Common cause between depression in children and infertility?
A BC study, led by Dr. Dina Panagiotopoulos, a pediatric endocrinologist, says antipsychotic drugs are being over-prescribed to children. Two recent articles in the Vancouver Sun on Dr. Panagiotopoulos' study (May 13th and June 10th, 2013) warn of emerging evidence showing that the drugs can cause:
- weight gain
- high blood pressure
- blood sugar abnormalities
- deaths in babies who were exposed to antipsychotics in the womb.
I counsel infertile couples daily on making healthy lifestyle changes to optimize their fertility (and positively impact their sperm or egg quality), not only to help them conceive naturally (or increase IVF success) but to help them influence the health of their unborn child. It may surprise you that the health of the woman and the health of the man at the time of conception and the health of the woman throughout her pregnancy can impact the health of her future child, potentially causing asthma, cardiovascular disease, alzheimer, some cancers, diabetes, obesity, skin conditions and even depression.
It is my opinion that so many of the chronic illness we are experiencing today (such as the ones listed above as well as premature fertility decline) are related to a few common patterns:
- Inflammation – been linked to accelerated aging, depression, and degenerative diseases.
- Insulin imbalance – leads to inflammation and other hormonal imbalances, including depression and anxiety.
- Nutritional deficiencies - if your body does not have the essential building blocks then it does not function optimally. Deficiencies in Vit B12, Vit D and omega 3 fatty acids linked to depression.
- Gut health – Your gut is often referred to as your second brain, not surprising since it is a large source of serotonin and about 70%-80% of your immune system comes from your gut. Read more about how the microbes in your gut impact your health.
My recommended approach for mental well-being is to cool inflammation, regulate blood sugar and insulin, eliminate food allergies, supplement nutritional deficiencies and restore the healthy microbes in our intestines.
More specifically the following approach is based on my review of literature and my clinical experience at Acubalance.
- Detox – I currently prefer the mediclear detox by Thorne (for adults only, not children).
- Follow an anti-inflammatory diet that is also a low glycemic index. The Acubalance Fertility Diet meets this criteria and is free to download.
- Avoid processed foods, refined flours, and sugars. Get your kids on fruit and veggies.
- Also eliminate food sensitivities. Gluten seems to be a common culprit that can lead to behavioural issues, ache joints and inflamed skin.
- Exercise daily – for children get them running outside in a playful manner everyday – keep it fun and playful. For teenagers and adults, break a sweat everyday with a light run.
- Supplements – especially Vit B12, Vit D3, omega 3 fatty acids
- Prebiotic and probiotic - Read this article by Michael Pollan. It may be long but it is has a wealth of information that can improve you and your child's health and mental well-being.
Implement the diet and exercise, eliminate gluten over three months, and seek out advice on the most appropriate herbs and supplements from your Chinese Medicine practitioner. Feel the difference in yourself and observe it in your child. Good luck!
- "Increase in antipsychotic drug prescriptions for kids 'great concern'"
- "Reports linking children's deaths to antipsychotic drugs on the rise"
- "Some of My Best Friends Are Germs"
- Spontaneous Happiness by Dr. Andrew Weil
- Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman
- Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Dr. Martin E.P Seligman