Depression is one of the most common mental health issues experienced by professionals and executives today. It can have a huge impact on your ability to perform well in both your professional and personal life. While depression has long been linked with genetics, lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, smoking, vitamin D deficiency, poor dental hygiene, sleep deprivation, and lack of sunlight can all contribute to depression, as well.
Recent research suggests that depression is closely linked to chronic inflammation or stressors, in the body. Stressors can be psychological and physiological, in other words, from outside or inside the body. Inflammation is a response from the immune system and occurs when the body feels stressed by infection or injury. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, describes inflammation that persists over time and can be caused by a variety of factors, including obesity, poor diet, smoking, stress, and depression.
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Depression can cause other illnesses
So how exactly does depression lead to inflammation? It’s thought that depression can cause chronic immune system activation which is traced by measuring the increase in inflammatory markers and deficiency of measurable neurotransmitters. This means that depression amplifies the body’s response to threats and causes increased production of pro-inflammatory molecules such as cytokines and offsets the healthy hormone balance. This measurable stress could be the increase in symptoms has heart palpitations, anxiety, or depression.
Lifestyle and Diet impact on Depression
How then can depression inflammation be managed? There are some lifestyle changes that can help to reduce depression-related inflammation, as well as reduce depression symptoms. Eating a healthy balanced diet with anti-inflammatory foods such as leafy greens and omega-3 fatty acids can go a long way in reducing depression symptoms. Additionally, regular exercise and getting outside in nature can help to reduce depression by helping to lower stress hormone levels and increase the production of feel-good neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Adequate sleep, relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation, and even supplements such as antioxidants (curcumin) can also be very helpful.
Managing depression related inflammation
Depression is a serious condition that affects many people and can be difficult to manage. However, understanding depression-related inflammation and the lifestyle changes you can make to reduce it can help you become better equipped to address depression symptoms. Remember that depression is not your fault.
With the right support and lifestyle changes, depression-related inflammation can be managed, and you can get back to living a more balanced life.