Six Physical Causes for Depression

By Mark Gold, M.D.

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Diet, digestion and hormones play a major role in mood and depressive symptoms.

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Six Physical Causes for Depression

Depression isn't always a mentally induced state of mind. Almost one-third of all people diagnosed with depression may actually be suffering from a physical illness masquerading as an emotional problem. Eliminate the cause of the physical problem and in most cases the depression goes away.

There are as many as 75 hidden physical causes of chronic depression, according to Mark Gold, M.D., author of The Good News About Depression and a pioneer in the field of diagnosing physically caused depressions. of course the best way to diagnose the specific causes of a depression is a comprehensive physical examination, says Dr. Gold.

Here are six of Dr. Gold's most commonly identified physical reasons for depression.

Prescription drugs

The very same drugs that treat disease may also cause depression. Correcting the problem may be as simple as changing drugs or adjusting ones dosage.

Common drugs with possible depressive side effects include antihypertensives and other heart medications, cortisone and similar steroids, glaucoma medication and antihistamines just to mention a few.

Thyroid problems

Dr. Gold believes thyroid malfunctions could be responsible for 10 to 15 percent of all cases of depression. Fortunately, there are simple blood tests for detecting thyroid malfunction. The most common thyroid treatment is a synthetic hormone taken orally.


High levels of blood sugar can lead to low energy, fatigue, restlessness and sleeplessness. All of which you may experience as depression. If your problem is, in fact, diabetes, these depressive symptoms will probably be accompanied by increased urination, excessive hunger and thirst.

Lack of exercise

There is an abundance of research that proves a link between lack of exercise and depression. when sedentary people finally do start exercising, they are less likely to have depressive symptoms.

Inadequate nutrition

Anytime the body doesn't get enough nutrition the body can feel sluggish, an effect that can mimic depression. Preliminary research indicates that deficiencies in a number of vitamins and minerals, including thiamine, selenium and magnesium, may lead to symptoms of depression.

Bad food combining

If you are still mixing your complex carbohydrates (such as rice, bread and cereal) together with a complex protein source, you may be at risk of mild depression as well as indigestion. Research shows that amino acids in protein prevent tryptophan, the brain chemical that keeps your moods stable, from getting into the brain where it's needed.

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