Potential root causes of depression
Similar to my post earlier this week on anxiety (you can view that HERE), depression also has root causes (hint: it’s not a deficiency of Prozac). Unfortunately depression and anxiety go hand-in-hand, but some will only experience one or the other.
Unlike anxiety which can be short term, depression is rarely that. Sure, you can have a “bad day,” but that’s not the same thing. Depression is defined as feelings of sadness that are so intense, that you feel helpless or hopeless. While this can last for a few weeks, many people battle with depression for years, not knowing why.
So, on to some potential root causes:
- Hypothyroidism. Sadly, this is so common in women. Let’s say you go to the Dr because you’re experiencing traditional hypothyroid symptoms (losing hair, can’t lose weight, etc). They run your TSH and T4 and say everything looks fine, and send you on your way. But…what about your free T3? What about antibodies? It is so important to get a full thyroid panel to look at all pieces of the puzzle, especially since subclinical thyroid issues are rampant, and they are often linked to depression.
- High sugar diets. Oh yeah, kick those sugar habits to the curb. Sugar is everywhere in our society. Just look at the flavored lattes, muffins, cookies, and everything else you see people consuming daily. Sugar itself IS a drug and can affect your neurotransmitters. So get rid of it! Seriously though, get rid of it.
- Dysbiosis. This is a fancy term for gut flora imbalance. Perhaps you have too much good bacteria, too much bad bacteria, whatever. But your bacteria is messed it. People often look for signs of gi distress such as loose bowels or bloating, but many times it will not present that way. In fact, you may never experience gi issues at all, yet you can still have dysbiosis or other gut issues. If you haven’t ever done a comprehensive stool test, I highly recommend the GI Map. This is the company I exclusively use with my clients. You can learn so much from the gut and as Hippocrates said, “all disease begins in the gut.” Given that 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut, this is a fabulous place to start if you’re dealing with depression.
- Vitamin D deficiency. This is also rampant in America…likely due to the fear of the sun and misleading advice to slather yourself in sunscreen. Now I’m not saying to lay out by the pool for an hour without sunscreen (bad idea), but I am saying to ensure 10-15min of daily sun with NO sunscreen or sunglasses. Any longer, find yourself a chemical free sunscreen. And if you live up North and don’t get much sunshine, you’ll want to boost eggs, cod liver oil, and/or take a D3 supplement to ensure you’re staying in an optimal range.
Again, much like anxiety, there can be one or more root causes, and the list above is not extensive. But, it gives you a starting point. If you are curious about Functional Medicine or other potential root causes for anxiety or depression, I invite you to join me for two things.
- A completely free 5 day program starting 3/4. This program consists of daily, short live trainings with myself and Denise Loutfi (functional medicine health coach) to teach you about functional medicine and root causes. We’re also providing daily recipes. Join HERE.
- We’d love to have you join us in the Busy Moms Wellness Tribe, which you can find HERE.