CHERYL A. MAJOR: Depression and Parkinson’s Disease; Swedish study shows a link

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I was saddened to read that Alan Alda has revealed he has Parkinson’s Disease. My father lived and died with that disease, but at that time, he wasn’t one of many. What is it that is driving this disease to epidemic proportions in recent years?

I want to share with you a story I read about a study conducted in Sweden that strongly suggests there’s a link between depression and Parkinson’s disease. This really caught my attention as I have struggled with depression in the past, and as I said, my father had Parkinson’s.

The study followed the entire population of Swedes who were over the age of 50 as of the end of 2005. It was easy to track the health of these people as Sweden maintains a detailed database of the health of its citizens. They found over 140,000 people who had been diagnosed with depression between 1987 and 2012. They also found 1,485 of the over 50 population had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Only 0.4 percent of the Parkinson’s patients had never been diagnosed with depression while 1 percent of those diagnosed with depression developed Parkinson’s.

Approximately 8 percent of Americans struggle with some level of depression, and that number is even higher in women in their 40’s and 50’s. At least 20 percent of that population is taking an anti-depressant. It’s estimated that 7 to 10 million Americans have some symptoms of Parkinson’s disease which can include tremor, rigid muscles, problems with or uncontrolled body movements.

While this does not mean depression causes Parkinson’s, there appears to be a link between the two conditions.

This subject was brought to wide media attention by the death of Robin Williams a few years ago who was believed to have been suffering from both. An autopsy revealed however, that he was most likely suffering from Dementia with Lewy bodies, which is a specific type of dementia that can only be accurately diagnosed by autopsy.

While the Swedish study is interesting, it occurs to me that they are all missing the elephant in the room. It’s an ever more recognized fact that autopsies on people who suffered with depression or Parkinson’s disease show inflammation was present in their brains.

Inflammation is increasingly acknowledged to be the root cause of disease and premature aging.

I don’t understand why this is so difficult for people to grasp; or maybe we so desperately love our processed food, we don’t want to believe it. We need to reduce our inflammation to be healthier and to avoid debilitating conditions. Inflammation in our bodies is caused by many factors, but the first and most obvious cause is the food we’re eating. We need to stop putting chemicals, processed foods and sugar in our bodies. We are killing ourselves with the processed food we’re eating!

I speak from personal experience as I cured my decades-long struggle with chronic depression by changing how I eat. I eliminated everything in a box, all fast food, sugar, processed everything… gone.

Believe me when I tell you that you can transform your life by changing how you eat. I did it, and you can do it too.

I want to share two books with you that were huge in my own transformation. The first is The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman and the second is Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter. They are so worth your time to read, and if you put them into action, you too can change your life.

In an effort to support as many people as I can, I will be opening up a membership site, The Healthy Eating Club next week. This will be an easy way for people to get ongoing support and education in eating well to be well.

This article was originally published on: https://thinstronghealthy.com/depression-and-parkinsons-disease/

How may I serve you in your quest for optimal mental and physical health?

Cheryl A Major
Cheryl A Major lives in Westford and is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Her TV show, Thin Strong Healthy, airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of her blog http://ThinStrongHealthy.com Cheryl offers ongoing information, live and online courses and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier. Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylAMajor. She is also a full time residential Realtor with Coldwell Banker with more than 25 years experience.
Her new book, “Eat Your Blues Away” in which she chronicles her recovery from depression is now available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback!