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Depression

Depression

Depression affects 1 in 20 people in the UK. It is estimated that 3-5% of the world’s population experiences depression on any given date

Depression is a disorder characterised by altered mood and common symptoms associated with the condition include:

  • Anxiety
  • Low pain threshold
  • Mood swings
  • Craving for sugar
  • Sleep problems
  • Low self esteem
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Loss of interest in food, sex, life and daily activities
  • Slow thinking
  • Poor concentration
  • Weight fluctations
  • Lack of energy
  • Crying spells
  • Aggressive thoughts
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Violent impulses
  • Alcohol and drug dependency

Risk factors

  • Family history of depression
  • History of abuse
  • Loss of parent at a young age
  • Use of hormone medications (Contraceptive pill, HRT, fertility treatment)
  • Persistently stressful life
  • Lack of support

Underlying causes

Imbalanced brain chemistry – Depression is often caused by lower than normal levels of the brains happy chemicals. Imbalances in brain chemistry can be caused by many factor including a lack of the correct building blocks in the diet or a lack of the nutrients needed to help the body make these vital substances. Deficiencies in these building blocks can be determined via an amino acid urine test. Smart Nutrition can also assess your diet for the correct amino acids and give you practical tips on how to increase them in your diet and help enhance  your brain’s ability to make all its essential messengers. Amino Acid Test.

Poor Diet – A lot of recent research highlights the role specific nutrients play in helping to manage depression. If your diet is poor, and has in not very nutrient dense then it is possible that you could be lacking in any of the nutrients known to be key players in managing this condition. A NutrEval – MOT Health Test would highlight deficiencies and a Nutrition Consultation can be used along side the test results or on its own to help you address any imbalances. Book a Consultation.

Heavy metal toxicity – Accumulation of toxic metals from pollution, pesticides, mercury fillings and tap water can cause all sorts of psychological symptoms and imbalances. Toxic metal accumulation can be tested via A Hair Mineral Analysis.

Allergy or Intolerance – These can often exacerbate or cause the symptoms of depression. If you think you have a food allergy or intolerance you may want to consider A Food Allergy or Intolerance Test  and A Nutrition Consultation.

Hormone havoc – The hormones that control our sexual urges and run the menstrual cycle can also affect the levels of happy chemicals in the brain. Hormonal irregularities or the natural decline in hormone levels with aging or the menopause can cause our happy chemicals to be less effective. Hormones levels can be measured using A Female Hormone Test.

Imbalanced blood sugar – A diet high in sugars and refined foods can make us feel great one minute and really low the next. This can lead to uncontrollable mood swings, cravings and weight gain. If you have any of these symptoms Smart Nutrition can give you expert advice on the practical diet changes to balance out the rollercoaster. Book a Consultation.

Metabolic abnormalities – the madness of King George was though to be due to Pyroluria which is a genetic condition that is simple to treat as it leads to an increased need for certain nutrients. Testing for this condition and treating the underlying nutrient deficiencies can greatly improve wellbeing. To find out more about Pyroluria and how you can order A Test for Pyroluria click here

High homocysteine – Homocysteine is a chemical naturally produced in the body. When levels are kept within check it doesn’t pose any health risks. However, if the body’s ability to break homocysteine down becomes compromised it can gradually accumulate. High homocysteine is linked to mental health problems, cardiovascular disease and many other conditions. It can be easily treated with a specially designed supplement programme and diet and you can have your H score tested via a simple Homocysteine Test.

Lack of essential fats – The brain is made up of about 60% fats and some of these fats are essential and have to be provided in the diet, however, several scientific studies have shown that people with depression are prone to deficiency. Luckily deficiencies can quite easily be corrected so it is always worth having an essential fatty acid analysis to see whether this is a contributing factor in you condition. Fatty Acid Analsyis.