March 11, 2014

Health round-up: Anti-depressants, sitting, high protein diets, pill to slow aging, new risk for MS and smoking

Psychological side-effects of anti-depressants worse than thought

Thoughts of suicide, sexual difficulties and emotional numbness as a result of anti-depressants may be more widespread than previously thought, a researcher has found. In a survey of 1,829 people who had been prescribed anti-depressants, the researchers found large numbers of people -- over half in some cases -- reporting on psychological problems due to their medication, which has led to growing concerns about the scale of the problem of over-prescription of these drugs.

Dr Greg Antidepressants Have More Side Effects than Previously Thought

Over half of people aged 18 to 25 in the study reported suicidal feelings and in the total sample there were large percentages of people suffering from ‘sexual difficulties’ (62%) and ‘feeling emotionally numb’ (60%). Percentages for other effects included: ‘feeling not like myself’ (52%), ‘reduction in positive feelings’ (42%), ‘caring less about others’ (39%) and ‘withdrawal effects’ (55%). However, 82% reported that the drugs had helped alleviate their depression….

Professor Read concluded: “While the biological side-effects of antidepressants, such as weight gain and nausea, are well documented, psychological and interpersonal issues have been largely ignored or denied. They appear to be alarmingly common.”
“Effects such as feeling emotionally numb and caring less about other people are of major concern. Our study also found that people are not being told about this when prescribed the drugs. “Our finding that over a third of respondents reported suicidality ‘as a result of taking the antidepressants’ suggests that earlier studies may have underestimated the problem.”
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But there is good news for those suffering with depression, therapy is a VERY effective treatment for depression with no side effects.  Often, combined medication/psychotherapy treatment is recommended for severe depression, but for mild to moderate depression and other emotional problems, psychotherapy remains the most effective  treatment of choice.

Sitting comfortably? You won't be after reading this:   Cankles, constipation and even 'brain fog' - why we should all try to spend a lot less time on our bottoms

High-protein diets: Bad for the middle-aged, good for the elderly (over 65)  Consuming high levels of protein — particularly animal protein — is a bad strategy if you’re at midlife and aiming to live into old age, new research finds. But a study out Tuesday reveals that in older age, fortifying one’s diet with more protein-rich foods appears to be a formula for extending life.

New Blood Test Could Tell You How Likely You Are to Die in Next Five Years  The new research could also potentially help identify people who have underlying illnesses, but otherwise appear healthy. However, the findings are not quite ready for clinical use as more studies and research is needed.

The pill that could slow aging: Researchers reveal groundbreaking study to extend lifespan and improve health of the elderly  SIRT1 protein delays onset of aging and improved general health.  Supplement extended the average lifespan of mice by 8.8%

Multiple sclerosis linked to contraceptive pill: Risk could be up to 50% higher in women who take it

Starting smoking as a teenager not only makes it harder to quit, it THINS the brain  People who start smoking when they are very young have less grey matter in the brain region involved in making decisions and gut feelings

Posted by Jill Fallon at March 11, 2014 2:47 PM | Permalink