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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest treatment for severe anxiety and depression

Answered by
Kathy
Kathy Shattler

Dietitian & Nutritionist

Practicing since :1985

Answered : 872 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 20 Mar 2017 in Thyroid Problem and Hormonal Problems
Question: Hi my name is Ana , 65 yrs old and gaining weight like crazy even when I do Cardio, weights, yoga.
I also have depression and anxiety. I need something to give me a push.
Do you recommend 5 HTP ?
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Answered by Kathy Shattler 40 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Welcome to HealthcareMagic

Detailed Answer:
Hi Ana,

I can understand your frustration. As we grow older our metabolism gradually decreases as percent body fat increases making it more difficult to maintain or lose body weight.

I do not recommend 5-HTP or tryptophan. A lack of tryptophan can be involved with depression, but rather other neurotransmitters such as serotonin or norepinephrine. If you feel you are depressed, please see someone to talk to about the situation and perhaps prescribe medication to make you feel better.There are side-effects to taking tryptophan as well including: heartburn, stomach pain, belching and gas, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. It can also cause headache, lightheadedness, drowsiness, dry mouth, visual blurring, muscle weakness.

You are very active. I would keep that up but emphasize toning and building muscle since that is what we lose as we age. It is the lean tissue that burns energy. Attempt to complete 30 minutes of continuous activity for a total of 200 minutes per week. You may find samples of exercises you may do in a seated position on my free website on the fitness board. It is searchable by looking for pinterest.com and virtual nutritional synergy or Kathy Shattler.

Look at your eating patterns. Eat protein at breakfast. Have breakfast. Concentrate on lean meats, increasing fiber by 2 fresh fruits per day and lightly cooked veggies, lower the fat (whole milk, switch to low fat). The type of fat used helps with losing weight. Avoid saturated fats. Eliminate trans fats. Focus on getting your 2 essential fatty acids per day:

Alpha-linolenic acid is one of our omega-3 fatty acids found in plants. It is found in flaxseed oil, and in canola, soy, perilla, and walnut oils. Alpha-linolenic acid goes on to make the well-known omega-3 fatty acids that are in fish oil, called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Linoleic acid is a type of fat, or fatty acid, found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and animal products. An essential omega-6 fatty acid, linoleic acid is required by the human body in small amounts.

Remember, it only takes 100 calories of a bad dietary habit to gain 10 lbs. per year. Portion control is of utmost importance. Follow a balanced diet, reduced portion size, no added sugar and no high fructose foods. Fat has more than twice the calories of protein and carbohydrate, so reducing total fat may help. Good dietary guidelines include the Mediterranean Diet and the MIND diet, just adjust calories for weight loss. A reduction of 500 calories per day will result in a 1 lb weight loss per week.

Please have your doctor do a thyroid check if he hasn't done one recently. Strive for the XXXXXXX Thyroid Association guidelines of .3-2.5 to feel less depressed and to help with energy metabolism should it be found to be low.

Drinking green tea unsweetened 4x per day, as well as staying well hydrated by drinking a lot of water, helps with weight loss by a mechanism we just uncovered to be an inhibition of fat growth in the body and a stimulation of the weight friendly hormone adiponectin. Caution re: kidney stones.

If you are confused as to if you are eating poorly, you may send a one day food diary to me to review along with all medications and supplements. I can give you an idea of what you are eating and what you should be eating. Please review your portion sizes so what you record is accurate and include height and current weight.

Otherwise, if you are satisfied with my answer, good luck and above all "do no harm."

To your good health, Kathy Shattler, MS,RDN



Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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