Adding to the problem, physicians or others who Rx birth control pills for a myriad of complaints such as acne or cyclic balancing are contributing to a long term problem that may be a major factor in PPD. That problem is nutritional deficiency.
Brooke Shields might wish to do a bit more research before supporting her notion that SSRI anti-depressants are able to support true core healing from PPD.
As I have said for decades, nutrition - especially intracellular nutrition - should be the focus of treatment.
And for all the push to pre-treat pregnant women with SSRIs to prevent PPD, even with articles now claiming that these drugs cause no harm to a fetus, I wonder what has happened to the tenent - especially for the first tri-mester - use no drugs...
From an article on my women's health page -
"Oral contraceptives may create certain nutrient deficiencies and excesses as well as increase the nutritional needs of the user. Most of the B vitamins, particularly pyridoxine (B6) and folic acid, are needed in higher amounts when birth control pills are taken. The copper level usually rises, and zinc levels often fall. Thus, more zinc is needed as well. An increased need for vitamins C, E, and K may also result from the use of birth control pills."Read complete article.
POST-PARTUM DEPRESSION - (PPD) has been much in the news, including movie star Brooke Shields’public announcement that she struggled with PPD and took anti-depressants to treat the condition. Now, new research sheds light on what may be the underlying cause of the condition, and may help explain why some women suffer more extreme cases of PPD.
Researchers have identified a pattern of elevated copper levels in the blood of women with a history of the condition. “In our study, we looked at zinc and copper levels in 78 women who suffered from PPD after completed pregnancies, and compared them with a group of 148 mothers without a history of PPD, and also with a group of 28 non-depressed women,” said John Crayton, M.D. Dr. Crayton is a professor of psychiatry at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, Ill. and the Section on Biological Psychiatry, Hines VA Hospital, Hines, Ill.
Copper levels and copper to zinc ratios were significantly higher in the group of women with a history of PPD compared to the other groups, according to the study published in the February issue of the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology.
“The exact nature of the association between elevated copper and PPD is not yet known, but copper plays a role in a variety of physiological systems that may be implicated in the development of PPD,” said William Walsh, PhD. Dr. Walsh is founder and director of research at the Pfeiffer Treatment Center and the Health Research Institute, Warrenville, Ill., and a coauthor of the study. Walsh added that elevated copper in the brain tends to diminish dopamine and increase norepinephrine levels.
"Zinc and copper play important roles in brain chemistry and are present in high concentrations in brain hippocampus which is involved in mood regulation, short-term memory, and behavior control," Dr. Crayton said.
During the nine months of a normal pregnancy, blood copper levels increase more than 100% but quickly return to normal after birth. This study indicates that the high copper condition can persist for many years in PPD women.
“We have seen dramatic improvement in women with PPD when we treat them with
supplements that lower copper levels and restore a normal copper to zinc ratio,” said Dr. Walsh.
“The next step is a controlled, clinical trial to verify these results, which may lead to a more effective treatment for PPD.”