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CLUE #4: Your mood is making you feel crazy and not your normal self

Mood changes are a natural part of everybody’s emotional rhythm. Sometimes we can be feeling on top of the world, and the next minute down in the dumps for no apparent reason. Most of the time this “cycle” only lasts for a few days or less, we are able to be cheered up and can still function in our everyday lives. However, it can also be very confusing, upsetting, and even frustrating to family and friends as we manoeuvre through these mood swings.

In severe cases, these feelings interfere and impede upon one’s everyday life for an extended period of time, leading to clinical depression and debilitating anxiety.

A century ago it was thought that depression, anxiety and fear was “just in your head” and had no effect on the body. We have now learned through medical research that brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) directly impact all parts of the body, including the immune system, digestive system, cardiovascular system, and even reproductive system.

This means that mood changes can actually make you sick. Stress triggers the same chemistry that’s been shown to cause every major disease most of our society is dying from: heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.

The reverse is also true. Disease in the body can trigger hormonal changes that make a person feel depressed, anxious, and fearful. For instance, a disturbance in the gut can trigger anxiety, although the underlying problem has nothing to do with the head.

Several risk factors have been linked to depression:

  • Genetics
  • Hormonal Disorders
  • Sexual, Physical & Emotional Abuse
  • Poor Sleep
  • Trauma/Stress
  • Negative Life Events
  • Alcohol & Substance Abuse
  • Type-A Personality
  • Chronic Disease

Chronic disease will be the focus for our discussion, due to its link with diet and gut health.

Virtually all chronic diseases (including diabetes and obesity) and chronic pain syndromes are associated with mood disorders. This is partly due to low moods over having a disease, and partly due to the disease disrupting the normal balance of chemistry within the body.

Depression associated with chronic diseases can be very problematic, as it can remove the desire and motivation to pursue treatment and to take prescribed medications and/or supplements.

So what exactly is going on in our body to make us feel this way?

Serotonin: Our “Happiness” Hormone