Chronic pain often triggers another chronic condition: depression.
This link was confirmed by a large study from Columbia University, which referred to this common situation as the “dual burden” of physical and mental dysfunction.
Unfortunately, the conventional approach to treatment is all too predictable. Clinicians are convinced that by treating depression with powerful antidepressant drugs, they’ll also alleviate chronic pain.
But in reality, they’re adding yet another burden —drug side effects — to two ailments that are insufferable enough.
Beware of these adverse events
The adverse effects of these drugs are seemingly moderate, and can vary… but one thing’s for sure—they certainly won’t do any favors for patients who are already struggling, both mentally and physically.
To obtain a better understanding of these drugs’ effects, scientists at a university research hospital in Dresden, Germany, launched a meta-analysis of known adverse events linked to many of the common antidepressants prescribed to patients with chronic pain.
Medications included popular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) — such as Prozac® and Zoloft® — and drugs in other classes of antidepressants.
In the journal Frontiers in Neurology, the Dresden team reported: “Each antidepressant showed distinct risk profiles of adverse effects.”
The most common of those adverse effects included:
- Dry mouth
None of these side effects are health emergencies, but clearly, these antidepressants can throw a curve ball to your system — especially if these other side effects occur:
- Blurred vision
- Sexual dysfunction
- Urinating difficulties
- Weight gain
Obviously, if you’re in pain and you’re depressed, the very last thing you need is any of these additional torments added to your day.
Fortunately, you can find relief from both your chronic pain and depression by way of nourishment — which is completely free of side effects.
The unexpected source of relief
Research has shown that antidepressants work about as well as placebo in mild to moderate depression. And pain relief from antidepressant drugs is even more of a hit-or-miss proposition.
In his Pain-Free Life Protocol, Dr. Pescatore says: “Instead, I look to natural remedies to help my patients with mood disorders like depression.”
And the best place to start, he says, is with exercise — specifically with 30 minutes of exercise daily.
If your doctor is the type who’s quick to pull out the prescription pad, he probably doesn’t want to admit that research shows regular exercise is 50 percent more effective than antidepressant drugs for long-term depression relief.
Then — along with a regular exercise regimen — a two-supplement combination will supercharge your efforts to control your depression and pain.
A proven power duo
These two supplements are trusty standbys that deserve a place in everyone’s medicine cabinet — and that’s especially true for chronic pain patients with depression…
- Omega-3 fatty acids (containing both DHA and EPA)
- Vitamin D3
Dr. Pescatore explains why these work so well together: “A recent study found that the two omega-3 fatty acids work together with vitamin D in precise collaboration to maximize your body’s levels of serotonin, the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter that regulates mood and cognitive function.
“Vitamin D kicks off the process by regulating serotonin production. Then EPA steps in to influence the release of that serotonin. And finally, DHA helps efficiently usher the serotonin into the brain’s receptors. The result? Improved mood.”
Dr. Pescatore adds that this natural combination of nutrients is so powerful that it even produces benefits in managing other serious mental conditions such as ADHD, schizophrenia, and even bipolar disorder.
And he notes that a combination of high-quality fish oil and vitamin D3 supplements is also effective in treating other conditions (such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and self-injury) — which are linked with low serotonin levels.
Spice up your relief
And if you need to bring your pain relief up another notch, fortunately there’s a common spice that helps tame inflammation.
Dr. Pescatore says, “There’s also lots of research showing that a common spice can combat both pain and depression. I’m talking about curcumin.
“Studies show that taking 500 mg of curcumin twice a day can work as well as Prozac when treating major depression.
“Curcumin also works well for a condition called ‘atypical depression’ — a type of depression in which you’re much more likely to overeat and oversleep, and which regular antidepressants don’t usually help.”
In addition to curcumin, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D3, Dr. Pescatore recommends one more key intervention that’s proven to relieve chronic pain and mood disorders like depression. You can learn much more about all of these natural approaches in Dr. Pescatore’s Pain-Free Life Protocol. Click here to read more about this online learning tool or to enroll today.
Adverse Effects of Antidepressants for Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Frontiers in Neurology
July 14, 2017