A common symptom of gynecological disorders like fibroids, endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain is depression. So what’s the connection? It’s a little bit of chicken vs. egg – researchers believe that chronic pain may fry serotonin (the happy hormone) receptors in the brain while at the same time these conditions themselves cause a reduction in quality of life that may lead to depression.
Many women living in chronic pain want to do what kind of alternative therapies treat depression and symptoms of depression. If your depression from fibroids or endometriosis is impacting your life so much that you are not able to function or that you are thinking of harming yourself, your depression is a medical situation and you need to seek help immediately. However, if your depression symptoms are mild and you want to try more holistic alternatives before you call the psychiatrist, there are a few alternative therapy methods that you might want to try.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Depression
Most Americans don’t eat much seafood. Seafood contains a wonder ingredient that you may have heard of: Omega-3 fatty acids. In a recent pilot trial of women with depression, women who took 0.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids each day reported a reduction in depressive symptoms. And these supplements are good for your overall health, too. The American Heart Association recommends omega-3 supplements for their ability to reduce the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol.
Vitamin D for Depression
There is some evidence that vitamin D, the vitamin absorbed by your skin when you are out in the sun, may play a role in depression. Women with low vitamin D are more likely to be depressed. Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to improve mood and reduce depressive symptoms. Recent research has also found a link between fibroids and low vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D can be purchased over the counter at any store that sells vitamins. Make sure you take your vitamin D in the morning, a time when your body is expecting sun exposure. Taking the supplement at night could cause trouble sleeping.
SAMe for Depression
SAMe, or S-adenosylmethionine isa naturally occurring compound that affects the neurotransmitters in your brain including serotonin and dopamine. The supplement is sold over the counter at most drug stores. Research has shown that SAMe can be as affective as antidepressant medication for some women. There’s also some evidence that SAMe has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving affects, so it may be a particularly good choice for women with fibroids, endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain.