Achieving Optimal Healing and Wellness Through Integrative Care

At Kirkland Health Institute in Kirkland, WA, we strive to educate our patients on chronic health conditions and the ways that natural healing can help them. Our blogs provide reliable information on how you can lead a more active lifestyle and take steps toward healthy living.

Brain Inflammation Connected To Depression

November 11, 2021

How Brain Inflammation Is Connected To Depression

" Depression is the  most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced...It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad. Sad hurts but it's a healthy feeling. It is a necessary thing to feel. Depression is very different." - J.K. Rowling

Inflammation isn't found only in your joints or in an injury, but, what most people don't realize is that it can also be found in your brain. The difference between inflammation in your brain and in other parts of your body is that, unlike an inflamed joint, your brain won't hurt. But your brain will exhibit other symptoms of its inflammation, such as fatigue, brain fog, or depression.

Chronic, or persistent depression, Dysthymia, is when someone has longstanding symptoms of depression for longer periods of time than the periods of time they are not depressed. This can last for 2 years or longer. It is typically due to inflammation. When brain inflammation is chronic, it is disruptive to several brain functions, and these disruptions lead to depression. 

How your brain is impacted by inflammation...

  1. Inflammation disrupts the production of serotonin and dopamine into the brain.
    • When the brain is lacking serotonin, the well being and joy neurotransmitter, the symptoms may include:
      • Feeling depressed
      • Not enjoying the things you would normally enjoy
      • Not enjoying the friends and family you would normally enjoy
      • Not enjoying your favorite foods or activities
      • Sleepless nights
      • Feeling  inner anger or rage
    • When the brain is lacking dopamine, the neurotransmitter of reward and pleasure, the symptoms may include:
      • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
      • Unable to handle stress
      • Lack of motivation or the desire to finish the things you have started
      • Irritation, quickly and easily over minor things
      • Self-isolation from people you would normally enjoy being around
      • Lack of concern for people you normally care about
  2. When your brain is inflamed, essential conduction between the neurons, nerves, slows down. When inflammation happens in the frontal lobe, and the limbic lobe, (which is located deep in the brain and controls emotions and behaviors), depression occurs.
  3. Brain inflammation affects the body's immune system. It impacts the ability of the cells, the neurons (the communicator cells) and the microglia (the immune cells), to communicate properly with each other to help keep you healthy.

If you experience chronic depression, brain inflammation could be the cause or a contributing factor. Functional medicine supports and addresses neuroinflammation to strengthen and promote recovery and improvement for a healthy brain.

I specialize in functional medicine, if you are experiencing chronic pain, or you're not happy with the health you're in...a comprehensive blood test could help identify your problems - Contact Me to schedule your Free consultation.

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