Tag Archives: arthritis

Dr. Greg Symko, Concord-area Functional Neurologist, writes about depression and what can be done about it.

Sad face

At least a third of us will experience depression at some point in our lives.

 

There are several types of depression, the most common being melancholic depression.  Melancholic depression can be broken-down, more specifically, into episodic or chronic depression.  Episodic is often associated with a specific event, such as the loss of a loved one, a struggling marriage or other stressful situations.  Chronic depression usually cannot be attributed to one specific event or occasion.

The medical explanation for depression is the lack of serotonin, which is a brain neurotransmitter.  Thus, the traditional treatment is something called SSRIs, which try to boost serotonin levels.  (SSRI’s are used for both episodic and chronic depression.)  What typically happens is the SSRIs work temporarily, but eventually begin to wear off so the individual needs a stronger dose, a different SSRI or a combination of several drugs to have a beneficial effect.

Functional medicine’s approach to depression is quite different and doesn’t come with all the side effects of prescribed drugs.  (For more on that, please read my previous article on the effects of drugs on the body.)  As a functional doctor, I want to know why the serotonin level is low in the first place.

Serotonin can be deficient because of inflammation, and research is beginning to link inflammation to depression.  Researchers have found that individuals with inflammatory disease such as arthritis or diabetes often have depression associated with it.  You could say that they are depressed because of the disease, which might be true, but chemistry reveals the link between inflammation and low serotonin levels.

The chemicals that are released in the body because of inflammation actually block the production of serotonin, so it pays for your body not to be inflamed.

There is a functional way of reducing the inflammation in your body, therefore easing the depression you might be experiencing.  The interesting part is that you might not even be aware that you are inflamed!! We can help, to schedule an appointment, give us a call at 978-369-7070 or e-mail drsymko@gmail.com.