I have spent the last few weeks weaning myself from SSRI anti-depressants, namely Paxil and Celexa. I’ve realized that much of my depression is simply natural body reactions to stress. Low blood sugar affects mood and good nutrition improves emotional health. While it may be common knowledge that good nutrition is emotionally as well as physically healthy, it’s easy to overlook low blood sugar as cause of mood swings. It’s also easy to place too much faith in prescription drugs and not enough in common self-care practices. It’s also easy to confuse depression for hunger or low blood sugar when the brain is lacking fuel.
I have become much more aware of my body’s natural response mechanisms now that I no longer medicate feelings. When I begin to feel depression, panic attacks or anxiety I immediately look for what may be going on physically. Very often, I notice that I am simply hungry. My brain fuel is depleted and my blood sugar level has dropped. The body doesn’t have to be in a diabetic state to be affected by blood sugar issues. Elevated or reduced blood sugar affects every person. And the key to preventing problems with spiked or depleted blood sugar is simply good nutrition.
What works for me, when I notice that my blood sugar is dropping, is to eat a small, high protein snack or a complex carbohydrate snack. I alternate between complex carbohydrate meals and protein snacks. I also try to focus on eating small meals and snacks throughout the day. Large meals leave me exhausted. They require a great deal of energy to digest. When I am tired and unable to take time to rest, in the middle of the day for example, I am much more prone to feeling depression and anxiety. Eating small regular meals prevents to blood sugar from spiking or dropping too low.
Feeling depressed or anxious? Try eating a nutritious snack. Even if the stressful situation is more complex than a simple low blood sugar issue, you will have more brain fuel and energy to address the stresses in a proactive rather than reactive way. And there is nothing like a nutritious healthy snack for a healthy mood elevator. For more health and nutrition talk, please visit my linked blogs.