We can all experience moments of low mood in life. To some extent, these are part of the natural ebb and flow of life… feeling the bad times can make us appreciate the good times. However, for some people this can be a lot more than low mood caused by a particular situation. There can be follow on effects from our life experiences, biochemical imbalances and genetic factors that lead us to experience deeper mood conditions including depression and mental health conditions.
There can be such a varied experience here for the individual with how severely this may impact upon their day to day life or whether this is a short term situation or has a lifelong health impact. Nutritionally speaking, this is where a bespoke service is very much warranted and is often in conjunction with a variety of other services, practitioners and indeed often working to take into account the medications to support the health of the individual.
To give an example, with low mood and depression there may be a problem with the optimal response of serotonin, our feel good factor, which may be in need of support. There is plenty we can do to optimise this response from ensuring the building block amino acids are present and in good supply, this then relies on good digestive health for conversion to serotonin and then specific nutrients for its ongoing conversions to melatonin for optimal sleep which again is very important here.
For mental health conditions, B vitamins are worthy of note. Genetically ensuring that these are replete is important, however, in the wrong form to suit the individual may actually cause more harm than good. It is important to work with Registered Nutritional Therapists that understand this delicate balance and provide the appropriate level of tailored support based on the specific needs of the individual.
When it comes to conditions associated to mood and mental health, some of the areas that we often work with are as follows:
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Depression related to medical illness
Hormone related mood disorders
During a Nutritional Therapy consultation, we work using a Functional Medicine Framework to look at all factors that are influencing mood and mental health, especially the nutrition and lifestyle factors than may be influential to your experience. Our recommendations are always food first whilst based on science and realistic and achievable recommendations.
We may also look at Functional testing here which can be a valuable tool when it comes to assessing factors that may be at play when it comes to mood disorders. Of particular note would be assessing individual nutrient status such as specific B vitamins and vitamin D depending on the condition. Quite often we would also look at Genetics relating to Methylation, as this can be of importance to support the correct balance of neurotransmitter response. We may also use Digestive Health Analysis too if warranted to assess digestive health and microbiome status as an important starting point for serotonin production. Finally, analysis of gluten tolerance may also be a notable analysis for certain people again if specific symptoms warrant investigation here.
There is no one size fits all approach and we help to educate and create a workable plan with the simplest of interventions to make the most positive impact on your health.