Depression; don’t separate the mind from the body!

Where does the brain end and the body begin? there is no exact defining point, and so we should embrace mental health as entwined with physical health, but the medical system tends to compartmentalize the two separately. A recent research document involving over 10,000 subjects suffering with depression;
“confirms the association of depression with high levels of CRP”
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a marker of inflammatory disease and is used to detect autoimmune disorders such as RA, Lupus and many others. The fact that CPR is elevated with those diagnosed with depression and debilitating disorders such as ME and CFS, prove that these diseases are connected to a physical illness, and the focus of treatment should not be just on prescribing medications such as anti depressants and anti psychotics, as is often the case. Another study of PET scans using a group of people diagnosed with serious depressive disorders, concludes that depression could be treated with anti inflammatories instead of the harmful and often highly addictive drugs that are prescribed for mental health issues;
“The evidence for a link between depression and inflammation is quite compelling now, and there is also mounting evidence for a link between suicide and inflammation across a range of mental disorders,” explains Dr Peter Talbot, the lead investigator. “If we can learn more about these links, it may lead to more effective prevention or treatments of depression and suicidal thinking by targeting aspects of the inflammatory process.”
Significantly, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and offers a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders, ) is no longer being used by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in America, Because they say the manual doesn’t provide any data or evidence about the cause of mental illnesses, including depression;
     
“The weakness of the manual is its lack of validity. Unlike our definition of Lymphoma or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measures. Patients with mental disorders deserve better.” — Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of NIMH
  In the UK it would appear that the NHS follows the NICE guidelines (2011) regarding diagnosing and treating mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, but nowhere in those guidelines can we see any suggestions of running basic inflammatory blood tests to rule out underlying disease and infections. In fact the guidelines themselves admit that psychotropic medicines are routinely used before other alternatives are considered;
“The most common method of treatment for common mental health disorders in primary care is psychotropic medication. This is due to the limited availability of psychological interventions, despite the fact that these treatments are generally preferred by patients.”
Gross negligence is the only conclusion that I can draw, that and greed driven marketing from Pharmaceutical companies. In her book, A Mind of Her Own, Dr Kelly Brogan criticizes conventional medicine for its “medicalisation of distress”; where the Pharmaceutical industries drive for profit through marketing influences practitioners decisions – such as the gung-ho prescribing of antidepressants, more often than not carrying with them dire consequences.

So what are the common causes of inflammation in the body? and how do we diagnose them?

Infection

Well in my experience, depression can come hand in hand with infectious diseases, but that is likely to be the last thing that your GP will look for. Analyzing your recent health history may give some clues, remembering a tick bite many years ago was mine, but you may have had a viral infection such as EBV, or been traveling and exposed to stomach bugs such as amoebic dysentery, e coli etc. EBV is directly associated with autoimmune conditions (and inflammation) as it and other virus’s are regulated by part of our immune system known as CD8+T cells. Estrogen decreases CD8+ T cells, which explains the higher incidence of autoimmunity in females. Bioresonance testing will pick up on infections and can also indicate what may help control inflammation caused by infection.

Gut Dysbiosis

Gut health is very often linked to depression, and an imbalance in good bacteria can further down the line be a causative link to many serious diseases. Improving gut health is a no-brainer, and of course this starts with diet. Adding probiotics, of which there are many different options, is often necessary but finding the correct ones has proven to be of key. Discovering that histamine can cause the body to react negatively to many strains of probiotics was a great step towards calming down autoimmune conditions for me, and for this reason probiotics should be taken with caution; if you have histamine issues or Mast Cell disorder then do some homework before purchasing probiotics.

Thyroid Dysfunction

Long term gut dysbiosis is linked to autoimmunity, as is thyroid dysfunction of which most common for women is hypothyroidism (see my blog post on thyroid disorders). Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone levels must be in balance in order for Serotonin levels to be regulated, and so these are useful tests to run as well as the thyroid panel. Unfortunately the thyroid panel run by most GP’s will not include T3, which is the active form of thyroid hormone and this is how so many women are left undiagnosed. T3 must be converted (from T4) by the liver, so a liver dysfunction can indirectly lead to hormonal problems, which in turn can often cause depression. Often it is necessary to order a private test kit, in order for a comprehensive study of hormone activity. More often than not women in Western culture in the 21st century suffer from Estrogen dominance after their 30’s, and Estrogen dominance is associated with autoimmunity and virus infections (indirectly, its complicated) due to estrogen’s ability to reduce CD8, thereby reducing the immune system’s ability to fight infections. Problem is, the thyroid is notoriously difficult to accurately test, even with a full and comprehensive panel, and so I have relied on Bioresonance as well as conventional testing to establish a more accurate and holistic picture of what is going on with myself and my clients.

Toxicity

Heard of the term ‘Mad as a Hatter’? it refers to the days when people would work in felting factories making hats, they worked with Mercury, and as a consequence suffered horrific mental health disorders. Mercury is a neuro-toxin that is still used in the UK in amalgam dental fillings, it is said to attribute towards a variety of health problems. Mercury can indirectly cause mineral deficiencies and this over the long term, can lead to thyroid problems. It is a mystery as to why it is still used, being known to be a very dangerous material. Other toxins can be environmental such as myco-toxins (mould) in the home; a relatively high percentage of the population have a genetic disposition towards suffering from mycotoxin poisoning or Biotoxin Illness/Chronic inflammatory response disorder (CIRS), match that with a mouldy environment, and your likely to have a person suffering with some form of brain inflammation and/or depression. As you can see, the pathogenesis of depression can be varied, but its seems to be more common with women, When you consider the fact that 78% of autoimmune conditions effect women, it doesn’t take long to establish the connection between autoimmunity and Estrogen, Estrogen dominance and depression. Balancing hormones could be the answer in many cases of depression, but when hormonal imbalances have become chronic (long term), then health problems become much more complicated. My next article will be on the subject of Autoimmunity, of which there is a frightening increase in with very little support and understanding within the medical community, and its connection with Estrogen dominance. What are the causative factors, and what we can do about it.  

Further reading:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/articles/27337107/   https://www.optimallivingdynamics.com/blog/13-important-blood-tests-to-get-done-if-you-have-depression   http://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223(17)31857-7/fulltext   https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg123/chapter/Introduction   https://www.thenational.ae/lifestyle/wellbeing/the-connection-between-inflammation-and-depression-explained-1.667199   https://www.optimallivingdynamics.com/gut-bacteria-references    

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