A LITTLE MOOD STABILITY, IF YOU PLEASE
Wouldn’t it be nice simply to be happy all the time and feel that deep sense of peace and calm we all long for?
It may not be that far out of reach. While experiencing a range of emotions and moods is simply part of being human, large mood fluctuations and unhappiness are not. As you probably know, any time the body is out of balance, chemicals that affect our mood may be altered. These symptoms may manifest as many things- most commonly, we hear of patients experiencing:
LOW ENERGY & SLUMPS
Fatigue is familiar to anyone who’s tried to pull an all-nighter (which we don’t recommend, by the way). But chronic fatigue, unexpected tiredness during the day, the mid-day slump, and general lethargy are not conditions people are expected to just tolerate- they can be treated if we only get to the root cause. Ranging from thyroid to hormone to disease issues, it’s critical to note fatigue early and treat the root cause. Untreated fatigue can and does lead to more body and mind damage later down the road.
Irritability is a common sign that stressors are high and faculties for dealing with more difficulty are low. When small things create a big reaction, this may be a sign of fatigue such as adrenal exhaustion, of physical pain, or even gut health issues.
Everyone is different in the causes and how they experience anxiety. Studies show that severe, long-term stress can negatively impact the way the brain functions. Environmental stressors can also bring on anxiety disorders: Trauma, pollution, and other significant events in a person’s life. Dietary and Gut Health issues may be at the root cause. At Progressive we aim to to improve your overall health and to relieve anxiety symptoms with few or no side effects.
“Depressed chemicals” that are required to regulate moods may be the cause. Many different factors contribute to the group of signs and symptoms that we call “depression.” Root causes of depression can include diet, nutrient deficiencies, toxicity, sleep patterns, emotions, stress, blood sugar disorders, hormone imbalance, and inflammation. In addition, people living with depression commonly experience digestive issues. This is because the intestinal tract is home to our “second brain” and is vulnerable to emotional stress. Digestive dysfunction is an overlooked root cause of depression
When people experience physical pain, it isn’t second nature to associate this with moodiness. However, when our “happy chemicals” are low, the human tolerance for pain is typically lowered. In the case that someone feels increased “aches and pains” over normal, especially when stressed, it is prudent to run a diagnostic to see if this might be the root cause.
The causes of mood fluctuations can vary, and often are not “one thing.” This is why it is important to get to the root cause of what is causing you difficulty. Some of the many contributors are as follows:
Every day we eat, breathe and absorb toxins from the world in which we exist which can severely affect our overall health and wellness. Even when we eat well and exercise regularly the fact of the matter is we live in a toxic world. Over time, poisonous toxins take a toll on our energy level, metabolism, immune system and mood. This ultimately compromises our quality of life and can lead to disease.
Hypothyroidism is characterized by symptoms such as: Fatigue, Weight gain, Stomach issues, Weakness, & Sensitivity to cold. The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and tetraiodothyronine, also called thyroxine (T4) which play an important role in regulating your body’s metabolism. Low levels of T3 AND T4 are the culprit in hypthyroidism.
Low Iodine levels may be the cause of low thyroid function, and thus low metabolism. This is an easy test to run. There may be other causes of low thyroid as well.
Interrupted sleep can leave a person tired, even after they thought they got their full 8 hours in. The thing is- many people suffer from insomnia. Whether they are actively up in the middle of the night, unable to fall asleep, or waking up tired and not knowing why. Sleep is a critical time for the immune system and a critical part of keeping us well! During the day our brain produces waste as it functions, so a good night’s sleep is like taking the garbage out- it essentially cleans up the brain.
The digestive tract is critically linked to brain function- it has neurons, creates 80% of our hormones, and creates neurotransmitters to send to the brain! If there is a little bit of inflammation in the gut, that amounts to a big problem. Leaky gut could be caused by foods that we are sensitive to, bugs or pathogens that could be irritating the gut. We can test for those as well as markers of gut irritation and a marker of tight junction permeability, so one can assess the impact of leaky gut and monitor the restoration of normal gut health and often happy mental health. Some other contributors to leaky gut may be:
We are all sensitive to spikes in insulin- have you ever seen a kid at a birthday party after all the cake and icecream? First, a huge spike in energy and enthusiasm, often followed by a moody tantrum of crying and tiredness. Why? Big fluctuations in insulin levels affect not only energy levels but also neurotransmitters.
If you’ve ever wondered if pain truly has an effect on mood, chronic pain can actually reduce gray matter in the brain by as much as 11%. Do you ever wonder if being depressed or anxious could contribute to your chronic pain? Turns out these feelings may be connected- the two reinforce each other. Studies show that 30 to 50 percent of people struggling with chronic pain also have a mood disorder such as depression and anxiety.
- For Women: Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is most commonly used to treat the symptoms of menopause. However, bioidentical hormones may also be used to manage issues during puberty, or issues relating to thyroid and weight management. As early as mid-thirties, women may notice trouble staying asleep at night, which could be do to a shift in hormone levels.
- For Men: The most common use of hormone replacement therapy in men is the use of bioidentical hormones to treat low testosterone. Andropause (male menopause) is caused by low testosterone, as testosterone levels decrease about 2% each year in men.
- EXCESS BODY FAT Your fat cells aren’t just unwanted girth that jiggle and make clothes too tight; they’re actually an intelligent part of your endocrine (hormonal) system. Fat cells produce a hormone called leptin. One of leptin’s jobs is to tell your brain to use the body’s fat stores for energy.
Fibromyalgia can be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, nutritional deficiencies (often caused by digestive issues that have gone undiagnosed), and gyecological issues or surgeries. The symptoms vary but can be characterized by overactive nerves causing pain seemingly without stimulus, and overwhelming fatigue, to name a couple.
ADVANCED DIAGNOSTICS AS THE FIRST STEP
Because the systems of the body are interconnected, one problem might indicate other ones as well. To say someone only has only one of these issues might be oversimplification – it could be all of these issues or a combination of some of these. It’s important to work with your health care provider to get to the root cause of what is actually at play. It might not be “moodiness” so much as someone could benefit from eliminating broccoli from their diet, introducing exercise to their routine, adjusting supplements so they have more building blocks to make “happy chemicals” (seratonin, dopamine, etc.), or taking hormone replacement therapy. Some of these changes are very simple with very big results.
While results will vary for every individual case, we have seen transformations that would make Bruce Banner/Hulk feel normal. It’s incredible the results our patients report of “I never expected I could be this happy,” “I didn’t think I would feel this good again,” and “He is like a whole new happy kid.” Moodiness is not a character judgement- it’s typically a sign that something is off in your body’s balance, and that’s worth checking out!