What Works Better than Antidepressants?

You’ve been programmed to believe that serotonin deficiency causes depression. If SSRI antidepressants actually cured people, we would not see escalating rates of suicide, agitation, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).

The secret sadness that people carry is not always apparent to the rest of the world. For example, I went to lunch with a new friend who has a picture perfect life by most standards. She confided to me that she has tried to kill herself three times and suffers with chronic depression. More than 2 decades has passed and not one psychiatrist or physician has ever suggested magnesium to this lovely lady. Not one! Unbelievable considering the studies that suggest magnesium plays some role in depression, even with suicidal tendencies.

Depression is just a word to most people, until it tries to kill you. The depth of suffering is hard to understand, especially if you are not sensitive to the clues … the mood swings, the comments, the degree of chronic pain, the fear of a new diagnosis and the fear in general. Many people with depression mask it by drinking alcohol, alcoholism is very commonly tied to this disorder and it makes it harder to treat. Smoking cigarettes and relying on coffee are two other temporary mood boosters (that don’t work in the long term).

If I help one person, even one person with this article, I will rest easier tonight because what I’m about to tell you about prescription medications is not what most pharmacists will tell you. (Basically they don’t work very well, and they don’t work for very long).  They are mood Band-Aids, you have to dig deeper to get to the root cause of depression, as well as anxiety, mania, hypomania, panic attacks and other hard-to-diagnose personality disorders.

Millions of people, especially women take SSRI and related antidepressants. They require a prescription and cost anywhere from $50 to $400 US dollars per month. They are not risk fee. Studies suggest that cardiac problems may occur in the fetus when mothers take SSRI drugs during the first trimester, yet one in four women trying to get pregnant are taking an antidepressant. I would be remiss if I didn’t share the popular brand names of some SSRI drugs so you know if you take them: Zoloft (sertraline), Prozac (fluoxetine), Celexa (citalopram), Lexapro (escitalopram), Paxil (paroxetine) and fluvoxamine (Luvox). That last drug Luvox, is often used for OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder.  There are two other very popular antidepressant medications that are not exactly in the SSRI class, but they are similar enough to mention here: Wellbutrin (bupropion) and Cymbalta (duloxetine).

Antidepressants target various neurotransmitters, usually epinephrine, dopamine or serotonin. But there are about 100 different brain chemicals involved in making you feel “happy” so targeting just those three is silly. The medications work for some, but not for everyone because it depends on the type of neurotransmitter imbalance that individual has. No wonder there were nearly 37,000 suicides in 2009, and about a million attempts according to the CDC. It’s ideal to get information about your body, since there isn’t a one-size-fits-all antidepressant. It’s important to journal and track your symptoms and as well as what you ate, and what supplements and medicine you took on your good days and bad days. This type of information can help you if you have any chronic illness, especially if you have severe depression.

Below, I’ve outlined some important lab tests.
I’m recommending these so you can do to get a better picture of what’s happening inside your body. If you find that you have low levels (or high levels) of one of the following compounds, you can target that compound. Some of the nutrients and herbs I mention below, might work better than antidepressants. Many of them can be taken along with your drug. Of course, ask your physician what is right for you. Here goes:

Interleukin 10 or IL-10. A blood test will measure this cytokine.  Reduced IL-10 is seen with depression, feelings of helplessness, insomnia and migraines. Lift your IL-10 with resveratrol, vitamin D and exercise. Please don’t naively think that you’re getting adequate and pure resveratrol from red wine, it’s the supplement I’m suggesting not a bottle of wine every night! One more thing, too much resveratrol is bad. It’s a drug mugger for copper. Copper deficiencies can cause low white blood cell (neutrophil) counts, and anemia that is unresponsive to iron supplementation (but responds to copper).  I need to move on, that whole conversation can take place in a future article. As for testing IL-10, ask your physician for this blood test, any lab can do it.

C Reactive protein. You’re more likely to be depressed when it’s elevated. Vitamin E and C, probiotics and CoQ10 can lower this. As for testing, any physician and any lab can perform it.

TNF alpha. This cytokine (measured in the blood) is high in depression, narcolepsy, bowel disease and psoriasis. Reduce TNF (tumor necrosis factor) with probiotics, magnesium, lipoid acid, curcumin, boswellia and essential fatty acids. Any physician and any lab can perform it.

Thyroid hormone.  Evaluate your Free T3. If it’s low, it’s a slam dunk for depression, fatigue and weight gain. I suggest you get this between 3.5 and 4.3 using thyroid medicine or supplements. The topic of low thyroid and depression is huge, and it’s tightly correlated. I wrote an entire book on thyroid and have a chapter related to depression in there my book is called, Thyroid Healthy. Check it out, it has over 200 awesome reviews (and thank you for those!!) The point I want to make is that you might be hypothyroid or “thyroid sick” or resistant, and this can be the underlying cause of depression. No amount of antidepressant medication will fix that. The biggest problem is that there are still many physicians who don’t know how to test correctly, or who disagree with the method of testing that I personally recommend. Proper testing can uncover thyroid disease, whereas improper testing can leave you tired, overweight and depressed while your physician says, “Your levels are normal, it’s not your thyroid.”  To me, it’s not your thyroid til you’re tested correctly! By that I mean, getting free T3, total T3, reverse T3 and T4 levels. I don’t care too much about your TSH levels.  Any physician and any lab can run the tests but if you experience resistance, I’ve made it easy for you. Buy the test yourself, and take the results with you to your physician. (You order the test, then take the kit to a lab for your blood draw).  Instead of paying over $1,000, I have it available to you for $239.00. It’s called “Thyroid Panel Complete + Thyroid Antibodies” and you can click here to buy it directly without a physician.  Now, remember, the point here is that undiagnosed thyroid is a common, if not epidemic cause for depression and standard lab tests don’t pick it up! It’s up to you to find out if you have low thyroid.

Neopterin and biopterin. This is a urine test and these two compounds are by-products of chemical reactions involving tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) which is required to make epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. This ratio is important if you have depression, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression or autism. I did a private poll on some people who I knew were suffering with depression. Of the 7 people I asked, not one of them had their neopterin/biopterin levels measured, not one. Increased neopterin formation, enhanced tryptophan (from protein like turkey) degradation is commonly seen in autoimmune diseases and chronic infections like Lyme disease. I’ve written extensively about Lyme because my husband Sam has it. You can read one of my articles here. Enter key words in my search box for more information. Anyway, disturbed metabolism of tryptophan affects your ability to create the neurotransmitter serotonin, increasing your susceptibility for depression. Elevated neopterin low tryptophan levels even correlate with neuropsychiatric disorders. It’s something you need to check out if you have bipolar disorder, severe depression, schizophrenia, personality disorders, aggression, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and any kind of of dementia. One more thing, the ratio is more important than either level alone.  Let me outline proper levels for you here:
Neopterin                                    0.15 – 0.79
Biopterin                                     0.04 – 0.35
Neopterin/Biopterin ratio       0.04 – 8.67

I mentioned magnesium earlier in this article. Studies prove it enhances mood, and as a side benefit it reduces muscle pain. It’s easy to become depleted in magnesium, especially if you drink lots of coffee. Hundreds of prescription and over-the-counter medications ‘mug’ magnesium from your body. They are what I call drug muggers. Among the worst offenders are antacids, acid blockers, steroids, antibiotics, antivirals, loop diuretics, thiazide diuretics and cholestyramine. Poor magnesium levels can lead to methylation problems, and that increases depression, whether or not you have the A1298 or C677T snp (polymorphism). You should read my article on methylation to get a handle on this. Testing for magnesium is not ideal in conventional medical settings. I really prefer you get an “RBC mag” level. That stands for Red Blood Cell Magnesium. This shows you what is inside the red blood cell, as opposed to other areas. You can ask any doctor to order this for you, or buy the test kit yourself (and take it to your local lab).

Now, the type of magnesium you take matters. By no means am I suggesting that magnesium is a cure for depression, but I definitely think it could help. It’s simple and it’s cheap. You have to agree that magnesium is way safer than SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) drugs. You can buy any brand you want, except the form of magnesium oxide which tends to cause diarrhea. I offer my own type at www.ScriptEssentials.com

Preferred forms of magnesium are “chelated” or they have “glycerinate” or “malate” which is easier on the tummy and has added health benefits to you. If you are giving this to a young adolescent, or someone who can’t swallow capsules, the brand “Calm” is nice because it is fizzy and tastes good. This is sold everywhere, and on Amazon.

Have I made the case yet? 

I hope I’ve made the case now that severe depression requires more than 1 pill a day.  Healing depression takes time, and requires relaxation, and a good counselor and hitting the nail on the head.  By that last one, I mean finding out the exact mechanism for the suppression of key neurotransmitters. We didn’t even talk about this but adrenal function matters too. Cortisol levels are important, too much or too little affects mood. Breathing deeply reduces cortisol, a stress hormone which makes you tired, overweight and sad! Balancing estrogen levels, raising progesterone, thyroid or testosterone can help. Deficiencies of magnesium, vitamin C, B12 or folate are often involved. Methylation difficulties, definitely involved! You can buy that test all by yourself if you want to at my link, www.directlabs.com/SuzyCohen.

Microbiome anyone? Yes, your gut health is huge, yet so overlooked. SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) impacts your mood. Probiotics improve your microbiome and positively influence your ability to deal with stress and make neurotransmitters. There are tons of probiotics available today, many of them are high-quality, however your body has to mesh well with them. You should not ingest a probiotic strain that is foreign to your own system. The brand I prefer and keep coming back to is Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic but you can certainly take what you like.

Please don’t give up on life.

The cause of depression differs for everyone, that’s why medications require trial and error. That’s also why some medications don’t work at all … or they work for a while then they stop. Just so you have this handy, 800-273-8255 which dials right into the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline center. You are loved and needed by someone. I love you! I study every day to help you. I have other articles here, use my search box to read those.  And finally, don’t let anyone dismiss nutrients, that is some of your best mood food.

Here are my other columns related to depression and possible help.  Click Here to see more.  I don’t recommend self-treatment, I am only educating you here, so please ask your physician about any supplement or drug change that you want to make.  Below this article, you can now comment on my forum. I’m proud to offer this because it allows you to share your own personal journeys and thoughts. Please keep comments short and general, and also be gentle to others, you have never walked a day in their shoes 😉

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

200 Responses to What Works Better than Antidepressants?

  1. Sanjay Hc March 31, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

    Hi, I am 27 year male from India. I am professionally pharmacist.
    Since my chilhood i was very silent person. Only few friends. Occassionally I go out. Most time sitting alone. Some times aggressive. People say I am very silent. Very less social interaction. I have performance anxiety and social anxiety. I sweat a lot during social interaction and during writing exams.
    Because I always in low mood, dull face(people say you have crying face), less energetic and walks slowly. Already I attempted for suicide 2 times.
    Doctor find difficult to diagnosed that I am suffering from depression.
    Doctor done eeg it was normal. He prescribed me floxetine for one year, but no use. I was in same situation
    Then how can I find out that I suffer from depression and to get treated well.
    Please suggest me.

    • Suzy Cohen March 31, 2016 at 4:51 pm #

      Hello Sanjay
      It is so nice to meet you here across the miles, and you are also a pharmacist like me. Please continue to search, you have much to offer.
      The fluoexetine will raise serotonin, but it does not help with dopamine which may be the hormone you need to target.
      I have written many many times on this topic. Would you use my search box at the top right and put in key words?
      You can also use this link, and it should pull up some articles: http://suzycohen.com/articles/category/depression-articles/
      And here’s one more on Tulsi, an herb that grows in your country, so a tea or supplement would be easy for you to find: http://suzycohen.com/articles/holy-basil-the-elixir-of-life/ This is an adaptogen, nourishing your body and soul.
      (but again my search box is best, type in a particular word like “depression” or “dopamine” or “anxiety” and it pulls up my articles which are enlightening. Stay in touch.

  2. Laura Gilliland March 23, 2016 at 2:35 pm #

    Hi Suzy-
    You have helped me with discovering I have Hashimoto’s in 2014 and have since changed my life and health for the better with all of the valuable info you graciously share. I now want to wean my self off of Wellbutrin- been on this for 13 years (after birth of second child). Tried going off before, but had huge hunger issues. Now I want to try again, but I have worked so hard to recently lose 25 pounds through diet change and exercise, I am scared of getting chubby again.(i’m 5’2″ so it’s hard to hide my weight gain) Any tips on how to combat the hunger side effect from Wellbutrin withdrawal naturally? I appreciate your help so very much if you have time to respond I’d be over the moon!
    I love your beautful smile and appreciate your generous advice!
    Laura G. from North Carolina

  3. Misty August 25, 2015 at 5:05 am #

    do you know anything about RT3 and Pooling in Hypothyroidism?
    Finally got Ferritin B12 and D up now my other iron panel numbers are high.

    Also weaning myself off Cymbalta… Down to 5 beads each day. Is this adding to all my depression ? Can you help?

    My daughter also has hypothyroidism ( low in all her vitamins and minerals). She is 25 and lives in another state. She is so depressed and won’t take her supplements.
    How can I help when I can’t even help myself
    Do you take on clients?

    • Suzy Cohen August 25, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

      I’m sorry I don’t, but thank you for trusting me. I just write articles and books, and I have educational webinars on youtube, and more coming that you can purchase. The discussion of antidepressants and rT3 and hypothyroidism and ferritin is COMPLETELY discussed in Thyroid Healthy. You need to get a copy of that if you ever want to understand all this and talk to a physician about what you need. Click on “Shop” tab and follow the link to Amazon.

  4. Deb Moore April 20, 2015 at 9:00 pm #

    16 year old daughter has been diagnosed through neuro-psychological testing to have depression. Plus she also has extreme fatigue (falling asleep sometimes in class, napping all the time, etc) The fatigue negatively impacts her life. She has issues with concentration now and not able to remember things (brain fog), pressure in back of her head, and dizziness/loses balance and sometimes her vision has short times of going black. Traditional doctor ran lots of tests and all come back within range (though TSH is trending down with her last read of 0.59 (lab range 0.50-5.20). Blood cortisol was within normal range, but a 24 hour saliva test showed very low cortisol throughout the entire 24 hours. She is seeing a functional metabolic nutritionist who said she is “parasympathetic”type so she s now eating mostly red meat, nuts and veggies – no sugar or wheat. She is also on an adrenal supplement, Vit D3, an enzyme for digestion, among a few others. Plus she drinks a lot of coconut water, as her leg muscles cramp up a lot. Her therapist and traditional doc all say she should be on an SSRI, but I keep feeling we shouldn’t. Do the low adrenals cause depression, or does the depression cause low adrenals? No clear answer. I have read pros and cons on functional medicine, and quite frankly we cannot afford the tremendous expense of such. And we can’t let her suffer for years as we try to find the right combination of supplements/testing, etc. Yet, I don’t want her on an SSRI, nor do I want her to lose her entire teen age years to depression and fatigue. Her depression is worse with school as she has so much homework – it wears her out totally. Can you offer us some direction and help. It is so difficult to watch your child go through so much pain.

    • Suzy Cohen April 20, 2015 at 9:23 pm #

      Hi Deb
      This must be horrible t watch, I really understand where you’re coming from. Perhaps one of the physicians or other practitioners here can offer guidance about how to make an appointment with them, or where to begin. Read this whole thread, some people made recommendations for similar issues.

  5. Sarah March 30, 2015 at 3:53 am #

    HI Suzy, I have a friend who has been diagnosed with PMD?? The doctor isn’t even sure of the diagnosis. She is experiencing weakness of her legs, throat muscles and even her eyelids. She has trouble swallowing and often chokes. She is also a former smoker. She sometimes falls and cannot get herself up without assistance. I am concerned she will have a fall and fracture a hip and be totally incapacitated. Do you have any suggestions as to what this may be or what she can take to slow the process? She was told that since they cannot give her a diagnosis, there is no cure or medication….. Is this of form of muscular dystrophy or Lou Gahrig’s disease? Thank you for all you do.

  6. Tiffany Verloop March 27, 2015 at 7:19 pm #

    Dear Suzi,

    I find your articles very informative and thorough. I have been struggling with several issues (ie weight gain, depression, Thyroid, estrogen dominance, possible adrenal fatigue etc), but one of the main issues is weight gain not related to eating and exercise. I am 42, and I have struggled to stay on the thinner side my whole life. I managed to maintain a lower weight (127ibs) for about 6 years, but have in the last 1.5 years put on about 16+lbs. (not because of diet or exercise changes). It took VERY VERY VERY strict dieting to lose the weight after babies. I have always exercised hard and eaten well/clean(I know everyone says that, but I have a pretty fare knowledge of what is healthy). My naturopath has been treating me for subclinical hypothyroid for about 8 years with Armour Thyroid and says my numbers look good. I feel that I have tried everything short of completely staving myself which may not even work I am really losing hope, because I don’t have the energy to continue to try so hard with NO or even negative results. Please let me know what you think. Thank you for your time.

    • Suzy Cohen March 30, 2015 at 2:47 pm #

      No don’t starve yourself.
      Estrogen causes women to be overweight, so it’s the estrogen dominance. Doesn’t matter how much thyroid you take, if your estrogen is high. Rhein lab and Precision Hormone lab are two labs I trust to accurately measure your hormones. Your doctor has to order those. If you want to order yourself, you have to use another lab to do that, and you get the results yourself. Write me back if that is your first choice, otherwise doc can order Rhein or Precision for you.

  7. Marlize March 27, 2015 at 6:36 pm #

    Hi Dr. Suzy,
    I am a South African and I am convinced that I have a thyroid problem. I tick all the boxes. HOW do I convince my doctor to do all those tests?

    • Suzy Cohen March 30, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

      Print out some of my articles (or pages out of my thyroid book) and give it to her/him. You can also send any doc to my site, there is a search box available to look things up.

  8. Bernadette March 27, 2015 at 5:50 pm #

    Ms. Suzy;

    I am fairly new to your newsletter and follow you on FB. I am very impressed and thankful for the many directions you help me and many, many others. Thank you for that.

    I am wondering if you have written about Fibromyalgia. I work with a support group for fibro and chronic pain and of course the complaints and comments on how doctors have treated some. Some good directions and some really bizarre directions. My theory is to work hard on not letting chronic pain beat you but for some, that’s easy for me to say and very difficult for them to wrap their mind around..

    If you have any thoughts that I can share with others, please let me know. What you say, to me, makes sense on so many levels in addition to making me really think about my health. I would like to share with others, with your permission. Too many do nothing but take meds because they don’t know what else to do. To me…that’s not the best direction when you want to be the best you can be with whatever your pain situation is so you can live life!

    Thank you in advance for your time. Please keep doing what you are doing. You are very good at it!


    • Suzy Cohen March 30, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

      Thank you Bernadette, it’s nice to find you here. You can use my search box and put in that term (right hand side).
      The best information on chronic pain is in my “Headache Free” book. As you read that (and I can give you one free chapter) you will soon see how to reduce pain and there are similarities of reducing pain wherever it is in your body. It is nice of you to want to share and pay it forward as they say. Please feel free to use my site and print articles and refer people to me. I leave these articles up for free, and access to my forum is free too.

  9. Lenny Szubinski March 27, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

    Another problem is if you have been on a antidepressant for a long time, and you want to get off of them, you have to wean yourself off of them! Withdrawl symptoms can be so overwhelming, you literally want to crawl out of your skin! What can you take to relieve these horrible withdrawl problems?

    • Suzy Cohen March 30, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

      That’s a good point Lenny. I don’t recommend people get off their A-depressant drugs unless they have everything in place to support that change because the receptors are “numb” and if you go off the drug, it’s a big shock to the system. Some people need these drugs life-long, some don’t.
      Weaning has to take place very slowly over the course of months or a year if a person has been on them a long long time.
      They use all kinds of things and I don’t know what’s right for an individual in particular, but you often see them do any (or several) of the following things, over time:
      1) Use another antidepressant while weaning off the original (yes another drug)
      2) Passionflower or hops, or kava or some other natural sedative
      3) St. John’s wort but not with a medication, it enhances the adverse effect profile
      4) Lifestyle changes
      5) Diet changes (elimination of food sensitivities whatever those are, often corn, soy, gluten, etc)
      6) Vitamin D it has natural antidepressant action
      7) Adrenal adaptogens to support general feelings of well-being
      8) Deproloft a supplement for mood boosting by Thorne, not taken with antidepressants but afterward
      9) GABA for anxiety (for example, the supplement Kavinace is a good form of GABA)
      Ok, so that’s a lot of ideas, not recommending, just sharing my brain download with you. Always ask what’s right for you, or your loved one.

  10. Kim March 27, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

    I read your Thyroid healthy book and was wondering if your recommendations for optimal ranges free T3, rT3, free T4 is the same for men, women and adolescents OR are there different ranges for it gender and age?

    • Suzy Cohen March 30, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

      Hi Kim
      Those are just ballpark ranges. I would use them as a guide for everyone, not gospel. So if your 14 yo feels great but the numbers aren’t in line with mine, I would not treat. There’s a saying that goes something like this: You don’t treat to get to a number, you treat the patient. So I’d use my numbers for everyone, as a guide but go with clinical presentation first, and always. I’ve seen people with a TSH of 2.5 and they felt wonderful, see what I mean. One more thing, the thyroid numbers can be perfect, and in line with my guides and a person still feels “off” or bad, or tired, and this usually means it’s not the thyroid, rather it is the adrenals! Hope this makes sense.

  11. Elisa March 6, 2015 at 7:50 am #

    Dear Suzy, I have read that your husband had Lyme disease. We are two sisters, and we are both with and autoimmune disease, she has Lyme Disease really bad, I have Hashimoto but till now I control it very well, except for some periods of excessive tiredness. I would like to know your advices for my sister, who has been sick for 15 years, has done all kinds of treatments, and is now more than desperate.

    Thank you so much for your ongoing help.

    Best wishes,

  12. anna February 11, 2015 at 11:51 am #

    Hi! I am 30 year woman whom since this autumn struggling with withdrawal from Prozac so great anxiety, hard to concentrate, depression, irritability etc ( would never had taken it if I knew how bad it could impact my system.). I got of cold turkey since psychiatrist clearly didnt know it should be done very very very slow so I got akatisia, nausea , lost weight, flu-feeling, emotial symtomes u name it! …so I had to go back on a minimal dose just to tyr to calm this down a bit. I am doing what I can taking D-vitamine, codliver oil and magnesium also tried different things for anxiety and increased concentration like theanine and valerian and taurine for anxiety… nothing feels really good though my system seems to be really sensitised 🙁 so as for now vitamine D, cod liver oil and magnesium is all I try but the anxiety and concentrationproblems are still very bad!

    Are you familiar with withdrawal anxiety and depression and can you give me some tips ? Supplements that might help ?
    Very grateful to your reply !
    and if you have further questions please ask !

    • Suzy Cohen February 13, 2015 at 2:04 am #

      Your doctor may not know that long-term administration of SSRI drugs like Prozac (and others) will downregulate the post-synaptic receptors. Tell him this (or print it) and he will hopefully know what to do to help you. I can’t help you I’m not a doctor, just an educator and pharmacist. Ok, but any intelligent physician will know how to re-awaken those receptors. Tell him/her: Long-term administration causes down regulation of the serotonin (5HT1A) receptors, increasing the firing rate of neuron. In the presence of blockade of reuptake, more serotonin is available to act post synaptically. The brain adjusts to the excess of serotonin caused by the reuptake inhibitor effect of the drug by shrinking or destroying the serotonin producing pumps and receptors. Its a vicious cycle that makes users physically dependent on the SSRI to maintain serotonin levels.

  13. Kathy February 9, 2015 at 11:03 pm #

    Hi Suzy —

    I am working my way through your Thyroid Healthy book and I had all the thyroid labs you suggested plus ferritin and vitamin D checked in my elderly mom. She has had chronic pain for many years, but the latest bout followed a compression fracture in 2009.

    It turned out that her ferritin level is very low according to the values you list in your book, her T4 level is high, and her T3 level is low. It’s taken awhile, but her latest CBC shows she is anemic. Her appetite is poor and she is intolerant of many foods; she has such a small list of foods she can eat. Until last year, she had been told that she had GERD, but after reading, I became convinced she doesn’t have enough stomach acid. It’s hard to reverse the thoughts that have been programmed into her over the years. I took her to a functional med doctor last summer and we are slowly working on healing her gut, but you’re right…it’s not fast and it isn’t easy to do this.

    Anyway, her (Innate Response) multivitamins now have iron in them, but I am concerned about the conversion from T4 to T3 which is apparently not happening effectively. Hopefully, over time, that will begin to happen as her iron stores are replaced, but in the meantime, I have been trying to get even a brief trial of T3 as adjunctive treatment for chronic pain as you suggest. I have been unable to find doctors who will do that, not even the functional med doctor she sees. The doctor says that functional medicine recommends against that, but you’re a functional medicine pharmacist, and you told us about it.

    That said, what is the research behind giving T3 for chronic pain? Maybe I could get a trial course of it for Mom if they could see that it’s evidence based.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Suzy Cohen February 9, 2015 at 11:31 pm #

      Get her a doctor that is Functional Medicine go here: http://www.functionalmedicine.org
      It’s hard for me to post research here, just go to pubmed.com and search “thyroxine” or thyroid” with the word “pain” and if you tuned into my interview for The Pain Relief Project, there was a free hour talk I gave on it there.

  14. Tina February 2, 2015 at 12:18 am #

    Hi Suzy,
    My husband Rob and I have spoken to you in the past regarding our non- drug treatment for ADHD, learning problems and high functioning autism. We are totally on board with what you talk about here and on your website as well. Magnesium is a first-line treatment for our clients among other basics. We would love to hear from you again and get your support. You must understand what we are up against and any suggestions or support would help. Please be in touch. http://www.sparkcenters.com is our website.

  15. Linda February 1, 2015 at 8:01 pm #

    Hi Suzy,
    I purchased Thyroid Healthy as suggested but need a little clarification.
    My labs for total 4 are 9.3 ug/dl and for total T3 are 1.46 ng/dl. How does that compare to the values you have listed? My TSH is 3.16. I am enjoying the book very much and am learning quite a bit…
    Thank you so much for all you do in the thyroid fight.

    • Suzy Cohen February 2, 2015 at 6:11 am #

      The list of recommended labs and values are listed in a chart in the correct chapter, so you can compare.
      Your TSH is def HIGH, meaning you are low in thyroid.

  16. James February 1, 2015 at 11:59 am #

    Suzy so I would love you to tell me which tests to tell my doctor to send me for in one paragraph so I can give it to him and go from there and get it done in one quick swoop thank you

    • Suzy Cohen February 2, 2015 at 6:15 am #

      It’s in Chapter 4 I think, there’s a chart and description of the labs and my recommended reference ranges (which differ from standard ranges) and how to interpret these, and reasons you’ll be misdiagnosed… it’s all in Thyroid Healthy. I’ve posted the chart you request on Facebook several times, so you’d have to go down my timeline. I don’t have it here on my laptop b/c it was a pic I took off my iPhone and posted.

  17. Bob February 1, 2015 at 11:32 am #

    I’m not depressed but I am getting depressed about my wife’s depression and the response I am getting from family when I simply try to communicate these most difficult topics. You have done so well in being articulate about depression medications that I slipped up the other day and called them Drugs. Then I had the audacity suggest to them that my wife’s condition was due to “Drug Muggers”. I really can bring on the stress in the family now cause you have been labeled as a Voo Doo Doctor by the daughter. The Grandson is going to be a shrink so now I know why they are all defending the position. BTW all my vitamin supplements D3 , Mag, FishOil, and Multi vitamins are being called as Drugs so that they can attack my form of medicine. Knowledge cures naming conventions.

    • Suzy Cohen February 2, 2015 at 6:17 am #

      SOMEONE has to hold the flashlight in the dark room.
      Be strong and courageous like you are 🙂

  18. Marah Brown February 1, 2015 at 6:51 am #

    I went and checked my free t3 and it was 5.8. What at that points does it cause with the health? I know I have a thyroid problem and no matter what doctor I go to including the endocrinologist they say my thyroid is the best they can get it. My tsh is 1.6. He would not give me a test for Reverse T3. He said it is not accurate enough. I am going to try again and if not then I will find another doctor that will. I appreciate all you say here. You have helped my husband and I to become healthier and that is much appreciated. It seems God uses you to answer our prayers. Thanks so much. You are so caring and sweet. I have been reading your book Thyroid Healthy and that is why I am trying to get these tests. I want my thyroid well like you did. I have been taking medicine since 1990 and I now take Armour Thyroid at 09 milligrams. That is not too long to get my thyroid better is it?

    I can use all the help I can get. I went from 134 to 217 pounds while taking thyroid medicine. I am so frustrated. Not use to being so overweight. It is miserable. I know you understand. I am 63 and a young 63. 🙂 For some reason the levithroxine quit working and before they got me straightened out on the armor thyroid I was heavy. I pray to God all the time to help me get my weight back down to 135 and I believe He will. I believe He will use you because after I prayed He helped me find your book. Thanks I pray you get this. God bless!

    • Suzy Cohen February 2, 2015 at 6:22 am #

      Hi Marah
      I’m sure you will get better because you are perseverant and the reason the levothyroxine stopped working is because your body can’t convert that T4 drug to T3 or if it does convert it, then it doesn’t transport it into the cell.
      The questions you must ask are as follows:
      1) Are you under stress? If so, then your thyroid medicine won’t work as well, you need adrenal adaptogen support.
      2) Do you have any other clinical symptoms of being low in thyroid (other than weight gain)? If you do, then a medication trial of a higher dose may be in order (but only after your adrenals are nourished).
      3) Do you ingest food, even after you are full? If so, if you feel hungry all the time then leptin is out of whack. You can measure leptin with a blood test.
      Put any of these search terms in my search box to learn more, and read my articles on those.
      God bless you too!

  19. Kay February 1, 2015 at 5:26 am #

    I was confused about testing urine for neopterin and biopterin. I understand that it has to do with tryptophan metabolism, but how is it treated when you have results that are abnormal. I don’t see a reason to test if there is no treatment.

  20. Eleanor January 31, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

    Thank you, Suzy, I’m smarter because of your books and articles like this. If you only knew how many people love and respect you, I’m sure you could walk on water! You change lives!

    • Suzy Cohen January 31, 2015 at 7:43 pm #

      Thank you Eleanor, that is very kind of you to take the time to post such lovely comments.

  21. Theesa January 31, 2015 at 8:32 am #

    what can be done for a racing heart and anxiety Suzy, my thyroid levels are normal and I have had this daily for 14 years I have had anti depressants but didn’t stop the symptoms x

    • Suzy Cohen January 31, 2015 at 7:51 pm #

      Racing heart and anxiety for 14 years? I am so sorry to hear that… you need a better physician that can pinpoint the problem. I’m not a doc. Maybe it’s some kind of medicine you’re taking? Maybe you could try some of the supplements I talk about for anxiety (with doc approval)… and they are sold everywhere. Why don’t you take some time to read all my columns on the topic? Put the terms in my search box above and you can read all the remedies.

  22. Kathy January 31, 2015 at 6:43 am #

    I understand the observation of “one size doesn’t fit all” for anxiety/depression/panic attacks. I’m 61 now and had my 1st serious depression in my early 30’s. Couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, just wanted to cry, terrified to watch the news and all along thinking “there is nothing going on in my life to make me feel this way”. Prozac returned me to feeling normal again, but had side effects I didn’t like (low libido), so I went off it and was good for a couple of years. Repeated the same type of cycle 2 more times over several years, only it took me longer to feel normal each of the next 2 times. I was sent to a psychiatrist for evaluation, but there REALLY wasn’t an issue to discuss and his assessment agreed. The last time, I went to my doctor and told him I was going off the Prozac for the usual reason but I wanted to stay on something. Zoloft was what we found that worked and I have been on it for well over a decade without a relapse. Quite honestly the depression seemed to come on so fast it was like catching a cold. I take it, you would still recommend that I go through the bloodwork, especially with probable new information on depression. Other family members have experienced this pattern and one daughter did have a thorough blood work up, but was still placed on Zoloft. So, is this pattern unusual? What kind of doctor should assess the bloodwork for medication changes? Is counseling mandatory? Because the fear and sadness didn’t seem to have a reason and went away on the medication. Please comment.

    • Suzy Cohen January 31, 2015 at 7:59 am #

      Hi Kathy,
      Many people go through cycles of depression. I recommend a Functional Medicine doctor to assess bloodwork: http://www.functionalmedicine.org or acam.org
      Counseling? That’s very personal.
      You’re lucky the medicine helps, some people… it doesn’t even help.

  23. Mari January 31, 2015 at 6:40 am #

    So much great info here to pass on! Thanks Suzy! I have had surprisingly good results with Sam-e. I take a super low amount and it keeps my moods more stable. I also notice great joint pain relief. It has been a Godsend for me.

  24. Vicki January 29, 2015 at 6:08 pm #

    Thank you for hitting on this subjuct as I have had depression from little on, anxiety, panic attacks, stress that over takes me from an abusive childhood and life as an adult 57 and doctors have wanted to put me on drugs that are worse than what I now deal with, I refused!
    I went to all natural homeopathic medicines this has kept me sane. However, I am always looking for better ways to calm those fears. I also started working out again. If I can find a doctor to hear me I will check on these tests. Magnesium was something that I read about for another problem I fight with that of an overactive bladder/ leaking/ bladder pain to help calm and support muscles is that true and what is the best for that.

    • Suzy Cohen January 31, 2015 at 2:07 am #

      Hi Vicki
      Please put “cystitis” or “bladder” into my search box to read what I suggest.

      • Vicki February 18, 2015 at 11:08 pm #

        Dear Suzy;

        I thank you… I will… as Dr.s have told me I do not have Cystitis even though I am in pain 24/7…Whatever, Doc! I heading there right now! Thanks!!

  25. Linda January 26, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

    Do you have a recommended range for Total T3? Mine is 1.46. Am on 60 mcg of Armour a day, but, feel really down. Been on Cymbalta but had to stop do to RLS at night. Am on bio-identical hormones but they won’t increase the estrogen due to a blood clot issue. I did well to find someone that would let me use what they do. Your thoughts on the thyroid issue?

    • Suzy Cohen January 27, 2015 at 4:16 am #

      Yes, I have a list of all those labs and recommended values in Thyroid Healthy book, I think page 54.
      Sometimes RLS is due to dopamine deficiency. Or iron deficiency, or folate deficiency, and others.

  26. Karin January 26, 2015 at 2:25 am #

    I want to be a wellness consultant in the mental health realm and need to know where to get best training with regard to these things. I have BA in Prev Health/minor nutrition. I have made connection with a facility who will give me an opportunity however I need more training. Can you make suggestions? I LOVE what you do! You are a TRUE inspiration! I have some ideas of how I can be of assistance to integrative practitioners and mental health practitioners but not sure how I can pull it all into a productive plan. Thank you for any insight.

    • Suzy Cohen January 26, 2015 at 6:57 am #

      Hi Karin,
      It’s hard to say, it’s been 20 years of training for me in the natural arena, and 30 as a pharmacist. I would start at acam.org or functionalmedicine.org or online, and read and read and read 🙂 Bless you and good luck.

  27. Yvonne Mickelson January 25, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

    Hi Suzy, Great article. Thanks for the info. I did want to tell you a bit about me. I am a 45 year old female and I have been diagnosed with PTSD from being molested as a child. I am obese (320 pounds) and have been put on Cymbalta and Wellbutrin for depression. I take a preventative for high blood pressure and metformin for blood sugar. A few months ago I decided to get off the antidepressants as I have been on them for years and feel like they were not doing anything. I stopped taking them and i feel no different from when I was on them. I don’t feel depressed. I am moody and I do feel alot of pain in my body now that I am off the Cymbalta. My muscles mainly. My thyroid is fine, been tested for it. My cholesterol is high and not on anything for that because I find when I do take something for it, I am in more pain in my joints. I find I have enough pain I do not want to increase it. Can you suggest anything I can do to help with my body pain? Can I be depressed still and just not know it? I find that a silly question but I am gonna ask it anyway. Any information you can provide would be great. Thank you in advance.

    • Linda B July 28, 2015 at 8:49 pm #

      Yvonne, there is never a silly question.

  28. Lee Goldman January 25, 2015 at 4:07 am #

    Dear Suzy: Thanks for the input re “Berberbine” supplements,…..however I cannot find a pharmacy, health food store, or nutritional center store that carries it let alone actual “heard of it”. I would so like to buy it and try it to help keep my blood sugar I am not diabetic) and cholesterol down. Also I am a post menopausal woman and fine it very annoying to have to get up from sleep 2 sometime 3 times a night to urinate…I do not have a problem during the daytime…I do not have to rush to the bathroom to urinate., also I do no drink a lot during the day so I’m really puzzled and annoyed having to wake up to go to the bathroom (I should mention that I take a prescription sleeping pill and STILL wake up …it takes me a while to fall back to sleep.I go for a physical checkup every year and
    my primary doctor has never found anything to back this up (even tho I have never mentioned i to him).
    This year when I go for my yearly check up (which includes several blood tests) I will certainly make mention of this bothersome problem. What is your take on this problem? Could it be age related? Maybe I’ve made mention of this before to you but I don’t remember your input on the subject.

    • Suzy Cohen January 25, 2015 at 4:42 am #

      Hi Lee
      Look on iHerb.com here’s a link to the berberine page.
      Post menopausal urinary incontinence, urgency, cystitis etc… may be due to low estrogen. Your doctor is probably not testing your hormones, or testing them incorrectly. I would trust the Rhein urine lab test for hormones. Bio-identical ones are best, and that may ultimately solve your problem. If it’s not that, it could be tied to candida, or undiagnosed diabetes. You need to correctly rule all those out. Correctly is the key word, you need the RIGHT tests.

  29. William rose January 24, 2015 at 8:53 pm #

    my first advice would be to see a nutrioniis that will take care of the gut and the right nutrients must eat lots of fruited and Vegemite eat two bananas a day

  30. Jenece January 23, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

    One year since RAI for extreme hyper. PCP never offered up a thyroid panel after years of complaining of sypmtoms. Nodules on my thyroid were discovered at a free health fair with they did a sono on my cartoid arteries. Only then did my PCP do a panel which led to them sending me to an endo….one year later I’m still getting my dosage adjusted, gaining weight, still fatigued because I’m now hypo (but labs are “normal”) with TERRIBLE hip & leg joint & muscle pain. Started magnesium and D3 and stopped the Lexapro. I’m 48 and feel 80. I thank you for caring about us when our own doctors don’t.

  31. Kathy January 22, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

    Hi Suzy,
    Thank you for your time. I have taken Zoloft since 1998 and have tried to do without but can not. At this moment I take 100mg. daily. Do you have suggestions ? I have been told that I may never come off of Zoloft because I have been taking it so long.

    • kim January 23, 2015 at 5:48 pm #

      Hi Suzy,

      Thanks for all of your straightforward great information. Question on the Thyroid – T3 FREE is 2.4 (you referenced an optimal 3.5-4.3). I take Tirosant 137mcg and Cytomel 5mcg. Suggestions on how to get this level up?

  32. Lindsey January 22, 2015 at 3:26 am #

    Thank you for your wonderful article. I have Lyme Disease and have been suffering from some pretty intense depression lately. My Lyme Literate ND has me on Cholestyramine to help as a binder to get mold toxins out of my body (I have a mold allergy/sensitivity and candida overgrowth). I am worried about taking the Cholestyramine long term as I understand it can cause nutrient deficiency. I also take activated charcoal but the Dr. says it’s not potent enough. Your thoughts?

    • Suzy Cohen January 22, 2015 at 4:39 am #

      Hi Lindsey,
      They both work well, cholestyramine is the drug of choice though for LLMDs. You wouldn’t need both, just one, especially because these cause constipation big time.
      I covered all the nutrient deficiencies for cholestyramine in my Drug Muggers book, so please look them all up in there. There are too many to go over here.
      It’s mainly fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, etc. When supplementing, you want to space away from your cholestyramine or it will bind it up.

  33. valerie January 22, 2015 at 12:42 am #

    Hi Suzy, thank you for all you do. I greatly appreciate it. I was in a car vs. bus accident 10.5 months ago and since then my life has not been at all the same. I suffered severe whiplash which my muscles are taking sweet slow time healing. Also had a 3 level cervical fusion b/c of the 3 herniated discs in my neck that also was thanks to the accident. But the worst part of it all is that I can’t sleep at night due to nightmares of the accident and the tinnitus. My doctor put me on an antidepressant. I am not depressed, just very very tired b/c I can’t sleep without nightmares waking me up. This has been going on since the accident. Any suggestions? My functional medicine doctor has me taking Kavinase PM but that hasn’t been completely helpful either. Also, bladder control issues have been going on since the accident but have gotten worse since my surgery. Been on numerous kinds of pain meds all of which don’t completely take away the muscle pain. I do take magnesium (up to 600mg a day).

    • Suzy Cohen January 22, 2015 at 1:19 am #

      Hi Valerie
      Hi Valerie,
      This is complex. He may be using that antidepressant to raise serotonin; adequate serotonin helps to reduce pain. Regardless if this is the reasoning, if it’s not helping I would tell him you want help weaning off it. You sound like you need something to help you with the underlying problems like the PTSD (nightmares) and the bladder issues.
      As for pain and muscle relaxation, you can ask about using something like a muscle relaxer. Also maybe something like curcumin, boswellia or another natural anti-inflammatory could help. Look up uva ursi, berberine and other herbs for the bladder. Good luck to you, hope something here pans out.

  34. Elizabeth January 21, 2015 at 3:49 am #

    Wow! My boss is always talking about trying to incorporate magnesium into our formulations and I used to wonder why, I guess he had an idea about what you are saying on the effect of magnesium in the body. Personally, I am and have always been a happy-chappy person, but I see a few depressed people from time to time and I think this should be a very good resource. Thanks Suzy.

    • Suzy Cohen January 22, 2015 at 1:15 am #

      Happy chappy. Cute Elizabeth. I like that, I think I am basically that way myself!

  35. Val January 20, 2015 at 8:32 pm #

    Thanks Suzy for all you do!
    What do suggest for neurotransmitter problems after and opiate detox?
    My son was put on pain meds and became addicted to them. It makes me mad how they hand them out like candy! He detoxed from them and is on suboxone I hope short term. He is so flat and I know if he doesn’t feel normal he will go back to them or worse heroin! His doctor asked him if he wanted an antidepressant and he said no! I was so glad because I hate them! I do want to offer him alternatives though!

    • Suzy Cohen January 20, 2015 at 11:34 pm #

      Hi Val,
      This is not something I can treat, or advise for online. I am glad he detoxed, that is a good step. His counselors and physicians should be keeping an eye on him though. When you say “flat” I visualize apathy… which is tied to low dopamine. Research dopamine deficiency. It is also tied to drug abuse. It is something his physicians should be targeting with medications, supplements and diet. I wish you all well.

      • Pam January 22, 2015 at 1:18 am #

        Do you recommend Deprenyl for Dopamine Deficiency? I’ve had NAD IV treatments but they are expensive and wear off after a few months.

        • Suzy Cohen January 22, 2015 at 1:27 am #

          Hi Pam
          I’m not a doctor, so I can’t make any recommendations for you. I agree that NAD infusions are expensive, and they are hard to get. Those are generally used for people with addiction disorders (for others reading this wondering what that is). And also, I’ve seen up close the extensive and long-lasting problems that high dose niacin can do to a person who didn’t need it to begin with. Undertake NAD IVs with caution, they are great if you need them, but terrible if you don’t. And thousands of dollars for each treatment. We wasted our money on that treatment for Sam.

          • Pam January 28, 2015 at 4:36 am #

            Hi Suzy – thank you for responding – I’m curious as to what long lasting problems you have seen with IV NAD ? What kind of results or lack of results did Sam experience?
            Also – what are your thoughts on Deprenyl for increasing dopamine levels?

          • Suzy Cohen January 29, 2015 at 3:19 am #

            When you get those 10 hour IV infusions of it, 4 days of row you will crash. It’s a coenzyme form of niacin. It’s used for addiction purposes, which he does NOT have, he was trying it for brain balancing and neurotransmitter help. Probably should’ve taken the tablets right, IVs are big giant doses!
            Deprenyl ok if it’s working for you.

          • Pam January 29, 2015 at 3:25 pm #

            thanks Suzy for sharing – I’ve done as much research as I know how on the NAD infusions and I understand that approximately 10% of the population are genetically deficient in this – carried on mothers mitrochrondria and benefit from these infusions, I’ve done the 23 & ME and I do have some snp’s that reflect possible problems that NAD drips are successful for, only problem is the cost and availability of them – do you have a list of facilities that are currently treating with the NAD ?

          • Suzy Cohen January 31, 2015 at 2:08 am #

            I don’t, unfortunately. I think the place Sam went to was in Baltimore.
            There maybe some place in California, in San Diego, and you can google this, with the word “addiction” because that is how they advertise their clinic.

  36. Megan January 20, 2015 at 2:21 am #

    Thanks for this. I take 100 mg Haldol shots for a mental health disorder, it was just recently moved to every 3 months. Just recently my legs have been aching worse than they ever have after just a short mile walk. I walked 3 miles this summer about twice a week and was fine. I’m only 35 and feel like I’m getting arthritis in my joints. I stand all day on concrete at work too and this is painful. I drink over 8 cups of water a day and was wondering if this could deplete magnesium. I’m going to get some epsom salt to soak in and talk to a doctor about taking a magnesium supplement. Will also check into getting some of these tests done. Thanks again.

    • kevlynn January 21, 2015 at 7:45 pm #

      Although I’m not an expert. Just adding my two cents…(from life experience) You need to be standing on a rubber mat, ask your employer to provide one for you! Hope you’re wearing thick soled shoes or work boots to absorb the impact to your joints from standing or walking on cement. Epsom salt soaks are good for temporary relief.

  37. Khali January 20, 2015 at 12:42 am #

    All labs ok but free t3 low and rt3 high, don’t take hormones. Tried Cytomel once gave me SVT heart rate went to 190 bpm [beats per minute]. Seen 7 endos [endocrinologists], all ignorant, feel hyper most of the time. Low cortisol, wake up at odd hours at night like 3, 4, 5 am, can’t rest well. Help!

  38. Fay January 19, 2015 at 9:52 pm #

    Hi Suzy

    Would you be able to tell me about this puzzle?
    I have very low blood pressure.
    Homozygous MTHFR C677t
    Low magnesium levels
    Slight Hashimotos, doctors stoped even 12.5 mcg of synthroid
    YET when i take magnesium it makes me very depressed
    I suspect its because it further lowers my already low blood pressure
    Folate & B12 i can only tolerate for a couple days at a time n have to stop
    Can you state your stance on why magnesium makes me feel like i am dying.
    BTW its the type of magneseum u recommend
    Thank u in advance for your ever

  39. Connie January 19, 2015 at 4:47 pm #

    Thanks Suzy. This is helpful. You are loved also! I don’t know you per say but you seem very genuine.

    • Randy January 19, 2015 at 7:30 pm #

      HI Suzy
      I was in an Industrial accident about six and a half years ago where it left me with my face burned beyond recognition and all the flesh melted off both my hands from my wrist down. I was in deep depression until my Dr put me on Citalapram, and even now i have some bad days. Do you think that magnsium will work for me?
      Also, my son was over in Afghanistan for seven months on the front line and since he came back he developed severe PTSD. He refuses to take medication because his aunt nearly overdosed on it. Is there some other kind of treatment or herbal remedies he can try?
      Thank you so much for your time
      Ab, Canada

      • Suzy Cohen January 20, 2015 at 5:22 am #

        Hi Randy
        It is nice to meet you here, and I’m very sorry to hear of your suffering. I can’t imagine why a plain mineral like magnesium would be a problem, but of course ask your practitioners to be sure because I’m not a doctor. I feel that depression is tied to all sorts of things, it’s not just one single thing like a mineral deficiency. Your adrenals are probably taxed from the stress of your physical limitations. You can ask about adaptogens too, gentle ones like low doses of rhodiola, ginseng, licorice, shisandra or ashwagandha. I don’t know of herbs for PTSD, I think a professional therapist would be ideal, that is harder to treat.
        Here’s an e-hug.

        • gayle February 19, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

          I am so grateful to find this site. Thank you. My daughter also suffers from PTSD from sexual assaults. Dr Mark Millar has a site called OperationSetThemFree actually is opsetthemfree.com and is having great results with returning soldiers using all natural supplement lithium orotate. Only approx. $15 per bottle of 100. Hope this offers hope! Thank you Ms. Cohen!

      • Brenda January 21, 2015 at 10:19 pm #

        Try EMDR for PTSD

        • Suzy Cohen January 22, 2015 at 1:24 am #

          Thanks Brenda. Some people may not know what you’re referring to, so I’ve defined it here: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

  40. Lawrence Gabriel January 19, 2015 at 11:09 am #

    thank u for the knowledge, i suffer from depression,thyroid also receive steroid injections in my spine. your a great help

  41. Lawrence Gabriel January 19, 2015 at 11:06 am #

    Suzy, You have educated so much, I can’t thank you enough. I have thyroid problems and depression. Numerous antidepressants haven’t worked,and I also get steroid injections in my spine every 3 months so thank you so much for this knowledge. When i read your articles it turns a light on for me.

    • Suzy Cohen January 19, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

      Thank you Lawrence, kind of you to say.

    • nancy January 24, 2015 at 9:47 pm #

      no wonder you are depressed…steroid injections in your spine every 3 months?? ***!!! thAT TRAVELS through your entire system….brain barrier and all..FInd a differ means of pain reduction if that is indeed what you are using your injections for..That would explainit all to me..SOrry I hope you feel better,,,

    • Vanessa February 4, 2015 at 2:43 am #

      Please, Google steroid injections. Dr’s often recommend them for back pain but they are not approved for that use and are potentially very dangerous. I hope you find relief from your pain and when you do, please pass that information along to me. I suffer from a rare spinal cord disease.

  42. Dored January 19, 2015 at 4:54 am #

    Greetings, I need your assistance in regards to my wife. She’s being diagnosed with “URTICARIA”, her symptoms, body rash, body aches, some of the joints swell, especially the fingers, this happens in the evening hours, but after going to bed and waking up in the morning everything goes away, and later during the afternoon/evening things start coming back, this has been going on since 2005. Mayo clinic was unable to help her, they operated on her thinking she had Lymphoma, after the surgery, everything was negative. Her blood work reveals Vitamin D deficient, Anemic, high sedrate level. Mediations never help with any of her symptoms. What can we do to find cure? Thank you in advance.

    • Deborah January 21, 2015 at 7:29 pm #

      Dear Dored, The first step is to heal her gut. This is not easy or fast, but it will really help her. Please see a functional medicine doctor or a naturopath who will work on this with you. good luck and God bless. Deborah

    • Mona January 23, 2015 at 8:37 pm #

      Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead – its a documentary about fasting with juice and its a great story. Joe Cross has (had) what your wife has and is cured of it in two months. Good luck!

      • Suzy Cohen January 25, 2015 at 12:02 am #

        Yep, wasn’t that GREAT! I watched it twice. Thanks so much Mona.

    • jeff February 5, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

      Watch the movie “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” as the main characters have the same “urticaria” affliction and cure their outbreaks by changing their diet..

    • Kelly April 2, 2015 at 1:09 am #

      Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria. Common in middle age females. Hives out of nowhere with no known cause and you may never find out why. You should find a good allergist/immunologist to get her on treatment. There is possibility of relief but you have to have the right doc. Here’s a pretty good description (I know it’s wikipedia but it’s not bad): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urticaria

      I have this an am currently hive free after being taken through the “the 2014 American practice parameters” outlined in the article (my doc followed them pretty closely). I am currently taking zyrtec/zantac twice daily, hydroxyzine, cyclosporine, and now xolair injections. Hope to try weaning off of the orals soon, but this can be a lifelong condition (crossing my fingers).

  43. Angela January 19, 2015 at 3:32 am #

    Hi Suzy!

    Thank you so much for the wonderful information it has helped me and my family immensely. I can feel all the love and concern you send everyone and I say right back at you!

  44. Sandy January 19, 2015 at 2:40 am #

    Hi Suzie: I have a 26 year old son that complains of not feeling well all the time. He is very moody and tend to be always depressed. All lab test including thyroid levels comes back ‘normal’ He is 5’10 inches tall and weighs about 125 pounds. He cannot gain weight no matter how hard he tries and will loose weight so easily even if he misses a meal. He goes to the bathroom immediately after he eats, sometimes has to stop eating to run to the bathroom.It makes me sad to see him this way. Any suggestions?

    • Suzy Cohen January 19, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

      Doggie style eating then eliminating… classic gluten sensitivity or could be Celiac. Test him using Cyrex, Array #3 and #4
      You need a good doctor, no one can diagnose here, but that’s my suggestion (test him and clean his diet, eliminate grains, gluten, dairy, eggs and nuts).

      • Pam January 19, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

        Hi Suzy – where can we get the urine test for Neopterin and biopterin?

        • Suzy Cohen January 20, 2015 at 5:06 am #

          Hi Pam
          Labcorp offers it.
          Genova Diagnostics.
          Metametrix Labs

      • sara January 23, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

        yes – food allergy testing! changed my life!

    • Rosemary February 11, 2015 at 10:51 pm #

      Dear Sandy
      It sounds very much like Crohn’s disease. Please research that and try to rule it out but it most likely is Crohns which my family is very familiar with as our oldest son has suffered from this condition since 2007 and has been to many hospital visits and doctors. Your son will not get better on his own, you must take action and intervene.

      • Kelly April 2, 2015 at 1:02 am #

        Ditto on the crohn’s – this sounds exactly like my son! You need to take him to a gastroenterologist and get him checked right away. I write this as I am sitting in the hospital for the 2nd time in 2 months with with my 21 year old son and his bowel obstruction. A lifetime of symptoms and pediatricians “you can’t miss school with a stomachache” – now he has permanent damage and will likely face surgery and is already on infusions every 8 weeks for the rest of his life. Couldn’t eat – would sit down to eat and then just couldn’t. Went from 180 to 130 lbs – that’s malnourished for a 5’10” male (same height as my son).


  1. Holistica Integrative Care » Blog Archive What Works Better than Antidepressants? - Holistica Integrative Care - February 20, 2015

    […] Read the full article here:  What Works Better Than Antidepressants? Suzy Cohen RPh […]


Let’s Get Social

Facebook  Pinterest  Twitter  Google+  Instagram