CanDrugstore's April 2011 Better Health News                           (Click here if you cannot read this page)
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The Link between Seasonal Allergies and Depression

Allergy Sneeze Vs. Cold Sneeze

If you thought seasonal allergies were bad enough with their physical symptoms, think again. Research shows that seasonal allergies and depression are linked. The link between allergies and depression was discovered by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. This explains why the suicide rate increases during the spring, and why so many of us become depressed during the allergy season.

The connection between allergies and depression involves the immune system. The immune system is linked to our mental state of mind. When we have an weakened immune system, our mental state of mind is also weakened. Women have a higher risk of becoming depressed due to their allergies whereas men are more likely to have anxiety-type disorders from their allergies.

Since the connection between the two is strong, the only way to rid oneself of allergy induced depression is to start preventing the occurrences of allergies. There is a variety of treatments available for the occurrence and symptoms of allergies. These treatments range from the use of over the counter allergy medication to at-home remedies. Sufferers of depression and allergies are strongly encouraged to speak to a doctor before starting any treatment.

Of course it is almost impossible to completely eliminate allergies. The best that one can do is, to try to reduce the amount of pollen one is exposed to and take the right medications to relieve your symptoms that cause depression. The best way to reduce your exposure to pollen is to avoid the outdoors during the time of day when the allergy pollen count is at its highest. Other preventative measure include: cleaning your house, washing your clothes after spending time outside, and, having an air filter at home. The most common medications used to relieve allergy symptoms include, Claritin, Reactine and Allegra.

Remember there are different types of depression, just because you have allergies doesn’t necessarily mean you're depressed or the other way around. Depression is generally described as a powerful feeling of sadness and hopelessness. So before you assume you are depressed, consider if you’re just annoyed with the symptoms or truly depressed. If you are experiencing depression it is critical that see a doctor about your depression as soon as possible.



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Dads and Depression

Depressed Man Headache

Symptoms of post partum depression affect 25% of women during pregnancy or after a child is born. This is related to a change in hormones but may also be caused by a change in lifestyle. Women who have suffered post partum depression may have attempted suicide or drowned their child. The reality is that it can also affect fathers, a problem many people do not notice.

A study shows that men who suffer depression spank their children more often than men who do not suffer depression. Fathers who are depressed begin to spank their child as young as a year old. A child being spanked this young does not have the knowledge to understand how what they did wrong links to their punishment. A child being spanked at any age can lead to problems in their future such as acting aggressive themselves.

The study was done with 1,746 fathers from across the US. According to the study, 40% of fathers who are or were depressed spanked their kids while out of the men who did not suffer depression, just 13% of men spanked their kids. Also, fathers who are depressed tend to avoid spending time with their child.

Many fathers tend to ignore that they may be going through depression or do not recognize the signs of depression. Men do not want to talk about it making it hard to figure out if they suffer from depression. When men take their children to see the doctor, the pediatrician should also be paying attention to the father's health. On the positive side, there are solutions available, including drugs that treat depression. If you think you are suffering depression, talk to you doctor immediately.

Springtime Dining

Spring Time Foods

Ever wanted to fight global warming, support your local community, enjoy the warm weather, eat organically, and feel great about yourself all at the same time? Put your smile on because now you can! With spring in full bloom, locally grown organic fruits and vegetables should be making their way to your local farmers' market. As you may already know, buying locally grown food is a great way to support the economy of your community since your money contributes directly to local businesses rather than multinational corporations. Local produce is generally fresher than the produce sold at the supermarket as it goes through less processing, less packaging, and as it travels less. Thus locally grown produce also results in better taste. Moreover, organic food provides the benefit of presenting nutrition without the addition of harsh chemicals and preservatives. Here are some top spring foods that are sure to add some variety and health benefits to your life!

Carrots: From dreary wintery evenings to the warm summer days, these vegetables can be harvested throughout the year. Carrots are known to improve eyesight as they are an exceptional source of beta-carotene (vitamin A). Carrots are also a good source of vitamin B, vitamin E, vitamin K and vitamin C.

Strawberries: Fat free while rich in vitamin C and folate, these strawberries are the perfect snack for spring. Aside from snacking, strawberries can also be used in smoothies, fruit salads, and breakfast parfaits. When planning to buy strawberries consider picking your own strawberries. Berry picking at local farms is a great alternative to purchasing strawberries at the supermarket as it allows you to have control over quality as well as the freshness. Additionally, berry picking is an excellent way to spend quality time outdoors with friends or in solitude!

Artichokes: These green veggies work to reduce cholesterol levels in the body by increasing the amount of cholesterol removed from the body (via excretion) and lowering the production of cholesterol. Look for artichokes that are tight and dark green. Artichokes are also an excellent source of folate, vitamin C, and magnesium. Include asparagus in your spring salads with a spritz of lemon juice!

Mango: Like all fruits mangoes, are laden with vitamins and minerals. The consumption of mangoes has been linked to improving overall digestion as well as alleviating certain health conditions. If you live in a warmer climate (such as California), you have the greener option of buying your mangoes locally!

Spinach: Spinach is harvested around early spring. These green leafy vegetables are a rich source of folate, iron, and antioxidants! Antioxidants help promote natural hair growth as they increase blood circulation to the scalp. You can use spinach in making salads, sandwiches, pizza and even fruit smoothies!

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