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The Connection Between Neurotransmitters And Depression

By June 26, 2017April 2nd, 2021Health

For all their chemical complexity, neurotransmitters perform a simple task. They’re messengers moving back and forth between the brain’s neurons. The messages they carry and the signals they send are essential to healthy brain function. While it can be challenging to measure the number of neurotransmitters in the brain, we know that it’s important to provide nutritional neurotransmitter support. When there is insufficient nutrition, imbalances can develop. Three neurotransmitters which can impact mood, and require proper balance, are serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Depression has been linked to these imbalances, and although we don’t have a reliable way to confidently diagnose a precise chemical source of depression, we know that the brain’s neurons are constantly communicating with one another.

Looking at this process at the cellular level, where the most effective nourishment can take place, we see a process where neurotransmitters need to lodge themselves securely into a receptor in the molecule. When this happens properly, the receptor is activated. Messages flow properly through the brain. But often, the contact between the neurotransmitter and the receptor is incomplete. When this happens, complete and accurate messages aren’t passed along. Because of insufficient nourishment, the receptor may never be opened, or may only be partially opened. This means the body’s ability to communicate with itself is compromised. Nerve function can be impacted, which can lead to stress. In more extreme cases, problems with the neurotransmitters may play a significant chemical role in depression.

How Common Is Depression?

According to The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, one in ten American adults suffers from this medical condition. Depression can impact more than mood. It can be harmful to physical health and can easily interrupt a good night’s sleep. When depression is mild, we can see temporary mood swings. External stressors may be accompanied by internal chemical imbalances. Often, these temporary shifts in moods can be addressed by nourishing the nerve function. The challenge is to maintain balanced and calming neurotransmitters where the brain’s messages flow properly. This balance can help provide a sense of relaxation, help modulate mood swings, and provide a good night’s sleep.