Inflammation is our body's response to injury or foreign substances. Now, latest research shows that depression may also be the body's reaction to inflammation. According to Nova Next, people suffering from depression are loaded with cytokines, which is the same substance produced during inflammation.
So, how does it link up? Some researchers think the inflammatory response could be spurred by an infection of some kind. Others regard obesity or modern high-trans-fat, high-sugar diets as the cause. Still others say that emotional stress from bullying, rejection, or loneliness is transformed into a physical stress, then causing a changed emotional state.
Whatever the ultimate cause, it is beneficial to explore treatments that tackle the inflammatory symptoms of depression in addition to the neurological ones. The few clinical trials done so far found that adding anti-inflammatory medicines to antidepressants not only improves symptoms, it also increases the proportion of people who respond to treatment, although more trials will be needed to confirm this.
There is also some evidence that omega 3 and curcumin, an extract of the spice turmeric, might have similar effects but there’s not enough evidence to use them as a replacement for anti-depressants. You can find really good formulations of these supplements at Simply Well, but please speak to one of our practitioners first to make sure it is appropriate for you.
There are plenty of organisations like Beyond Blue that can help if you or someone you know suffers from depression.
All entries complied by osteopath Dr Wei Chua unless otherwise stated.