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Slow Metabolism Causes: The Relationship Between Depression And Weight

Jun 16, 2021Metabolism0 comments

The connection between mind and body is considerable. That’s why depression and weight could share an intimate link you didn’t know. For instance, countless people with depression experience weight shifts.

But, would you lose or gain weight? Science seems to support both. That said, the weight gain could be more likely.

We’ve already covered the link between anxiety and weight gain. However, that’s only an introduction to emotional slow metabolism causes.

How do depression and weight relate?

WebMD notes the extensive link between depression and weight issues. We say “extensive” because of its complexity. People tend toward losing and gaining weight during depressive periods. Both scenarios gravitate toward unhealthy levels.

It’s worth noting that depression could change your weight without metabolic implications. The lack of energy from depression also plays a crucial role.

Depression and weight increases

Obesity and depression share a mutual causality. Still, scientists debate about the underlying issue. Depression’s symptoms can worsen obesity: appetite shifts and poor energy, mainly. However, “which one comes first” is still unclear.

Coping cravings

TV tends to depict depressed people as eating junk food while crying. While stereotypical, that’s not too inaccurate. Foods high in sugar and fat give us a brief boost in mood. Naturally, that’s bad for our weight. Eating disorders can result from depressive periods.

Depression and weight loss

Conversely, weight loss is also a sign of depression. Some patients lose interest in eating. That’s because they generally lose interest in pleasure. Anorexia nervosa is a common eating disorder in depressed people.

Solving both issues

Physical activity and proper nutrition help you lose weight. Everyone knows that. Nonetheless, they could also boost your mood. It’s challenging, but a healthier lifestyle can help you on multiple fronts.

Depression and slow metabolism: Major depression and cellular energy

According to Medical News Today, depression has metabolic repercussions. Our mitochondrial DNA tends to change with stress. Major depression could translate into shifts in our cellular energy.

Our mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) could increase, resulting in these alterations. Depressive patients tend to show higher mtDNA levels.

Additionally, metabolism changes can shorten our telomeres. They’re sequences that protect chromosomes from deterioration. Metabolic shifts could translate into faster aging. That could explain the link between trauma and faster aging.

Is depression metabolic?

Additionally, the article explains that depression could be a metabolic reaction to stress. That’s because of the mtDNA shifts in our organism. As such, depression seems to translate into direct metabolic alterations.

That poses an interesting thesis. For instance, we could use metabolic markers to assess depression treatments’ effectiveness.

Nevertheless, research remains in the early stages. All these implications are purely theoretical.

Slow metabolism causes: Leptin and ghrelin alterations with mood

Finally, we must evaluate leptin and ghrelin shifts. These hormones dictate our cravings and satiation levels. Low leptin levels are among the major slow metabolism causes. Similarly, ghrelin results in cravings.

Leptin regulates our food intake. Ghrelin makes us crave more food.

Depression and psychological stress often relate to metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Level changes in these hormones could be the foundation.

Leptin and depression

Leptin is famous for regulating our food consumption. However, it could also play a vital role in emotional processes. Its emotional effects are akin to antidepressants. As such, leptin impairment could translate into depression.

Furthermore, the hippocampus seems to mediate leptin’s emotional benefits. Low leptin levels would signify weight gain and higher depression simultaneously.

Mood and ghrelin: Similar signaling?

Similar to Leptin, ghrelin has attracted interest for its mood implications. It also shares signaling from the hippocampus. These two areas take care of mood regulation and reward sensations.

Its relationship with the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is more interesting. This region is crucial for psychological motivation. That could explain why ghrelin ties to food cravings. It suggests that ghrelin could tie into dopamine neuron activity.

The holistic takeaway

Depression makes us gain weight most of the time. However, depression and slow metabolism could share an intimate link as well. That means that lack of motivation isn’t the only cause behind weight gain.

There’s still little research on depression’s metabolic repercussions. However, preliminary results suggest a considerable link.

What can we learn from this? Physical activity could provide more benefits against depression than we thought. Its mood and metabolic benefits pose a holistic treatment for psychological stress.


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