There is no one test that identifies somebody has depression or anxiety, and diagnosis is normally done by assessing each persons signs and symptoms. However, imbalances in hormones, gut function, minerals and other nutrient deficiencies can be the cause behind depression, identifying the cause with some specific tests can help with your treatment plan.
Thyroid, adrenal and sex hormone imbalances can all lead to mood disorders. Identifying and correcting hormone imbalances can correct the underlying cause behind depression.
Thyroid conditions are often under diagnosed due to most doctors only testing TSH levels, this does not identify all thyroid problems, and it is very important to also test free T4, T3 and reverse T3 to understand how the thyroid is working.
Click to learn more about thyroid testing here.
Adrenal and sex hormone imbalances can also affect mood, long term stress can lead to imbalances in cortisol levels, this can affect your neurotransmitters as well as lead to fatigue and depression.
Low testosterone in men and women can lead to depression, and for women an imbalance in progesterone and estrogen can lead to many depression and anxiety symptoms, especially in the week or two before the menstrual cycle.
Click to learn more about testing adrenal and sex hormones here.
In the last 10 years there has been a lot of research into gut function and the role that our beneficial and pathogenic bacteria play in our health.
Imbalances in your bacteria are strongly associated with anxiety and depression, even if someone does not have many digestion symptoms! Bacteria in our intestinal system control our cravings for food, energy levels, can lead to brain fog and many other symptoms seemingly unrelated to digestion.
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The Organic Acids Test (OAT) is a urine test that measures metabolites of metabolism, this can give us a lot of information on energy production, fat metabolism, nutritional deficiencies, methylation, bacterial infection, candida infections and neurotransmitters.
I call the OAT test “my favourite test” as it tells me so much information about a person’s health, this helps to guide specific treatment strategies, identify what supplements are the best for each person and identify blocks in a person’s metabolism which can effect weight loss and energy levels.
Click to find out more about the Organic Acids Test.
Pyrrole disorder is caused by an imbalance in copper and zinc in the body, it maybe an excess of copper, or low levels of the copper binding protein called ceruloplasmin which leads to a lot of free copper.
This can lead to a wide range of symptoms with anxiety and depression two of the most common, specific forms of zinc, B6 and other nutrients can help to bring this back into balance over several months. The first step is to get your levels tested.
Click to find out more about testing your copper/ zinc and pyrrole disorder.