Naturopathic Treatment Options for Mood Disorders while Supporting Fertility
Anxiety and depression are two common mood disorders which you may face at some point during your lifetime. It is estimated that 1/4 individuals will have a mood disorder in their lifetime. However, if you are diagnosed with infertility or a reproductive disorder, your risk of developing anxiety or depression is significantly higher. The weight of mental and emotional stress that can come with infertility can often negatively affect your mood and leave you trying to start a family while not feeling your very best mentally and emotionally.
Including natural alternatives to help support your mood can make a great difference in your willingness to continue with the fertility process, supporting your relationship with your partner, and supporting a healthy relationship with yourself and your self-esteem.
Keeping your mood up becomes a personal responsibility and commitment. It is a commitment to hold yourself up in challenging times so you can support those around you. And in order to do this it is important to support yourself with habits and treatments to empower you over your mood.
Consider the following options to help keep your mood up, lessen anxiety, and support more joy in your life:
Diet: Implementing a dietary pattern that eliminates the consumption of processed, high-sugar, and caffeinated snacks/beverages. Your digestion is filled with nerve endings and are responsible for the production of many neurotransmitters. Poor diet can worsen the gut flora and produce unhealthy chemicals in the gut that harm your mood. Keeping a diet filled with lots of fresh vegetables and fruit (aiming for organic foods if they are from the dirty dozen list) is key. Having healthy amounts of protein, preferably plant-based help provide the body with the building blocks (amino acids) needed to make key neurotransmitters in the brain. You should be eliminating your food in 24 hours. If this is not the case, the decaying food in your gut creates an unhealthy environment, reabsorbs toxins from the gut back in to the blood, and causes dysbiosis (harmful changes in the gut microbiota).
Exercise: exercising at least 5x a week for 30 minutes is very important. It should be to the point where you are sweating and your heart rate is elevated. Engaging in moderate or high-intensity exercise improves production of happy chemicals in the brain and reduces residual stress in the body, muscles, and improves energy. It also reduces feelings of anxiety and stress.
Herbal Medicine: can help to do some incredible things for stress hormones. It can help to balance elevated cortisol (stress) hormone and improve relaxation. It can also help to reduce feelings of sadness or anxiety and boost the mood. Speak to your Naturopathic Doctor about this to make sure there are no interactions with your medications or current health conditions.
Meditation: this is no different than exercise, meaning that it takes time to become better at this. Even if you start with just a few minutes a day and slowly build up to a longer period of time (i.e. 30 mins) this can save you from so many health conditions. Meditation has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression, increase resilience to stress, stimulate the immune system, delaying aging of the grey matter in the brain, and so much more!
Additional Therapies: additional therapies to support mood can include acupuncture and IV Therapy with nutrients to reduce stress and improve hormone balance and energy. It is also important to check specific hormones, for example, thyroid levels as this can cause changes in mood as well.
This article is in no way a replacement for medical advice or medical care, it is advised that anyone concerned about their Health should speak with their Naturopathic Doctor.