Depression is a hot topic in the world today and so is inflammation. If you suffer from either of these or both, you are not alone.
Although there are many contributing underlying factors that contribute to depression, science now confirms that inflammation can be correlated to depression.
A study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry supports the premise that increased inflammation may play a role in depression. The large study examined data from 14,275 people who were interviewed between 2007 and 2012 using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) to screen for depression and had blood samples drawn. They found that people who had depression had 46% higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammatory disease, in their blood samples. The study was only able to establish an association between depression and inflammation but not causation, though it confirms the association of depression with high levels of inflammation as measured through CRP.
Finding ways to reduce inflammation in the body is helpful in a myriad of ways and in this case beneficial specifically for depression.
Here are some simple ways to become pro-active in reducing inflammation in general.
- Choose anti-inflammatory foods and avoid foods that trigger inflammation. Here is a good resource by Dr. Axe https://draxe.com/anti-inflammatory-foods/
- Exercise is a an excellent way to help with inflammation. Exercise keeps muscles active, moves the lymphatic system and improves circulation as well. It’s an overall win-win when it comes to maintaining your health. A study found that just 20 minutes of exercise a day reduced inflammation. Exercise increases your your serotonin level (that’s the “feel good” neurotransmitter), which helps decrease negative emotions and increase positive ones also. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315255.php
- Try taking up yoga and/or meditation. Both of these practices have numerous benefits and help with inflammation and are especially beneficial to help with anxiety and depression. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/yoga-could-slow-the-harmful-effects-of-stress-and-inflammation-2017101912588
There are numerous things one can do to combat inflammatory responses in the body including supplementation which I will discuss in specifics in a future blog post.
Finding out the underlying cause or pathogen that is contributing to the inflammation is most beneficial also, but in the theme of keeping things simple for this blog post, a recap is to work on your diet, incorporate exercise into your daily life, and take up a new practice of yoga, meditation or even walking in nature. All of these things will help with inflammation that may contribute to depression and a host of other conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and more.
MaggieHolbik.com is a Certified Life Coach and a Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist who resides in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. Maggie offers complimentary 15 minute discovery chats via phone, Skype, or Zoom to see if Life or Holistic Nutrition coaching might be a fit for you.