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I get a lot of notes from men who say that they are both anxious and depressed.
And often these men are suffering various other symptoms.
A lot of people have both stomach problems and depression.
We have all gotten into the habit of separating the so-called psychological from the so-called physical.
But it seems that people who are depressed are suffering a physical problem.
And digestive problems can cause anxiety and depression.
In fact, they often have a host of other physical problems such as diabetes or heart disease.
So I wanted to give you some important ideas on what may be causing depression and how to fix it.
These are ideas you will never hear from your physician who has been “educated” by the drug companies.
Doctors are basically told that low serotonin in the brain causes depression.
And of course, there is a drug that raises serotonin in the brain.
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But serotonin does not actually exist in a shortfall in the brain.
So there is no “restoring” serotonin levels and it does not fix depression.
And these SSRI drugs do not actually increase brain serotonin.
They do kind of work — they do improve some of the symptoms of depression.
But they don’t work this way.
They’re not restoring serotonin to the brain or anything like they think it is.
I go into all of that not because I think SSRI’s are bad (they might or might not be), but because you need to see the whole issue.
All this to tell you that depression is a physical and mental problem, and it may have a very physical cause.
You’ve heard me talk about endotoxins in the past.
We have a tremendous load of bacteria in our gut — probably two or 3 pounds worth.
And as these bacteria multiply, fight each other, and die off, the bacteria often shed something called endotoxin.
Note that they are called “endo-TOXINS” because they really are toxic.
The most powerful endotoxin is LPS, lipopolysaccharide.
Make no mistake.
Your body and my body are continually fighting off endotoxins.
The endotoxins enter our bodies in a steady stream — mostly from our bowel.
That’s where most of the bacteria are.
And the liver is in charge of dealing with endotoxins.
It’s a huge job, and the liver needs all the help it can get.
One of the major roles of cholesterol is to bind with endotoxins and work with our immune system to fight and get rid of them.
As a side note, this is yet ANOTHER reason to think twice about lowering your cholesterol!!
But getting back to my point, most of our immune system is in our gut.
This makes sense because that’s where most of the bacteria are located.
And since most of the bacteria are in the gut producing waste endotoxins, most of the work of the immune system starts in the gut.
It’s the first battleground where our immune system fights to unload all these endotoxins.
Doctors have noticed that people with depression or mental problems are also suffering from physical symptoms.
Many people already attribute these issues to stress and so forth.
Many of the issues involved gastrointestinal distress.
These are issues such as chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, or digestive issues in general.
And people commonly complain about upset stomach and anxiety together.
So now we can tie it all together with this important study.
Researchers gave lab animals chronic depression simply by dosing them with endotoxins over a period of a few months.
That’s basically the study.
You give animals some endotoxins over a period of time, and they get depressed.
They get anxious.
And they get sick.
There were many negative physical effects.
Researchers found that one one physical effect was increasing levels of cortisol in the lab animal’s body.
Cortisol is a hormone that is supposed to fight inflammation.
When your body is chronically fighting endotoxins, it is in a state of extreme inflammation.
And cortisone is the way the body counters some of this inflammation.
They also found that the animal had very high levels of free radicals.
Free radicals in the form of so-called super-oxides were extremely high.
And they represented a continuous challenge to all the cells in the body.
Left by themselves, free radicals left out of control often lead to a cancer metabolism.
And this eventually leads to full-blown cancer.
Anhedonia also resulted.
That’s the inability to find joy or pleasure in things that are normally pleasurable.
Scientists have some ways of detecting anhedonia in lab animals.
One of these ways is by monitoring their preference for sugar.
Sugar stimulates the pleasure center of the brain.
And animals that are suffering from anhedonia will seek relief from a “sugar high.”
These animals had anhedonia like crazy and were seeking out sugar is much as they could.
The neat thing about sugar though is that it actually does help the situation.
There’s a reason we crave sugar when we’re depressed.
Sugar is actually very helpful in a severe endotoxin challenge!
Sugar helps energize the cells in the body so they can fight off the free radicals and the endotoxins.
Repeated endotoxin injection reduced thymus weight, induced aberrations in the development of T lymphocytes, lowered IL-10 production, and induced a long-lasting increase in free radical superoxide production and corticosterone levels.
You can read this as “endotoxins monkey with your immune system and cause you to get depressed, anxious, and withdrawn as you get sicker and sicker.”
One of the ways that endotoxins may be causing depression and anxiety is by increasing inflammation in the brain.
And the longer you get exposed endotoxins, the longer this inflammation lasts.
Neuroinflammation may be present for longer times and cause long-standing neurobehavioral responses.
So how can you fight endotoxins?
The important thing is to get your gut healthy.
Some people may find that they should avoid wheat, corn, and other grains.
Some of them may find that rice is okay.
Other people may find that gluten causes them problems.
Some people may want to look at more solutions such as a daily raw carrot salad.
Or they may want to try activated charcoal consumed every few days.
Well-cooked mushrooms are very supportive of gut health.
For some other people, antibiotics may be necessary to restore good health.
Some people may do well consuming some raw garlic and raw onion which has a POWERFUL antibacterial effect.
The important thing is to get your gut treated.
And to start restoring your mental and physical health by reducing the endotoxin load that is entering your body.
You’ll probably cure both your IBS and depression this way.