Saturday, May 13, 2006

Attacking Treatment-Resistant Depression - By Phyllis Wheeler

In some cases, medication for depression just simply does not work. The doctor gives you pills, you take them for a while, and you still feel down. In that case, here are a couple of possibilities to consider:

*You really have bipolar disorder, only the manic phase never happens. *You have pre-diabetes.

Let's examine these one by one. Bipolar disorder occassionally manifests itself as depression only. You feel depressed, you never have a manic episode, but your medications don't help. In that case, you could suggest to your doctor that you try bipolar meds. They are different, and if this is your condition, they will lift your depression.

Pre-diabetes can cause depression too. Excess insulin in your blood affects you, possibly making you tired, fuzzy in the head, and unable to feel joy. But medications don't help you, and unless someone clues you in, you stay depressed. In fact, you probably gain weight too. This is because excess insulin in your blood will also make you feel hungry.

So what is pre-diabetes? It used to be called a case of high insulin resistance. The cells in your body become resisitant to insulin, a hormone that helps deliver glucose to the cells as an energy source. So not only do the cells run out of energy, but the insulin level "backs up" in your bloodstream, becoming higher than it ought to be. Unfortunately, excess insulin tends to make your body parts wear out, and causes aging. You know those folks who live to a hale and hearty old age? They are the ones whose genes delivered them a good sugar-control system.

If you have pre-diabetes, your body limps along under these circumstances, sometimes for a long time. Eventually though you will become diabetic, unless you are able to lower the insulin levels in your blood (see below). Diabetes is a condition where the body's glucose control system breaks down. Glucose in the blood may go way up or way down. High glucose levels damage body organs. Low levels cause fainting.

How can you lower the insulin levels in your blood? There are two ways:

*Limit carbs


It is the carbohydrates that cause your body to dump insulin into the bloodstream. So a low-carb diet will cut down on the amount of insulin your food is adding to what's already in your bloodstream. This is like cutting down on the amount of water you are dumping into a plugged-up kitchen sink.

Exercise causes the cells to accept insulin and the glucose it carries. This is like opening the drain in the kitchen sink so that more water will go out. You know those hale and hearty old timers? Many of them exercise regularly. It's something to think about!

So why might you be pre-diabetic? It's probably a hereditary condition for you. Or, possibly your eating habits have caused it. If you are hooked on sweets, you have been bathing your system with lots of insulin to control the blood sugar level. That insulin makes you hungry, and so you eat more sweets. It also causes your body, including your joints, to age. Overeating can cause overweight, which triggers Type II diabetes. So beware!

About the authorPhyllis Wheeler is writer of computer resources for homeschoolers. She suffered from treatment-resistant depression for nine years. Find plenty of articles about depression at

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