Perhaps you’ve heard of the link between depression and inflammation.  This links the immune system with the emotions and the mind.  In reality there is nothing that exists in isolation, separated and not affecting other systems within or without, which is why I very conscious about what I use, buy, eat, consume and put on my body.   Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect, I just do my best on most days.  

Inflammation is a normal, necessary, even healthy process instigated by the immune system.  It is going on in some form or another, all over the body, all the time, just in varying levels and degrees.  Inflammation is how we clean up damaged tissues and how we remove invaders.  There are certain white blood cells, proteins (e.g. antibodies) and chemicals (cytokines) that function to get the inflammation rolling.  One thing that often happens with inflammation is degranulation.  Degranulation is when a white blood cell releases its granule (storage) contents into an area.  Degranulation is like throwing napalm but on the cellular level – damage is broad and non-specific.  This chemical assault dissolves bacteria and other invaders along with some of our own cells and tissues.  Obviously, this type of inflammation is important to keep in check. 

Under normal conditions, episodes of acute inflammation are short-lived, e.g. a sprained ankle or a cold or flu.  But most of us are not living under what would be considered normal or healthy conditions in this day and age.  From the food we eat to the air we breath to the cleaning chemicals we use in our homes to the invisible frequencies that surround us – we have a lot of exposure.  The actual effects of all this exposure – that’s a good question, one that remains to be answered because we just do not know.

There are chemicals (cytokines) that signal inflammation and recruit white blood cells.  These chemicals also have an effect on our mood.  Interleukin 8 and 6 for example can cause irritability and depression.  There is even evidence that certain cells in the brain (microglial cells) secrete these chemicals under inflammatory conditions.  The result is inflammation in and around the brain.  These chemicals can certainly affect mood, sleep, appetite and well-being.  

For this reason, when considering the underlying causes of depression, anything known to promote inflammation must be considered.  Some considerations include:  sensitivities, toxicities (e.g. metals and heavy metals) and nutritional imbalances.  Inflammation is just one and certainly not the only cause of depression.

If you would like an assessment, please reach out.

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