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Psychoneuroimmunology—How Inflammation Affects Your Mental Health

Depression

Story at-a-glance -

  • There’s a bidirectional relationship between all of the major chronic diseases and psychiatric diagnoses (patients who struggle with chronic diseases are more likely to be depressed and vice versa)
  • The role of inflammation, across these disease states, is now becoming more well-known
  • Depressive symptoms are the manifestation of many downstream effects on hormones and neurotransmitters, but “upstream,” there is a river of inflammatory markers
  • The communication between your gut and brain appears to rely, in part, on the vagus nerve, and is bidirectional in nature
  • Compelling research suggests your mental health can be improved by reseeding your gut with beneficial bacteria. Fermented foods are important for this


Psychoneuroimmunology

It seems that psychiatry would follow the investigative path of other lifestyle-triggered chronic diseases such as cancer, autoimmunity, and heart disease. There already exists a bidirectional relationship between all of the major chronic diseases and psychiatric diagnoses (patients who struggle with chronic diseases are more likely to be depressed and vice versa). 


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