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Inflammation and Depression – the strange connection

by DrPrem Jagyasi
Depression

Depression is caused by low levels of norenepniphrine and serotonin. There are many forms of depression caused by various factors, and scientists have now found a connection between inflammation and a few forms of depression. Scientists have found that chronically high inflammation levels due to some medical conditions are associated with high depression rates. In layman terms, when you are experiencing inflammation such as flu or rheumatoid arthritis, you might experience depression symptoms as well such as depressed mood, foggy-headedness, lack of concentration, sleep disruption, fatigue and so on. Read on to find out more:

A disrupted immune system can change your mood

A-disrupted-immune-system

An erratic immune system can alter your mood and cause depression, according to studies conducted at Cambridge University. Inflammation is the body’s response to infections and often, you’ll find yourself sleepier, withdrawn, feeling down and thinking negative, which are symptoms of depression. Researchers have found 1/3rd of people suffering from depression show signs of depression consistently and simultaneously.

People who were prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs for rheumatoid arthritis, they displayed mood improvement too.

Mood boosting capacity of anti-inflammatory drugs

Psoriatic arthritis

Doctors who have treated prescribed immune targeted drugs to rheumatoid arthritis sufferers noticed positive changes in the pathways which alleviate depression. Another study showed that people whose immune system is overactive, may not respond to anti-depressants.

How to keep inflammation causing depression at bay

Depression

When depression is caused by inflammation, you do not require drugs to fight it. According to experts, a very effective way to reduce inflammation is to follow ketogenic diet which prescribes a healthy fat – low carb diet – no fiber. It has been seen that people who suffer from inflammation and follow this diet, have no CRP (C-reactive protein). This drives inflammation levels as low as it can be.

Snack on raw nuts

Snack-on-raw-nuts

Raw nuts contain healthy fats, and if you eat 1 ounce of nuts up to five times in a week can reduce your inflammatory levels. Studies which were following the levels of inflammatory biomarkers found that people who ate nuts regularly had 20% lower CRP and IL-6 levels than people who ate nuts rarely or never, regardless whether they follow a fit or sedentary lifestyle. Eating raw, organic and unpeeled nuts are the best to reduce inflammation, and thus depression.

Omega -3 (animal based)

 Alaskan-salmon

Animal based omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids contain DHA, which is crucial for a healthy brain. It reduces inflammation too, so if you suffer from depression due to inflammation, animal based omega 3 fats can make a lot of difference. Sardines, fish roe, krill oil, Alaskan salmon are good sources of omega-3 fatty acid.

Get enough sun / vitamin D

Get enough sun

Vitamin D which you obtain from soaking in the sun responsibly, inhibits inflammation. It regulates a huge number of genes and produces more than 200 peptides (anti-microbial). It fights chronic inflammation and infections.

A study found that elderly people with low levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who had normal vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D derived from sun exposure has many benefits, rather than using oral supplements. Oral supplements should in fact be avoided as vitamin D is a hormone, and should be used carefully, or else it may hamper physiological cycles of the body. Sunlight has many metabolic benefits, and the sun’s rays within an hour of sunrise are considered the best exposure to the sun. It has many frequencies which can treat depression. Avoiding blue light can help you sleep better, which is also an important factor in treating depression.

Improve mental health by subduing inflammation

no-processed-food

To fight depression, you must make sure you follow an anti-inflammatory diet, and step out in the morning sun for a few minutes every day to get the required vitamin D. Avoiding processed food is necessary too, as processed food contains many inflammatory agents.

The relation between sore throat, coughing and sneezing and pain, which are the symptoms of inflammation, and depression is strange, because it was never considered earlier that a simple cold or inflammation due to arthritis could be associated with depression, which can really hamper you from being at your best.

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