4) Hormone upheaval. If you are a female and find yourself especially irritable, depressed, anxious or overwhelmed at certain times in your monthly cycle, then extensive hormone testing might be the key component you’re missing in getting your mental well-being back. You might say, “Well, my doctor has tested my hormones and told me everything is fine.” The problem is hormone imbalances usually can’t be found on standard blood tests because “optimal” ranges are so large, most women fall within them, even if their hormones are completely out of whack. At our center, we use in-depth urine testing to assess hormone imbalances. I’ve literally treated thousands of patients who’ve had hormone imbalances show up on urine testing after being told their blood tests showed “normal” hormone levels. Recent studies have shown that the female hormones estrogen and progesterone have far-reaching effects that go well beyond the reproductive tract, and are especially influential in the brain, as they are highly intertwined with mood neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. (5)
In men, low testosterone has been linked to depressive moods, poor memory and decreased levels of motivation. (6) In our clinic we have found it can be important to not only discover if someones testosterone is low but discover why it is low. There are several factors to consider when someone discovers their testosterone is low. For example diabetes, stress, nutritional deficiencies and inflammation are common culprits we see in our office that can cause low testosterone.
Whether you are a male or female, if we suspect hormones could be affecting your brain health, we have tests and treatments to get you back to feeling like yourself again.
5) Increased inflammation. Research is showing increasing links between inflammation and brain/mental health, from devastating diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia to less serious, but very common physical symptoms such as headaches, brain fog and trouble focusing. Research is also showing that higher levels of inflammation are associated with higher levels of anxiety and depression. At our center, we use blood tests to assess levels of important markers of inflammation such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and homocysteine. Research has shown that too much homocysteine, which can be due to a deficiency in folate, B12, B6, or zinc, can lead to depression. (7) If inflammation is affecting your brain health, testing for it and treating it can help you get your health back.