Low mood that you cannot shake, that is ongoing and never seems to end might be labelled depression. Your GP might offer antidepressants or therapy to help you through. But if the real cause is a physical imbalance in your body then neither of these will help you over the longer term. You will always be fighting a losing battle.

You see depression is a symptom. Not a stand-alone condition. It is a sign that our body is out of balance, something isn’t functioning the way it should. Our body is struggling and the consequence is intractable low mood, angry outbursts or a lack of motivation.

Symptoms are our bodies sending out a warning. In the same way that diarrhoea tells us something is not right in our gut and a headache tells us we had too much to drink last night, or that our liver isn’t functioning well for some other reason. Perhaps it means our neurotransmitters, fatty acids or our hormones are out of balance. It could mean a number of things but the point is it means something.

Low mood or depression is a symptom that can indicate a number of imbalances. It might not be easy at first to figure out what your specific imbalance is but there will be one, or most likely more than one.

Depression is a symptom which could be telling us:

We have chronic inflammation

We have nutrient deficiencies

We have fatty acid imbalances

We might have a level of thyroid dysfunction

Our adrenals could be struggling

We may have metabolic weaknesses (pyroluria or MTHFR deviations).

Our digestion might be sub-optimal and we might have food intolerances.

We can identify which issues are relevant to you through a range of tests and through symptom analysis. This can be a major relief to someone who felt that their struggles were all in the mind.

In the first instance I recommend using the Barnes temperature test to identify if you have a sub clinical metabolism issue. Signs of this include low mood, inability to lose weight, hair loss and poor concentration. I would also consider running food intolerance testing and a vitamin D test in an initial evaluation. If you are interested in these tests do get in touch.

The nutritional programme would then progress according to individual needs. If fatty acids need balancing we would address that. If adrenal function needs support then the programme would be designed around that. Signs of adrenal dysfunction include inability to deal with stress, sleep issues, dizziness, allergies and chronic low back pain.

Poor digestion can be a key player in the development of depression, low mood and even anxiety. This is because nutrient absorption is compromised, leading to deficiencies. Also, food intolerances can develop and they create inflammation and affect our adrenal function too. Amino acids that are the building blocks for neurotransmitters can also be affected leading to problems with brain chemical production. If you suffer with IBS, bloating or heartburn then these are key signals that digestion could be impacting on your mood.

There is no need to try to push through depression and low mood. You can help yourself to recover and feel happy again. Identify the imbalance, take steps to rectify it and you will recover your mood, motivation and happiness.

The Brain Food Clinic has it’s very own online course to help you to identify and rectify the imbalances affecting your mood. You can study at your own pace. Find out more about the Secrets to Mental Wellness.