Depression & mood swings
Depression And Mood Swings
If you feel depressed or have mood swings, you are not alone. British people rank among the most depressed people in Western World. If you feel unwell, always consult a doctor first.
Depression and mood swings can be due to entirely different things. Malnutrition, hormonal imbalances or low serotonin are just a few examples of causes that can play a role.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is best known for making us feel good. Other functions of serotonin are for our sleep, wakefulness, aggression, impulsivity, appetite and sexual desire. Too low serotonin can cause the following symptoms, among others:
- Difficulty sleeping
Dopamine is another neurotransmitter we need for our well-being. Dopamine is linked to our reward system and is needed for drive, motivation, concentration, and cognition. Funny enough, we can feel unwell both at too low and too high levels. Low levels are associated with, among other things, depression, impaired motor skills, obsessions and addictive behaviours. High levels are associated with, among other things, memory problems, anxiety, hyperactivity and mood swings. Addicts are often low on dopamine and use drugs to “self-medicate” to kick-start the dopamine production.
There is a direct link between addiction and dopamine as a way to release more dopamine as there has been a change in the brain’s reward system.
If you would like to measure serotonin by itself, that is possible. The Neurotransmitter Test measures serotonin as well as dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine. If you in addition to that would ike to mease GABA and glutamate as well, the Neurotransmitter Plus test is for you.
Mood swings, getting very emotional (especially crying a lot) or getting easily irritated – many women can recognize themselves in these emotions, and this can happen when the hormones estrogen and progesterone are out of balance.
Because the hormones fluctuate during the month, these mood changes can also occur only at a particular time of the month. As a woman, estrogen rises after menstruation and approximately until ovulation, when it drops. After ovulation, progesterone rises instead, the hormone that, among other things, should be able to make women pregnant.
Hormonal imbalance can manifest itself in several ways. First you need to look at the individual values. Are any of them too low or too high? Even if both values are within the reference interval there can still be a hormonal imbalanc if the ratio, as in relationship between estrogen and progesterone is not as it should be.
The most common problem is often estrogen dominance, which means that estrogen is too high relative to progesterone. Examples of symptoms of estrogen dominance are:
- Mood swings
- Decreased sex drive
- Panic attacks
But can also show physical symptoms such as
- Sore breasts
- Irregular menstruation
- Loses hair
- Difficulty sleeping
Measuring the hormones is the first step in being able to balance them. When you know what is your imbalance, then you can support your hormones through nutrients, herbs or bioidentical hormones. Read more about the estrogen and progesterone test here. If you want to order our larger hormone panels that measure DHEA, cortisol, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone and the ratio between estrogen and progesterone, you can choose Women’s Hormone Test or Men’s Hormone Test.
The so-called autumn depression is usually linked to vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is formed naturally in the skin when exposed to the sun, and we can get it in our food via oily fish.
The half-life of vitamin D is 20-29 days, so it is stored in the body, but already after a month, the summer supply has dropped drastically.
Common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are:
- Autumn depression
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Fragile skeleton
Omega-3 is one of the most studied nutrients, and many studies have been done on the effects of omega-3 in depression and mental health. In addition, studies have shown excellent results on therapeutic doses (high doses) of omega-3 in, among other things, depression, manic depression, schizophrenia and anxiety.
For omega-3, it is essential to look at the balance between omega-3 and omega-6, since omega-3 is anti-inflammatory while omega-6 is pro-inflammatory. The brain can also be affected by inflammatory conditions. To find out your balance or imbalance, you can do a fatty acid test that measures both omega-3 and omega-6.
Allergies & food intolerances
Can food affect our mental state? There seems to be a truth linked to the saying that when the stomach does not work, one can not think. Studies show a link between the gut and the brain, and there is also something called the allergic brain. Among other things, studies have seen the connection between food and brain fog.
Food intolerances are another area that is being discovered. There is often an underlying cause of food intolerances: “leaky gut“. Here, too, a connection is made between leaking gut and what people have increasingly started talking about – leaking brain. Many parents of anxious children testify to how dietary changes have made a big difference to their children. Gluten is already a popular area, but you need to look at the whole range of foods and substances that can interfere in different ways. Allergy and food intolerance tests can be found here.
Last but not least, one should not forget that several factors can affect depression and mood swings. Therefore, taking multiple tests can be essential to clarify what is not wrong.
The effect of the gut on mood
More and more studies show links between the gut and depression. The connection between the gut flora and our well-being is being discussed more and more. Both too high levels of certain microbes and too low levels can play a role. In addition to bacteria being present in the right amounts, we must have the right amount of yeast.
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