Functional medicine takes a deeper look at these problems rather than simply putting their patients on an antidepressant and anti-anxiety medicines.
Most common underestimated causes of these symptoms are as below:
a) Unhealthy eating habits, leading to disrupted gut microbiome and since gut secretes 80 to 90% of serotonin which is a known brain neurotransmitter which is a primary contributor to the feeling of well being and happiness.
b) Chronic gut infections such as Candida, Lyme, Viral and other pathogenic bacterial infections.
c) Another important cause may be the medications people take for physical ailments which too disrupt the gut microbiome and is responsible to cause these symptoms.
d) B complex vitamin and magnesium deficiency both are crucial for converting amino acids to serotonin.
e) Chronic stress leads to adrenal fatigue and therefore Out-of-balance hormones like insulin and cortisol and these can detrimentally impact depression.
f) Vitamin D and Omega 3 fatty acid deficiency, folate, zinc, copper, EPA and DHA, choline, B6, riboflavin,
g) Food intolerances such as Gluten, dairy or some other specific intolerances.
h) Sex hormone imbalances Testosterone, progesterone, Estrogen lead to these symptoms.
i) Thyroid hormone imbalance
j) Defective Methylation: People who have a genetic defect of Methylation pathway such as MTHFR enzyme deficiency, due to which they are unable to convert Folic acid to its active form, also cause these symptoms.
k) Detoxification pathways are not functioning properly due to the accumulation of toxins and heavy metals.
l) Heavy metals such as Aluminum, Lead, Cadmium, Mercury can disrupt neurotransmitter balance.
Looking at all of the above, connecting the dots and finding out the root cause of these symptoms is certainly worth an attempt before taking antidepressants.
Dr. Kalpana Shekhawat M.D.
Functional Medicine Specialist