The first thinking pattern that feed depression is all or nothing thinking. The world and self are viewed as either all good or all bad.
This leads to stress, perfectionism, OCD, feeling inadequate, and much more.
But did you know these feelings are also signs of thyroid and adrenal issues?
Now don’t get me wrong, there are true medical cases of depression. However, I also feel that a large percentage of women are put on antidepressant medication when they aren’t actually depressed.
Adrenal Fatigue and Depression
Putting aside other causes for depression such as stressful life events, medications, and medical problems, many people feel similar feelings when their adrenal hormones are too low, but often wonder if they have depression.
The most common difference I see in adrenal fatigue is the following thoughts and feelings;
- low motivation
- low libido or disinterest
- feeling flat and can’t be bothered
- noise sensitivity
Depression caused by lower levels of serotonin produce slightly different thoughts like;
‘Can’t be bothered, what’s the point’ to suicidal/escapism thoughts.
Women with the greatest frequency of hot flashes reported the most significant depressive symptoms.
In a functional medicine perspective, this can actually be caused by nutritional deficiencies and adrenal hormone depletion – not depression. Full stop. Fix those issues, and the ‘depression’ goes away because it is a symptom, not a disease.
This is why a reductionist model when looking at chronic health conditions can miss the mark! It tries to make it black and white, when the truth is that every body is complex, with a different degree of system imbalances all feeding off each other, creating different symptom pictures, and different realities.
Can Antidepressants cause Hypothyroidism?
I have read several studies that found that commonly prescribed antidepressants cause hypothyroidism.
Tricyclic antidepressants have been implicated in the development of drug-iodide complexes, thus reducing biologically active iodine.
Non-tricyclic antidepressants (ie, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs] and non-SSRIs [including serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors and mirtazapine]) have also been implicated to induce hypothyroidism through inhibition of thyroid hormones T4 and T3. Ironically, TSH markers do not always change, so a standard thyroid test won’t pick this up.
This results in symptoms such as:
- weight gain
- thinning hair
- lower libido
- muscle fatigue
- brain fog
- weaker nails
>>> Never stop anti-depressant medication without support from the prescribing doctor, and ideally working with a naturopath.
Nutrient Deficiency causes Depression Symptoms
Iodine is critical for the thyroid to work optimally, and the thyroid affects your energy, metabolism, body temperature, growth, immune function, and brain performance (concentration, memory, and more). Lower mood is a common symptom of sub-optimal thyroid function.
Vitamin D3 – especially related to seasonal depressive disorder, this nutrient is a big player in our mood. People have different needs, so a functional health practitioenr can help you find your perfect supplemental dose if required. People with autoimmune disorders may have a much higher need for supplemental vitamin D.
Magnesium – the relaxation mineral. Our body needs magnesium for over 500 jobs each day, and the more stressed, medicated or toxic we are, the more we need. No wonder the majority of people don’t have enough. And a deficiency can lead to depression symptoms.
B-Vitamins – play a major role in all functions of our body, but especially digestion, energy, healing and mood. Vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12 are needed for good serotonin and GABA levels, keeping depression and anxiety at bay.
Zinc is used by more enzymes than any other mineral. Many people who struggle with mental health are reported to also have pyroluria, a chemical imbalance which involves an abnormality in hemoglobin synthesis. Excess excretion of pyroles bind to several nutrients and make them unavailable to the body – namely zinc. Higher dosing is required for these people.
Discovering the Root Cause
The first step to discovering why your mood has changed is thorough, sensitive functional pathology.
Functional Pathology dives into the sub-optimal imbalances in the hormones, allowing us to see where the body needs support, and guides the correct treatment process.
It uses different mediums to test the most sensitive markers, and discover the root imbalance to your symptoms.
Your doctor screens you for diseases. We screen you for imbalances, and then formulate your personalised treatment plan based on your results, making this a one-of-a-kind treatment for hormone imbalance.
Most of our patients reach their health goals in 12 weeks! The most common goals include:
- Weight loss
- More energy
- Less pain
- No more brain fog
- Better motivation and vitality
We’d love to help you too – Just CLICK HERE to book a free introductory call.