Believe it not, constipation, a most common digestive complaint is also a symptom of depression. Constipation can make you feel bloated, headachy, and irritable, and it is sometimes very difficult to cure. Chronic constipation is when you have infrequent bowel movements or difficulty in passing stools. The discomfort of chronic constipation itself can be debilitating. Research reports that there may be a link between depression and constipation.
Depression seems to happen when the body produces little serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical produced by the body. It functions as a neurotransmitter and influences our mood, emotions and sleep cycles. Almost all of the serotonin is produced in the gut. It could be that good gut health implies good mental health, what affects the stomach will affect the brain and visa versa. The sensations of emotions or anxiety that we feel in our stomach show us how our nervous system is linked to our gastrointestinal system.
Recently the link between the two systems has been researched more in depth. Some research suggests the use of probiotics to ensure a stable mood. Having low levels of serotonin may contribute towards both depression and constipation. Having constipation to produce physical feelings of discomfort, tiredness, and headaches. Sometimes we eat comfort foods like carbohydrates and sugar as well as coffee and alcohol all of which make the situation worse.
Depression is a real illness with real symptoms and can, if not addressed, be damaging to that person. If you are suffering from low mood or anxiety as well as constipation, it is very important to discuss this with either your doctor or a health professional.
14. Oral problems
Bad breath and decaying teeth? Incredible though it may seem studies have shown a correlation between depression and tooth loss. Some of this is due to a lack of self-care in depressed individuals. Some links have also been found between inappropriate diet and depression. In one study, there was shown to be a significant relationship between depression and oral health. Depression affects a person’s ability to cope with daily life and affects oral health-related self-care behavior. Also, depression and oral health might be related to salivary changes in depressed patients.
As gut health changes with depression so do the production of saliva. A decreased salivary flow can lead to several oral health problems, such as an increase in pathogenic bacteria and dental decay. Comfort eating tends towards a higher level of carbohydrates and sugars. These affect dental health negatively. Depression is also linked to increased high-risk behavior like smoking, alcohol and drug abuse. These can cause oral damage.
The bacteria and chemicals from the gut are also present in the mouth. If the gut is out of balance this can cause an imbalance in the bacteria present in the mouth. It is easy to see that the mouth is connected to the rest of the body, and vice versa. Depression is partly an “inflammatory” disorder, meaning that inflammations can induce it. Periodontitis causes such inflammation.
Depression increases the circulating level of cortisol. Increased cortisol raising the risk of periodontal disease. Some of the medicines for depression can increase the risk for caries, periodontal disease, and oral infections. Antidepressant medications can also cause hyposalivation, which may lead to decay or other dental problems.
15. Loss of energy
A downward spiral… Having a lack of energy can send one into depression, but a lack of energy can also be a symptom of depression. Depression can rob you of all your energy. But often raising your energy by doing a physical activity like walking can help depression. It becomes a spiral that is difficult to climb out of. One of the most common symptoms of depression is physical fatigue or loss of energy.
Depression is linked to decreased concentration and slowed mental thinking. There is a reduction of activity and tiredness. Other symptoms are decreased physical endurance and general weakness. People with depression have to make a greater effort to do physical tasks. Suffering from depression can leave you feeling exhausted.
You may be feeling so tired and drained that you might be having a hard time going about your daily activities. You may even feel so exhausted that you can barely find the energy to get dressed in the morning. People with depression often feel so tired that they aren’t interested in doing any activity at all, even the smallest effort.
Often people with low energy and depression can also suffer from insomnia. Although insomnia is an inability to fall asleep and stay asleep, it also causes a feeling of constant tiredness and lack of energy. Depression affects both appetite and sleep. These are the two most important functions that generate and restore energy levels. Getting too little or too much sleep can ruin your energy levels. Treating your depression could help with your lack of energy. Treating an underlying medical condition that causes sleepiness and a lack of energy can improve your quality of life.