In a study conducted in Finland, researchers found that many people who struggle with depression may also be suffering from metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is linked to poor nutrition and can be a leading contributor to developing type 2 diabetes, coronary disease and other illnesses.
Risk Factors for Metabolic Disease
Metabolic disease is on the rise in the United States and is related to obesity. Individuals with the condition often have weight around the central part of their body or are apple-shaped. They may also experience insulin resistance, which is frequently called “pre-diabetes.”
Hormone changes may also increase the risk for developing metabolic disease. As we age, our hormone levels change, bringing about changes in metabolic levels and how easily our bodies metabolize foods we eat. Other risk factors include sedentary lifestyle and family history.
Metabolic disease is also linked to increase inflammation throughout the body and unusually high blood clotting.
Metabolic disease is often diagnosed when a combination of factors are present. They include high blood pressure, abnormally high fasting blood sugar, low HDL cholesterol, high triglyceride levels and large waist measurements.
Depression and Metabolic Syndrome
Depression is also an illness that is pervasive in the United States. In the study in Finland, researchers found that individuals who suffer from non-melancholic depression showed low self esteem and feelings of worry and anxiety. This differs from melancholic depression which is characterized by feelings of sadness and depression.
When examining diet, researchers discovered that individuals with melancholic depression consumed low amounts of folic acid and vitamin B12. However, in another revelatory finding, researchers also discovered that individuals who developed melancholic depression were also at twice the risk for developing metabolic syndrome. Folic acid and vitamin B12 are linked to cognitive function.
These findings may be related to the differences in which the two types of depression are experienced. Individuals with melancholic depression often have higher amounts of sleep disruption and decreased physical activity levels. They may sleep more hours than normal and often have a tendency to eat high carbohydrate foods, leading to weight gain and lower metabolism levels. Additionally, one of the diagnostic markers for melancholic depression is cognitive slowing, which could potentially be linked to lack of folic acid and vitamin B12 in a patient’s diet.
If you or someone you care about is showing signs of depression, it is important to get them the care that they need. In addition to speaking with a mental health professional, talk to them about their diet and healthy interventions that can help improve their mood. In addition to making dietary adjustments, physical activity, talking and social activities can have a positive impact on mood and improve depressive symptoms.
Have you had episodes of depression? What helped you the most to improve your mood and move you out of it?
– The Alternative Daily