Determining Your Offending Foods
Most people don’t think about food in relation to depression, but there is good evidence pointing to the possibility that what you eat can dramatically alter your neurotransmitter balance, particularly serotonin and dopamine levels. In particular, serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that affects sleep, mood, cravings (especially for carbohydrates), migraines and a host of other functions. It has been estimated that about 95% percent of the serotonin in your body is stored in your gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, gastrointestinal function is very important in maintaining proper neurotransmitter balance.
Depression is probably the most studied neurotransmitter-related disorder. A great many studies support the fact that intestinal permeability and enzyme deficiencies are often found in people suffering from depression; this is underscored by reports that depression is a very common symptom of celiac disease (which is a condition of severe gluten intolerance).
Here at the clinic, it is almost universal that long standing gastrointestinal imbalances, including food allergies almost always lead to or exacerbate depression as well as other conditions related to neurotransmitter imbalances, including migraines, anxiety, obsessive compulsive tendencies and sleep disturbances. That is not to say that everyone that has depression has gastrointestinal imbalances and/or food hypersensitivities. However, it does mean that having chronic gastrointestinal imbalances, including food allergies can cause neurotransmitter imbalances that can lead to depression.
Therefore, as we are working to help people correct their underlying neurotransmitter imbalances, we will often begin to investigate the many possible reasons why these imbalances are there in the first place. Looking at what someone is eating can provide major insights into eliminating their neurotransmitter imbalances and therefore their depression.
We have found the most accurate food hypersensitivity test to be the Lymphocyte Response Assay from Elisa/Act Technologies. Using this test, one can run any number of foods, additives, colors, drugs, supplements, and environmental contaminants to determine which, if any, of them are causing an immune reaction with subsequent neurotransmitter disruption. Once the offending agents are determined, we then work with clients to help eliminate them so their bodies can heal while reestablishing optimal neurotransmitter levels. In doing so, many people can reduce or eliminate the need for ongoing supplementation and remain symptom free for the rest of their lives.
NOTE: If you cannot find a practitioner in your area that can run the LRA test, contact us to arrange for an in-home blood draw.