathology or major illness. That brings you to trying to identify the subtle changes in your body. This is the specialty of a Clinical Nutritionist, correcting small changes in physiology that cause a non-diagnosed symptom presentation.

It is important to note that when your medical history and health related goals are explored, that consultation is held directly with me, not an untrained individual, a questionnaire or a computer program.

I look forward to working with you to identify the functional possibilities behind your depression. -- Dr. Conan Shaw