Mental Health Masqueraders: Hidden Causes of Depression and Anxiety

Woman In the Kitchen

The body’s ability to heal is remarkable. Our bodies are in constant communication with us, nudging us towards what we crave or providing signs of pain or discomfort to relay, “something is out of balance here”. The body constantly strives for homeostasis physically, mentally and emotionally, and we need only tune in to how it is trying to communicate with us.

There are 4 common health conditions that can manifest as symptoms of depression or anxiety. Here we’ll take a brief look at the ways these particular health imbalances can be mistakenly diagnosed as a mental illness.

B12 Deficiency:
B12 plays a critical role in energy levels, nervous systems function, and mood regulation. It is common for those with gut issues or autoimmune diseases to have a B12 deficiency, because absorption is affected. Some signs of having a deficiency are fatigue, shortness of breath, pale skin, nerve problems like numbness or tingling, poor balance, and memory trouble. It is especially important to get your B12 levels checked if you have a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Thyroid Dysfunction:
A lot of symptoms that would fall under a depression diagnosis occur with a thyroid disorder such as hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease. The thyroid is a highly sensitive gland located at the base of the neck that plays a critical role in appetite, digestion, elimination, metabolism, energy, temperature, sleep and mood. Common symptoms of a thyroid imbalance include fatigue, constipation, frequently feeling cold, hair loss, forgetfulness, night sweats, weight loss or gain (depending on the thyroid condition), and low mood/hopelessness.

Gluten and Casein Sensitivity:
Gluten is a composition of proteins found in wheat (from the Latin word “glue”) and casein is a family of proteins found in mammalian milk. Due to the nature of modern-day farming and milk-production processes these foods have become more problematic to digest. An estimated 80 percent of the population has some sort of gut imbalance that makes digesting these proteins found in wheat and dairy challenging. Sensitivities to these food groups can show up as brain fog, fatigue, depressed mood, migraines, bloating, excess mucous/congestion, rashes, and joint pain. One way to see if these foods are causing problems for your system is to eliminate them for 3-4 weeks, and then re-introduce each food group, one at a time, and note any adverse reactions.

Blood Sugar Instability:
One of the most effective ways to heal your immune system, mood swings and brain fog could be eliminating process sugar from your diet. When blood sugar is out of balance we often find ourselves riding the rollercoaster of quick spikes of energy (i.e. after snaking on some mid-afternoon cookies) and then big dips where we feel fatigued, irritable and anxious or depressed. Blood sugar also has a direct correlation with how well we sleep at night and having a healthy, regular menstrual cycle. Having a breakfast that incorporates healthy sources of fat and protein, and eating every few hours throughout the day are a couple key ways to help balance out blood sugar.

At Trilogy we believe in treating the whole person, and getting to the root cause to heal any imbalances in the system. One on one health coaching and/or therapy is a wonderful way to work individually with your unique constitution, and develop a plan to help restore health, vitality and joy in your life.

To book a free consultation with Lesley Loftis, Psychotherapist and Holistic Health Coach, contact us here.

SOURCE: For more complete information please visit Kelly Brogan, M.D., author and holistic psychiatrist.

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