“Feelings of hopelessness, chronic apathy, and reduced ability to experience pleasure in life are some of the crippling symptoms of depression. The disorder can appear as a consequence of a life change such as divorce, death of a family member, or loss of work – or it may insidiously unfold without a clear cause. Over time, chronic depression can interfere with a person’s work and social life, appetite, sleep, and energy level, and has also been noted to increase risk of disorders such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, especially among women.” From Genova Diagnostics website, http://www.gdx.net.
Tests from Genova Diagnostics cover the following possible causes of depression: (the following are quotes from www.gdx.net.)
- Adrenal Function: Imbalances in DHEA and cortisol may underlie depression, particularly when stress and obesity are present.
- Nutrition: Inadequate amounts of certain vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fats can predispose to chronic depression.
- Amino Acids: Certain amino acids are crucial source material for the production of brain neurotransmitters and mood regulation.
- Digestive Function: Malabsorption in celiac disease may interfere with mood regulating neurotransmitters and nutrients such as vitamin B12.
- Thyroid Function: Many patients with depression suffer from thyroid hormone imbalances that may make them more treatment-resistant.
- Heavy Metal Toxicity: Overexposure to heavy metals like lead and mercury have been shown to induce anxiety or depression.
- Genetic Predisposition: Inherited impairments in methylation can have a dramatic effect on mood regulation.
- Fatty Acids: Deficient omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to depression, particularly in alcoholics and post-partum women.
- Melatonin: Disrupted sleep from low melatonin, or ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’ with excessive melatonin production, can result in depression.
- Female Hormones: Pre-menstrual and post-menopausal hormone imbalances contribute to mood swings in many women.
- Male Hormones: Depression scores in men are observed to correlate with the characteristic drop in bioavailable testosterone with aging.
- Allergies: Depression appears to predispose individuals to immune hypersensitivity to various food and environmental allergens.
- Yeast overgrowth: Overgrowth and toxin production by intestinal yeasts such as Candida albicans can trigger mood swings.
- Bacterial Overgrowth of the Small Intestine: Bacterial overgrowth in the small bowel can impair absorption of key nutrients involved in mood regulation.
- Celiac Disease: Studies show a higher incidence of depression in celiac patients compared to those without the disorder.
- Growth Hormone and IGF-1: Many reports have documented abnormal growth hormone secretion from the pineal gland in individuals with depression.