As a part of family medicine practice, many people of various ages report depression and anxiety due to situational events or for unknown reasons. Mood disorders are often related to imbalances in neurotransmitters and hormones.
In dealing with these medical conditions, it is important to check hormones levels for the thyroid, the adrenal glands and sex hormones. Nutrient deficiencies in amino acids and vitamins can contribute to poor production of the neurotransmitters necessary for healthy brain function.
Specific gene mutations affect how we make neurotransmitters effect their production. MTHFR gene mutations result in lower production of serotonin, GABA, norepinephrine and dopamine. Other gene mutations can slow the production of SAMe.
Several companies offer urine tests to evaluate levels neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine and GABA. These test are easy to do and provide valuable information to help support patients.
Just approaching mood disorders with medication is missing an important part of therapy. Nutrients assist in helping some medications work better, such as folate and fish oil. Nutrient support should be part of every treatment for better mental health.