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Depression ~ Stress ~ Muscle Spasm ~ Anxiety ~ Panic Attacks ~ ADD/ADHD ~ Insomnia

Depression. About 11 million people suffer from acute stress (depression) in a given year, and nearly two-thirds go undiagnosed and untreated, stated a study published on December 2, 1993, in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. The annual cost of this depression in America is $43.7 billion.

Among major diseases, clinical depression ranks second only to advanced coronary heart disease in the total number of days patients spend in the hospital or disabled at home, according to Dr. Frederick Goodwin, director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

Stress is the body's nonspecific response to any demand made upon it, according to Dr. Hans Selye, one of the pioneers in stress management. In a very real sense, it's the price we pay for our increasingly toxic, fast-paced, rapidly changing civilization.

Dr. James Fries, medical adviser at Stanford University, asserts that one out of four American men and one out of two American women have used tranquilizers and over 20 million Americans take some sort of drug to sleep at night!

Muscle spasm is frequently related to stress and nutrient deficiencies. Stress is the body's response to any demand. Stress cannot be avoided, it is either positive or negative. Positive stress can encourage an individual to strive and achieve goals. Negative stress - distress - can cause emotional or physical disease.

Problems related to acute stress include muscle spasm, atherosclerosis and related heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, peptic ulcer, and asthma.1

Anxiety, on the other hand, is frequently a symptom of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). The controlling of the patient's blood sugar is an important key to controlling his or her anxiety.2 Hypoglycemia influences the nerve and muscle systems with such symptoms as headache, fatigue, depression, nausea, blurred vision, and trembling muscle spasms.3

Hyperactivity, a condition almost unknown 30 years ago, affects up to 20%, and perhaps more, of today's children.4 Every hyperactive child manifests certain of the following symptoms: (1) Restless and jittery; (2) Short attention span; (3) Impatience and difficulty in concentrating; (4) Touching everything and everyone around him or her; (5) Hair-trigger temper and aggressiveness; (6) Too hyped up to sleep well.

In a study of 200 hyperactive children, more than 60 percent were found to have low blood sugar, which hit the switch that started or aggravated typical hyperactive behavior.5

Spasm, stress, anxiety, insomnia, persistent headache, and hyperactivity are all related to lifestyle, diet and how well the body is nourished. It is a sad fact of life that 90% of Americans show some signs of malnutrition 6

The Nine Warning Signs of Stress and Depression

The National Mental Health Association suggests individuals experiencing any five of the following symptoms for two weeks or more should consult a health professional:

  • Feelings of sadness and/or irritability;
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed;
  • Changes in weight or appetite;
  • Changes in sleep patterns;
  • Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless;
  • Inability to concentrate, make decisions, or remember things;
  • Fatigue or loss of energy;
  • Restlessness or decreased activity noticed by others;
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.

The following recommendations are applicable to all of the above health problems and should be carefully followed

Avoid the following simple carbohydrates which are mostly sugar and can cause major swings (a rapid rise followed by a precipitous fall) in blood sugar, emotions, and body reactions: cake, candy, cookies, cough drops, doughnuts, fruit flavored drinks, ice cream, jam and jelly, pastries, pies, soft drinks, sweet rolls, white bread and white rice.

Scientists at the University of Berkeley examined the blood glucose curves of various individuals and a standardized test for mental agility (SST) was given to each subject. Those subjects whose blood sugar levels were in the healthy range (60 mg % or above) had average SST scores of 22, while the low-blood-sugar group had mean scores of 5.7

Simply stated, sugar makes people stupid and the average American consumes about 130 pounds of it each year!8

Take a mega-nutritional supplement such as, Life Essentials whole food concentrate, Ultra Veggie Enzymes for the breakdown and absorption of food groups and Factor One: Bio-Immunizer for the building up of the immune system. Tension increases losses of several nutrients in the urine and blood. Also levels of many vitamins and minerals are depleted during times of stress.

Avoid alcohol, caffeine, carbonation and tobacco. These substances deplete the body's anti-stress hormones.

Avoid chocolate it contains the compound Phenylethylanine, which causes the blood vessels in the head to enlarge, and places pressure on the surrounding brain tissue, resulting in possible headaches and migraines.9

Avoid artificial colorings, flavorings and nitrites/nitrates that are used as preservatives in bacon, ham, sausage, hotdogs, and most sandwich meats.

Do eat a low-fat, high-fiber, nutrient-dense diet containing a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, low-fat dairy products, several glasses of water, and lean meats, chicken and fish.

Do exercise at least three times a week for at least 45 minutes per session. Exercise improves blood sugar regulation and the receptivity of the cells to insulin.10 excercise can treat hyperactivity,11 depression, anxiety, and many other mild to moderate mental problems.12

Rearrange your lifestyle and rethink your priorities. Weigh the benefits of your current lifestyle against the potential short-term and long-term effects on health. Consider setting aside 15 minutes per day of quiet relaxation and consider it as a daily mini vacation.

References:

  1. Christiansen, L, et al., Journal of Abnormal Psychology, vol. 94, pp. 565-579, 1985
  2. Salzer, HR, Journal of the National Medical Association, vol. 58, no. 1, pp. 12-17, 1966
  3. Quillin, P, Healing Nutrients, p. 213, 1987
  4. Ross, DM, et al., Hyperactivity, p. 3, 1982
  5. Fredericks, C, Carlton Fredericks' Nutrition Guide, p. 91, 1982
  6. Lowenstein, FW, Bibliotheca Nutrito et Dieta, vol. 30, 1981
  7. Quillin, P, Healing Nutrients, p. 219, 1987
  8. Hale, F, Biological Psychiatry, vol. 17, p. 125, 1983
  9. Cornwell, N, et al., Clinical Pharmacology, vol. 41, p. 201, 1987
  10. Sato, Y, et al., International Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 7, p. 307, 1986
  11. Nutrition and Mental Health: Hearings Before the Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs of the United States Senate, Parker House, Berkely, Ca, p. 70, 1980
  12. Taylor, CB, et al., Public Health Reports, vol. 100, no. 2, p. 195, 1985