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Post Holiday Headaches and Depression

Dr, Gerald H. Smith

Every year millions of people are plagued with post holiday headaches and depression. Although modern medicine estimates that there are over three hundred potential sources for this malady, many doctors overlook the obvious- vitamin deficiencies and intestinal toxemia.

The holiday season ushers in a time of celebration and with it comes frequent consumption of sugar, alcohol, fats, excess refined foods (cookies, cakes, soft drinks and pies) and fast foods. This dietary overload sets the stage for B vitamin deficiencies and increased putrefaction of protein within the intestines. The problem is compounded by a lack of dietary fiber, which speeds transient time of waste passing through the intestines, and the fact that most people eating the typical American diet are nutritionally deficient.

Thomas D. Spies, MD., past Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Cincinnati and director of the Nutrition Clinic, Hillman Hospital researched and wrote a great deal about malnutrition. Doctor Spies and others presented the symptoms of B complex deficiency many years ago: muscular weakness, lassitude, irritability, depression, memory loss, headache, nervousness, palpitation, anxiety, apprehension, morbid fears, mental confusion, rage, hostility, hypochondria, noise sensitivity and "a constant feeling of something dreadful is about to happen." The high consumption of proteins and refined carbohydrate foods coupled with an inadequate intake of foods rich in B vitamins (dark green leafy vegetables) are the underlying causes for many headaches and depression.

A review of the scientific literature documents the fact that a diet high in protein causes a predominance in the intestine of proteolytic putrefactive bacteria which produce highly toxic compounds, some of which become absorbed into the blood stream. Some of the more common substances present are: histamine (dilates blood vessels, depression, congestion, heart arrhythmia, nausea, fall in blood pressure), tyramine (can raise blood pressure), phenol (causes tissue injury with direct contact) and hydrogen sulfide (as poisonous as cyanide). The accumulated toxic wastes slows intestinal movement. The delayed movement may even be accompanied by one or more movements of the bowel per day. This information removes the foundation to the widely held belief that daily elimination removes most toxic waste.

Seven recommendations to help combat post holiday headaches and depression:

  1. Increase consumption of fiber foods (fresh vegetables, salads and fruit).
  2. Consume smaller portions of protein (red meats, chicken, pork, fish) at meals.
  3. Take digestive plant enzymes with meals.
  4. Add natural B complex vitamins into your daily diet.
  5. Drink at least four or five glasses of spring water per day between meals. Consume a glass one half hour before mealtime. This will help curb your appetite, prevent diluting the digestive enzymes while eating and help flush toxins out of the body.
  6. Eat fewer sweets and reduce alcohol consumption.
  7. Allow at least three hours after eating before going to bed.

Incorporating natural vitamins into one's diet and making simple lifestyle changes will insure a happier holiday for all.