Depression, Anxiety, and Mood Disorders

There are a few things that are really commonly overlooked but are very, very important to look at with regard to mood disorders—inflammation, hormones, toxins, nutrient deficiencies, and prior head trauma. These causes can be treated, thus allowing the brain chemistry to balance itself back out and someone to function normally without the need of any kind of medication.

If you need help with mood disorders, click here.

Causes of Anxiety and Mood Disorders

Dr. Michael Ruscio: Hi, this is Dr. Ruscio. And today, let’s talk about anxiety, depression, and other associated mood disorders. These are some of the most common things that I see in practice.

And every day I’m frustrated seeing how readily different forms of anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications are being dispensed. And very little is being done to ask the question, “Why is this person depressed, anxious, or have other mood disorders in the first place?”

And if one really has a strong look at the medical literature, it becomes fairly evident that there are five main causes of most neuropsychiatric imbalances. They are toxicity, hormonal, inflammatory, nutrient deficiencies, and traumatic injuries to the brain.

So let’s take a moment and talk about each one of these, and by addressing each one of these, it is possible to ameliorate the cause of most cases of anxiety, depression, and other mood-associated disorders. Of course, it’s not going to work for everybody, but for many people, it will. And we readily will see people get off one, two, three, four anti-depressants over the course of a few months by addressing these causative factors.

So it has been well published, and especially the Ph.D. researcher named Michael Mays has published a very compelling, air tight case showing the association between inflammation and disruptions in brain chemistry. So, if anyone has inflammation, whether it be from food that doesn’t agree with them or deficiencies in omega-3 fatty acids, inflammation is certainly something that should be addressed in anyone with any kind of mood disorder.

Also, it’s been very well published that different toxicities, especially lead and arsenic, have been associated with different mood disorders. Part of the reason why is because a lot of these metals tend to accumulate in the brain and in brain tissue, and cause malfunction in how the brain functions essentially.

The third, and also very important but often overlooked, is hormones. There’s a very strong connection between hormones and brain chemistry. In fact, with the different speaking I do on female hormones, I oftentimes try to tie together for the audience that estrogen and progesterone have a very strong impact on serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. In fact, they act on many of the same pathways that medications do. So, it’s very important that someone look at their hormone levels and try to correct those before going on an anti-depressant.

And then there’s also the issue of nutrient deficiencies. We know that serotonin and dopamine are both made directly from amino acids. So if your diet is deficient in protein or amino acids, you run that risk. And also, certain—especially B vitamins are phenomenally important in allowing these neurotransmitters to be made.

And then there’s also the issue of head trauma. If someone has had prior head trauma, that can cause a disruption in how the brain operates.

So these are just a few of the things that are really commonly overlooked but are very, very important to look at—inflammation, hormones, toxins, nutrient deficiencies, and prior head trauma. And these are all things that can be treated. These causes can be treated, thus allowing the brain chemistry to balance itself back out and someone to function normally without the need of any kind of medication.

So if you’re someone who is on an anti-depressant or thinking about going on it, I would strongly encourage you to look into the causative factor as to why you have depression. And when you treat the cause, you oftentimes will have a side benefit rather than a side effect.

This is Dr. Ruscio with today’s health tip. Hope you find it helpful. Thanks!

If you need help with mood disorders, click here.

What do you think? I would like to hear your thoughts or experience with this.

Dr. Ruscio is your leading functional and integrative doctor specializing in gut related disorders such as SIBO, leaky gut, Celiac, IBS and in thyroid disorders such as hypothyroid and hyperthyroid. For more information on how to become a patient, please contact our office. Serving the San Francisco bay area and distance patients via phone and Skype.

Discussion

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10 thoughts on “Depression, Anxiety, and Mood Disorders

  1. I agree that these are all factors to consider. What I haven’t heard is what tools are available to to measure each of these as possible causes?

    I have a child with severe anxiety and there aren’t any apparent biological markers causing it.

    How would one go about easily finding the cause of mood disorders? Or are we stuck with trial and error methods and patient history as our best guide for developing treatment?

    1. Hi Megan,
      Good question. I would start with diet and lifestyle, then optimizing gut health and having a good gut eval. This can impact many/most of the factors. My ebook lays out some specific starting points for this. If that doesn’t help I would consult a clinician. I see mood related symptoms improve in most patients by focusing on the gut and hormones.
      Hope this helps!

  2. Question re: hormones and depression/anxiety/neurotransmitters –
    Dr Pamela W. Smith, among others, emphasizes that as well as estrogen and progesterone, Thyroid Hormone has a major influence on not only cognition/sleep/depression/anxiety and neurotransmitters, but also cardiovascular and brain health.
    In light of all the scientifically validated research, why do you think so many practitioners do not test for the metabolically active form of thyroid hormone, i.e., Free T3, and/or dismiss low levels of Free T3?

  3. I agree that these are all factors to consider. What I haven’t heard is what tools are available to to measure each of these as possible causes?

    I have a child with severe anxiety and there aren’t any apparent biological markers causing it.

    How would one go about easily finding the cause of mood disorders? Or are we stuck with trial and error methods and patient history as our best guide for developing treatment?

    1. Hi Megan,
      Good question. I would start with diet and lifestyle, then optimizing gut health and having a good gut eval. This can impact many/most of the factors. My ebook lays out some specific starting points for this. If that doesn’t help I would consult a clinician. I see mood related symptoms improve in most patients by focusing on the gut and hormones.
      Hope this helps!

  4. Question re: hormones and depression/anxiety/neurotransmitters –
    Dr Pamela W. Smith, among others, emphasizes that as well as estrogen and progesterone, Thyroid Hormone has a major influence on not only cognition/sleep/depression/anxiety and neurotransmitters, but also cardiovascular and brain health.
    In light of all the scientifically validated research, why do you think so many practitioners do not test for the metabolically active form of thyroid hormone, i.e., Free T3, and/or dismiss low levels of Free T3?

  5. What if you have a genetic tendency towards anxiety that is in turn causing the gastrointestinal issues, which is then adding back to the mood concerns? As in the anxiety was occurring long before the GI issues…Obviously treating the gut would be helpful regardless but was just curious on your thoughts when anxiety is main problem first. Thanks!

  6. What if you have a genetic tendency towards anxiety that is in turn causing the gastrointestinal issues, which is then adding back to the mood concerns? As in the anxiety was occurring long before the GI issues…Obviously treating the gut would be helpful regardless but was just curious on your thoughts when anxiety is main problem first. Thanks!

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